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SE Electronics Mics
Old 18th December 2002
  #1
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SE Electronics Mics

I got a call from someone at SE Electronics . . . they wanted to send some mics out for us to listen to here at the studio. Anyone ever hear them? They sent some paperwork . . . . they look impressive / really inexpensive. Have several models. Of course they are Chinese made.

I don't see how they make these Chinese mics so cheap. Especially by the time they get here in the States and the US distributer tacks on their part . . . . I guess some of them are really usable. They have a tube mic on special sale for $350 that looks pretty impressive. FET mics.

I had a really picky producer come in here a year ago tracking a record. He had a really inexpensive Chinese tube mic that someone recommended and loaned it to him . . . . of course I'm telling him he won't need it as we have really good mics.

When we were tracking drums, he and I were curious what it would sound like next to my Brauner VM1 for a room mic. Hell it wasn't THAT far off when they were side to side!! Of course you could hear the difference and I'm sure something more critical then a room mic. . . . you would hear it even more but . . . . . the difference in price is probably $3500. We were fairly shocked.
Old 18th December 2002
  #2
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I have a SE5500 and love it on vocals. I got it used for under $400. I believe it's been discontinued? I haven't had a chance to A/B it yet against some of the big boys but so far, I've been very happy with it on Vocals and ac. guitar, and ac bass guitar.
Old 20th December 2002
  #3
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Well, this is a surprising thread. I know quite a bit about SE Electronics, since I used to be a distributor. Sort of.

They're out of Rohnert Park, California and when I was with them, they were operatiing out of a Chinese restaurant. They make tube and FET as you say, but they're a bit better than most Chinese mics because they hired Randy Quan to do quality control.

Quan's a producer, engineer and general gear slut in Sonoma County, so he ran tests on every mic in his studio before they were released. Or used to. Like me, I don't think he's with the company anymore.

They wanted me to be a distributor in Texas (I'm originally from Sonoma County, but for the past 11 years I've lived in Austin). Only one problem with that: I suck at sales.

But I did sell about a dozen SE 2000 mics on eBay. They're excellent for voiceovers, and I did a couple of radio commercials using those mics. Another buddy of mine uses a pair of SE 2000 mics for drum overheads., and yet another friend, Mark Viator, just completed an album and used both a U87 and SE 2000 for the vocals. The vocals on the SE 2000 sounded slightly better in his case, because he had to sing closer to the mic and benefited from the proximity effect. (While sounding similar, it's not as sensitive as the U87).

Now... the blue SE5500 tube mic is a whole nother animal. I picked one up new at pretty much the same price as ecue, although at the time it was severely discounted because I was a so-called distributor (I tell you, I suck at sales). Although I've been suspicious of it from the start, so far in every test it's kicked ass. I find myself thinking, "Well, it can't be this good, can it?"

I've used it for vocals and acoustic guitar with amazing results. My only other tube mic is a Groove Tubes MD1A, and the 5000 beats the hell out of it for vocals. It'll be the tube mic I'll use to compare to other tube mics.

It's nice to hear someone else talk about this. I hate to admit it, but if the mic had Manley or AKG on the label I'd be telling people, "You've got hear this!" But since it's a no-name, instead I question my own judgment.

Trust your ears, I guess.

Jasper
PS -- Although they have other models, the SE 2000 and 5000 are the only ones I've ever used. And just for accuracy's sake, the SE 2000 mics I have are the old labels and are called Silicon Entourage 201s. Yeah, really. Quan convinced them to change the name.
Old 20th December 2002
  #4
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Interesting thread...on some other 'pro-oriented' pages the SE stuff is pretty well shredded by everyone and their dog...I do have to wonder how much we rate mics and such is based on the label, vs how well they work.

I personally don't have any (I use similarly priced ADK A-51 Series IIs) but I have spoken with some who have them and use them for overheads, etc, with success...
Old 27th December 2002
  #5
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Quote:
Interesting thread...on some other 'pro-oriented' pages the SE stuff is pretty well shredded by everyone and their dog
Yeah, I know. And when i see those posts, I'm not inclined to jump in and defend them either. Maybe I just got lucky. In fact...

I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYBODY BUY SE ELECTRONICS MICS. THEY ONLY WORK FOR ME, APPARENTLY.

I just did a shootout for this low register ballad I'm working on, and the winning mic? Not even the SE Tube mic, but the lowly, $125 SE-201 (now called SE 2000).

Believe me. I did not want this mic to win. I've got some $2,000, $1,500 and $600-to-$800 mics here. It just galls me that the $125 mic will be better in some situations.

In this case, I think I've figured it out. It's the proximity effect. For some reason, the SE 201 kicks ass. A buddy of mine used it on a spoken word part of his album, and it also sounds great. I guess it's good for voiceovers, intimate low vocals and such.

But... I don't recommend it. Either I got lucky or I'm just nuts.

