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SE/Rupert Neve RN17-SP
4.4 4.4 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

Part of the recent Rupert Neve Designs/Se Microphones collaboration, this is a matched stereo pair of the RN-17 small condensor microphones.

2nd December 2011

sE Electronics RN17 Stereo Pair by dsykut

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
SE/Rupert Neve RN17-SP

I'm a veteran engineer and producer in my metro area, having cut my teeth under the guidance of a radio producer who very much believed in the tonemeister school of production....or more simply, get it right with the microphones. I currently work for a prominent local studio (Soundscape Studios is Pittsburgh's Premiere Recording Facility - Hear The Difference) as well as doing location recording, specializing in jazz and classical music. Additionally, I spent 10 years in MI retail specializing in recording and live sound products.

I recently began a search for a matched pair of small diaphragm condenser microphones. While my sonic tastes tend towards high end products- i've long been a fan of MG, Shoeppes, etc- they weren't in the budget. The biggest qualifier was the mics had to match well with my Grace M201 Pre....aka, no OEM or poor quality mics clouding things up in front of my lovely and pristine preamp/converter.

Since taking delivery of the RN17SP's, I've been nothing but thrilled with their performance. I've now had the opportunity to log hours on multiple sources and applications: overheads on drums, classical chamber music, orchestral and choral live performances, solo acoustic instruments.

The build quality is what I'd come to expect from SE....on par with much more expensive brands in fit and finish, down to the attractive aluminium flight case, wooden storage case etc.

What has been surprising is the versatility and musicality of the mics. I've used them both in their intended matched pair in multiple styles of array, and also as part of MS set-ups. They flatter pretty much all sound sources, but not artificially. My SE distributor spent a lot of time talking to me about the high frequency response of these mics, and I have to admit they delivered. The high frequency response is deceptive, in that you don't feel like you're getting as much as you actually are....hard to describe without being esoteric, but put a good set of meters on it and you'll see what I mean. It's present, easy to mix, and never harsh even on challenging sources.

Focusing on jazz, an overhead mic absolutely must capture the intricacies of fine cymbal work....lots of detail, the tail end of the waves, and be able to provide a quality stereo image. These deliver.

Having been spoiled with the $3k up crowd of sm. diaphragms...was curious to see how defined the stereo localization would be in recording chamber ensembles....quartets, quintets, and a recent baroque chorale concert demonstrated their worth.

These mics are an outstanding bang for the buck, and I'm currently budgeting to take on more from the product line, specifically the RN1. I'm still waiting for the release of the capsule kits the rep told me about. I'm a huge fan of MS and coincident figure-of-8 patterns in stereo recording, and the units ship only with a cardioid capsule. I fully expect my appreciation for the units to increase once I can get these.

  • 1
10th February 2012

sE Electronics RN17 Stereo Pair by JonesH

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
SE/Rupert Neve RN17-SP

So, I got one of the Swedish music retailers catalogue in the mail a few years back. Flipping through the pages, my eye stuck to the sE Electronics page where there was a picture of a mystery new Neve mic. I jumped to the phone and called them up. "Yeah, it's a bit of a secret - no one has this mic yet, but we wanted it in the catalogue and we can send you a kit to test". With that said, the RN17 fell out of my mind a long time, but one day I received a big aluminium case in the mail.

The RN17 stereo kit includes two shockmounts, ten small metal cylinders with capsules and two wooden boxes with the oddly shaped microphones inside. The mics are a standard small diaphragm capacitor construction all the way to the end of the mic where it becomes decidedly un-standard. To my knowledge there's never been a SD pencil mic with this big a transformer. Sure, there's also never been a SD pencil mic designed by Rupert Neve and Siwei Zou so there's bound to be some un-standard choices.

In my first test I put on the omni capsules and raised them alongside a pair of DPA 4006-TL in front of an organ, seven meters up in the air. The sound is decidedly on the neutral side but has some added character that strikes me as a bit more "luxurious". The polar pattern is well controlled and even, and this experience carries to the cardioid pattern when placed over the strings of a pop grand piano.

I was in for a surprise –*imagine my face when I tested them alongside KM84's, U89s and USM69s on piano and guitar and found I really, really liked these mics. I'm not saying it's a total win but in many cases the RN17 will come out on top. In some cases a different color or flavour will be preferred but the RN17 are really a worthy addition to the mic locker, clearly.

The units I received were desperately annoying when it came to the mechanical quality of the shockmounts. This needs to be said and pointed out, cause what good is the best mic in the world if you can't point it at your source? I sincerely hope that later units do not suffer from these annoying problems.

Any studio that needs a pair of neutral and flexible mics could do worse than checking out the RN17. It's a nice pair of mics.

18th March 2012

sE Electronics RN17 Stereo Pair by mahasandi

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
SE/Rupert Neve RN17-SP

These are sweet sounding mics. They have the quick detail of an SDC but the neve transformer just adds a weight and realism to the sounds captured that is unique and very euphonic.
I love the shockmounts , really work well and feel sturdy .

The pair I have is cardiod though other capsules are available.

The imaging is outstanding and the the sound coming out of these mics sounds like a finished product.
I have found less urge to eq sources recorded with them at all.
An unusual design, that yields a very unique timbre.
There are many apps for these, but really any instrument you would like to capture with a rich sweet tone not lacking in transient response and detail, well to say the least they are addictive.
I have found more focus is lent to the playing technique and source as the mics seem to reproduce just what you place before them albiet sweetly, but that encourages good set-up and technique as it is rewarded with these.

When Rupert Neve designs anything its worth taking notice and these mics are no exception.
They compete with the best sdc's I have heard and yet offer something no other mic I have heard can do ; merge a sense of heft with nimbleness and sweet tone.
Truly worth auditioning.

31st March 2021

sE Electronics RN17 Stereo Pair by gainstages

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
SE/Rupert Neve RN17-SP

These mics are outstanding. Used over a kit, the snare sound is incredible. Really crisp (but not harsh) attack and warm body. Cymbals shimmer, and every nuance is beautifully captured. Toms are full. In a stereo setup (i've used xy, spaced pair, and m/s) the imaging is really really good.

Acoustic guitars will love these mics - they capture a very balanced sound. beware, any sloppy playing will be quickly exposed....squeaks, scrapes, taps - it's all there.

I've recorded a trio of singers with a tight stereo setup, and it sounded much better than i would have before, exceptional imaging, and every nuance beautifully captured.

Guitar amps? yep. did that too, from about 6' back. Blended with a close mic it delivered glorious energy.

everything that this mic records feels natural...but somehow just a little better.

they look great, they sound great, and they feel very well made.

What's not to like?
- the size/weight may make them a little harder to use in some settings.
- the shockmounts and stereo bar are OK... for a mic set of this price, it just seems that they could have made these just a little higher quality.
- noise/sensitivity. if you are working in a home studio that is less than perfectly treated, all of your acoustic flaws will quickly come to light. the fan on your computer, the HVAC system, kids playing outside.... its going to be very easy to pick all that up. On a related note, it takes more gain in the preamp to drive the same output level that I find on other condenser mics... so either record at those lower levels, or turn up the gain and try to balance that with the management of noise levels.

Realistically, I could have bought a cheaper set of mics and been perfectly happy. But now that i have these, I'm considering exploring the other SE/Rupert Neve collaborations. These are fantastic mics.


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