sE Electronics Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

Any microphone with a diaphragm larger than 3/4" is generally considered to be a large diaphragm microphone. Some manufacturers will call 3/4” mics LDC but with a sE mic if we call it a LDC then its gong to have a capsule of 1” or more. Large diaphragm condenser mics have a reputation of being more characterful, but actually this is not really true.

It is perfectly possible to get just as much character, depth and warmth from a small diaphragm mic. However, from a manufacturing perspective it is a lot more difficult, so generally this has tended to mean that LDC’s are more commonly used for vocals as they are easier (and therefore cheaper) to manufacturer for the mass market to a good standard. There are cheap SDC vocal mics out there… our advice would be avoid them.

The main reason condenser (aka capacitor) microphones have such a good/sensitive frequency response is that their diaphragms can be made much thinner and lighter than those of dynamic mics, as they don't have to move the mass of a voice coil along with them. sE condenser mic diaphragms are just a few microns thick, and fabricated from Mylar, with either a thin Gold, or Titanium (such as the sE T2 Titaniumcoating to make them electrically conductive.

This diaphragm forms one plate of a capacitor capsule; the other plate is fixed parallel to the diaphragm with a small air gap between them, the diaphragm acting very much like a drum skin with its own, tuned, resonant frequency. This type of capsule build, the electronics (which are also a large part of the sound of any mic) and the chassis (which can affect the tone of the mic due if not properly damped, or if lower quality metals are used for construction), all combine to give the finished ‘sound’.

sE microphone capsules are all hand tuned by master capsule engineers, just like the best brands on the market today like Neumann, Microtech Gefell etc. Every single one of our mics, from the sE X1 to the Gemini II, has a hand crafted capsule, tuned by an experienced engineer.

We’re aware that some mass automated producers would have customers believe that machine made is better… really?! Tell that to Neumann, or to AKG who build the C12 by hand. All the best mics in the world have hand crafted capsules, because just like any musical instrument (and we at sE Electronics and sE Rupert Neve consider a mic to be a musical instrument, not just a bag of electronics), the human touch is what gives you that last 10% of perfection that no machine can achieve, because it comes from years of experience and feel, not a production line.

When investigating which sE Electronics Large Diaphragm Condenser is best for your recording situation, please do not hesitate to contact sE directly, your local distributor (if you are outside the UK) or your local sE dealer, and ask about our Free Loan Service.

If you are already a sE microphone user and wish to share your recording experiences via the sE Matrix - our interactive microphone applications guide - visit sE Matrix and join the sE community.