sE Electronics Z5600a MkII by bbensoy
SE Z5600a II is a tube mic offering 9 multipolar patterns. It has a -10dB pad and LF roll-off switches on the mic.
As a singer and a recording engineer, I care about the focus of the mid-range and of course the top-end of the sound that excites any vocalists . I can say that this unit can generate a full vocal sound because of the nice mid-range clarity without any harshness. While it has the tube character very well, there is no big fuzz on top. So this is not the best one for a bryan adams or Rod Stewart type voice but maybe good for a John Mayer kind of sound where wouldn't like to go to the extreme hairy sounds but also nice detail. Also there is a nice resonance at around 200-300 Hz that helps me to control on low-chest resonance and focus on diaphragm usage. So that might also a very nice choice for a thin tenor voice. The amount of boost around 10kHz is just as what it should be. It just gives the right amount of air and smooths the voice. It doesn't sound characteristic which I like on a general vocal tracking. I want to have the voice as it is while a pro singer also wants to hear this.
On Drum Overheads:
The open top-end shows itself on the cymbals. The focus on low mid range helps a lot on the fundamental of snare and tombs giving a nice crack on top. Omni pattern is working very well of the mic having a large diaphragm emphasizing the low-end of the early reflections. As there are mid-patterns between cardioid and omni it is worth trying the best for the room compromising the focus on the cymbals high-end.
On acoustic guitar:
I tried with a maple body and maple neck mini jumbo acoustic guitar. As I don't get much low-end from the acoustic sound, the mic helps a lot emphesizing the low mid-range, resulting a larger sound. The tubular warmness is just there but with a smooth top-end. I positioned the mic between 12th fret and the sound hole. The hole sound boomy as expected but using the semi-patterns going to omni from cardioid, helped me a lot on that again at that position.
The price is very similar to mid-priced tube mics out there like Rode K2. But what I expect, this wins with detail at top-end. Also this unit is a nice attempt of a Neumann 47 copy where it has the body shape as same as Telefunken 251 too. So, this is a nice price in my opinion.