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Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

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Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby IvanHelguera » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:33 am

Hello Everyone,
It's my first post here, so please be patient with me ;-)
I want to buy a pair of multi-purpose LDC microphones. They'd have to serve numerous functions: vocal mics, drum OH (for 2 mics + kick drum setups), brass...
I already have 2 rodes nt5 and a couple of dynamic mics (e835, ev N/D767a, sm57, d112), focusrite Saffire preamps. Multiple sound pickup patterns is a priority, as I want to use them for stereo recordings, including Blumlein. And I'd have to buy an SE electronics Se-x1, as they are almost free when you buy them in a bundle with the filter reflection.
I have little chcance to go test them, so any opinions might be helpful.
IH
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:11 am

Hi Ivan and welcome!

What's your budget on this?
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:20 am

If you do not really know for that job spec and you genuinely cannot test them then a pair of AKG 414 is probably a safe bet.

They'll do drum overheads, acoustic and vox etc. very acceptably.

Bit of a Swiss Army mike.

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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby IvanHelguera » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:57 am

Thanks for your replies.
The 414 are a bit two expensive for me. The nt2a goes for 279 euros with shockmount and a stand at thoman, while 414s are three times more expensive.
This album by polish free jazz group hera
hera - where my complete beloved is
is recorded almost entirely on nt2s (in a nice sounding theatre), so it is an argument for going with them (my interst is in that kind of sound, and actually i work as musician with those people) . I've mostly heard good things about Z3300, so that's another option. I also hesrd good things abou z3300, so that's where my interest came from. Their noise level is much higher, though (20db vs 9db) - but i do not know if it will make any practical difference.
Generally speaking, the swiss army thing is what i'm after. ;-) Though I do know what i would be doing - reocrding acoustic instruments with a more or less jazz / free improv kind of sound - my budget is limited and actually the nt2s are my upper limit. I am not a sound engineer, more of a musician who would want to record.
Thanks again!
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby Marcin_Siejka » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:45 am

Hi Ivan,

I guess you've already seen this listening comparison test???
I didn't try RodeNT2A yet, but I've done few sessions with sE Electronics Z3300a and all I can say about this mic is that it's well build and sounds OK for what it's worth...
Having said that, if you want all around LDC then it maybe worth considering sE4400a???
(I’ve seen second-hand pair going for under £370)

Pozdrawiam!
Marcin
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:07 am

IvanHelguera wrote:Thanks for your replies.
The 414 are a bit two expensive for me. The nt2a goes for 279 euros with shockmount and a stand at thoman, while 414s are three times more expensive.
This album by polish free jazz group hera
hera - where my complete beloved is
is recorded almost entirely on nt2s (in a nice sounding theatre), so it is an argument for going with them (my interst is in that kind of sound, and actually i work as musician with those people) . I've mostly heard good things about Z3300, so that's another option. I also hesrd good things abou z3300, so that's where my interest came from. Their noise level is much higher, though (20db vs 9db) - but i do not know if it will make any practical difference.
Generally speaking, the swiss army thing is what i'm after. ;-) Though I do know what i would be doing - reocrding acoustic instruments with a more or less jazz / free improv kind of sound - my budget is limited and actually the nt2s are my upper limit. I am not a sound engineer, more of a musician who would want to record.
Thanks again!

If I had that kind of budget, I'd probably shop for ribbons rather than condensers, condenser under £250 can be a bit of a lottery if you cannot audition them.

Reg
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby IvanHelguera » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:51 am

Se4400 is again over my budget :-(. The 280euros for the nt2s are actually still over my budget, but hell, i'd do it anyway.
As for the unepensive ribbons - do you have any suggestions?
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby Marcin_Siejka » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:20 pm

IvanHelguera wrote:Se4400 is again over my budget :-(.


Are you sure about this???

sE4400a - second hand (link to ebay)

If you don't mind used or open box and all that then have a look around and you'll be surprised what you can find...
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby IvanHelguera » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:18 pm

wow, that was quite unexpensive... I will try to find something!
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:51 pm

There was a recent comment about everything being beige and uncontroversial on this forum.

A mike that sells for £469 at DV and has an absolute street of £349 at the very grey eBay end of the market and sells for £156 online second hand.

Think a little harder, sweet pea!

1) Lucky?
2) No resale value!
3) You are buying a mike without auditioning it.
4) So has the true commercial value of Chinese mikes changed that much then?

No disrespect meant to either party in this conversation.

Reg
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:23 pm

Am I also permitted to observe that this mike is a pretty obvious AKG 414 "tribute"?

