by Frank Wells.
Shanghai–sE Electronics was founded by Siwei Zou in the year 2000. After several years of marketing and steady progress adding to and improving the product line, sE has established a unique identity among Chinese microphone manufacturers. These days, sE’s product line is diverse and affordable, providing consistency, quality and innovation, as PSN learned on a visit to the sE headquarters and factory in Shanghai on the eve of the company’s 10th anniversary.
Raw materials in a staging area of sE Electronics’
3000-square-meter factory and headquarters in Shanghai.
All stages of manufacturing are performed onsite,
save for electroplating of some metal parts.
Workers manually prepare capsule housings
in the sE Electronics factory.
Computer-controlled CNC lathes automate some portions
of the metalworking involved in microphone production.
A worker threads a rod that will become part of the mount
for an sE Electronics Reflexion Filter.
This computer-controlled metalworking machine plays an
important role in microphone prototyping. sE can build
complete working prototypes of microphones on site.
Workers apply paint finishes to parts—the finish is then baked on.
sE Electronics Reflexion Filters being assembled. In addition to the
sE-branded Reflexion Filter microphone isolator, acoustic treatment
is built in the factory for the PartScience brand and for the European-
distributed brand, Ghost Acoustics.
Circuit boards and inner-mic wiring is soldered
by hand at the sE Electronics factory.
Microphones are tested electronically and by ear during manufacturing.
Microphone diaphragm, gold sputtered Mylar, is buzz tested
in the clean room section of the HQ building.
sE Electronics founder Siwei Zou shows a sample of the condenser
microphone diaphragm material fitted with rings that will be
part of small diaphragm condenser mic capsules.
Diaphragms are visually inspected at a special light table
Siwei Zou at the door of the “Aging Room” where
all finished microphones are burned-in before final testing.
Design engineers use CAD software
to design new sE Electronics products.
sE Electronics co-owner Mitch Carey, also a principal in the European
distribution company Sonic Distribution and American distributors,
Fingerprint Audio, hides “top secret” info from prying eyes.
The sE Electronics factory includes a large anechoic chamber,
fitted with an automatic turntable used for testing microphone
response characteristics on- and off- axis.
sE’s high-end listening room serves also as a theater room and a
recording space. The room is fully treated with acoustic materials
built on site.
Adjacent to the listening room/studio space is a fully functional
recording control room, also treated with site-fabricated acoustic
sE Electronic’s home is Shanghai, a huge metropolis blending the
historic—like this Taoist temple complex—with the thoroughly
modern—the topof the Shanghai World Financial Center, the world’s
tallest building at almost 478 meters, can be seen in the distance.
The blue green figure in the crowd is one of the mascots of the 2010
World Expo to be hosted by Shanghai.