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Neumann KM 184

Neumann KM 184

4.15 4.15 out of 5, based on 9 Reviews

Small Diaphram Cardioid Microphone


16th February 2012

Neumann KM 184 by mahasandi

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Neumann KM 184

This is a cardiod mic requires phantom power.

I like this mic though some find it a bit harsh in the upper mids.

Those same people seem to love the vintage km84 which I am sure I would as well have not used one.

from the Nuemann site

"Although the KM 184 has the same capsule as the KM 84, the microphone differs slightly on the 0° frequency response: The KM 184 has a gentle rise at about 9 kHz, a characteristic that was introduced very successfully with the KM 140. The result is a tonal balance that is fresher and livelier when compared to the KM 84 with its flat frequency response in that band.

This difference was achieved with just a slight change of the capsule’s rear opening, and is not due to resonances."

Apparently Sennhieser/modern Nuemann feel what many here on GS call harsh is actually livelier .....

Well on its own merits the 184 is low noise and has good detail paired with a warmer pre-amp I have the upper mids to be less in the face.

Its really a good mic to use and know as it can be very versitile on acoustic guitar to snare etc.
It has fairly good tone when compared to some cheaper mics and can produce a good reproduction of most instruments.

I guess Im just smitten with the Line audio CM3.I feel it has a better tone then the 184 about the same noise a wider cardiod but just a more pleasing tone to the sound.
depending on your source and application you might love this mic .
Here on GS it has been generally beat up.
Now the km84 being warmer still having good noise a more musical tone in comparison would win for me .
But as the 184 is still in current production its readily available and not super $$$$
Worth hearing, and maybe what your looking for I have liked the 184 on guitars not so much on strings as the upper mid brightness brings out too much rasp.
For guitar amps I choose ribbons.

A good mic not a great one.

16th February 2012

Neumann KM 184 by jnorman

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Neumann KM 184

Over the years, recording chamber and classical music, I have owned pairs of Schoeps CMC64s, DPA 4011s, Neumann KM140s, AKG C481s, gefells, and many other very nice SDCs. The KM184 is still one of my favorite mics of all time, and easily holds its own against every mic I have ever used.

When used as a main ORTF pair to capture acoustic performances, it presents an extremely well-balanced, open, and very musical soundstage. Stereo imaging is near perfect, and accuracy is comparable to even the most expensive mics I have tried.

The KM184 displays a slight upper end lift which is beneficial in normal mid-distance ORTF configuration, but may be detrimental in close spot mic applications when used directly on-axis. Using the KM184 slightly off-axis in close mic applications gnerally allows for a smoother top end response, and is recommended for brighter instruments, whereas the high end lift can be used to great effect directly on-axis for warmer instruments.

The KM184 does not display the same level of clean transparency as the DPA 4011, nor does it have the warmth of the Schoeps CMC64 - both of which are outstanding microphones. However, the KM184 does embody a certain "Neumann" kind of timbre that I personally find quite appealing. The acoustic response of the KM184 is virtually identical to the KM140, as deomnstrated by head-to-head comparative recordings that I have posted here on GS.

All in all, the Neumann KM184 is truly the "desert island" mic for me and the work I do - it is an industry standard microphone used by nearly every major studio in the world. Like any microphone, it is inherent upon the user to learn its specific character and thus to learn how to use it to best effect for the needed application.

IMO, the KM184 is one of the absolute best bang-for-the-bucks microphones ever made - extremely high build quality, outstanding name recognition, stellar acoustic reproduction capability, AND affordable with great resale value. You simply cannot go wrong with this mic.

22nd March 2012

Neumann KM 184 by rJulianz

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Neumann KM 184

The Neumann KM 184 is a super sweet little mic !
I have only used it for both acoustic Nylon & Steel-string guitars, and it truly shines at that.
I was going to get another mic (that shall remain nameless) but I decided to go with Neumann because I got a great deal on this little guy and well...its a Neumann !!
This mic captures exceptionally well the sound of my guitar and I get a nice full bass sound that other mics usually don't capture.
i started by using 2 mics but when it came time to mix my sound I ended up using just this mic.
Best way I could describe it is that the the sound is very natural and full. It also captures very well the sound of the room so if you got a crappy room with a loud harddrive it will capture it, even at a couple of feet away.
I started by aiming at the 12th fret which sounds pretty good but by pointing it half an inch closer to the sound hole I was able to get a different sound with exactly the bass sound I wanted.

You can also get the mic pretty up close to the instrument (in case of a crappy room) and still get a very nice sound and block out the room.

I absolutely love this mic and doubt I will ever get rid of it.

23rd March 2012

Neumann KM 184 by tribedescribe

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Neumann KM 184

I have to say I do love that Neumann sound. This mic excels with stringed instruments. I own a pair of consecutive km184 I got used on ebay. Used these are a great deal but at full price they are priced just fair.

I have used mine on drum overheads, nylon guitars, steel string guitar and stand up bass. The place were this mic shines is on steel string acoustics. Through my Neve portico preamp the tone is very sweet and accurate. Not too dark and never harsh. No close micing here, I keep a healthy distance from my sources and the tone is always balance and pleasing. For Overhead drums I run a pair in x/y about 7 feet above the kit aiming at the snare. The drums always come out clear sounding and balanced. Nothing is too bright nor harsh at that distance. I have heard the tone of these mic's can be odd when close micing.

