“When I’m on the mic, the suckers run.”
— The Beastie Boys, “The New Style”
Back when I first started doing DJ type work, I picked up a microphone from Radio Shack. That Realistic Highball-7 has seen a lot, and when I started using a mixing board for amateur radio work I plugged it in and gave it a slider as “Desk Mic” for sitting on the keyboard tray in front of me so I could work hands free without the headset. But since my headset was starting to show signs of wear (the right speaker is “crunchy” due to a broken wire in the crossover from left to right) and I was going to get new headphones anyway, and since not only am I using the mic for radio work but now every day for work I use it in meetings, I decided it was time to upgrade to the Right Stuff.
So I picked up the Heil PR-40 that I’ve wanted for almost as long as I’ve been a ham. A kit from B&H included the mic, an Auray boom, shock mount, and wind screen all for less than the sum of the parts. At the same time I did some research into headphones and found that of the two best ones on the market for general use – the Sony MDR-7506 or the Sennheiser HD-280 Pro – the Sony had a slightly better rating for breathability when just about every other metric measured was the same. This tells me that after a long day of wearing them, your ears will feel more comfortable with the Sony than with the Sennheiser, even though from all accounts they’re almost equivalent in likability. So they went in the shopping cart as well, and now I have a nice pair of studio cans to go with my broadcast-quality microphone. It’s even getting me to make more SSB contacts because I *know* that sounds better than the old Realistic microphone ever did!