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  #1  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:08 AM
PANDAPANDELO PANDAPANDELO is offline
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Default Neumann KM184 - Does it worth it?

I'm researching about small diaph. condenser mics, for acoustic guitar, to utilize them for recording acoustic guitar (primarily) and in live situations (weddings).

Everywhere I look, it seems that the Neumann KM184 is one of the best ones. I'm looking to get the best gear I can get, but I was wondering if the 184 is really better than other options. I don't know what would be these "other options".

For example, I got me a Neumann KMS105, and it's way better than my Shure Beta 87a (it was great, but the Neumann is noticeably better).

Here, in Brazil, I don't have access to these mics. I ask my father to send them to me from the US. That's why I ask you, guys, if you coud help me with this.

Thank you very much!
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:40 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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The KM184 is the modern version of the Neumann KM84. There are those who will argue that they aren't the same and it is true, but the KM184 is one of those archetypal, excellent mics that come along every once in a while. If you can't get a good guitar or hi-hat sound with a KM184 you need to improve your own skills, not question the mic.

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Old 12-01-2018, 08:41 AM
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The Neumann 184 is one of the most controversial SDC made . It gets mixed reviews over on Gear Slutz Forum people seem to either love it or hate it .

I don't own either but the one time I could try both, I personally preferred the Gefell M 300 over the Neumann 184 But everyone's tastes are different. Not being able to try them out is a hard situation .
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:47 AM
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The Microtech Gefell M300 is a popular German made SDC microphone worth checking out. They get a lot of love here at the AGF. Oooops... just saw Kev's post so I guess this is kind of a me too post for the M300 recommendation.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:25 AM
Wengr Wengr is offline
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If you have experience with 84s, then I would suspect that disappointment will result.
If not, then the 184 is just another mic, and as always there are many variables that come into play. Personally, I don't think it would be a big seller if it did not say Neumann on it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:14 AM
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Hi Panda-etc

To confuse things a bit more, the KM184 is called small diaphragm.

I tend to group Condenser mics (studio versions) into Small Diaphragm-½", Medium Diaphragm-¾" and 1"-Large Diaphragm capsules.

The KM184 is about 20mm capsule (the barrel is 22mm if I recall). This is closer to ¾".

I prefer 20mm microphones (and prefer end-address form) for recording acoustic guitar, Cello, Electric Guitar Cabinets, baritone sax etc to small diaphragm microphones. It could just be my ear…but I own 4 medium diaphragm mics, and two large…and the only small diaphragm mic I own is a reference mic for analyzing sound in auditoriums.

If I could only own ONE affordable (?) medium/small mic, it would be a KM 184. It records acoustic guitars so nicely. You have to have some pretty sophisticated gear, and a refined ear, and the ability to A/B them…to record, listen back, and hear much difference between they and Gefell or other high end brands of similar mics.

Have fun exploring1!!


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Old 12-01-2018, 11:38 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
The Neumann 184 is one of the most controversial SDC made . It gets mixed reviews over on Gear Slutz Forum people seem to either love it or hate it.
That's been my observation as well. I've heard many opinions on the 184 from people who make their living in recording studios and it really is "love it or hate it" ...more so than with any other mic I can think of. The Neumann 84, however, is almost universally lusted over, but those mics in good working order aren't easy to come by.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:55 PM
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There are a lot of very good SDCs out there. I have heard many, many excellent guitar recording with less expensive mics.

Last edited by DukeX; 12-01-2018 at 03:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:22 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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I've owned many less expensive LDCs that were touted as being equal or better mics than the slightly pricey KM184. But since I bought my KM184 pair, those other mics haven't been used once. The KM184 is a great mic, I especially like it with darker tube preamps.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:19 PM
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I heard them A/B-ed with a pair of Audio Technica 4051s and couldn't hear a difference.
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:25 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
I heard them A/B-ed with a pair of Audio Technica 4051s and couldn't hear a difference.
I own a pair of 4051s along with the KM184s, and from my experience there's a huge difference. Maybe the room you were in or the monitors had something to do with it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:08 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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We all have different ears. The Slate Facebook group has hundreds of people that will tell you they can't tell the difference between the Slate VMS and any number of vintage microphones. A friend of mine bought the VMS and he sent some blind shootouts to me and another friend. The Slate came in dead last, even up against a couple of not too expensive Advanced Audio offerings. He sold the Slate pretty soon after that.

That's not to say or imply the Neumann 184 is a bad mic on par with the Slate. It's a quality mic and I've heard opinions for and against it from people whose ears I respect. In shoot-outs I've heard with it, I've never been blown away, but like I said... different ears. I've no doubt people can make great recordings with them. At some point, the sdc pair I really want is the Telefunken ELA M 260.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:44 PM
runamuck runamuck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
I own a pair of 4051s along with the KM184s, and from my experience there's a huge difference. Maybe the room you were in or the monitors had something to do with it.
I appreciate other perspectives.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:11 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Basically, when people recorded to tape, the knock on the KM84 was that it wasn't bright enough. You could get the brighter AKG C451 for less money.

So Neumann killed off the 84 and replaced it with the 184. They designed it to be brighter, and kept the cost down by eliminating the transformer. But they did it just in time for people to make the shift to digital, where people wanted warm, not bright. Oops.

All things being equal, I'd take the 84 over the 184, but they're not all that different. And all things aren't equal -- 84's are rare and pricy.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:13 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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I have KM184s, AT4051s and have access to KM84s in some of the studios I work in. Here's my take:

The AT mics are definitely more "scooped" or hyped. Not what I would call a neutral mic. Not saying that's bad...but that's the reality. I also think they seem a little "smaller" sounding than either of the KM models. The KM mics just feel more realistic.

I like the KM184...I think it's a great mic. I think it sounds a little different than the KM84, but I also think one KM84 can sound different from another...so take that to mean whatever you want.

The other Neumann that gets a lot of hate is the TLM103. That's another mic I really like. In fact...some of my best acoustic guitar recordings came about with a TLM103. Is it a U87? No! But that doesn't make it a bad mic.

As Bob said: if you can't get a good sound with a KM184, it's not the mic
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