What to do with a crippled MD421?

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What to do with a crippled MD421?

Post by Dubmaniac » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:23 pm

A while back, I got a Sennheiser MD421-U-5 for almost nothing. Good thing it was so cheap- it's got a weak, honky sound with zero bass. And no, it's not the bass cutoff switch by the connector. Already checked it. After doing some poking around online, I found out that this is a common problem with them. I checked options for repairing them. It used to be that Sennheiser would fix them for almost $300. Not cheap, but it might be worth it to have a working legendary studio mike. Except that now they say the capsule is discontinued and they're out of stock, never to be replaced. So what does one do with one of these? Are there any other companies making replacement capsules for them? I haven't found anyone yet, but I'd imagine that if someone made replacement capsules (and replacement clips) for them, they'd have a lot of 421 owners beating a path to their door. Sennheiser can't be bothered to reissue the elements, so... now what? Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: What to do with a crippled MD421?

Post by drumsound » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:52 am

Shannon at Mic Rehab in Nashville might be able to help. I'd send him an email.

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Re: What to do with a crippled MD421?

Post by vvv » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:13 pm

I'm going offa memory here, but I seem to recall that the 421II was issued because they felt transformerless was the way to go, and also because the original 421 capsules hadda copper coil that was more expensive? I think the II uses aluminum ...

See here:

So, not sure if a II capsule would work, but you might try it.

Guy here used a EV 408 capsule but didn't like it.


"The test procedure reccomended to me by the sennheiser tech I spoke with was to drive it gently at 100Hz with the console headphone amp somewhere below 9:00 and put the grille to your ear and listen for clean tone. This held true with the known good 421s and the suspect sounded really nasty." cite

"From what i remember best replacement is md408 (which goes cheap) or use md405/ grundig gdsm 202 (thinner diaphragm foil) - a minor audible difference. There's a many sennheiser mikes which share same size of diaphragm and identical coil. Unfortunately most of it is overpriced today.
From the late 80's/early 90's there are md908/md918. They will fit too, but the coil lamination is worse to remove (if you will need of course).
908/918 are cheap mikes but excelent sounding" cite

That above-linked site has some info on guys trying to actually repair the capsule. The conclusion of at least one is, "Buy a EV 906". :twisted:
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Re: What to do with a crippled MD421?

Post by Magnetic Services » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:30 pm

Put a lightbulb in it!!!

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