Years ago, I had the pleasure of recording guitar genius Ronnie
Montrose. In anticipation of his arrival—and to save time—I
set up about six different mics: condensers, tubes and dynamics. When Montrose showed up, he said that he
had a favorite mic and asked if we could try that, as well. He pulled
out a Sennheiser MD 409 dynamic with a flat-bar mount that slid into a
slot cut into his amp, putting the mic about an inch in front of the
grille and toward the edge of the speaker cone.
We tried them all, and sure enough, his mic won out over everything
else! I became an instant convert to the mystic 409 cult and was
greatly saddened when Sennheiser (what were they thinking?)
discontinued the 409 a few years later. Later, Sennheiser came out with
the Evolution 609, which resembled the original but wasn't the
Fortunately, with the debut of the new E609 Silver, the magic is
back. Like the original, it's a side-address design so it can be simply
hung over an amp, suspended by the cable (with three inches of duct
tape to secure it) and be exactly in the sweet spot. With its high-SPL
handling and supercardioid pattern to eliminate any bleed, this one's
ready for anything.
On a variety of amps—Marshall, Fender, Ampeg, Yamaha and even
funky Danelectro—the E609 Silver was spot-on, particularly when
combined with a distant tube mic. The Sennheiser provided the punch,
fury, growl and edge, with the room mic adding a smooth hugeness.
But it's not just for amps: The E609 Silver was also great on bass
amps, toms, trumpets and trombones. At an affordable list of $199.95,
this one's a great addition to anyone's mic cabinet.
Sennheiser USA, www.sennheiserusa.com