“Built like a tank, the V71d has a hypercardiod polar-pattern, progressively damped capsule suspension, rear-attenuation and a hum-buck coil to avoid unwanted stage and handling noise…”
When it comes to microphones for the sweaty, loud and bumpy world of live sound there are many good old workhorses such as the ubiquitous Shure SM85 and entering this market requires bringing something new to the table. This is what Beyerdynamic aims to do with the release of their Tour Gear series, which is aimed at the touring live musician and is set to match the quality of their famous M 88 and M 160 studio mics.
The TG V71d is a dynamic vocal mic designed to counter the many problems associated with live sound such as feedback, unintelligibility and bleed, and to deliver clear, hi-quality sound on extremely loud stages, making this mic ideal for rock and metal gigs.
Built like a tank, the V71d has a hypercardiod polar-pattern, progressively damped capsule suspension, rear-attenuation and a hum-buck coil to avoid unwanted stage and handling noise, and feedback. It is optimised for very close miking, compensating for proximity effect. This means less colouration when singing with one’s lips touching the mic.
A major feature is Beyerdynamic’s Sound Channeling Technology or SCT which is supposedly responsible for the “Beyerdynamic” sound. It involves specific sound geometry behind the diaphragm, special acoustic fabric, a two stage treble resonator for optimal high-frequency reproduction and special sound holes for a frequency-independent polar pattern.
A mic check over a PA revealed very little self noise, probably due to the hum-bucking coil, and while the frequency response shows a considerable boost between 5-10 kHz, I could not hear any over-hyped presence or harshness in that area. Further tests in a simulated gig situation, (actually a recorded rehearsal) showed that the V71d has a very natural tone. The singer was always intelligible, not unlike a Shure SM58 although a little smoother in tone, less susceptible to plosives and a lot less handling noise.
Designed for very close miking, it still sounds very natural with the mic right up close. Impressively it handles a lot of level from a singer without much change in tone. Whether or not ‘SCT’ is just a marketing catchphrase, something makes this mic very smooth and natural yet very present. Some may say it lacks colour but neutrality is good in live situations. Often in a live mix one finds the need to compensate for a vocal mic’s tone with EQ but with the V71d I found myself EQ-ing to bring out certain nuances in the voice, which was rather nice.
Feedback was not an issue and took quite a lot of PA volume without a peep. The off-axis bleed was impressively low even with excessively loud drums nearby thanks in part to the frequency-dependant polar pattern.
The mic’s Achilles Heel, however, is that its off-axis noise rejection and tone are greatly reduced when in the hands of anyone who learned their mic technique from watching Hip-Hop and Hardcore videos. This may be a little unfair, as any mic‘s performance suffers when one covers the rear phase ports by holding on to the capsule, but in the V71d’s case it is particularly noticeable. It is a minor point but one worth mentioning considering the number of people who don’t know how to hold a microphone properly.
While certainly not the cheapest mic for its application, it is incredibly solid and will last a long time. Whether it lasts as long as the virtually indestructible SM58 is debatable but it is, in my opinion, sonically superior.
From a performer’s perspective it allows greater expressive freedom thanks to its neutral tone, substantial noise-rejection, reduced proximity-effect and wide dynamic range.
The TGV71d is a performer and live engineer’s dream and would be of great value on tour and a worthy addition to ones arsenal of sonic tools.
Distributor: Technology Innovated Distribution (TID)
Tel : +27 10 5000 111
Web : www.tidistribution.co.za
Suggested Retail price: R 2,578.00 inc. VAT.
Reviewed By : Nic Roos