I've been reading up on the Neumann KM 184, Shure KSM 137, and the Shure SM 137 condenser mics, priced $850, $300 and $180 respectively. Right now I've been recording with an Equation F.20 and an AKG C1000S. Do any of you have any experience with the Neumann KM 184? Is it that much better?? I'm using a medium quality interface; should I even waste my money on the better mic which might only sound better through a better interface? Have any of you used the other two microphones? Some of the reviews look favorably for the Shure KSM 137 and right now that seems to be the one I'm gravitating toward.
KM184 is a great mic ... I have a stereo pair of KM 84’s that I use ALL of the time. Your thoughts about mic pres and interface are very valid. I like it when each item in the chain ... or signal flow ... as being equal in quality. A $10k mic thru a cheap mic Pre on a cheap interface will not be all that you expect. But ... mics with known characteristics are worth having if they fit a category of mic you don’t yet own. All that said, the 184 is a great mic for numerous applications.
Whether it's worth it is up to you.. what the need is; and how you use it; what are you trying to fix or solve that's a problem?
As Doub mentioned the "chain" - (and others mention), one part of the chain is THE ROOM. A better mic (or pre, or cables, or A/D converter, or DAW) isn't really going to fix a bad room. Might maybe make it sound a little better; or often just highlight the bad room issue. As well as part of chain... knowing the engineering part, how to get most out of equip, mic placement... again trying to fix it with more $$$ might not be the answer. (awesome recordings have been made with SM57s).
Not that you might not notice a difference, all mics/ pres sound different... (better is subjective) Start with what are you trying to solve. Perhaps why; is say a slight 2 percent improvement worth the money for your need? (what's the end goal? if just for playing on peoples computer, is a consideration, what is adequate?).
edit: Not trying to discourage you... but I've heard some of your recordings they sound reasonably well recorded... so question is what more are you looking for?