Jasper
Old 27th December 2002
  #6
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Midlandmorgan
Interesting thread...on some other 'pro-oriented' pages the SE stuff is pretty well shredded by everyone and their dog...I do have to wonder how much we rate mics and such is based on the label, vs how well they work.

I personally don't have any (I use similarly priced ADK A-51 Series IIs) but I have spoken with some who have them and use them for overheads, etc, with success...
Yeah, I see that stuff too but have you noticed how people don't really talk about what they used them on? It's suspect. I also notice when I've seen people talk poorly about SE mics, they don't even mention WHICH mic they are talking about, not even if it was a TUBE or FET series.

Today I plugged a SE2000 into a level loc and got a killer Coldplay "In My Place" roomy drum sound which I moved around until I liked the way it pumped. No pad, No Roll off, nothing. The 2000 has something going on around 7K that SUCKS on vocals. The 5500 has a little bump around there too, but it comes off as sounding present, not "essy". The 2000 is WAY too sibilant, but it seems to work good on Distorted guitar cabs and the drum example I just talked about. I thought I'd like them on OH's but they were just "ok". Nothing pants dropping, besides, the Royer 121's take the cake on OH's all the time.
Old 15th January 2003
  #7
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I've been curious about these mics too. You can't really get a straight answer about them over on the Studio Projects/Joe Meek bbs (homerecording.com). As cheap as they are, it's probably worth just buying one.

Mike, if the 5500 has been discontinued, do you know what the new model number is?
Old 15th January 2003
  #8
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Tom --

I'm glad this came up again, because I made a mistake. The mic I have is the SE 5000, not the SE 5500. The 5000 has been discontinued, but the 5500 is still around and can be found here:
Se mics

Apparently, the only difference is that you can replace the tube in the 5500. You can't in the 5000.

The 5500s are going for about $500.

Jasper
Old 15th January 2003
  #9
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:::::::Mr. Burns mode ON,

Excellent, I'm thinking it's time for a new toy.

:::::::Mr. Burns mode OFF.

I'll post impressions when I get it.
Old 7th May 2003
  #10
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SOS did a review of SE5600 (multi Pattern) this month and it was well received at £400 ($600)!!

I wonder how these SE tube mics compare with all the other sub £400 (£600) tube mics out there, such as the Oktava MKL2500 (or new MKL5000), Rode NTK, Studio Projects T3, ADK A51TC and A48 and all the Groove Tube mics, not to mention all those other chinese clones? There are now so many mics in this price bracket that are meant to produce a sound worth twice the outlay or more, I wish someone would do a shootout!?

Same for lower priced SD mics too!

You know, it makes you think; As no mic is perfect for every occasion, if one was to spend say $5,000 on a multitude of sub $600 (street) mics, as opposed to one or two 'high-end' mic's, I bet you would find that somewhere in that pile of 'cheap' mics would be one that would better the expensive one for individual purposes?
Old 13th May 2003
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Funk


You know, it makes you think; As no mic is perfect for every occasion, if one was to spend say $5,000 on a multitude of sub $600 (street) mics, as opposed to one or two 'high-end' mic's, I bet you would find that somewhere in that pile of 'cheap' mics would be one that would better the expensive one for individual purposes?
IF you had the time to audition every mic on every instrument then I'm sure it would work. But is a client going to put up with that on an hourly rate? With the big guns the knowledge is generally there about which mic/ which application so there's less mucking around. With the proliferation of cheap mics (which can be then discontinued due to poor sales or revised designs), I feel there are too few people using too many mics for the industry to garner solid opinions on which ones actually do the business.

For example, every AE worth his salt has used a U87, a C414, a RE20, SM57, AT4033 etc. etc. so comparisons and knowledgable opinions can be easily formed.

This is not curently the case with the current brigade of Chinese products swamping the market.
Old 17th May 2003
  #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by cram
I've been curious about these mics too. You can't really get a straight answer about them over on the Studio Projects/Joe Meek bbs (homerecording.com).
What specific answer are you looking for Tom? Maybe I can help. I do not recall seeing any questions on this subject on our Forum, but I will help if I can.
Old 17th May 2003
  #13
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Tom's comment has had me curious for some time.................I just can't figure whether he was referring to the "Designers Corner" forum at RecOrg or if he thought he was being "funny" by referring to HR.com as the SP/JM bbs. tutt
Old 17th May 2003
  #14
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I have tried one or maybe two SE small condenser mics against a number of other small condenser mics. The SE small condenser didn't endear itself to me in any way.
Old 17th May 2003
  #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by HiString
Tom's comment has had me curious for some time.................I just can't figure whether he was referring to the "Designers Corner" forum at RecOrg or if he thought he was being "funny" by referring to HR.com as the SP/JM bbs. tutt
I was a bit confused as well. I know Tom and I have not seen eye to eye on several issues, but that was a long time back. I will assume Tom was not being sarcastic and that he has some specific agenda behind what he said...
Old 19th May 2003
  #16
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Quote:
I have tried one or maybe two SE small condenser mics against a number of other small condenser mics. The SE small condenser didn't endear itself to me in any way.
Well, I totally agree with that and I'll take it a step further. The SE small condensers suck.

