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Mickeyrouse

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Posts: 138 Member Since: 05/11/2015

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Dec 24 15 10:24 AM

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I've asked this question before in other forums and the answer is unsatisfactory, so I'll try again.
    Given everyone (almost) would like an original Neumann U47 in new condition. Whatever "new" means, it ain't gonna happen for everybody that wants one.  Yet there is a respectable body of production of serious claimants to the title of successor.  Klaus has stated that one of his criteria for a superb mic is its abilty to draw one in and become emotionally involved in the performance presented, and that nothing he has heard yet does that as well as a U47 in good operating condition.
      Accepting that, what comes closest? I am looking for a recommendation. Yes, I know, I should listen and judge for myself.   Considering the number of choices, that would take a very long time, and I seek the collective experience of this forum as an efficient solution. And as a practical approach that isn't possible,  because options to do so are non-existent where I live, and the last time I was in the same room as a U47 was 50 years ago. I presently have a small collection of mics that some will likely disparage, but can give pleasing results in various circumstances.
   A response is most helpful from those who have had meaningful experience with U47's as well as the current generation of serious mics, and can make a recommendation based on experience, not from the same internet literature that I read.  I know a few representives of the current producers of serious mics hang out here (and yes I have some of your mics already) so in the interest of objectivity your abstention in this matter may be in order.
Thanks in advance.
Mickey Rouse

Last Edited By: Mickeyrouse Dec 24 15 12:31 PM. Edited 1 time

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barry hufker

Diamond Forever

Posts: 12,202 Member Since:26/01/2011

#1 [url]

Dec 24 15 11:27 AM

I've heard a number of mics over the years.  Assuming you want something modern, I suggest Brauners and the Lucas CS4.  Those are the ones which leap to mind as most outstanding.

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Mickeyrouse

Silverado

Posts: 138 Member Since:05/11/2015

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Dec 24 15 12:30 PM

I think current production is fairly importent, if for no other reason than availability. Supposedly something like 3500 ELA M251's were built and 6000-plus U47's. There just isn't enough to go around. And how long can they really perform at a like-new level? Not only tubes fail, but transformers can go as well. Capsules can be re-skinned, but whether they sound like new is equally problematical. And while caps and resistors are more easily replaced, they still have to be...replaced. So whether we really want to or not alternatives in the realm of new production have to be considered. Re Lucas: because their website doesn't seem to have been updated in two or three years, can't tell if that's a viable alternative or not for brand-new mics.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,404 Member Since:04/02/2011

#3 [url]

Dec 24 15 1:24 PM

you have to really do a number to damage a microphone transformer. I've never personally seen it happen in normal use.

Neumann still makes K47 capsules to an excellent standard of quality.

VF14M tubes are problematically rare/expensive.

brad allen williams

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bockaudio

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,537 Member Since:02/02/2011

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Dec 24 15 1:39 PM

I have seen transformers in mics die. One U47 had been miswired, opened the primary side. I've seen modded 251's where the plate was connected directly to the winding with the cap at what is normally the ground end, achieve open windings. Also failed Triads in Church mics (same direct connection of plate configuration).

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klaus

Gold Finger

Posts: 387 Member Since:19/02/2012

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Dec 24 15 2:10 PM

Mickeyrouse wrote: Klaus has stated that one of his criteria for a superb mic is its ability to draw one in and become emotionally involved in the performance presented, and that nothing he has heard yet does that as well as a U47 in good operating condition.
       

A slight misquote: any of the "Big Five" in good working condition is capable of that. 
 The buying public is more intelligent than we sometimes give it credit: prices are highest for exactly these models for exactly this reason.

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klaus

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Posts: 387 Member Since:19/02/2012

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Dec 24 15 2:38 PM

bockaudio wrote:
 I've seen modded 251's where the plate was connected directly to the winding with the cap at what is normally the ground end, achieve open windings. Also failed Triads in Church mics (same direct connection of plate configuration).

I am not familiar with Triad transformer durability, but can attest, from experience, that no transformer primary blows as often as that of the T14/1 regardless how you hook it up. The wire is simply too thin to buffer current spikes, acting like a fast blow fuse.

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Mickeyrouse

Silverado

Posts: 138 Member Since:05/11/2015

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Dec 24 15 2:51 PM

Re my initial question: it seems sometimes overlooked that despite our slavery to the creative side of music and recording, it is part of the music BUSINESS. Aside from those like Mark Knopfler and his British Grove Studios (and I wish him well), at some point investment in equipment has to pay off, unless you're operating a hobby out of your garage. Most recently observed U47's on ebay approach $18,000. ELA M251's up to $30,000. M49 at Vintage King today at $12,000-plus. So from a cost-benefit standpoint, what microphone in the "affordable" new range of less than say $6-7K will best provide results, as observed by those who have heard both?
Mickey

Last Edited By: Mickeyrouse Dec 24 15 2:54 PM. Edited 1 time.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,186 Member Since:23/10/2013

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Dec 24 15 4:06 PM

I would investigate the Lucas mics, Bock mics (as well as Bock custom shop), and any Oliver Archut made custom mics you might come across (eg, his kit builds/mic mods, Cathedral Guitars line, etc.).

Another thing that stands out as being a bit lower budget, but still being *extremely worthwhile*, are the recent UM17/UM17R and UM25/UM25C microphones. These were first offered by Blackspade, then Tab-Funkenwerk... also put on hold due to the unfortunate passing of Oliver Archut. Great circuits for k47/M7 and CK12 style capsules, respectively.

Re-emphasis - Bock really knows his stuff, if current production is a really big deal for you (you mention that).

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Dec 24 15 4:11 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Mickeyrouse

Silverado

Posts: 138 Member Since:05/11/2015

#12 [url]

Dec 24 15 5:30 PM

I own Bock, and heartily concur. My quest is in more in a U47 direction. Remember, the most valued opinion is from someone who has had the oppotunity to compare the real McCoy with current production.

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spiritwalker

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,680 Member Since:14/02/2011

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Dec 25 15 4:00 AM

I've sung on a few U47's now, 2 with tubes, a nuvister version and an ifet and I have to say for my limited vocal resonance, I prefer my Lucas CS-4 hands down. It makes me want to perform.
I keep looking at David Bock's site and thinking I would like to try a few of his mikes.

OK it's cold here

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