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neumann km 184 vs km 140
Old 18th July 2008
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
fafalio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Question neumann km 184 vs km 140

why km 140 is double expensive than km 184?
where are the big differences in performance?
Old 18th July 2008
  #2
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

It's because the KM 140 is part of the KM 100 series with interchangeable heads.

There is more mechanical work to do in the manufacture of the KM 100 series and, also, less are sold - all this goes into making the price higher.

And it's not twice the price - it's only about 45% more expensive.

The street price may be different, though, as you are more likely to get the 184 discounted.

The price difference seems reasonable to me - after all, the whole purpose of the 184 was to make the quality of the 140 available at a cheaper price by making it easier and cheaper to manufacture.
Old 19th July 2008 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Too bad they don't sound the same... Ditched my 184 mics for a pair of 140s a couple years back. I'm much happier with the 140 than I was with the 184. They are definitely worth the extra cash.


--Ben
Old 19th July 2008 | Show parent
  #4
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Adebar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can you explain that better? What is different for you, the highs the mids or other characteristics?

I thought it is the same capsule and even the same electronics and the only difference was the less expensive housig of the 184 without the expensive mechanical elements for modularity.
Old 20th July 2008 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
This has been discussed extensively on the Neumann pinboard. You need to get the facts.

All Aspects of Neumann Products - Re: KM100 v. KM180 series
All Aspects of Neumann Products - Re: KM 84 vs. KM 184 capsules...
Old 21st July 2008 | Show parent
  #6
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David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't think Ben is coming out of left field on this. I've heard from a couple of other experienced engineers that KM-140's sound a bit different than KM-184's. If memory serves, the reports were that the mid-bass sounded different. I think I read an interview in which someone from Neumann attributed this to the modular construction affecting the body resonance.

I don't have any personal experience on which to base a comparison. I've only used the KM-184, and it wasn't my cup of tea.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 21st July 2008 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
That is part of it, the other thing is the top end. I find that the 140 just seems a bit smoother than a 184. My experiences with the 184 was that very often the top end had an "etched" quality to it.

Now... The biggest issue for me is power requirements from your preamps. I've found over the years that the 184 is a very picky mic when it comes to the phantom supply required. When it isn't quite up to par, it oscillates. Not a pretty sound at all! Sometimes, it can be caused by something as simple as cable loss on a long run. Making the run shorter would fix the problem.

Also, while I don't have absolute evidence of this, I find that the KM140 is also much easier to deal with when it comes to cellular interference. My 184s were always taking cellular hits. I haven't had this happen even once with the 140s that I own.

--Ben
Old 21st July 2008 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Neumann have a mod to circuit boards now that eliminates the cell phone interferance. Some of ours have been "done".
Old 22nd July 2008 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Head
 
angelo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Somewhere in the forum of the Neumann-website an Neumann engineer explains that the difference in sound is due the difference in the electronics.
The electronics in the KM140 are older then the KM184. The KM184 has been designed later and the electronics in the KM140 where never "updated".
Just check the specifications of both mics. You will notice that the signal to noise levels and maximum SPL levels between both mics are different.
Old 26th July 2008 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
There have been changes in the electronics of both the 180 and 100 series. They do not sound the same. Look around on this board for some files, d_fu (I think) used both the 184 and 140 in a harpsichord mic test. Also, Neumann took a long time to change the mic data/specifications-long after the changes were made. So you would need to be somewhat discriminating in judging a specific mic.

The 184 is constructed slightly differently. Do some searches. I believe the phase disc is different: conical vs something else.

The removable "capsule" on the 184 isn't really, the mic was designed that way for testing (so I was told long ago).

Sorry to be vague, but those are the areas in which I would look.
Old 27th July 2008 | Show parent
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe that's what the deal is...

I do not hear the same sound that many have been describing about the KM140.

I've used mine for at least ten years with great results.

I love my KM140s and would never consider getting rid of them.
Old 27th July 2008 | Show parent
  #12
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey, I have six old KM140s I'm trying to get rid of...

Anyone interested?

.
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.
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.Nah, just kidding.
Old 27th July 2008 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle ➡️
That is part of it, the other thing is the top end. I find that the 140 just seems a bit smoother than a 184. My experiences with the 184 was that very often the top end had an "etched" quality to it.

Now... The biggest issue for me is power requirements from your preamps. I've found over the years that the 184 is a very picky mic when it comes to the phantom supply required. When it isn't quite up to par, it oscillates. Not a pretty sound at all! Sometimes, it can be caused by something as simple as cable loss on a long run. Making the run shorter would fix the problem.

Also, while I don't have absolute evidence of this, I find that the KM140 is also much easier to deal with when it comes to cellular interference. My 184s were always taking cellular hits. I haven't had this happen even once with the 140s that I own.

