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Rode K2 vs. Soundelux U195

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by stevesingh, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. stevesingh

    stevesingh Guest

    I have a K2 but I'm finding it a tad to bright on my vocals. Just a little too high-endy. I'm looking for something a little silkier.
    I just brought a u195 to try out which I'm told is less bright, albeit a totally different flavour of mic. I have the option of keeping the one I like. Basically, one of these will be my one good mic which I'll use on everything-the main focus being vocals. I'd love to hear some comments on the versatility and the differences between the two.
    BTW, I'm tracking through a Vipre (which I love)
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Well if ya got em both in the room with ya, it seems to me you could easily answer your own question.

    I have not had the chance to do much work with a K2 only a quick blip at the Guitarget....The Soundeluxe I've tracked with aand I have a few hours on the ViPre. These two together are incredible and only the addition of an extreme compression unit could make it much better for ANY source.

    There are four mics on my $800 to $1400 list that I NEED.

    Soundeluxe U195, Rode Classic(the first one), ADK TT,and a Gefell UM70.

    I dont need much do I???
  3. stevesingh

    stevesingh Guest

    Sorry - I forgot to say that I won't be testing them until tomorrow. I just wanted to hear some comments in the meantime. Thanks Davedog.
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Stevesingh -

    I've never put the two side by side, although the U195 is on my short list.

    I'm curious though, have you played with the polar positions on the K2? I find when it sounds too bright, that if I move it closer to omni, much of the brightness goes away or is tamed.

    In any case, you're gonna have a killer mic.

  5. stevesingh

    stevesingh Guest

    Hey Cucco,
    I've never tried that-I will.
    In any case, the U195 didin't blow me away. My K2 seems to have a little more clarity. With my vipre, I can really get a lot of different sounds out of any mic and tame the high end with the impedance at 300 and the slew rate at slow to medium. Today I had the time to try about 20 different settings. I'm going to try edging towards omni. Never thought of that. Thanks.
    I think my problem is that on all my past records, I was using a U87 or a C12-both really expensive. The good news is that I found out I tracked all my vocals through an 1176 (my old engineer just told me) so that's my next purchase to add some flavour/colour.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I don't know if I would rush out and drop the $$ on the 1176. Unless you really do need additional pres (like for tracking entire bands, etc.) I would stick with the VIPre and several good mics. Remember, many GREAT records were made using only 1 flavor of pres (a la "big" consoles). The VIPre is a great unit and a veritable chameleon of a unit.

    It's funny that you mention the 87 and the C12. If you're referring to the original versions of both models - they are genuinely bright mics. The K2 actually reminds me a bit of the original C12 (a bit - it's not identical really- I find it more full and fulfilling....I know, a $600 mic versus a $4000 mic...) For overheads, I would far prefer the C12 - both for sound and size, but for vox, it would be a matter of preference.

    I would definitely try varying the pattern. It won't "decrease" the high frequency, but kind of in a "butterfly effect" thing, it will help better define the lower frequencies which will lessen the impact the high frequencies have.

    In any case - have fun and enjoy your goodies!

  7. stevesingh

    stevesingh Guest

    I totally agree. I won't get another pre. I was talking about the 1176-the compressor. I think you were referring to the 6176 with the pre and the eq. I just want to add an 1176LN to my vocal chain, and also use it for electric guitars
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    the K2 has an agressive sound on cardioid- like jeremy says, try it towards omni if you want a 'tamer' type of sound- I find 11 am is good for male singers, 7-9 for females-
    do not discount the figure 8 side either- you get different flavors going in that direction, some positions really useful for VO's. All in all the K2 is a very versatil mic- that's why I went out and bought a second one- well actually, I really like it for stereo percussion besides lead vox:D
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I had a brain fart.
  10. stevesingh

    stevesingh Guest

    I did a million vocal taked singing the same line today with different impedences and slew rates (on the vipre) and different gains (allowing me to adjust my proximity to the mic).

    I found it! Impedance at 1200 and "rise time" at medium seemed to tame the hight end. Gain at 50 (instead of 40) made me back up from the mic to about 12-14 inches to get a good proximity balance. All recorded in the bathroom to get away from the troublesome fan hum from my iMac.

