Neumann to build a limited version of the classic U47
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1st April 2004
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Neumann to build a limited version of the classic U47

Just got the word from a Neumann employee that approx. 250 VF14 have been found at the former Neumann export company Audio Export in Heilbron.
They sat in a dark corner with some other parts like sockets, resistors, etc. original destined to go to africa, but never made it. They were cleaning the warehouse that due to a move.

I talked with him yesterday night and he showed me some pics of those boxes. Original sealed and the Neumann guys hope to get at least 75 units as a belated aneversary mics.

Already called Neumann to get on the list....
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Neumann to build a limited version of the classic U47-im000010.jpg  
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1st April 2004
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Nice! Now let's see if they are still able of building a real u47.
Neumann, you better be good!
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Do you know if theres any way that they will sell me just one of the tubes?
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M. Schneider at Neumann told me about making some reissues a couple of weeks ago. He wasn't very specific about which models, but I understood there would be more than one. Wonder which....
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hans Hitmachine
Nice! Now let's see if they are still able of building a real u47.
Neumann, you better be good!
I doubt it can be an exact replica with all the original components ... there's more into it then a vf14 .... powersuply components / capsules etc ...
VF14M's are hard to find but not impossible ... they are just very expensive. Rumour has that some guy in the states has a rather large stock of unused ones .... although I can't exactly remember who where and when someone told me 'bout that but I'm pretty sure that it was one of the neumann people at some trade show, aes or frankfurt a few years ago.
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Nice move on Neumann's part. Hopefully they'll do the same for the U67.
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oh man...i was about to buy an old one but i'll call to see when these will be availabe...
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Quote:
Originally posted by XHipHop
i get it... APRIL FOOLS!
Party pooper.
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ok ... that's it ... I won't post today anymore .... I'm a too easy victim for aprilfools
electronboy
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It might be the 1st of april, but it is not a joke.

I was sceptical as well, but over the years Neumann made a couple of new U47 mostly for high profile customer. They tried a couple of time remaking a VF14, even the blueprints are around but the requieret quantity is to little.

I am so happy that they found those tubes to get a good working
47.

I called Neumann today and even they said no specifics, they took my name down to order one, (PS. I am a Neumann dealer here in germany)
They have no price yet....
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just a thought .... don't those boxes look mighty clean for being stored away for say 45 years ?
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why is no one rebuilding the tube, think about that.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hans Hitmachine
why is no one rebuilding the tube, think about that.
Because despite the number of u47/48 owners that need vf14's, its still not enough to make it a profitable venture to remanufacture the tube. Nothing else uses it, thats why telefunken stopped making it.
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Sad. But remember that back in the days Neumann was the only company builing u47's. Now we have soundelux/Lawson/wagner etc. and even when you're not making u47 copies, I think mister Brauner could have some fun too, with this valve.
If one small company would make these tubes agin, I think they would have a big client in all of these microphone builders today.
You don't what you got till it's gone...
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" Brauner could have some fun too" - typo
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What a f'ing joke. Unless Neumann buys all the parts from someone who actually knows how to make the mic still, their "U47 anniversarry" will be something like a "tribute to the u47" rather than "a u47".

electronboy
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What a f'ing joke. Unless Neumann buys all the parts from someone who actually knows how to make the mic still, their "U47 anniversarry" will be something like a "tribute to the u47" rather than "a u47".


How so? Neumann made several U47 in the last few years for high profile customer, they were made out of stock parts of the old days, but they still can made all the parts, maybe the tube socket theses days is quite hard.

Up to today I never saw any mic that claims to be a U47 that actualy sounded like one.
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Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
just a thought .... don't those boxes look mighty clean for being stored away for say 45 years ?
Chris - That's because those are vintage boxes, and everyone knows that old vintage boxes are much better than the new ones being manufactured today.
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What makes a credible re-issue?

To reissue a U47 halfways right, it requires, in addition to head- and housing parts with original dimensions, the following components, regardless of who makes such a mic (in decending order of audibility):

1. Original K47 or M7 capsule

2. Original VF14 low-noise select (can even be a quiet non-"M" type)

3. Original BV8 transformer (was not an in-house Neumann product, but made by a now defunct company in Berlin)

4. Same type, value and material of original dry electrolytic coupling and filter capacitors

5. Cable material that is close to either the early rubber- 4-conductor AC-type (a bit cloudy) or the later double Reussen layer Dörfler/Gotham type.

