sE Electronics SE1a - Stereo Pair by PreacherX
I actually bought this pair after listening to a A/B sound comparison on Gearslutz a couple of years ago.
The comparison was with several different microphones in around the same pricerange. I was looking for a pair mainly for overheads on drums, but ofcourse i wanted them to be versatile for just about any instrument. I knew what i was looking for in the sound on overheads, which was a good overall sound, but with a bit of sheen on the cymbals. I also know what i didnt want, which was harsh sounding cymbals. I want them to lay as a shimmering matt ontop of the drumset and be present but not poke through too much, and deffinatley not be obtrusive.
Based on the soundfiles provided, the sE1a was the clear winners for me, they had just that shimmer that i wanted and they sounded wonderful, not just considering their price.
There was also soundfiles of an acoustic guitar, allthough the sE1a wasnt the clear winner there, they came close second. They sounded great, it was impossible for me to hear something bad with them, the others just sounded a little bit better.
I dont remember if there was any other instruments in the comparison because these two were the main focus and as i said it was a couple of years ago i bought them. But just based on these files i took a chance.
Now after owning them and used them countless times, i've never looked back. They was exactly what i expected and more. I always use them on drum overheads, i've thought about trying other mics and i own a bunch of other mics, but since these give me exactly wht i want i've never seen the need. I've done some acoustic guitar recordings and they've always performed perfectly. I've tried them on alot of experimenting sounds and it seems that since i know what to expect from them i know that when i choose them for what they have given me in the past, i get exactly that. I trust them completley, i know when they'll work wonders and i know when i got something else that will work better.
Have i heard better microphones? Absolutley, but not even close to this pricerange. I think that even if i would switch them out for much more expensive pair in the future, i would not sell the sE1a's because they can still fit a purpose, on overheads, spotmicing or whatever the session calls for.
Soundquality: 7/10, could have been better but i dont think it's possible for the price. They already sound much more expensive then they are.
Ease of use: 9/10, if i know they are the ones for 'that' sound it's usually very easy to make them give it to me. If i'm not sure i usually try something else.
Features: 10/10 as they have sounded spectacular on everything i've pointed them at, even if i've never miced such an instrument before or if i'm just experimenting.
Bang for the buck: 10/10, i cant see how something could be cheaper and sound this good. But i have absolutley heard more expensive mics not sounding this good.
You know what, i just remembered that the A-B comparision was of the sE4a, but at the time they were a little too expensive for me so i took a shot in the dark and got the sE1a's instead. Got exactly what it was i heard in the sE4a's and havnt even had a thought about upgrading them.