The best vocal mic I've ever heard
If you've got a great voice and you want people to really hear it, spend the bucks for this as soon as you possibly can.
If you've got a great voice and you want people to really hear it, spend the bucks for this as soon as you possibly can.
Seems we all pretty much start out singing with a SM58. I certainly did. (Well if you sing anyway) I remember it well even if it was 30 years ago. I bought it used with a stand and cord for 50 bucks off a bass player who also happened to play my senior prom. I still have it and it still works like the day I bought it. About 12 years ago I moved up to a Beta58. A nice improvement to be sure. About 3 years ago I moved up to a Beta87C. No more dynamics for this guy. Condenser power on the stage. Yes! Miles better than the 58's. Well today I think I've jump forward a few mics, landing squarely in Deutschland...Berlin to be more precise. The Neumann KMS-105.
After getting it out of the box and snapping the obligatory pic I fired up my "Fishstick" and flipped open my fake book at random. Humm "Tequila Sunrise"...that'll do. I ran through it with the 87 first so that sound would be fresh in my mind. Very nice as always. Power down and swap out the 87 for the 105 changing nothing else. Power back up and get busy. The difference was astounding...in a good way. It's a tiny bit hotter than the 87 but not by much. But the power and clarity of the sound is akin to a large diaphragm studio condenser. I'll compare it to my trusty old AT4033 soon enough. Yes it's a pricey mic ($700) for the stage but honestly, it's worth it if your voice is out front in the mix.
I have been using this mic for over two years, It is amazing and I have no interest in any other mic for my live use. A bonus is that it is really good for recording both vocals and guitars, I have used it on an electric guitar amp and also as a second mic for stereo recording of an acoustic.
If you are looking for a high end vocal mic for live performances this is the one look no further. We have both the Shure and Sennhieser equivalent. For us this was the best choice. I only have two complaints one the base of mic is a little smaller than norm., but mic comes with clip just don't loose it. Two if you want this mic wireless it will cost you $8000, not in my budget but maybe in yours.
Last summer I was hired by a company to be the lead sound engineer of the second stage at a 5,000 seat outdoor venue in NH. That company also had me work as 2nd engineer at a nearby 500 seat theater that had been renovated and turned into a wonderful place where many national artists come to play. The pro pa system that was installed there cost over $100k. I can not tell you the name of the artist who performed there who brought her own KMS105, but one of her songs charted in the top 5 in 1995. You would INSTANTLY recognize her name if I told you, but then someone would owe her money, and I don't have a job so I don't have any to spare. My partner, the lead engineer, told me he had run another nationally known singer who used that mic once and he could not believe how good it sounded. When he set the house board for that show, (an Aavid SC48), he put NO eq on her voice, and no de-esser either. Her voice was silky, smooth, clear as a studio recording with not a hint of feedback, and when she talked to the audience you could hear every word. The only downside was when she used a drumstick to tap on the mic stand the internal shock mount of the KMS105 prevented 85% of that noise from coming through. Had I known that was going to be the case, I would have mic'ed her mic stand..! LOL..! Someday I will have the money to buy one these for use in my home studio and onstage. If you are serious about your vocals, especially onstage, save up your money and buy this mic. If you look, you will see many professional artists using it. They do because this is a PRO mic, no two ways about it. The truth is simple, if you are a singer and you are using a dynamic mic on stage, your audience is NOT hearing what your voice is doing. This mic will let you hear EVERYTHING you are singing, especially if you use a decent set of in-ear monitors, and if you can hear better you will sing better.
I found a write up that intrigued me a bout this mic. Couldn't find a bad thing written about it. Talk to Ryan and he said go for it.
My wife has used a beta 87 since it first came on the market and this is the best mic I have found for her vocals. Just perfect for someone who really sings and know how to use a good mic. I am using it with the Bose L1 Model 2 and it's a match made in heaven
WIsh I could have found a cheaper alternative, but this mic is well worth the money. I can now tell sound people just to leave the eq on the board flat and it sounds great (using it on a light soprano voice singing jazz and latin jazz). Great intelligibility on spoken word between songs as well (that was always a problem with a soft voice).
I'm absolutely delighted with the KMS105MT. Let me tell you why.
My sound system is a Bose L1 Model II. And it is generally situated 4-5' away to my side, so there is a potential problem with feedback.
I did not have a feedback problem with the KMS105--no ringing, just clear as a bell.
