"I love it on acoustic guitar, piano, strings, percussion, and as a room mic on any source. It was a go-to mic this year for sessions with Metric & The Kills."
- John O'Mahony, Mixer / Producer -
(Vance Joy, Sarah Bareilles, Coldplay, Metric)

Designed with Mr. Rupert Neve, the RN17 redefines the capabilities of an SDC.

This is the world's first pencil microphone with a large-scale, hand-wound, ultra high performance transformer.

The second product of the sE / Rupert Neve collaboration, work on the RN17 began with a discussion between Rupert and Siwei Zou on the merits and problems of small-diaphragm condensers.

"I said, 'That transformer is too big. This is a small-capsule microphone. Impossible.'"

According to Siwei, "The SDC's problem is that they have a very clear sound - the SPL is high, but the sound is very cold, not like with a large diaphragm. The quality of the transformer can make the sound much, much better - but with a small transformer, nobody can do it."

"Rupert told me, 'I want THIS transformer.' I said, 'That transformer is too big. This is a small-capsule microphone. Impossible.' He said, 'I want the impossible to be possible.'"

 

THE SMALL DIAPHRAGM

With a 15mm diaphragm (the world's smallest production gold-sputtered diaphragm), the transient response of the RN17 is unparalleled.

Such a small capsule reacts extremely quickly, and is therefore adept at picking up the most delicate of high-frequency content.

However, a tiny diaphragm usually results in a lack of low-frequency response. How to counter this?

 

THE MASSIVE TRANSFORMER

Made obvious by the unusual chassis shape, the RN17's transformer is substantially larger than the norm. This full-scale transformer was custom-designed by Rupert Neve specifically for this microphone - and nobody has been designing audio transformers longer (or better) than Rupert Neve.

With an audio transformer of this magnitude, the RN17 is able to put out astonishing clarity across ALL frequencies - not just the highs. The midrange is detailed and forward, the lows are full and accurate, and the whole microphone has a balance and headroom never before achieved with a small-capsule microphone.

 

MATTE BLACK FINISH

The matte black finish minimizes the level of visual attention drawn to the microphone when used on stage or in the studio, allowing it to blend into the background.

ADDITIONAL CAPSULES

The RN17 ships with a cardioid capsule, but the wooden box has room for additional capsules in the form of omni, cardioid cut, hypercardioid, and figure-8. These capsules can be utilized for enhanced room sound (omni), low frequency control (cardioid cut) greater side rejection (hypercardioid), or mid-side recording techniques (figure-8).

 

CUSTOM SHOCK MOUNT

Every RN17 includes a custom-designed, sturdy, protective, and easy-to-use shock mount, which is essential to reducing the unwanted effects of vibration or knocks to the supporting microphone stand.

 
 
VIDEO

Watch Pete Thorn (guitarist for Chris Cornell, Melissa Etheridge, & more) give an overview of the RN17 (and VR1):

 
ALSO AVAILABLE

RN17 Factory-Matched Stereo Pair

When purchased as a pair, the transformers and cardioid capsules are factory-matched for perfect tolerance, guaranteeing the best possible stereo image.

This configuration also includes a precision stereo mounting bar, two shock mounts, a wooden presentation case, and empty canisters for future capsule additions. The whole setup comes packaged inside a secure flight case.

 

OPTIONAL CAPSULES

omni.jpg

OMNI

Especially when used with an RN17 Stereo Pair, omni capsules can be used to capture amazing room effects for drums, pianos, and orchestras.

CARDIOID CUT

The frequency response and polar pattern are the same as the standard cardioid capsule, but with an integrated bass cut to gently roll off low frequencies beginning at 100Hz.

HYPERCARDIOID

Exhibiting greater side-rejection than a traditional cardioid capsule, hypercardioid is useful for precisely capturing a specific instrument while ignoring other nearby sources.

fig8.jpg

FIGURE-8

This capsule can be used on its own, or paired with a cardioid or hypercardioid on a second RN17 in a mid-side mic technique for incredibly true-to-life stereo imaging.

