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MIC BLIND SHOOT OUT - sE Electronics SE8 vs Neumann KM184 SDC microphone
Old 23rd June 2018
  #1
MIC BLIND SHOOT OUT - sE Electronics SE8 vs Neumann KM184 SDC microphone

I got a stereo set of sE8 small diaphragm condenser microphones and did a test against the Neumann KM184. I'm absolutely amazed by their sound!
Both mics are brand new out of the box. Do you know which one is which?

(The preamp is nothing fancy - I did a quick recording session with the Zoom L-12 multi-track recorder)

You will find the solution below in post #10 of the thread!
Attached Thumbnails
MIC BLIND SHOOT OUT - sE Electronics SE8 vs Neumann KM184 SDC microphone-se8-openboxes.jpg  
Attached Files

MicA-AcGuitar-Strumming2.mp3 (1.06 MB, 19982 views)

MicB-AcGuitar-Strumming2.mp3 (1.06 MB, 19575 views)

MicA-AcGuitar-Picking.mp3 (837.2 KB, 19272 views)

MicB-AcGuitar-Picking.mp3 (837.2 KB, 19292 views)

MicA-Ukulele-Picking.mp3 (769.9 KB, 17599 views)

MicB-Ukulele-Picking.mp3 (769.9 KB, 17555 views)

MicA-AcGuitar-Dampened-Rythmn.mp3 (715.8 KB, 18035 views)

MicB-AcGuitar-Dampened-Rythmn.mp3 (715.8 KB, 18149 views)

MicA-Ukulele-Strumming.mp3 (600.5 KB, 17344 views)

MicB-Ukulele-Strumming.mp3 (600.5 KB, 17407 views)


Last edited by roughgear; 9th July 2018 at 03:29 PM..
Old 24th June 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
my guess is a is the se8. b seems to have a little more high frequency shift just a bit. so either that's the km184 which corresponds perfectly with the graphs and actually indicates the se8 is more accurate from a frequency standpoint. or I'm wrong and the se8 is slightly brighter due to some other factor or perhaps the graphs are overly smoothed and the se8 had a slight peak somewhere.

either way, darn close. you could substitute one in a studio and i doubt anyone would know you changed them out.
Old 24th June 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 
cassiozambotto's Avatar
really hope being wrong about this one, because A sounds a lot better imho: A is KM184, B is sE8.

two sdc's people in the real world can afford that I dig a lot are CAD e70's and RΓΈde NT5's. another one that saved my ass for years: Behringer C-2 (unlike it's brother, Behringer C-4 is horrible).
Old 24th June 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Some levels are out, but I think mic A is the better mic.
Old 25th June 2018 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➑️
Some levels are out, but I think mic A is the better mic.
i agree. but both are very close. if a is the se8 that's awesome! if not it's stilli insanely good for the price.you would get a much bigger change in sound just moving either mic 2cm... :-P
Old 25th June 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A would be my pick.
Old 30th June 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
spambot_2's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would choose B and I would place it differently: apart from the boomy low end I prefer B overall, it seems more detailed in the mid-high and high regions to me.
Really can't say which is which, but if I had to throw a wild guess out there I'd say B is the neumann, solely because I prefer B.
Will eagerly wait for the results!
Old 5th July 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
answer?
Old 9th July 2018
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Based on other samples that I have heard: A is SE8, B is KM184.
Old 9th July 2018
  #10
Answer

SPOILER ALERT!

Drumroll!

The answer is:

Mic A = Neumann KM184
Mic B = sE Electronics SE8

What do you think now?
Old 10th July 2018 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by roughgear ➑️
What do you think now?
Interesting! Many thanks.
Old 10th July 2018 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by roughgear ➑️
SPOILER ALERT!

Drumroll!

The answer is:

Mic A = Neumann KM184
Mic B = sE Electronics SE8

What do you think now?
i assume my original premise to be accurate in that the graphs may not show the nuanced differences in frequency response. i don't hear any "major" difference between them. only a small difference. so the se8 is a superb deal. but the km184 also sounds fantastic. if you prefer the signature more power to you. i don't think it sounds noticeably different, but that can also change depending on what is being recorded and how.

lastly, i am pretty sure the main difference in sound is probably the off axis performance, which makes the se8 ever so slightly less directionally accurate and detailed. looking at the graphs the km184 bests the se8 in that regard pretty noticably on paper. i think that probably accounts for a slight decrease in perceived resolution... just my thoughts.
Old 3rd September 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
In each test, mic B sounded more musical to me. I don't how the mics were placed, but mic B definitely has a lot of proximity in the signal. Apart from that, I heard a lot of balance and tightness in the mids.

Mic A came across as veiled in the mids, I don't know how to reconcile this with the price difference and the expected quality difference - this isn't the first blind shootout where a cheaper model sounded better than it's pricey rival.

I'll certainly consider the se8 when I'm shopping for SDCs again.
Old 10th November 2019
  #14
Gear Addict
 
DaveyJones's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hey, thanks for the samples!

So, to me the differences are really subtle. I only really hear a difference in the first example where I believe I can hear a touch more details in the A mic (KM184). The SE8 sounds amazingly close though!!
Old 17th January 2020
  #15
Here for the gear
 
Just got a pair of SE8s. These are very noisy.
They have the same S/N spec as Neumann KM183, but the noise is much more prominent. Also -10dB pad doesn't solve the problem - it reduces the music signal, but the noise remains almost the same, so signal/noise ratio is getting worse. On the same interface and wires KM183s are almost quiet - nothing I can complain about.
Probably, QC issue, but beware.
Old 8th February 2020
  #16
Here for the gear
 
Ok so I bought the SE8 and I own the Neumann 184. At first they sound almost the same but after a couple of days my ear noticed a
difference. The Neumann 184's sound natural and the SE8 has some tones that sound unnatural "electronic". I didn't pick up on it for a couple of days.
So I'm ordering an 2nd pair of Neumann 184's. Can't fake great!
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