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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby IvanHelguera » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:27 pm

As far as auditioning go, i've seen & heard the NT2a in action, it has good reviews, and everyone is pretty positive about rode build quality (sos reviews included), and I've recorded clarinet on an Nt1a - a bit bright, but OK. This is why my prefernce goes towards this one.
In Warsaw, Poland, where I live, there are very few (sorry, none) shops where you can just come and see a couple of mikes in action. When i was buying monitors, I went to a strore where they had the small adams I vas considering, and the guy just let me listen to ONE (not the stereo pair) through a %$^%^! up console etc. Had i been able to audtion them, i most probably would pay the cash and go - but I ended up buying the cheaper (a bit) KRK at Thomann.de.
It drives me just crazy. (sorry for my personal life complaints, but It;s really nonsensical)
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:00 pm

IvanHelguera wrote:As far as auditioning go, i've seen & heard the NT2a in action, it has good reviews, and everyone is pretty positive about rode build quality (sos reviews included), and I've recorded clarinet on an Nt1a - a bit bright, but OK. This is why my prefernce goes towards this one.
In Warsaw, Poland, where I live, there are very few (sorry, none) shops where you can just come and see a couple of mikes in action. When i was buying monitors, I went to a strore where they had the small adams I vas considering, and the guy just let me listen to ONE (not the stereo pair) through a %$^%^! up console etc. Had i been able to audtion them, i most probably would pay the cash and go - but I ended up buying the cheaper (a bit) KRK at Thomann.de.
It drives me just crazy. (sorry for my personal life complaints, but It;s really nonsensical)


Hi Ivan

I am not criticising you for not having the option to audition kit, I am merely pointing out the pitfalls...

Once issues such as build quality and quality control have been sorted out, you would imagine that Chinese mikes would be the equal of their European and US counterparts, particularly bearing in mind the price. So why do these mikes continue to dominate?

A few issues might be:

1) (Soft issue): Voicing;
2) (Medium issue): Off-axis response (and also zero degree and other angle responses) and its balance across the frequency spectrum;
3) (Hard issue): Capsule tensioning and the resulting reactance (or lack of it)...

...and that is is before you get into the real design issues of one sub-class of mike.

I listen to so many people telling me that Chinese mikes have caught up.

Obviously SoS is very beige and uncontroversial as was said earlier today...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...!

...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...!

F*cking ha!

The things that really amaze me are that Microtech Gefell surprised Neumann with the things they did when the firms were separated by East West divide, but they came from a similar level of understanding.

China is trying to follow the model of the Japanese manufacturing miracle (if nations could have thought, I suppose) without getting some of the products they are trying to copy.

By the way SE mikes are a leader in their field.

So going back to buying 414s or ribbons...

Reg
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby Marcin_Siejka » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:10 pm

Hi there….

RegressiveRock wrote:There was a recent comment about everything being beige and uncontroversial on this forum.


Somehow I must have missed it...

No disrespect meant to either party in this conversation.


No offence taken Reg and must say you've put some valid points right there

In my case getting second hand gear for the fraction of the RRP was 100% a very good experience so far, so I guess "Lucky" is the right word.

However, I do wonder why do people like Marco Migliari and Rik Simpson praising them mic's so much? (marketing perhaps?)
Personally I've used and liked bout 414's and 4400's

Now Ivan, I guess you've been to Audio Tech (ul. Łagiewnicka 20) cause that's the only audio shop in W-wa that I've been too???
If you want to audition some stuff then maybe ask them to source something for you or search online for things like Audio-Technica's first impressions.
Ohhh and just like Reg mention "You are buying a mike without auditioning it", so try to cover your back with option of returning the item if you don't like it or if it's faulty?

All the best!
Regards
Marcin

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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:20 pm

If you are looking at Chinese style mics (I know Rode are Australian now but they started in China) then I would suggest you look at the ones that don't have a big marketing hype behind them. I'm thinking of things like Thomann's T.bone range or Studiospares' own brand mics. Jim Williams also recommends one of the budget ($50) MXL models as a good place to start.

Don't expect any of them to sound like the European mics they appear to emulate but sometimes they're useful.

James.
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby RegressiveRock » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:46 pm

Marcin_Siejka wrote:Hi there….

RegressiveRock wrote:There was a recent comment about everything being beige and uncontroversial on this forum.


Somehow I must have missed it...

No disrespect meant to either party in this conversation.


No offence taken Reg and must say you've put some valid points right there



Sorry Marcin,

My beige comment was about another thread. There are some people out there who think we are all too cuddly with our opinions sometimes. I am not sure I wholly agree...

The problem is in my view (and this would include an awful lot of generalisation!!!) that the Chinese are currently in a phase of attemting to commoditise mike production whilst their distributors are often wanting to use this to make massive margins on products which, if not inferior, are certainly different to many classic European designs.

James makes a good point about cutting away the branding uplift and simply buying the commoditised product at a reasonable mark up.

Reg
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Re: Z3300 vs Rode NT2A, and the Se-x1a

Postby Jonesd90 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:25 pm

I'll throw my experiences in just incase they might mean something to you.

I once bought two of these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_sc300.htm

The Thomann T.Bone SC300. I had put in an order for something else and thought that at £22 each they might do for SOMETHING. They are the cheapest large diaphragm condenser they sell on Thomann (even less than a behringer!!!) and when I got them they pretty much went straight to the back of the mic draw.

9 Months later I suddenly find myself recording double (well almost) the number of channels than expected on a location recording and only find out the night before so I dig out these hyper cardioid SC300 mics and put them on the drummer's toms and taking the two MD 441 I did have on them and put them on the extra Trombone and Trumpet player we acquired overnight.

To my delight they sounded deep and rich with plenty snap and attack, they swapped in perfectly and gave me just as useable results and the MD 441 mics.

I haven't use them since or on anything else but for £22 (£44 for both) they saved me on a job which earned me a lot more. WELL worth the price. Another thing to note; they are extremely light, yet still tough, and so are a doddle to position on mic stands.

Long story short: they do what they say they do and they do it well.

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