matta

Hey Guys,

While this is far from a definitive guide my primary goal was to put the line of SE Microphones through the paces which has been an interesting experience. My knowledge of these mics has come down via the grapevine and a few articles/reviews I'd read and took them up on their loan programme to take a listen.

All the tracks were recorded into Logic 7 via a Focusrite Octopre into a MOTU 896HD . We set all the mics up on their own stands, matched the gains as best we could and I stood the same distance away from each mic as I spoke at a conversational volume into each one.

All the mics were set to cardiod patterns (most were cardioid in nature from the get go) with no low cuts or pads engaged. Once the files we down they were each normalized for consistency.

I reserve any comments, at least for now, but would like to hear your thoughts.

All files are uncompressed Wav files at 44.1KHZ and 16bit and each file is just under or over 500kb.

Rode NT1
SE 2200A  
SE Z3300A  
Violet Designs Black Knight  
Neumann U89  

Cheers

Matt
Matt Allison
www.matt-allison.com

Quote
We are not going to start thinking of ways to get an octopus to commit a crime, cause that just has failure written all over it – Earl J Hickey


hejsan

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2006, 07:02:55 PM »
Didn't think I would say this but the nt1 kikcs the SE's asses, they both sound way too shrill, and I allready thought the nt1 sounded shrill, but the 2200A was less so, so it wins out of the two SE's. The 2300A was just plain creepy..

The violet one sounded really good and seemed to be the least noise-y of the batch and the neuman didn't suck at all. They both had a very nice mid.

My 2 kronur.

hejsan
Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
Quote from: "Butterylicious"

OneRoomStudios

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2006, 09:40:26 PM »
These kind of tests don't do much for me. It is nearly impossible to tell what the true differences between the mics are since the differences in room position, distance from the mic, and performance contribute so much to their sound. For example, the Z3300A seemed to have more proximity...but was that the mic or were you 1/2" closer on that take? Plus while many may think one mic sounds better than the rest in this test, all that means is that mic is the best for your voice in that room with your other gear. It doesn't say much about which mic is "better" or "best."

For what it's worth I have tried the SE5500 (precussor to the 5600A) on many vocalists against a Sure KSM44, an AT4050, a 414 SE and numerous dynamics, and 9 times out of 10, the 5500 wins. For my money that speaks volumes for SE mics (or at least that model in particular).

Flatpicker

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 10:57:25 PM »
Wow, with a little more proximity, the Black Night would almost nail the U89. Pretty close if you ask me. The others have that "Chinese" sound in varying degrees.

MATTI

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2006, 03:27:38 AM »
The Violet mic seems to be a very good deal,
SE mics are known to be have better capsules than
average Chinese but yes have brighter timbre than
many LDC`s. You just position any mic differently
by ear.
Cheers
Matti

rodabod

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2006, 03:08:05 PM »
Well, the Chinese mics sound pretty typical - although I was surprised to hear the SE mics being as "shrill" (or maybe more shrill) as the Rode.

I'm impressed with the Violet mic as far as this comparison is concerned and also thought the Neumann sounded good (I thought it would sound brighter in comparison, but there you go...)
Quote from: tv
punchy fat bastard chip

Tim Campbell

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2006, 04:19:09 AM »
I'm not sure I'd call a Neumann U89 a budget mic. I've found it to be a terrible mic for recording pop/rock things. It has a flatter frequency response than other Neumann LDC's and so sounds dull.

I believe it was originally designed to record bright orchestral instruments such as string sections.

ioaudio

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2006, 07:49:14 AM »
shootout time :-)

i get headache from rode and se, really. don´t like this kind of treble. z3300a is worst. i can´t understand that anybody likes it...
the neumann and the violet sound good to my ears.

okgb

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2006, 10:38:50 AM »
Really need a variety of sources [ with varying frequency strengths ] , that may or may not be affected by or match the frequency bumps of the mics  ] .  you know bright things may sound better on the newman  [ yeah i know  ] and worse on the s.e. while a more mid rangey thing sound  duller on the the neumann and more balenced on the s.e.
depending on how big of bumps the sources are to begin with , although
i think no one would be surprized by the neumann sounding better , and
it's always good to listen  use your ears  , and careful of generalizations

regards Greg
GKB Audio / Greg Boboski

okgb

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2006, 10:44:53 AM »
Really need a variety of sources [ with varying frequency strengths ] , that may or may not be affected by or match the frequency bumps of the mics  ] .  you know bright things may sound better on the newman  [ yeah i know  ] and worse on the s.e. while a more mid rangey thing sound  duller on the the neumann and more balenced on the s.e.
depending on how big of bumps the sources are to begin with , although
i think no one would be surprized by the neumann sounding better , and
it's always good to listen  use your ears  , and careful of generalizations

the U89 is a 3/4" diaphram ?

regards Greg
GKB Audio / Greg Boboski


JRE Productions

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2006, 11:18:09 AM »
The neumann U89 is a medium size capsule not large.

But to be honest, I thought if had the nicest tone. Sort of open and natural. I am listening on a budget pair of headphones, so take that into account.

matta

'Budget' Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic Shootout with SE Mics
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2006, 12:13:40 PM »
Hey Folks...

I said it was not definitive, but it was good enough for what my goal was and that was to try out the SE mics first hand.

The Neumann is indeed no budget mic, I only added it to see how the budget mics (SE, Violet and Rode) faired when put up against the Neumann.

SE mics are built in their own factory and are not OEM mics like many others and they design and build everything in house. I just wondered how different they sounded from other Chinese made condensers.

I find the high end on all the Chinese mics I've tried over the top and larger than life, and while it might sit well in with particular Genres of music for natural tone I think they don't come close to the realism of the Neumann.

What surprised me was the Violet Black Knight, it costs the same at the entry level SE mic (at least here in South Africa), but sounds so much more lifelike and in the ball park of the Neumann, which was an interesting find.

I think the mics all have their flavours  and uses and of the Chinese mics I liked the SE2200A the most.  If I was looking for something different it would make a nice addition.

That said if I was in the market for my first mic and only had one mic for the money I'd pick the Black Knight.

Matt
Matt Allison
www.matt-allison.com

Quote
We are not going to start thinking of ways to get an octopus to commit a crime, cause that just has failure written all over it – Earl J Hickey


 

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