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Neumann KM 84 / KM 184 SHOOTOUT!!!
View Poll Results: Which mic do you prefer?
Mic G
5 Votes - 11.36%
Mic Y
39 Votes - 88.64%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
But the 184 IS brighter than an 84. Whether one likes it or not is beside the point. Whether your particular mics conform to the norm is beside the point. The reality is - the 184 is decidedly brighter than an 84. If yours are not, the question would be why. This has been backed up over and over by people who own and use the mics daily.
I agree with Bill, the 184 is usually brighter, but as I said before I always felt like I'd add more top to the 84 anyway, so I never had a problem with the 184. I use a pair for drum overheads and acoustic guitar and I'm always happy with the overhead sound and usually happy with the acoustic sound
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #62
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
I agree with Bill, the 184 is usually brighter, but as I said before I always felt like I'd add more top to the 84 anyway, so I never had a problem with the 184. I use a pair for drum overheads and acoustic guitar and I'm always happy with the overhead sound and usually happy with the acoustic sound
I think when you're rolling tape, there's more of an opportunity for a brighter mic. But I'm not there anymore. I've even been pulling back from the 84 which had been a long term favorite to go more towards a ribbon binge these days. Of course, it always depends on the instrument and the type of music you're working on..... I actually pulled out a 451 last week for an acoustic guitar. Go figure..... Mr.Bright.
Old 1st March 2013
  #63
Gear Head
 

I like Y over G better. Y have more serious, subtle, darker tone. G is really harsh on highs and thinner/lighter. I would go for Y.
Old 1st March 2013
  #64
Gear Addict
 
useme2305's Avatar
 

so even if the KM84 ist faulty or something.

the 184 sounds fantastic....why the hell is it always bashed on so harshly?
Old 1st March 2013 | Show parent
  #65
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by useme2305 View Post
why the hell is it always bashed on so harshly?
I think by those who have used both and put it side by side with an 84. On it's own it's a fine mic. Next to an 84, there USUALLY (not here though) a significantly better sound out of the 84. Hence, the 184 bashing as it lays claim to the Neumann SDC throne.
Old 4th March 2013 | Show parent
  #66
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by useme2305 View Post
so even if the KM84 ist faulty or something.

the 184 sounds fantastic....why the hell is it always bashed on so harshly?
Check out Bill's test between the two mics in his thread -

More Mic Madness - cHapTeR 4 - What's up with KM84's?

It is a more comprehensive test with many more samples to choose from than those listed above. Perhaps that will start to answer your question.

Personally, I don't understand why people feel the need to bash the 184. It's certainly pretty usable.
Old 4th March 2013 | Show parent
  #67
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I love my 184... want to make a pair.
Old 14th April 2013
  #68
Deleted 1846071
Guest
i like g better in both
Old 17th April 2013
  #69
248015
Guest
in my opinion, "Y" sounds better, has lower frequencies better defined. In general they are very similar.
Old 5th November 2013
  #70
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Ty Ford's Avatar
Perhaps the difficulty in hearing much difference is due to the mitigation caused by the preamp. Any KM 84 I ever heard was more natural sounding than the always brighter KM 184.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Old 5th November 2013
  #71
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didier.brest's Avatar
The preamp ????

Why not the converter and the cables ?

Here below Sound on Sound takes of a 12 string guitar recorded with a KM 84 and a KM 184 available from the Gefell M 300 test (two different takes, I applied -1.6 dB gain to the KM 184 take for balancing both RMS levels).

Here also the KM 84 sounding much better than the KM 184 sounds like an audio myth.

I attach also the Gefell M 300 test to show how ridiculous is the statement that, with respect to the KM 184, the M 300 would be closer to the KM 84. (Hey John W., do you hear me ? )
Attached Files

KM84Guitar2.wav (3.37 MB, 3468 views)

KM184Guitar1.wav (3.82 MB, 3431 views)

M300Guitar1.wav (3.82 MB, 3333 views)

Old 9th November 2013 | Show parent
  #72
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
sounds like an audio myth
love it!

yeah the 84 is a little more metallic and dirtier, the 184 a little woodier and cleaner with that big presence peak also (the main possible problem area I would think), not worlds apart though, who would have thought. that's how I hear it, anyway. thanks for the clips!
Old 10th November 2013 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Here below Sound on Sound takes of a 12 string guitar recorded with a KM 84 and a KM 184 available from the Gefell M 300 test (two different takes, I applied -1.6 dB gain to the KM 184 take for balancing both RMS levels).

Here also the KM 84 sounding much better than the KM 184 sounds like an audio myth.

I attach also the Gefell M 300 test to show how ridiculous is the statement that, with respect to the KM 184, the M 300 would be closer to the KM 84. (Hey John W., do you hear me ? )
On these examples I can understand why many prefer KM 84 over KM 184. It's the midtones, especially the lower mids that is more pronounced and full-bodied and musical. The KM 184 wasn't far away from the KM 84 but to my ears it was some of the important "weight" in the sound that were lost. Careful use of a good eq [and and even a tiny hint of added saturation] could possibly make them quite similar.