    Yup. This mic is great. I just had to test it extensively with all the options on my vipre. It was bloody dizzying but when I came back to it a few hours later, I realized that the above settings (for an intimite dry vocal) brought out the best in the mic.
    So what's my next purchase? I need one!!! Apogee Rosetta? 1176LN? I think the 1176 will be a good creative tool when tracking vocals. Thoughts?
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I love my apogee rosetta. After you have a great mic and pre a super AD will add overall clarity to your tracks and tighten your drums and also your low end. Some people pohh pooh and play down the importance of the AD in the chain but when I got my rosetta a couple years ago I could tell the difference right away. I even take it along when I do remote recording with my laptop- don't leave home without it! (Well, studio in this case) :D
  12. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    The 1176 is often a good choice on vocals. You might want to check out the MC77 by Purple Audio the highs are more clear, the lows are more extended than the reissue. On the 10 song mix I'm working on now, I'm using a Crane Song Trakker followed by a Chandler TG-1 in series. It's one of the best vocal sounds I've heard very clear, present, and rich.

    I noticed on your first song of your mp3s it is a little sibilant more so than some of the other tracks, I'm sure you are not going to be remixing it but if you have any trouble in the future with sibilance try reducing the 16k, you can do this before or after compression. Good luck with your search.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well - I can now say officially that I have put them side by side. The U195 was on my short list and now it's permanently in my locker.

    The two mics are drastically different. Where the K2 is a tad forward in the upper register giving it a clean sheen to the sound, the U195 is as straight forward of a sound as they get. Not much hype on top but a very big, expansive mid-range.

    I would strongly encourage both the K2 and the U195 in a mic locker. Between these two mics, I don't know that there would be much you couldn't do.

  14. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    I don't mean this to come off the wrong way, so please bear with me.

    I had a U195 and also picked up a K2 new for a great price.
    I had a chance to try out a Peluso 22 251 and 22 47 and did a shootout with all four.

    I kept the Pelusos and sold the K2 and U195.
    Now, I think the U195 and K2 are both good, solid mics, but the Pelusos simply eclipsed them.....easily IMHO.
    Ironically, the U195 and K2 are built really solidly and both feel more substantial than the Pelusos, which feel good but not quite like the K2 and U195. Still, sonically, the Pelusos just eclipsed them. Since I didn't figure to be swinging the mics around live in concert, I went with the better sounding mics.

    Too bad I couldn't justify keeping one more.
    If I could, I guess it would have been the U195.
    Still, I just didn't see where it would beat out the 22 47.

    Since you have the U195, I humbly suggest you try a Peluso 22 251.
    I bet you will be wowed.
    It is a totally different animal for what you've just audtioned.
    After that, maybe you can try a 22 47.
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Not at all. :cool:

    In all truth, I try not to slam stuff when I can only base my slammings on my opinions.

    I have had the opportunity now to try almost every mic in the Peluso line and up to this point, I have remained quiet. However, I will comment here, but briefly.

    I did find that the Pelusos did sound good. However, I wouldn't rate them any where near what I've heard out of some other mics priced similarly. Furthermore, the mics which these are supposed to emulate are completely different sounding than what he winds up with.

    While I think the Peluso's are decent mics on the whole, they would be far better if their price was more accurate. I think they should sell at no more than 50% of what they currently do.

    The build-quality screams amatuer (even Behringer's mic feels more solid - by far) and to me, it sounds as like the mics are designed to emulate instead of simply being good mics in their own rights.

    Sorry - I too apologize if I'm coming off the wrong way, but I just don't have a good taste in my mouth after the Peluso trials.

    (y) J
  16. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Interesting how we can have such varied experiences. It's nice there are lots of choices for us. :cool:

    You know what mics inspire confidence IMO is the BLUE line (the originals anyway). Simply beautiful creations.

    IMO, it seems like all mics are overpriced, especially the really high end mics. Then again, I have no idea what goes into making them so what do I know?

    Still, I just have difficulty thinking there is a mic worth $10,000....or even $5,000. For a commercial studio, there may be a large amunt of marketing value in a mic, etc.

    I never pretend to think or even know how close the Pelusos come to the mics the mimic, nor do I care, I just care about how they work for me.

    I'm curious Cucco, are their other mics in the same price range besides the U195 that are you digging these days?

    Oh, IMO, the K2 is a bargain and the NTK a steal all things considered.
    For that matter, so is the V69ME......although it's a bit pimpoliscious looking and not exactly built like a tak either.
  17. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    BTW, I guess I never did compare the two mics asked about.