 
SOUND FILES
 
SPECIFICATIONS

Capsule Type: Hand-Crafted True Condenser

Diaphragm: 17.2mm Gold/Mylar (21mm with Figure-8)

Directional Pattern: Cardioid, Cardioid w/ Low Cut, Hyper Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8 capsules

Frequency range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz

Impedance: 200 Ohms

Sensitivity: 5.96 mV/Pa (-44.5dB)

Sensitivity (Figure-8): 2.51 mV/Pa (-52dB)

Max SPL: 131 dB (0.5% THD @ 1kHz)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 76 dB (cardioid), 25.5 dB (Figure-8)

Self Noise: 18 dB(A) (cardioid), 15 dB(A) (omni)

Pass Filter: 100 Hz (with Cardioid Cut capsule only)

Matching Connectors: XLR3F

Power requirement: 48V phantom

Weight: 320g / 11.32oz

Weight (Figure-8): 330g / 11.64oz

Diameter: 44 mm (transformer), 17mm (capsule)

Length: 200 mm

 
USER QUOTES

"The RN17 has become my desert island microphone. If there was one microphone I knew I could take with me that would get me out of trouble, it’s this...The clarity and the detail I get is wonderful, especially for one of the things I do a lot of, which is sampling - this is a perfect sampling microphone, because it has that reality that you need, with low noise, but it also has just a little bit of extra something."

- Simon Franglen, GRAMMY®-winning Composer / Producer / Musician ('Avatar', 'Titanic', 'Skyfall') - sE Artist


"The RN17 is my new favorite small diaphragm condenser mic. It's incredibly detailed in the higher frequencies and has a weight in the lower mids that was traditionally compromised in pencil mics. I love it on acoustic guitar, piano, strings, percussion, and as a room mic on any source. It was a go-to mic this year for sessions with Metric & The Kills."

- John O'Mahony, Mixer / Producer (Vance Joy, Sarah Bareilles, Coldplay, Metric)  - sE Artist


"They’ve got a really elegant, smooth brightness to them. Not overly so...crystal clarity, but they’ve also got this forgiving warmth too."

“[Small-diaphragm condensers] generally sound a pretty good, but this one is a cut above...it has a quality worthy of a soloist’s mic rather than a workaday spot mic...they sound beautiful on stringed instruments as solo mics.”

“They’re often my main spot mics for overdubs, and are working extremely well on all things plucky.”

- Simon Rhodes, Recordist / Mixer (Spectre, Skyfall, Grand Budapest Hotel) - sE Artist


"The RN17s are the perfect percussion and guitar mic. The extremely accurate and quick transient response is perfect for capturing all the nuances that come off of the guitar...our RN17s have been a god-send. They capture every transient perfectly."

- Sonicsmiths, Sound Design ('Mad Max: Fury Road', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Inside Out', 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides') - sE Artists


"The sE RN17 has it all. Every positive adjective I can use for any of these other mics, they all apply to this one. Smooth, balanced, warm, present, articulate… it’s like somebody went through these tracks and EQ’d away every bit of high-end hash and low-frequency wooliness and left behind just the stuff I want to hear. The bottom is tight, like the C460B, but the sE RN17 hears farther into the room than the AKGs do. The top is ever so slightly sweeter than “natural,” but not hyped. I would use the hell out of these mics. My compliments to Mr. Neve and Mr. Zou!"

- Matt McGlynn, Recording Hacks (full review)


"My first session was recording percussion, and the first comment by the percussionist was, 'Wow, this shaker sounds huge!'...I can’t think of any condenser mic that reproduces cymbals, hat, and other metal percussion as cleanly as this mic."

"Close mic’ing a 9 ft grand piano with a stereo pair of RN17s showed the mic’s superb imaging and large, natural sound...for featured piano music, especially classical or jazz, this mic will become a standard."

"The RN17’s cost is up there among most revered names, but the RN17’s features like interchangeable capsules, superb build quality, excellent sound quality, and association with Rupert Neve assure the longevity and future classic status of the RN17."

- Adam Kagan, Tape Op Magazine (full review)


"On a subjective level, the RN17s do have something of a signature Neve sound, where the presence of a high-quality transformer seems to add a sense of weight and solidity to the sound without actually changing the tonal balance in any obvious way - rather like running a signal through a good analogue console."

"Lows remain deep and controlled while the highs are smooth yet don't in any way lack detail or definition."

- Paul White, Sound On Sound (full review)


"The RN17 gives the user a clean sound in a way that is almost shocking. This does not hit you at first and you may even be tempted to think that they lack top end – but when you work these mics with a good EQ, you get to hear just how pure the output really is."

- Andrew Graeme, Audio Media (full review)


"The session’s results exceeded my already-high expectations. The RN17 pair showed detailed dynamics, very stable imaging, unexaggerated brightness up top and plenty of bass without murkiness, providing more bottom than most SDCs I’ve used...the varied responses of the RN17’s omni and directional capsules gave me the sonic options I needed, all conveyed with musicality, truthfulness and an accurate reproduction of dynamics."

- Rob Tavaglione, Pro Audio Review (full review)


 

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