This is one of those mics that only comes around once in a blue moon. Because of it’s quality and price, I thought it deserved a mention on my website. Read on and see what makes this mic so special.
When Icom came out with their new IC-7800 elite ham radio, they asked Heil to make them a mic that would really show off the high end audio quality of their new big expensive radio. Heil first made the PR-780. and it was good. Then Heil went a step further and made the PR-781. The 781 is a slightly improvement on the 780.
You will notice that this mic has a “PR” in the model number. None of the other Heil mics for ham radio use have the “PR” prefix. The “PR” perfix is normally reserved for the Heil Professional studio broadcast and recording mics. This is what makes the PR-781 a special mic for ham radio use. The PR-781 contains one of Heil’s professional broadcast/recording studio mic elements, so it deserves the “PR” prefix.
Using one of the dynamic elements from the Heil broadcast division, the PR 781 offers beautiful wide frequency response while keeping that traditional Heil Sound articulation of the speech pattern. That is something ALL microphones seem to lack, but has been the mainstay of the Heil Sound line up.
One important thing to note. This is an end fired mic. You need to speak only into the top end, and not into the sides.
The PR-781 is not just for the Icom IC-7800. The PR-781 will shine brightly for most of the elite radios from Icom from the 746PRO and 756 series and above. And it will also shine on the more elite Kenwood, Yaesu, and Ten Tec radios as well. From what I have heard from this mic, the PR-781 is very close in performance and sound quality to the famous Heil PR 30 studio recording/Broadcasting mic costing much more
The PR-781 does not come with a mic cable. You need to purchase a CC-1XLR I (Icom), K (Kenwood), or Y (Yaesu) mic cable (Shown at right) from Heil to connect the mic to your radio. The mic has an XLR type connector on the bottom, and the Heil CC-1XLR cables have the XLR on one end, and an 8 pin round mic plug on the other end. There is also a short pigtail that comes out of the 8 pin connector with a jack on it for conneting a switch to key the radio. Or if you have the technical know-how, you can buy an XLR 3 pin plug, an 8 pin mic plug for the radio and a momentary switch and some good shielded mic cable from Radio Shack, and build it yourself. It’s about half the price if you buy the parts and do it yourself.
The PR-781 comes in the box with what you see above. The Heil PR-781 mic, and the Heil SM-3 Mic holder. The SM-3 has standard threads that will mount onto any standard mic stand or boom mount.
This pic shows the PR-781 mounted in the Heil SM-2B shock mount for booms. This is the same shock mount designed for the Heil PR-30 and PR-40 mics. The mic is suspended with nylon covered rubber bands to absorb rumble, thumping, or most any vibration sounds.
These pics shows the PR-781 mounted on the Heil CB-1 stand. The CB-1 has a soft touch momentary push button to key the radio. You just need a jumper cable to go from the pigtail on the 8 pin mic jack, to the jack on the back of the CB-1 stand. The pic above shows a home made version of that wire attached. The CB-1 stand is a very classy looking stand with it’s black matte finish and chrome panel around the neck and PTT button.
Just do yourself a big favor, and please do not run this mic through any preamps or Equalizer devices. They always take some tone quality away from the natural sound. It sounds best when run directly into the radio. Most elite radios have some form of built-in audio tone controls. Use them if you need to add or remove some bass and treble. Also, don’t use the compressor in the radio. They always take some of the tone quality away. The PR-781 does not need any compression to sound rich and full.
Now here are the specifications as provided on the Heil website.
Generating Element……………. Heil PR Dynamic
Diaphram………………………… Low Mass Aluminum
Impedance……………………… 600 Ohms Balanced
Connector………………………. 3 pin XLR
Polar Pattern…………………… Cardioid
Frequency Response………….. 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz
Output Level…………………… -55dB
Finish……………………………. Black Satin Epoxy
Net Weight…………………….. 14 oz.
The basic typical price of the PR-781 is $199, but I have seen it for $179.
The basic price for the Heil CC-1XLR connector cable is about $39. But you can build one yourself for half that price.
The Heil SM 2B shock mount is a whooping $105. (Way too much.)
And the Heil CB-1 stand (which is a great mic stand), with built in key button is around $78. A bit high, but it really is a nice stand.
The Heil PR-781 is a great mic. You can not go wrong with this mic. I have heard a few of them now. A good friend just got one for his Icom 746PRO and it sounds fantastic on all modes.
Article by K3DAV originally available at http://www.k3dav.com:80/heilpr781.htm