--Ben
Km140s do the same though.. try connecting one to a behringer preamp and 100mtr of cable
Old 11th August 2008 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
An excellent thread I missed before.
All Aspects of Neumann Products - KM 130 compared with KM 83
Old 11th August 2008 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I've had a pair of 140s for a number of years. I used to have two KM 84s but one had some problems and they were not useable as a pair. When I got the 140s, I did a comparison and thought they were in the ballpark quality-wise with the 84. Not exactly the same but a good classy sound, useful for many of the same things.

I tried out a pair of 184s about 2 years ago and when I compared them to the 140s, they had all the problems everyone complains about, the harsh high end etc. I also didn't think they were the same quality as the 140.

People don't know the 140 or think they're almost the same as the 184 so usually they sell used for close to the same price. Somewhere around $1000 - $1200 a pair. I can't think what else you can get comparable without spending 50% more. (Though I'm sure someone on this board will tell me - most likely even if that someone has never heard the km140)
Old 30th March 2009
  #16
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Mexican radio and KM184's

Quote:
Originally Posted by fafalio ➡️
why km 140 is double expensive than km 184?
where are the big differences in performance?
I was picking up Mexican Radio on my KM184's during a session in Anaheim California. I had just bought a matched pair of KM100's (with the 40 capsules) at Guitar center used for $500.00 a few days earlier. I replaced the KM184's with the km 140's during the same session and the radio interference went away. The KM184's went on sale on ebay the next day.
Old 30th March 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hmm.. can I expect the same problems with KM183?

I was thinking on picking up one or two 183's as a compliment to MKH8020 and QTC1.


/Peter
Old 30th March 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Peter,

Neumann got onto this very early in the 180 series evolution. We purchased some early 184's that had the problem and they were fixed promptly. Mainly cell phone driven. I would expect if it's a recent 180, it should be fine.
Old 30th March 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks!


/Peter
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #20
Here for the gear
I thought you would say that you started listening to German radios with the 140 - sorry, it was a slip
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG ➡️
They do not sound the same.
Really ?
Old 9th December 2020 | Show parent
  #22
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The KM140 is a great microphone. I always quite liked the original 84, but the 140 is an improvement in my personal view. 184 isn’t as good, and not quite the same as the original 84, in my humble opinion.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I must agree.

Like I've said previously, I've used my KM140s for decades with great results and sound best when I A/B them with the 184.

That said, I'm also very fond of my KM84 and KM86. I wish I had a few more of those lovely microphones.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland ➡️
The KM140 is a great microphone. I always quite liked the original 84, but the 140 is an improvement in my personal view. 184 isn’t as good, and not quite the same as the original 84, in my humble opinion.
Old 10th December 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I did a direct comparison between the km184 and the km140 back in 2011 on this forum.

“ so, i tallied up the opinions from both this thread and the original thread posted in the remote forum:

after 2125 listens,

20 people prefered the KM140s
7 people prefered the Km184s
21 people could tell no difference”

They are both very nice mics and sound very similar under test conditions, track virtually identically on measured frequency response testing, and are essentially the same in the humble opinion of Klaus Heyne. How about we stop perpetrating the idea that the km184 is somehow lesser. For those of you who keep saying differently, please try doing a blind listening test again - I personally find them basically indistinguishable after using both for 20 years.

Our friend Didier.brest has kindly posted level matched samples at the end of the old thread here:
KM184 vs KM140
Old 10th December 2020
  #25
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Well I gotta say, I don't love either of them. But I kept the KM140s. They always come along in my kit as my "oh s**t" pair but almost never get used. I absolutely hated the KM184s. Couldn't get rid of them fast enough. So I don't know if I just can't hear that they sound alike, and just think that one sounded okay and the other horrible. Could be, but neither pair sound anywhere near as good as my Schoeps or my DPAs.

Just had to think if I had any other Neumanns. Nope. Not a fan.

D.
Old 10th December 2020
  #26
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I did my own double blind testing in my own studio many years ago and I could readily identify both. The 184 had a slightly exaggerated high end that I did not like. Perhaps it was unique to my pair, but I sold the pair of 184s and bought another 140. I also have a consecutive serial number pair of 84s and they are easily different than the 140, but both have their use. I am only perpetuating my own experience, which, to me, is all that counts.

But I also note that in jnorman's, that majority of those that had a preference choose the 140- counts for something, I guess.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman ➡️
I did a direct comparison between the km184 and the km140 back in 2011 on this forum.

“ so, i tallied up the opinions from both this thread and the original thread posted in the remote forum:

after 2125 listens,

20 people prefered the KM140s
7 people prefered the Km184s
21 people could tell no difference”

They are both very nice mics and sound very similar under test conditions, track virtually identically on measured frequency response testing, and are essentially the same in the humble opinion of Klaus Heyne. How about we stop perpetrating the idea that the km184 is somehow lesser. For those of you who keep saying differently, please try doing a blind listening test again - I personally find them basically indistinguishable after using both for 20 years.

