Repairing a mystery Sennheiser MD421

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mike_ender
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Repairing a mystery Sennheiser MD421

Post by mike_ender » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:32 pm

Hey guys -

At a recent yard sale, I got a busted-up (REALLY busted-up) 421 of some indeterminate vintage with the express purpose of having it repaired. It was only 20 bucks so I figured it was worth a shot. Apparently Sennheiser themselves only modern models, and that conversation was the starting point towards realizing that I haven't the slightest idea what model this is, exactly.

I'll post a picture when I get a chance to get to my camera, but for now, I wonder if anyone could identify it with a few pieces of information.

1) It's black, not white or grey.
2) The cable connector is stubby, not as long as the current model (a lot shorter than this: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/imag ... 1TeAgcmJnw)
3) It has XLR out, not the weird output the very old ones have.

Any ideas? If not I'll post a picture soon. And, if it's NOT a modern one - does anyone have any ideas about where to get a repair quote? Would love to save this guy from the junk heap and score myself a deal at the same time!

Thanks!

winky dinglehoffer
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Post by winky dinglehoffer » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:19 pm

How is it busted up? Does it pass signal? Go here for starts:
http://www.coutant.org/md421u4/index.html

There are various pictures & some info that could help.


Oh, and the weird old connector is called a Tuchel.

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Post by mike_ender » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:43 pm

Haven't checked signal yet but the clip is broken (big surprise!) and the basket is completely detached (though I have it). Thanks for the link- I think it's the same as that matte grey one! Just black instead.

MoreSpaceEcho
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:07 pm

well hello buddy.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:10 pm

posting on tapeop from the merch table. that has to win some kind of nerd award.

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Post by telepathy » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:27 am

it's a veritable Boston-area nerd convention up in here!

Mike, can you post a photo of the bottom of the mic, where the clip would attach? that might help in determining its vintage. a black 421 with an XLR connector is likely a U4 or U5. does it have the bass roll-off switch?

I had a real helpful conversation with a guy at Sennheiser some time ago about fixing a busted 421 U5. they don't service that era of 421 any longer (nothing except the 421 Mk. II, as you said), but he gave me some excellent advice. it was just regarding the broken grill & surrounding basket but it was exactly what I was looking for.

find out if your 421 passes signal & that'll tell you what the next step is.
get up with it

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Post by mike_ender » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:56 pm

oh shit you guys

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Post by mike_ender » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:00 pm

ANYWAY I'll check it out when I'm back from my biz trip. It has no bass rolloff switch and no serial number visible. LIFE IS A MYSTERY!!

@MoreSpaceEcho - OUTED

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Marc Alan Goodman
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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:53 pm

If the connector is stubby and all black it's prob a relatively recent one. Sennheiser should be able to fix it, though they charge almost the price of a new mic to do it, so you might not want to go that route. MD421s are a total nightmare to work on. I've had more luck destroying than fixing them. But for what you paid for it you could just hack it up and pray. I suppose that's the route I'd go.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:34 pm


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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:32 pm

I found, in my broken mic box, and MD421.

Now we're both going to go thru this nightmare.

LOL.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by mike_ender » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:58 pm

!!!!!!!!!!!

I think A.David.MacKinnon is correct! It looks exactly like that photo! Weird, I had never heard of this model before.

I've tested it and it passes signal. Appears to sound pretty clear, but as you can see from this Vine here, physically, it's beat:

https://vine.co/v/hZ1bnmViuhV

I wonder if Sennheiser will fix this, and if so, how much. It isn't displayed on their repair portal. Does this thing sound genuinely as good as a 421, just without the rolloff switch? If so, I'd probably be willing to pay like 150-200 for it. Gonna email em.

Nick Sevilla, good luck with yours! From what I've learned from Sennheiser, the only 421 model they fix is the II, and the flat fee is 184.95 plus shipping.

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Post by biasvoltage » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:46 pm

if that thing passes clear audio, c'mon man - duct tape it together! Bust off the clip part of an sm57 mic cliip and duct tape the rest on there and you're all set!

If you really want to make a professional repair to it, use gaffer's tape instead of duct tape.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:29 am

mike_ender wrote:!!!!!!!!!!!

I think A.David.MacKinnon is correct! It looks exactly like that photo! Weird, I had never heard of this model before.

I've tested it and it passes signal. Appears to sound pretty clear, but as you can see from this Vine here, physically, it's beat:

https://vine.co/v/hZ1bnmViuhV

I wonder if Sennheiser will fix this, and if so, how much. It isn't displayed on their repair portal. Does this thing sound genuinely as good as a 421, just without the rolloff switch? If so, I'd probably be willing to pay like 150-200 for it. Gonna email em.

Nick Sevilla, good luck with yours! From what I've learned from Sennheiser, the only 421 model they fix is the II, and the flat fee is 184.95 plus shipping.
Nice!
I have one and can say that it sounds the same as my regular 421. All it's missing is the roll-off (which no-one seems to use anyway).
Mine was broken in the exact same way as yours when I found it. I reattached the head basket by applying a thin strip of hockey tape across the spine (that middle strip of plastic in the headbasket) and down onto the body of the mic. Another strip went around where the mesh meets the body. I finished it all off with a zip tie around the headbasket to hold the mesh into the spine.
It doesn't look pretty but it works just fine and has held up for 10 years or so. Hockey tape or book binding tape is the key. It's cloth and does't go soft and gooey over time like duct tape does.

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Post by mike_ender » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 am

Oh, taping over that bar in the middle is a great idea. Gonna do it this week. If this thing is essentially 421-quality and I got it for 20 bucks, I scored like crazy regardless of how ugly it is!

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