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BidirectionalSE Electronics Voodoo VR2

Bidirectional Active Ribbon Microphone

The Voodoo VR2 is an active ribbon microphone. Like its passive sibling, the VR1, the VR2 boasts a nominally linear frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz, due to the use of a patented mechanical equalizer that boots the transducer’s high-frequency response.

Most ribbon microphones exhibit some degree of attenuation of high-frequency sound. For example, the Royer R-121 begins to roll off above 10kHz. The Cascade Gomez rolls off steeply above 5kHz. The AEA R44C rolls off above 2kHz.

A “mechanical device” developed by sE founder Siwei Zou is credited with the mic’s ability to reproduce high-frequency information.

James Ishmaek-Young, sE Electronics, 2010

There is a mechanical diffuser device, comprising an outer perforated diffuser incorporated in the chassis, and a further diffuser perforated membrane surrounding the capsule, that combine to balance the HF normally missing from Ribbons such that you get a fairly linear response from 20Hz to 20kHz.

The published frequency-response graphs for the VR1 and VR2 are identical, suggesting that the amplifier circuit and output transformer in the VR2 are sonically transparent.

The differences between the VR1 and VR2 are:

  • The active VR2 is much more sensitive, at 10 mV/Pa — and can therefore likely be used without a high-end preamp.
  • The VR2 body is longer, to accommodate the amplifier circuitry.
  • The stated self-noise figure for the VR2 is higher, but because the VR1 needs significantly higher preamp gain to achieve equivalent signal levels, the total noise of the VR1 (when paired with most consumer or prosumer-grade preamps) would likely be higher.

According to sE, the ribbon element in the VR1 and VR2 is identical in size to that of the company’s earlier ribbon mics, the R1 and RT1. The ribbon is made of 1.8-micron aluminum, measuring 4.5mm x 45mm.

The magnets straddling the ribbon are high-grade Neodymium.

Permalink: SE Electronics VR2

The mic was released in 2010.


Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Voodoo VR2 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (10 mV/Pa; 20 - 18,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
2-micron aluminum ribbon, 4.5 x 45mm 200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 135 dB
Self-noise: 20.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a n/a n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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