    I like them both. New, the K2 is a real bargain and the U195 fairly priced.

    The K2 seemed more rounded and soft to me, pretty well balanced.

    The U195 is flexible with it's various switches and can get thick sounding with the fat switch engaged. I usuall prefered it without the fat switch although I can see the usefulness to it. I didn't like the lo-cut and fat switch trick as it had an odd phasiness to it IMO. Still, it's another option.

    Both mics inspire confidence.
    The U195 has a certain vibe to it overall as a product while the K2 seems a bit more generic.

    I thought the continuously variable polar pattern on the K2 would yield more obvious results, but it sounded more like three polar patterns to me, In comarison, the Pelusos have a more obvious effect.

    There are othr mics out there, like the BLUE Mouse (I guess I might be answering my own questions) , ADK, SE Elcetronics (the Titan seems very nice).

    If I had to pick between the U195 and the K2, I'd probably go for the U195. However, the K2 would not be a bad pick, especially for the money. Still, I'd highly advice trying the Pelusos if you can.

    Good luck
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Oh, you're killing me here... :twisted:

    Is that to be pronounced Cock-O, or Coh-Coh (like Chanel?)

    I believe your assessment of the Blues to be right on. I have found that most of the Blue mics are VERY usable and quite nice in general. All have their own unique flavor. I can't speak to the "new" batch, as I haven't used a single one from after the Blue/JZ incident.

    It's quite common to have differing opinions on a topic as diverse as microphone selection.

    I think I take a mildly elitist approach to microphones, but it's not my intent. I don't try to say "well, it's cheap, it can't be any good." Hell, I own and use AT3528s quite commonly ($159 each...)

    But, I do have a problem with mics that "Emulate" other mics. The only line I've seen that has been even remotely successful at this is the Soundelux line. (Although, Rode patterned most of their mics off of a famous German manufacturer...)

    The Soundeluxes are quite good in their own right and their emulations are usually pretty spot on. Instead of tweaking with internal EQ or using substandard parts to add "darkness" or "color" to a mic to mimic its vintage counterpart, they actually build it in the same fashion instead - where possible, using the same kinds of parts.

    As for mics from ADK, SE and others, I generally lump these into the "me too" category. Don't get me wrong - I've heard only two models of the ADK - this by no means makes me an expert on their product. (I owned a pair of A51s - one of the first pair they sold - 3 digit serial numbers and sold them for next to nothing).

    I like the K2 a LOT. I definitely feel/hear advantages to its polar pattern switch (can make all the difference in the world with a brittle vocalist), but to me, it has a far more present top end where the U195 is big and laid back.

    I can't see me parting with either of them.....ever.

    Enjoy - Cocoa :-?
  19. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Hey Coocoo..........sorry about the name :shock:

    I actually went back and changed it before your last post.
    In anycase, I'm sure we've all been called worse.

    As for mics being patterned after other mics, aren't they all?

    I mean, there's the German and Austrian flavored LD and Shure dynamics and everybody copied them it seems.

    Soundelux's whole line these days is a clone of something (excpet for maybe the U195). So many of the mics making a splash these days are cloning the 251, U47 or U67 it seems. Korby, InnerTube, Lawson, heck....even Telefunken themselves are not Telefunken.

    Neumann and AKG are still doing their thing.....as I guess is Gefell.

    Of course, there is Blue, Audio Technica, Rode, Shure, CAD, Oktava (like them or not, they are their own thing) and the New SE Electronics mics (check out the Titan and ICIS...pretty nice sounding IMO).

    FWIW, Rode DID attempt a Neumann impression at first, with the NT-2, etc., which looked the part but didn't really sound it. Now, I think they are doing their own thing. I have a lot of admiration for them to be able to produce such nicely made mics at their price point (do you think they use an aborigine slave labor work force? :shock: )

    Except for BLUE, none of these is high end, more home studio grade. It seemes all of the expensive mics are clones. Are they really that expensive to make?

    Too bad about Blue. They are the one mic company that was making modern day classics.
  20. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    hey Jeremy, have you tried the Peluso CEMC 6 pencil condensers? Sound Pure on ebay are claiming they are comparable to the josephson C42 but they are $600 as oposed to $900 for the pair- here is their take on them:


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