The tube SE5000 and the SE201s are the only mics I like. I just used a pair of SE201s on drum overheads and got an amazing kick drum sound. Beats me. They weren't anywhere near the kick drum. Go figure.

Again... I don't recommend or in any way endorse these mics, but they've worked out fine for me.

Jasper
Old 8th July 2004
  #17
Gear Nut
 

SE mics

I have also found the se5500 to be a great sounding mic regardless of price ( Vocals, acoustic gitar). I have also tested the new Z5600. It has a bit of a scooped sound and the highs are quite pronouced wich is not the approach I prefer because it hides too much of the mid range. Also that type of sheen is easy to get with a bit of quality EQ but not easy to remove. Still a fairly good mic that would work well in some situations. The s5500 is definitly the special one for me. I think that se mics offer very good value for money but quality control could be their weak point. Maybe that's better with the new Z series.
Old 11th July 2004
  #18
no ssl yet
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SE Gemini

I've said it once I'll say it again. The SE gemini dual tube ****s on anything that manley has on vocals. Infact I'd use it before alot of more expensive mics.

The gemini is from SE but they really did something right with it.

I figured no one would believe me so I stopped sayin it

Old 13th July 2004
  #19
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I use 47's ,67's, royers ,korby etc.etc and sometimes the 5600 comes in very handy.I just did a bunch of vox O'dubs and the singer used an original 47 for leads the the 5600 next to it for various backgrounds etc,the brightness worked great for the breathy stuff.hell.. it only cost me around $450.oo
Old 13th July 2004
  #20
Gear Nut
 

For that sort of price it's hard to complain about anything. It' amazing what you can get for your money these days.
I would like to know if anyone has compared these SE mics with the Rode K2 or NTK? I've heard that they are very but I've not had the chance to try one yet.
Old 13th July 2004
  #21
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Hey-- no ssl yet:how's the gemini compare to the z5600 and how much $$ was it? Thx RB
Old 15th July 2004
  #22
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gemini

I dont really know the other models that well. So I cant comment much on a comparison basis, but the gemini is real cool and I think it was about $1100
Old 22nd July 2004
  #23
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roughly's Avatar
 

Does antone know what is SE homepage address? I looked around but ....
Old 22nd July 2004
  #24
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kmshroom's Avatar
 

Doing a Google search for "SE Electronics" came up with;

http://www.tbkmics.com/indexHome.html
Old 22nd July 2004
  #25
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roughly's Avatar
 

Some day i'll learn how to spell/read/search/....


thanx a bunch - your swell!thumbsup
Old 22nd July 2004
  #26
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
No SSL Yet Writes:
Quote:
I've said it once I'll say it again. The SE gemini dual tube ****s on anything that manley has on vocals. Infact I'd use it before alot of more expensive mics.

The gemini is from SE but they really did something right with it.

I figured no one would believe me so I stopped sayin it.
I know what you mean. I don't say it anymore, I just include the SE mic in a shootout and wait until they ask.

BTW, I just read in the local paper (Austin) that Rupert Neve will be helping to design some new mics for SE. I assume it's the transformers.

Jasper
Old 23rd July 2004
  #27
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by RoundBadge
Hey-- no ssl yet:how's the gemini compare to the z5600 and how much $$ was it? Thx RB
Not sure on the price, but we A/B'ed those two mics through an SSL XLogic Channel... The 5600 sounded better on vocals in my opinion. The Gemini was a very cool mic but was just a little too tubey. For the vocal, it was the 5600 for me... somewhat Neumann-ish.
Old 10th September 2008
  #28
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Just a quick note: this thread was started 6 years ago and sE Electronics isn't anywhere near the same company they were back then. They have long since moved their operation into a one roof facility that they produce everything themselves and do not re-brand or participate in the whole OEM gig.

Some of these models now exist under new manufacture with "A" at the end of them.

War
Old 10th September 2008
  #29
Gear Addict
 

SE's journey......

Yeah its been interesting to read back stuff from 5 years back!!!
I think they are one of the better less costly chinese mic creators..,As they also make more costly models too which i have not tried .Their lower priced mics like the 2200A are amazing value..The Z5600a from what people say and a couple of recordings is a contender for a 'dirt cheap award'!!!I read an extensive article about the company sometime back and they do seem to have their eye on each process of making a mic and the brand, SE's long term reputation....
Was there not talk of Mr Neve in bed with them on something interesting??????
Old 10th September 2008
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickolo View Post
Was there not talk of Mr Neve in bed with them on something interesting??????
A friend came over to the studio and spoke of a You Tube video on sE mics. The video showed someone talking up their wares at a NAMM or AES show or something. The last item was a ribbon mic with a circuit card designed by Mr. Neve. When I went to the site there was nothing on it. You can look up the You Tube vid. I am at the office otherwise I would look up the link.

I did get a reflextion filter though a couple of months back.
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