Our friend Didier.brest has kindly posted level matched samples at the end of the old thread here:
KM184 vs KM140
quoted for emphasis!
Old 10th December 2020
  #28
Lives for gear
 
RobAnderson's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I own two matched pairs of km184, one (unmatched) pair of km140's.
I swear I hear a slight difference even between the two pairs of km184's; I also believe that I hear a slight difference between those and the km140's, which are at least a half-decade older than the 184's - they sound a little smoother and clearer at the same time. I doubt there is enough variance for me to really worry about - I use them all interchangeably most of the time - but if using as a main pair, I am more likely to reach for the 140's first. It is likely confirmation bias, but could be due to the longer wear, maybe there's a slight difference in capsule tension - who knows - I think I like the sound of them better.

Most of the time, these mic's are pulling spot duty on orchestral instruments like winds, piano, cello, or viola; get used for drum/percussion overheads; pop or jazz mic'ing on things like acoustic guitars, upright bass bridge, close mic's on saxes in a big band; or any situation where I prefer more presence or clarity than the "warm/creamy" midrange of the Schoeps will yield - some small rooms benefit from the brighter voicing of the Neumann's.

I also own a pair of 183's and a pair of 130's. Again, the 130's have a lot more mileage on them than the 183's, and I swear I get ever-so-slightly better ambience and detail retrieval on them, so I reach for them first for critical applications. It's probably not enough of a difference for me to really sweat over - either one could be used and it would probably not make a huge difference.

In my experience with them, any sonic differences between km18x and their km1xx equivalent are pretty negligible. I do own figure-8 capsules for the km100 bodies, so there's a trick the km18x line would not help me with. The pad on the km140's can come in handy when a trumpet might end up blowing into it, or for use on percussion of some kind at point blank range - something the 184's don't offer.

Yes, DPA and Schoeps usually win for critical classical music main pair duty. That said, if you can't make a decent-sounding recording with the km100 or 18x stuff, it's probably not the mic's that are the issue.
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson ➡️
I own two matched pairs of km184, one (unmatched) pair of km140's.
I swear I hear a slight difference even between the two pairs of km184's; I also believe that I hear a slight difference between those and the km140's, which are at least a half-decade older than the 184's - they sound a little smoother and clearer at the same time. I doubt there is enough variance for me to really worry about - I use them all interchangeably most of the time - but if using as a main pair, I am more likely to reach for the 140's first. It is likely confirmation bias, but could be due to the longer wear, maybe there's a slight difference in capsule tension - who knows - I think I like the sound of them better.

Most of the time, these mic's are pulling spot duty on orchestral instruments like winds, piano, cello, or viola; get used for drum/percussion overheads; pop or jazz mic'ing on things like acoustic guitars, upright bass bridge, close mic's on saxes in a big band; or any situation where I prefer more presence or clarity than the "warm/creamy" midrange of the Schoeps will yield - some small rooms benefit from the brighter voicing of the Neumann's.

I also own a pair of 183's and a pair of 130's. Again, the 130's have a lot more mileage on them than the 183's, and I swear I get ever-so-slightly better ambience and detail retrieval on them, so I reach for them first for critical applications. It's probably not enough of a difference for me to really sweat over - either one could be used and it would probably not make a huge difference.

In my experience with them, any sonic differences between km18x and their km1xx equivalent are pretty negligible. I do own figure-8 capsules for the km100 bodies, so there's a trick the km18x line would not help me with. The pad on the km140's can come in handy when a trumpet might end up blowing into it, or for use on percussion of some kind at point blank range - something the 184's don't offer.

Yes, DPA and Schoeps usually win for critical classical music main pair duty. That said, if you can't make a decent-sounding recording with the km100 or 18x stuff, it's probably not the mic's that are the issue.
i have yet another layer of comparison: besides km84's, i own km140's, km184's AND km184D's - the digital version!

no matter what preamp and/or converter i'm using (and i consider my amek/neve, grace design, crane song, studer etc. gear to be pretty decent), the digital version in some hard to describe way outperforms them all, at least according to my ears...

...and yes, there are situations in which the hf bump comes in handy (although i do generally prefer using mics with a mostly flat response and rather adjust filters on my desk).
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #30
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i have yet another layer of comparison: besides km84's, i own km140's, km184's AND km184D's - the digital version!

no matter what preamp and/or converter i'm using (and i consider my amek/neve, grace design, crane song, studer etc. gear to be pretty decent), the digital version in some hard to describe way outperforms them all, at least according to my ears...
Although it's hard, could you please describe it?
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