If you get these components right, the impact of the remaining components on the overall sound of the mic will be fairly negligible.

Kind regards,
Klaus Heyne

Kind regards,
Klaus Heyne
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so Klaus .... is it possible to gather a bunch of those components ... say 75 and reproduce it then ?
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Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
so Klaus .... is it possible to gather a bunch of those components ... say 75 and reproduce it then ?
Except for the transformer (unless they also found a stash in Heilbronn, they may use the Fet 47-type, a close relative), and the capacitors, the answer is: yes.

They have done it before (U67 reissue that was spot-on in terms of components and sound), and they still work with the same metal fabricator for housing parts.

Of course, the original power supply would be illegal to sell in today's safety-conscious environment, but then the power supply does not exert such great influence on this mic that a new, improved one could not be used successfully instead.

Let's not speculate much further- let's wait and see the first unit. Then I will be happy to put the magnifying glass and hearing aid on and report my findings.

Kind regards, Klaus Heyne
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Klaus, any thoughts on using the EF-14? Some highly regarded u47 -copy mic builders use that one.
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2nd April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
just a thought .... don't those boxes look mighty clean for being stored away for say 45 years ?
I bought a VF14M from a big studio in Germany some years ago and the package looked almost like new. The serial on the tube was somewhere in the 20s (did they number by charge or absolute?).

Peter
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VF14 vs. EF 14

Quote:
Originally posted by Hans Hitmachine
Klaus, any thoughts on using the EF-14? Some highly regarded u47 -copy mic builders use that one.
I am always suspicious of terms like "highly regarded"- as if using that term puts a stamp of approval on a particular act or item, and then questioning the term is a bit like asking for it.

So: Are the builders highly regarded? Or the act of using an EF14?

First, let's be clear why cloners are using EF14 instead of VF14- cost, cost, cost.
For cloners, EF14s are convenient: They look and feel like the real thing (never mind, you have to change the circuitry of mic and power supply as well as cabling)

But price (typically 1/10 of a VF14) in itself is no valid argument for a sonic decision of what tube to use in an expensive condenser microphone.

Let's cut to the chase: The EF14 is made with different cathode material, using a different cathode manufacturing process, has significantly lower heater voltage and a few other esotheric differences compared to the VF14.

As a result of listening to a few EF 14 retro-experiments and to quite a few customer mics where that tube was installed, and where I then yanked it out and replaced it with the real thing, I have come to the firm conclusion that the EF14 is no substitute for the VF14 in a U47, whatever merits it ay have without a direct comparison.

Its dynamic behavior is sluggish, somewhat whimpy, the characteristic compression that normally happens on the mic with high SPLs is gone, and, overall, the EF14 tube used in the U47 reminds me a bit of using a cathode follower ciruitry in a mic: clean but boring, no fire, sex appeal kaputt.

The big question for me then is: what exactly in the emission from a 36V heated filament and a premium-wolfram coated cathode accounts for the different timbre and sex appeal of the VF14?

If that tube were ever resurrected from the past, these questions could maybe find a technical answer.

Kind regards,
Klaus Heyne
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2nd April 2004
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Thanks for that, Mr. Heine!
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Quote:
Originally posted by Meriphew
Nice move on Neumann's part. Hopefully they'll do the same for the U67.
Neumann reissued the U-67 in the mid 1990's... it was after we became a Neumann dealer so I'm guessing like 1994, 1995ish. They made a run, sold out of them [at $6,000 USD each] and that was that.

It was a pretty faithful reproduction.
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Fletcher: A while ago I read a great series of corrispondence where you bitchslapped Neumann for trying to dictate pricing to you.

I have about 1/2 the engineering expeirience as you do. But as far as problems with authority, we're in the same ball park. Were you able to patch up the beef you had with them.

None of my biz... just wondering.

DavidO'K
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2nd April 2004
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electronboy
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Sorry guys, nothing but a prank,


though the VF14 are real fuuck I offered them to Neumann a while back.... They are not interested in building 50 years old mics, even tubemics are interesting the future is in digitalmics.... Original words from Neumann

See you guys next year


Just out Neumann to build the first signature mic, the CMV3 Adolf Hitler edition!
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2nd April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
...It was a pretty faithful reproduction...
More like it was their stock of spare U-67 parts screwing over anybody needing a U-67 repaired in the future. They had actually been making a few U67s off and on all along and I understand U-47s were in limited production long after they had been removed from the brochures. All of that pretty much ended after the company was sold to Sennheiser.
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