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D-104 to Heil conversion

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Matt Dillon, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    I recently became a General" hamster and now I have the common tinkeritis that comes with it. Apparently Heil used to have a kit available to convert a D-104 to the famous Heil sound. I have an Icom IC-718 and I want to run the beautiful D-104 on it, but I also want to have it sound the best it can. I have two different style heads: the traditional D-104 and a couple of 10-DA heads as well. RB Micro sells a kit for a conversion (RB Micro) but I need an element and maybe a little advice.
    Can anyone help an old country boy gain audio perfection?
    Thanks a bunch,



    WA7TGT
     

  2. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

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    Congrats on the upgrade. I rebuilt a D-104 with one of the W2ENY hi-fi elements (available on eBay) and it sounds great. I like the sound better than the original D-104 element. I have another one I installed the RB Micro replacement MC320 kit in and it also sounds excellent. Their kit is high quality, priced right and the die cut inserts fit perfectly.

    I'm not so sure you can even purchase elements from Heil these days. Occasionally I see one listed on eBay though.
     
  3. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    You beat me to it. I have a friend that used the W2ENY conversion on D104's sounds great and in expensive to purchase.
     
  4. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    depends on the sound your after. i found the $12 crystal replacement d104 elements on ebay have a slightly bassier and crispier sound to them making the original element sound kinda flat by comparison. if you want the muddy muffled heil sound then any of his dynamic elements will work and if you pump in enough equalization you can actually make them sound as good and clear as a stock hand mic. the #5 element was one of his best but i heard someone say on 40m that hes losing money selling a mic with his name on it for only $40 so he dumped those hc5 elements and went to the newer dynamics.
    any decent $69 condenser mic sounds better to me then heil elements
     
  5. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

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    People don't realize of the natural frequencies of your own voice can make or break how a microphone sounds on the air. This is why it's good to try out different mics to see which one works well with your particular voice characteristics and radio. My voice sounds great with the HC4, 5 or 6 elements with no EQ'ing. I have a voice that works well with just about any mic I use. so, it's not always the mic. Heil isn't in business because they sell "muddy muffled" sounding microphones. ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    Odd, I've found HC-4 and HC-5 elements still available. And since I find them very nice microphone elements, I think I'll go buy them all.
    - 'Doc

    (actually have no use for an HC-4, too tinny)
     
  7. Eastside

    Eastside Well-Known Member

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    Everyone around here wants to sound like Bassmaster. :D
     
  8. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    if you eq them enough they dont but then an eq makes anything sound decent. for the price they want i cant believe people buy them when the audio tecknika condenser for $69 sounds teriffic:confused:
     
  9. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    The bold text says it all. That is simply your opinion. No judgement call there BTW, we all have our own opinion. Heil mics are hardly muddy or muffled.The quality of sound is very subjective.Some like balls to the wall bass while others like ear splitting sharpness. The mic input impedance of a radio can and will affect just what a microphone will sound like. The same mic can sound quite different on different radios. This does not mean that the mic is muddy or crisp in general. The only real way to hear the overall sound quality of a microphone itself is to hear it through a good audio amplifier with the proper input impedance to match the microphone. Once that is determined then you should be able to match that sound quality by matching the load impedance presented to the microphone by the radio.

    For the record I still use the stock mic with my FT-857, the MC-50 with my TS-820S, and a Sennheiser MD-421 with my Heath DX-60 AM station. No EQ's with any of them other than any builtin eq like in the FT-857 and then only very minor bandwidth control.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    hey, another 421 user(y)
    i had a couple heils. one looked like an old rca mic. it went on ebay for $100 less then i paid and i felt lucky to get that. muffled piece of rfi magnet. we have a saying around our local club, 'friends dont let friends use heils':glare:
     
  11. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Basically it is what Captain K posted, RatsoW8 I think also mentioned.

    The voice driving the mic is what makes the audio, tailor the mic to match the voice and wala, great sounding audio.

    I use an old ugly scratched up Shure 444D on the Yaesu FT-890.

    I often get asked what am I running for outboard EQ? I just got lucky and hit the combination for my voice and the rig.

    I have heard Heils, they do sound good, some better than others so I have nothing negative to say about their products.

    Basically just up to the op to figure out what is best for his setup and audio requirements.
     
  12. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    The funny part is that Bob Heil originally produced microphones for the music and recording industry so quality can't be bad. He is good friends with Joe Walsh of the Eagles, WB6ACU. The two of them have collaborated on several different microphones for both the professional music industry as well as the amateur community.
     
  13. Eastside

    Eastside Well-Known Member

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    Bob Heil is also the inventor of the "Heil Talk Box" used by Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton and other musicians. fyi :)
     
  14. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    ive ordered them, owned them, used them and sold them. i will never sell my hc5 but i will never own another heil of any other type. i dont want the muddy sound and i dont want to have to run an eq to fix it.
    enjoy your heil
     
  15. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    You keep referring to Heil having a muddy and muffled sound while others do not. What do you call muddy? Not having enough high end for enhanced SSB or whatever the stupid wide band SSB is called, or full bandwidth DSB AM, or do you call it muddy when used for normal communications quality audio such as used in normal everyday 3 KHz bandwidth SSB? Just curious as to what you may be referring too?
     

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