Microphone Comparison (Sennheiser e609 vs. Superlux PRA-628 mkii)

Recently I’ve been trying to weigh up whether to buy a specific microphone or not, the Sennheiser e609. Purely to have something which I can dangle over the top of my amp when there isn’t a mic stand available. I couldn’t make my mind up whether to shell out on this, or get the much cheaper look-alike Superlux PRA-628 MKii, and there wasn’t a lot of information online. So, I borrowed a couple of mics and did this comparison.  I threw in an Shure SM57 as a control, but because I started on this path due to frustration at having these mics just dangled over my guitar amp, that’s what I’ve done here too.

 

I positioned the two side-address mics equidistant from the centre of the speaker cone (the amp is a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, with an off-set 12″ speaker), then dangled the 57 as shown.  I plugged all the mics into my Focusrite Pro-40 and recorded into Logic Pro.  The first thing I noticed was the e609 needed more preamp gain than the pra-628, but not significantly more, and the SM57 needed a fair bit more due to not actually pointing at the soundsource.

I wouldn’t have got the mics quite this close if I were setting up for a recording session, but as the purpose of this is to determine which is going to sound best dangled over my amp in a gig situation, I tried to reproduce this as best as possible.

The amp was set up like so…

Each audio clip has the mics in the same order, scroll to the bottom of the screen to see which was which.  I don’t want to offer any judgements myself, partly so as not to cloud anyone’s own impressions, and also because I’m just learning and this is as much an exercise for me as for anyone else, so here are the audio files.



 

 

 

 

And so, the big reveal.  Mic 1 is the Sennheiser e609, mic 2 is the Superlux pra-628 mkii and mic 3 the Shure SM57 pointing the wrong way.  Follow those links to find the frequency charts and other various technical specifications if you’re interested.  And let me know in the comments below which you preferred, and any tips/criticisms on the comparison itself (just leave my playing alone…).

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