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9 polar patternsSE Electronics Z5600a II

Multi-Pattern Tube Condenser Microphone

The Z5600a-II is the third-generation release of sE’s 5600 microphone, originally released as the Z5600 in 2003. All three versions have been multipattern tube mics, but improvements to the circuitry and power supply have improved the noise and sensitivity specs.

The tube is a 12AX7 or ECC83 dual-triode. The output circuit utilizes a transformer for impedance conversion. (Earlier version of the mic used a 12AT7/ECC81.)

The mic’s capsule is a large-diaphragm (27mm), dual-diaphragm design. A pattern selection switch on the power supply allows selection of any of 9 pickup patterns.

Switches on the mic body provide access to a pad (-10dB) and a high-pass filter (100Hz); these features are new for the ‘II’ version of the mic.

Other differences from the Z5600a include: a new PSU, and improved (reduced) self-noise (from 16dBA to 12dBA).

The Z5600a II ships with a padded wooden storage case, an elastic suspension shockmount, tube power supply, power cable, and an aluminum flight case.


Tonally, this mic has much in common with its earlier incarnation, producing a full and generally smooth vocal sound with a bit of lower-mid ‘chest frequency’ support that may help those with thinner-sounding voices. It does sound a bit lacking in character in direct comparison with the Gemini II, but in reality that is probably because it is intrinsically less coloured. The high presence boost helps keep some ‘air’ around the top end, but the subjective result is still smooth.

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Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Z5600a II Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Z5600a II Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - HypercardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Z5600a II Hypercardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Z5600a II Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (14.1 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Cardioid (14.1 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Hypercardioid (14.1 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (14.1 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 135 dB
Self-noise: 12.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a n/a n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Includes tube power supply

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