M300 sounded a little harsh, without much weight either. Never tried M300 myself, but all the samples I've heard has left this same impression.

::
Mads
Old 10th November 2013 | Show parent
  #74
Lives for gear
 
guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

So just to throw another curveball into this thread, I recently did a mic shootout comparing the KM84 used in the creation of this thread and another KM84. Below are the sound files generated from that test.

M = the KM84 used in this test
R = the other KM84


Judge for yourself, but to my ears there is little variation. To me, they sound like they were cut from the same cloth, and I DON'T think this particular 84 has anything "wrong" with it.
Attached Files

M_Neumann_KM84_gtr.wav (3.03 MB, 3741 views)

R_Neumann_KM84_gtr.wav (3.03 MB, 3588 views)

Old 11th November 2013
  #75
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Man KM84 is great! Lucky those who have them.

Check out the SoundPure shootouts. They've got Peluso P84, KM184, KM84, Miktek C5, Josephson C42, Charter Oak M900. The Peluso is not an accurate clone to my ear. The KM84 really stood out to me in those "shootouts." The Miktek C5 sounds kind of promising, very balanced. The KM184 sounds all right, too. I didn't like the other ones, haha, such a fickle gospel of sound truth. Off with their heads!!
Old 11th November 2013 | Show parent
  #76
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Man KM84 is great! Lucky those who have them.

Check out the SoundPure shootouts. They've got Peluso P84, KM184, KM84, Miktek C5, Josephson C42, Charter Oak M900. The Peluso is not an accurate clone to my ear. The KM84 really stood out to me in those "shootouts." The Miktek C5 sounds kind of promising, very balanced. The KM184 sounds all right, too. I didn't like the other ones, haha, such a fickle gospel of sound truth. Off with their heads!!
Really? I really want to like the C5, but I find it to be much brighter than the 84 in those SoundPure shootouts (and this matches up with my experience with it as being a bright mic). Like, at least 3dB at 11kHz, if not more. I wish it was more balanced. Actually, I just wish I had a pair of KM84s
Old 12th November 2013 | Show parent
  #77
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodeath View Post
Really? I really want to like the C5, but I find it to be much brighter than the 84 in those SoundPure shootouts (and this matches up with my experience with it as being a bright mic). Like, at least 3dB at 11kHz, if not more. I wish it was more balanced. Actually, I just wish I had a pair of KM84s
yeah it's bright but it sounded like, natural bright or something, well-integrated bright, kinda 451-esque, but actually a little less bright than that monster. The Josphson C42 has this really odd sheen to me that seems separate from the "true" sound. The KM184 also kinda does pinch a bit up there, but it can work, I'm sure both can work in real use.

The KM84 does seem almost like the holy grail. Or I bet, all those old tube SDC that Albini owns, the AKG, neumann, Lomo, I wonder how awesome those all must sound!

I've got no complaints though with my small selection: KM184, C451E, KSM137, STO-2, I'm never left wanting.
Old 12th November 2013 | Show parent
  #78
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
yeah it's bright but it sounded like, natural bright or something, well-integrated bright, kinda 451-esque, but actually a little less bright than that monster. The Josphson C42 has this really odd sheen to me that seems separate from the "true" sound. The KM184 also kinda does pinch a bit up there, but it can work, I'm sure both can work in real use.

The KM84 does seem almost like the holy grail. Or I bet, all those old tube SDC that Albini owns, the AKG, neumann, Lomo, I wonder how awesome those all must sound!

I've got no complaints though with my small selection: KM184, C451E, KSM137, STO-2, I'm never left wanting.
Interesting. I've been wanting KM84s and 451EBs for a long time, but wound up getting the C5s "instead." I say "instead" because really KM84s are just too expensive for me currently, and 451 is up there too if you buy used and get the capsule serviced. However, if the 451 is brighter than the C5, I don't think I would like it anyway.

On the tube side of things, I'd kill for some KM54s or 56s, too of course. Even a KM53.
Old 5th February 2016 | Show parent
  #79
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodeath View Post
Interesting. I've been wanting KM84s and 451EBs for a long time, but wound up getting the C5s "instead." I say "instead" because really KM84s are just too expensive for me currently, and 451 is up there too if you buy used and get the capsule serviced. However, if the 451 is brighter than the C5, I don't think I would like it anyway.