I use to own a pair of Akg c451b and Earthworks sr77/sr30. The Akg c451b were good but in comparison with the Neumann the c451b's sounded a little too bright and slightly plastically. The Earthworks were great mics but sounded quite bland and too neutral, Often requiring lots of eq. The km184 sound great even with no eq.

Overall I really like these mics, they are versatile and have a great sound. I am sure I would love a km84 but the km184 can really sound nice on most sources.

P.s. their are some other reviews on this mic but they spelled Neumann "Nuemann" .

14th January 2014

Neumann KM 184 by monkeyxx

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Neumann KM 184

I think this mic gets a lot of bad weird press for some reason. I myself, love it.

It shares the same diaphragm as the KM84, but with different headbasket venting for increased presence, and a slight roll off on the low end in comparison. The amplifier is completely different. The KM184 uses no output transformer, and has lower self noise.

I find the sound quality to be incredibly "warm" with a nice emphasis on mid and low tones, compared to the typical tight bright SDC sound. It's still bright enough, but, I am finding a nice depth to the tone. Plenty of sweetness to the sound. Kind of what I expect from Neumann.

I have used the KM184 on acoustic and electric guitar, and vocals so far. It sounds great on all three. The electric guitar amp was a small champ, I put the mic at a slight distance from the speaker. The track sat beautifully in the mix. Acoustic instruments can be plucked or strummed, and sound equally well with this mic. One of the best mics I've used for this purpose. Vocals were adequate, but I have many other mics I choose for that. You have to be really careful about pop screening SDCs when recording vocals.

I don't have a pair yet and have not tried drum mono overhead recording, but when I do get a pair this is something I'll try. I also really want to try this on bass amp, and bigger guitar amps.

The KM184 seriously impresses me.

15th April 2014

Neumann KM 184 by Paul Ryan

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Neumann KM 184

For all the big Large Diaphragm mics I have available, it constantly surprises me how often I reach for this little guy for stringed instruments. For my acoustic instruments this has been a workhorse. I have used the KM 184 with acoustic guitar, classic guitar, baritone guitar and banjo. With my Great River preamp, the mic is outstanding. In some cases I'll use the KM 184 as the main mic and back it up with a tube or other large diaphragm to give a track both clarity and warmth. For banjo it works best alone. The only reason I dont give it all 5's is that I find ease of use a bit challenging in that the clip is a bit unforgiving with the mic fitting so tight, I can see where it might scrape the paint. Overall this is a 5-star addition to my studio. If you need clear and full-sounding reproduction of your acoustic tracks, grab a KM184. You wont be disappointed.

26th January 2016

Neumann KM 184 by BOWIE

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Neumann KM 184

This is a very polarizing mic (pardon the unintentional pun there) with users either calling it "underrated" or panning it as another step down for Neumann. The truth is that the KM184 has great detail, fast response, and other signs of quality. However, the frequency response is far from balanced, making it a frustrating SDC to use at times. Putting it into review "stars" fails to describe whether the mic would be useful to you or not so I'll try to describe the tonal qualities at length. The mic boosts the lower highs from around 7 to 10k. This adds a lot of top end bite, giving clarity to certain sources but it can easily sound harsh on the wrong material. Not that the mic adds harshness, only that it boosts the range in which harshness often manifests in a source. Where that can really go wrong is that the feq response begins to roll off around 200Hz and does so fairly steeply. This makes the top end boost seem even more pronounced due to the lack of bass.

On acoustic guitar, I've found the 184 to give a "crunchy", hard tone. That works well on quickly strummed chords but is less pleasant on slower parts that require a fullness and warmth. In theory, I would expect the mic to give me a sort of natural EQ that I might dial in later anyway. However, in practice I found the mids to feel "distant", the stinging HF boost to be too aggressive and usually not in the band I want to boost, and the weak bass robs me of certain frequencies I sometimes need to hear in fingerstyle guitar. The same can be said of piano, overheads, and other applications. If you want those specific traits (bright 7-10k and rolled off bass) you might find this mic to be a brilliant addition to your locker. But, unless you have a variety of mics to reach for you may just find the 184 to be rather limited in use. It's far easier to set up an SDC with a flat frequency response and use mic positioning to dial in most of the tonal changes you want, rather than fighting with the 184's distinct voice.

What cannot be denied is that the mic is definitely a high quality build. The level of sonic detail is very fine. Transient response is quick. Low noise. Durable and easy to use. There are no features to speak of. It would have been great if the low freq roll off was on a switch rather than a feature of the mic's design, though I'm not someone who needs my mics to have a high pass or dB pad.

Compared to Schoeps and Sennheiser offerings in the higher price bracket, the 184 starts to look pretty weak and altogether limited because of it's unbalanced nature. However, at $850 new/$550 used, it's really not a "bad" option per-se. I haven't used anything under this price that has quite the same level of detail so if you like the particular tone of this mic, it's a perfectly reasonable choice. If this mic did not bear the Neumann I don't think it would be nearly as popular and they certainly wouldn't be selling as many that that price point. I disagree with the notion that it's altogether overpriced, though I personally feel it's worth the extra scratch to upgrade to something like a Sennheiser 8040 if you really want a top-flight SDC. Whether it would be worth it for you largely depends on the recurring theme here which is if you can deal with the freq response of this mic in your applications.

 

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