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.
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.'
(Vance Joy, Sarah Bareilles, Coldplay, Metric)
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.
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?