My previous mic was a Beyer M88. I used it for years and I was convinced it was the best. But I needed a 2nd vocal mic. I decided to speak to support at Beyer (they were very helpful by the way). I asked if I should consider another Beyer mic--an upgrade if you will. They recommended a condenser microphone, the TG V96c. I had one sent to me to try out and although the sound was fantastic, the feedback issues made it impossible to use (in another setting, it probably would have been just fine).
So then I went on line and started reading other reviews. The KMS105MT was consistently rated high--as evidenced by usage by a number of international artists. I decided to give it a try.
Out of the box, with no tinkering on equalization, I found the mic to be lush. The sound is natural and balanced--no artificial coloring. It sounds warm to me--there is no tinny sound. It suits my baritone voice perfectly.
So, there you have it. I have a new favorite vocal mic. I can't wait to use it at my next gig. I would be astonished if anyone had an issue with this microphone.
Sound quality matches the brand name!!
Like many other singer/songwriters, when I first came across this mic, I said to myself "I can't imagine spending $700 for a live microphone". After thinking about it more, I realized like many other people that I've spent $3,000 on guitars, pianos, etc, but yet the microphone and vocals are equally as important as the instruments.
Yes, the microphone is expensive, but don't forget that you're essentially buying a studio microphone, plus a live mic. This is an awesome studio mic as well as a live one. I've used this mic for my home recordings, and it sounds remarkable.
Worth every penny. Think about it seriously, and you should realize the importance of a good mic.
I bought the KMS 105 a month ago and finally got around to testing it today.
From the first minute I was blown away-
the sound of the 105 ( into my SSL channel strip) is simply unbelievable !
I then decided to re-record my vocals on a song which I had earlier recorded in a pro studio with a super expensive tube mike and a Neve input channel.
When I compare the two tracks, they are just worlds apart: The KMS 105 sounds ten times more musical.
Worth every penny!
(My other mikes go on sale tomorrow.)
I first came across this microphone while watching a late night show on TV, and the featured band was using the microphone. As I researched it more, I was shocked how expensive it was for a live microphone, and thought to myself "I would never pay that much for al ive microphone". Two years later, I refuse to use a different microphone live on stage. The clarity is in a league of it's own, and it's shocking that it's only $700. I'm an acoustic singer/songwriter, and I've spent $3,000 on guitars, and that's only 50% of my show. Why spend a fortune on one instrument, but forget the most important, your vocals. This mic is fabulous, and is worth every penny. I'd say the only downfall of this microphone is it shows every flaw in your voice, because it's super sensitive, and sounds amazing.
I own a Shure Beta 58A, 87A, and a Senheiser e935 as well, and if I combined them all, I still wouldn't have the KMS105
This mic blows away the Beta 87A. Smooth response, very little eq needed. Well worth the money. Fantastic sound!
I have always used Beta87's on vocals, but I finally broke down and bought this. From the first note to the last I was blown away. Even on a bad PA it sounds rich and smooth. My vocalists always comment on how nice it sounds in their ears or out of wedges. Totally worth the money. I tested out a KSM9 and this is a much smoother mic, and much easier on the ears.
I was skeptical that this mic was six times better than my trusty SM58. Gigging with it for a year has confirmed that it was worth it... clear, clean, with incredible body. Our entire band (five singers) has switched and the difference in vocal sound is noticable.
I've also put it in service in my studio for woodwinds and some vocals - very nice.
If you can spare the cash, do it. It's worth it.
What can I possibly say that hasn't already been "waxed poetic" about this mic. I was very hesitant to spend the moolah for this beauty thinking surely it couldn't be that much better than the other offerings for less. Well, with all due respect IT IS! It brings to the table (or rather stage) those silky smooth characteristics we have all become so familiar (and spoiled) with Neumann for. About the ONLY dissapointment is it is NOT immune to plosives as I sort of thought it might be. If you back off it at least 5 or 6 inches you're fine, but it will encure the rath of those sung "P"s and "B"s if you aren't careful as well. Otherwise it is nice and sensitive so unlike the dynamics you don't have to crank up the gain to get it where you need it to be. Solid as a rock and with that sweet carry bag (I even put it in it's original "hard as nails" carton to take it to a gig. It is pricey, but at least in this case it delivers.
This is the second KSM105 I purchased from Sweetwater.
I had to try the Shure KSM9, but this was clearly the winner.
The critical detail in the mids is just so much better on the Neumann and the sound is more open.
