sE Electronics H1
Another addition to my collection of sE microphones, the H1 handheld condenser microphone!
This is technically an sE2a small diaphragm condenser in a rubber handle with a wind shield. Which is a good thing, because I needed an SDC and a live condenser! Two birds, one stone, boom. It has a slightly more rolled off top end to minimise sibilance with live singing and can also accept a higher SPL. I don't like the top end on most SDCs so this is also a good thing, and I like using these things on loud stuff as well - all good then!
What sE have managed to do with the H1 is quite clever and useful, especially for the price I paid for it (£85 new btw). The built in shockmount does it's job well enough, no more noisy than a handled 58 and the 7 layer pop filter inside the metal grill works well too, also no worse than a 58. However, compared to a 58 the sound is much clearer and detailed. I compared the two mics using my church's mixer and PA system. Where the 58 needed some mid dropping on the EQ to get rid of the mud the H1 was able to be kept flat and also had a much better controlled bottom end. "That" condenser sound is present as well, the subtle detailed crunch in the mid range and all round smoothness.
During recording/studio work the H1 is a useful sketch mic for quick vocal takes and pointing at things. One thing I have discovered is that if you unscrew the metal mesh head the original sE2a capsule is exposed. As far as I can tell if you need to use this as an instrument mic (or for any other job not requiring the pop filter) then taking the mesh off will give you a sE2a (with a slightly rolled off top end). A pretty darn good live condenser and an sE2a all for £85, can't be bad!
I also like the grey rubber finish and general styling of the H1, it looks sexy and seems to be quite strong as well. My only complaint is the mic clip that it comes with, it's hard to get the mic in and out of without forcing it in and feeling like you're going to ruin that nice rubber finish you've just stared at for the last few minutes in wonderment. Having said that, it does hold it tight so that it can't fall out.
All in all a really useful, good sounding mic for the money. I wouldn't probably have paid the £199 price tag that it's going for on some sites, but for £85 I thought I'd have a go, not dissapointed.