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SE RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs for Classical and vs Schoeps, DPA et al
Old 4th March 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

SE RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs for Classical and vs Schoeps, DPA et al

Does anyone have user experienced with the SE Electronics RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs for recording classical music? As usual (outside mics from the usual suspects), it's impossible for find relevant recordings of classical music for the RN17, such as

(I) ORTF with the RN17 cardioid caps, for small chamber groups or choirs

(II) AB stereo pair of RN17 omnis for recording Steinway D as one would for classical performance (so mics not 6" from the strings but 8-10 feet back, 6+ feet high, spaced 1+ feet apart on a stereo bar)

On paper, these mics look very interesting and the reviews I've read seem to be consistent with a 'hunch' (no more than that) that you might acquire from the specs, which is that these perform a bit like 'Schoeps MK2H meets Josephson C617'(!). But, of course, no reviews out there address the use of these mics specifically for classical recording (as per my two example applications above), and none appear to be comparing directly the RN17 with the Schoeps, DPA, Neumann, Sennheiser, Josephson and MG competition amongst SDCs for these types of applications.

Thank you for any thoughts.

JPk
Old 13th May 2019
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Bump—I have the exact same question!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

There are some Soundcloud examples on SE's website for the mic, including solo violin and solo piano.

In all the examples they posted, I personally find the sound to be pretty nasal and "closed" sounding. Otherwise good, but it doesn't sound like any Schoeps or DPA recording I've ever heard.
An intentionally-"warming" transformer seems like a somewhat odd choice for classical recording to me.

Note they also have quite a bit more self-noise than the top tier of SDC's. 15-18dbA vs 10-12dBa.

Most of the rave reviews on forums I've seen have been people stepping up from NT5's and MC930's. Not direct comparisons with MK2H's. To my ear (again, just from SE's own demos) they sit somewhere between those two classes of mics, and as such are probably even a little overpriced considering Sennheiser MKH's and some Gefells can be had around that same price range.

Also, here's what SE says about their omni capsules:

"Especially when used with an RN17 Stereo Pair, these omnidirectional capsules can be used to capture amazing room effects for drums, pianos, and orchestras. "

I wouldn't trust omnis from a manufacturer who apparently doesn't even understand the use case for omnis, relegating them to "room effects."

But really it just comes down to the sound. Based on the recorded examples I've heard, I'm not personally keen to go out and lay down cash for these mics.

Last edited by dasbin; 4 weeks ago at 06:13 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin View Post
I wouldn't trust omnis from a manufacturer who apparently doesn't even understand the use case for omnis, relegating them to "room effects."
The general tone of their marketing (including the Rupert Neve angle itself) seems very heavily targeted towards the pop/rock/etc. studio engineer...

I also found the following statement, taken from their homepage for the RN17 to be extremely skepticism-inducing:

"However, a tiny diaphragm usually results in a lack of low-frequency response. How to counter this?"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Counterargument:

Though to be fair, this mic has a monster transformer as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
The general tone of their marketing (including the Rupert Neve angle itself) seems very heavily targeted towards the pop/rock/etc. studio engineer...

I also found the following statement, taken from their homepage for the RN17 to be extremely skepticism-inducing:

"However, a tiny diaphragm usually results in a lack of low-frequency response. How to counter this?"
Attached Thumbnails
SE RN17 Rupert Neve SDCs for Classical and vs Schoeps, DPA et al-82bcf50b-baa8-4e06-9a8d-851239b9276e.jpeg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Counterargument:

Though to be fair, this mic has a monster transformer as well.
Fair enough!

I didn't mean to quibble over the transformer's presence somehow implying a tool less suitable for critical recording or some such... more taking exception to the marketing posturing and statement(s) which seem dangerously unmoored from fundamental principles of physics/acoustics (insofar as I understand them, I welcome correction from those better informed).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Oh, sorry man, I didn’t mean a counter argument against what you said, rather against the idea that a small cap means a small sound. And I pointed out the M50s transformer to say that my argument, that the m50 was an example of a small cap with a big sound, had a big caveat. I thought your points about the RN mic and it’s advertisements were dead on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
Fair enough!

I didn't mean to quibble over the transformer's presence somehow implying a tool less suitable for critical recording or some such... more taking exception to the marketing posturing and statement(s) which seem dangerously unmoored from fundamental principles of physics/acoustics (insofar as I understand them, I welcome correction from those better informed).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukedamrosch View Post
The general tone of their marketing (including the Rupert Neve angle itself) seems very heavily targeted towards the pop/rock/etc. studio engineer...

I also found the following statement, taken from their homepage for the RN17 to be extremely skepticism-inducing:

"However, a tiny diaphragm usually results in a lack of low-frequency response. How to counter this?"
I wonder. The DPA 406n series has a good bottom end in my experience.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

the quote that an sdc by design is capturing less lf (level or range) is bs! the quote alone makes me stay away from the product...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
Interesting reading. I have a few MC930s, so it's good to find comparisons. FWIW, I like them, but they were my first foray into "decent" mics so of course they're the best mics in my locker.

Previous contenders would probably belong in the "Low End" category.

Chris
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

i have a pair of rn17's w/cardiod caps. they are my first stereo pair of sdc that i got with the intention of stereo acoustic guitar recording. i had miktek c5 and auditioned 184's and sm81. i started looking at the higher end mics (schoeps, gefell) but i found a good deal on these and i liked the sound samples i heard so i took the chance. i really like the sound of them. they are definitely not a bright mic.
i find they do have a louder self-noise. i'm playing pretty quiet fingerstyle sometimes so i'm working with that- mic position/not cranking the pres. i'm about ready to rent a pair of say km184 (wats available) and see the difference in self noise. (i know these mics will sound different/brighter)

for ortf- they are a longer mic and with the custom shockmount they are a bit bulky. i think you can't do true ortf. i actually emailed sE about that and got no response. i haven't found any samples/photos of them in ortf either.

again i like them so far, but they also give me a hankerin' for an all round smaller pair like gefell m300 cuz i go remote-off grid where space and weight are a premium at times.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b.lodge View Post
... again i like them so far, but they also give me a hankerin' for an all round smaller pair like gefell m300 cuz i go remote-off grid where space and weight are a premium at times.
You should audition a pair of Sennheiser MKH8040... they aren't "entry level"... but used prices (though they rarely surface used) should get close to new Neves.

They ARE my ORTF pair... and have been since 2008. For my needs, they are what the doctor ordered. I do mainly choirs, orchestra, solo piano and live acoustic music recording. I can tell you that Andy Leftwich's (Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder) mandolin sounded pretty sweet through one (Rob Ickes' dobro on the other 8040) on a Christmas show a couple of years ago... and I still marvel at the choral sound captured in Rome at St. Paul's Outside the Walls (450 voices, full orchestra, one very tall ORTF pair) in 2009. I have Gefell experience as well (still have a M296 omni pair, about which I feel the same)... but the 8040s are my desert island mics.

As my friend (and mentor) Rich Mays (Sonare) pithily put it in 2008... "Buy once. Cry once. Enjoy for a long, long time."

Works for me.

HB
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

thx for the suggestion. i've def been interested in the gefell 29# series and am mostly buying "high end" as much as possible for my small projects, with the "buy once..." idea in mind. i know the senns are in the same kinda ballpark. i'll check em out and will keep them in mind for the used market too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I have and use the 8040’s (and hypercardiod 8050’s) and use them on everything ( violin, kick drum, tabla, flute, piano, choir...).
Smooth on and off axis. Plenty of low-end.
And compact (only 3” long).
Also because they are RF condensers they can’t “pop” in high humidity conditions.
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