I'm not a Neumann nut. This mic is just clearly better for vocals.
I work with an opera-trained mezzo doing pop, jazz and ballad genres. Her voice is sumptuous and rich in nuance, so we need something more than an SM 58 to capture the vocal banquet she provides. The Neumann has an even, clear response that is free of bandwidth distortion and accurately reproduces what she sings into it. It's a lot of money for those of us who aren't yet stadium acts but if your singer is good enough then the KMS is a good investment. If you don't want to drop 7 bills but still want something really good then check out the Audio Technica AE 5400; it isn't quite as good but it's about half the price and is a fine mic. The AT also has punch and clarity but does not provide quite as even a response.
very, very nice mic. clear and very transparent. a double-edged sword, this mic will bring out your best but will also show you where you are not so good (i.e. intonation). comes with a nice carrying case to pack away for gigs. tight pattern nearly eliminates feedback. this will be a wonderful live vocal mic for years to come.
This mic will surely beat any standard live mic like an sm58 in a shootout, but its simply impractical in any type of band situation since its too sensitive. It feeds back easily and often. Vocals don't cut through as well and it adds tons of low mid mud too anyones voice, which might be flattering on its own, but in a mix it just clashes with guitars and keys, and no amount of EQ can fix it. It's high end is sweet and smooth but also just too much, causing feedback. This mic is great for a solo singersongwriter who doesn't need much in the monitors, but thats about it.
I resisted getting this black beauty for a few months. After reading all the lauditory comments about how it was rich, sweet, added depth to the performer, had a sense of space....and the list goes on. I was using a dynamic mic previously for live work (a Sennheiser e845) which was no slouch to be sure. However it, as all dynamics required a bunch of gain to get it where it needed to be. Also on my male voice it had a darker quality which required some EQ. When I first plugged the 105 in I immediately noticed the lack of self noise, and then that rich character others had described along with a distinct boost in the upper register that allowed me to hear the upper area of my voice without even hitting the EQ. It is much less succeptable to popping from plosives (although if you are within a few inches and sing directly into it you can still get "P" issues. It is without question lighter than the Sennheiser as well. Overall construction is solid indeed. It is pricey, but this lends creedence to the "you get what you pay for" addage. I'm just glad I bit the bullet and now have it available.
I own both the KMS 105 and the Audio Technica 5400 live vocal condenser and I tested em on stage right next to each other through the same system, same voice, same time, same songs, verse to verse. The KMS 105 is an amazing mic and if you have the money buy it. I bought the 105 used on the spot. The 5400 is really, really good but you CAN tell the difference. A friend thought the difference between the two not worth the 200 buck price difference new. I think I might disagree., but since it was his 105, and I bought it used for a lot less than new, it was a no brainer. I later bought two 5400's which I use at my sound gigs and open mics and they work really well with most singers in an acoustic show environment and they have a slight dark pressence the 105 doesn't. Sometimes I wish I'd brought the KMS105 to some of these gigs though. I never feel vice versa with AE5400, though I love it a lot. The Audio Technica Dynamic 4100 is another awesome mic. All these mics far outshine the sm58 and even beta 58. I wish more sound guys and clubs were more open minded intheir mic choices. I
I was skeptical of the great reviews I'd read on the KMS105, and before trying it, I believed that other mics like the S1 and AT5400 were "probably just as good". I couldn't have been more wrong. Although it's not perfect for every voice, I have found the KMS 105 to be a revelation on my voice and on most others I've tried. Clean, clear, "air", and amazingly natural dyanmics are a big part of the reason for my enthusiasm.
I just recently got a copy of the DVD "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" and lo and behold - guess what mic they were using for nearly all the sessions? You got it, the KMS105. The other thing that amazes me about this mic is how rugged it is. I've read many times that "condenser mics aren't meant for the stage" but this mic has held up well over the year that I've owned it.
The bottom line is this - the KMS105 has the ability to make any sound system better. You have to try it to believe it!
I guess I lucked out -- I bought this before the price went up. But I'd buy it again at the current price. This mic has it all -- it's durable, and it sounds like a Neumann. If you are the lead singer, do yourself and your music a favor and invest in this mic. You will be glad you did. I use it primarily for my own vocals of course, but I've tried it out on about 10 other singers while engineering at a local club, and I've even used it on my bass amp for gigs where I wasn't singing. I didn't tell the singers I tried it on that it was anything special, and every one of them wanted to know.
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