On the tube side of things, I'd kill for some KM54s or 56s, too of course. Even a KM53.
Funny, I have been using a friend's C-451E the past two weeks and compared to the Neumann KM-184 that mic the AKG is way bright. That being said, it is hands down the right mic for my Blueridge OM guitar (which is very much in the vein of the classic OM-18). The Neumanns emphasize the lower mids in a way that make the guitar sound wooly and veiled. On the other hand, the Neumann is the perfect mic for my Larrivee guitars (which are way more bright and shimmery). Talk about two very respected yet VERY DIFFERENT sounding mics! Yet each has their use. I will try to make a shootout soon between the C-451e and the km84, but using two different sources (a darker guitar with and a brighter guitar). People might find that useful
Old 6th February 2016 | Show parent
  #80
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Ty Ford's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
Funny, I have been using a friend's C-451E the past two weeks and compared to the Neumann KM-184 that mic the AKG is way bright. l
To me, the km184 is way too bright, unless you're going for a unnatural sound or you have a really dark sounding instrument that you're trying to shine a little light on.

I always supposed it was a mic designed to compensate for the high frequency loss of analog tape.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Old 7th February 2016 | Show parent
  #81
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
To me, the km184 is way too bright, unless you're going for a unnatural sound or you have a really dark sounding instrument that you're trying to shine a little light on.

I always supposed it was a mic designed to compensate for the high frequency loss of analog tape.

Regards,

Ty Ford
I guess I didn't think there was a HUGE difference between the km-84 and km-184 and I certainly wouldn't describe the latter as "way too bright". I could see someone saying that about the old C-451e that I've been using. Of course my applications have been several acoustic guitars (of varying flavors). Having played with both Neumanns as drum OH mics, I do prefer the km-84, but not by a whole lot. Anyway, I'd be more inclined to believe that the 451 was a good choice for compensating for analogue tape HF loss.

Incidently, the other mic I got my hands on recently was an old Silver AKG C-414 (with CK12 capsule). Another very bright mic, but because it's "cool vintage gear" it is beyond reproach. Of course if I posted a blind file of it people would harsh out on it. But I digress…

Anyway, back to work.
Old 7th February 2016 | Show parent
  #82
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Ty Ford's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
I guess I didn't think there was a HUGE difference between the km-84 and km-184 and I certainly wouldn't describe the latter as "way too bright". I could see someone saying that about the old C-451e that I've been using. Of course my applications have been several acoustic guitars (of varying flavors). Having played with both Neumanns as drum OH mics, I do prefer the km-84, but not by a whole lot. Anyway, I'd be more inclined to believe that the 451 was a good choice for compensating for analogue tape HF loss.

Incidently, the other mic I got my hands on recently was an old Silver AKG C-414 (with CK12 capsule). Another very bright mic, but because it's "cool vintage gear" it is beyond reproach. Of course if I posted a blind file of it people would harsh out on it. But I digress…

Anyway, back to work.
any C414 I used has been very picky about preamps. The wrong preamp can make them sound spitty and quite nasty.

So preamps can make a noticeable difference. I'll let you have all the km184s you want.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Old 10th March 2016
  #83
Old thread, but I can confirm a few things here:

1) This particular KM-84 does not sound like the ones I've used and heard. It's too bright/harsh for some reason.

2) The KM-184 sounds pretty typical of the KM-184's I've used, and...

3) The KM-184's sound pretty good.

But still... I'd like to hear another KM-84 in this test. I wouldn't have guessed that was a KM-84 at all.

As several others stated, the KM-184 is always brighter than the KM-84 in their experiences.

Thanks for the test though!
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #84
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
If the 84 is brighter than the 184, then one or both of the mics are broken or not placed the same. This opinion is not from the clips, but from actually using and placing both mics.....
Agree, 100%....my 84 does not sound like the one used in his test, at all..

Another reason I give absolutely ZERO (for the most part) influential credence to online tests. They prove to be worthless to me again and again. I've done a head to head shootout with a clients 184 and my 84 and it was effortless picking out the (favourable) 84.
Old 7th April 2016 | Show parent
  #85
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Ty Ford's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz View Post
Agree, 100%....my 84 does not sound like the one used in his test, at all..

Another reason I give absolutely ZERO (for the most part) influential credence to online tests. They prove to be worthless to me again and again. I've done a head to head shootout with a clients 184 and my 84 and it was effortless picking out the (favourable) 84.
Well, stupid is as stupid does. Not all online testing is qwangst, but I agree that a lot of what I've seen/heard is.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; 7th April 2016 at 02:49 PM..
Old 7th April 2016
  #86
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
weird. I have 3 KM84's. All could be swapped out without me noticing a difference.
Old 30th January 2017
  #87
Y sounds more like what I would want out of a mic on my guitar
Old 15th May 2018 | Show parent
  #88
really surprised that G is km84 and Y is km184, I was pretty sure (like several of us) Y was 84.
Old 22nd August 2018
  #89
Here for the gear
 

Close. FS G sounded like it had more dimension maybe, Strum Y sounded better.
Again, so close to me in my room that no layman could tell. IMHO
Old 22nd August 2018
  #90
Here for the gear
 

Close. FS G sounded like it had more dimension maybe, Strum Y sounded better.
Again, so close to me in my room that no layman could tell. IMHO
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