New Telefunken 251's worth it?
Johnkenn
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27th December 2012
Old 27th December 2012
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New Telefunken 251's worth it?

I demo'd a Tele 251V AC (which was $11k) and it was maybe the best sounding mic I've ever heard. Anybody bought the regular E? Would you even consider a new Tele for $6k when you could get a vintage Neumann cheaper - that would
possibly retain its value? Just trying to decide if I should pull the trigger for tax purposes.
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27th December 2012
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I have a T-Funk 251E. It's absolutely stunning (though tbf I understand my one has a custom shop capsule - it was previously owned by Fletcher).
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I would imagine the capsule would make a big difference. Paging Fletcher. Also wonder about the Blackspade UM25 with the Tim Campbell capsule. I heard some samples and really didn't like them, to be honest...
Really looking for that "reedy" quality in the midrange.
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27th December 2012
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I just realised it was the 251 being used in the song on my signature. (You can find it on YouTube too if you don't want to pay 79p but shhhh don't tell anyone else )
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28th December 2012
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I remember comparing a vintage AC (the one they modeled after) to a new E and it was hard to tell the difference. The E was a bit brighter. I was told that indeed the tube (701 versus 6072) was the only difference between these two mics, and it sure sounded that way. This was in '04 at the studio where'd they do QC, comparing all the new capsules to the benchmark. Pretty remarkable.

In my opinion, best way to rationalize the price is ask yourself how much more you're willing to pay for that "best mic I've ever heard" without any fuss, as opposed to buying and selling however many unknowns until you find an equal specimen, be it new or vintage. I would imagine vintage is a better investment in terms of resale, although I haven't followed the market in a long time. Personally, I'd rather have the new mic than something temperamental that'll start making noise and ruin a take. I hate chasing noise out of old mics. It's usually something dumb like the connector, and when it's not FML.
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Not sure if this will be helpful at all, but I own a new t-funk u48 and it sounds fantastic. It actually kinda blows away my studio's vintage u47 (which, admittedly isn't the best 47 I've ever heard, but still...).
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28th December 2012
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When it comes to American made tube mics, I think of Tele USA and Bock. I have both and they have been very reliable over the years.

I would imagine there are other solid US built tube mics but I do not have much experience with them.

PS. Anyone have a Tele USA 251E in good stead... I am looking for one to pair up with mine. I have a pair of KM56's to trade.
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I had a Tele usa 251E about 6 months ago.
one of the most recent reissues.
sounded great.like the good ones I used to use.really nice airy hi end and that kinda compressed mid range thing.
The Bock 251 had a more open natural sounding midrange and bigger bottom end.
the guy i sold it to had one as well and when we did a side by side comparison ,his was noticably darker.
so I dont know how quality control is these days but they didn't sound the same.
wish I still had it.
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29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
...Also wonder about the Blackspade UM25 with the Tim Campbell capsule. I heard some samples and really didn't like them, to be honest...
Really looking for that "reedy" quality in the midrange.
Maybe the source was "unreedy"? I'm not sure what "reedy" means when talking about mics, but I don't know if I want my mics to sound "reedy", but capture the possible "reedines" in the source.
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My Studio

Recent Telefunken 251 (with AC701 tube) here.

Simply stunning.
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29th December 2012
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John , I assure you if you you think Telefunken's product was the best sounding mic you've heard then you'd like my capsule. I can't speak as to the sample you heard or how it was made.
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Hey Tim - thanks for the response. I actually meant to post that it could have been the samples that made me not like it. I certainly wouldn't let that dissuade me from trying the mic. I love the price range that the um25 is in, so it's definitely a contender. I tried the regular UM25 and liked it - just didnt think it particularly sounded like a 251. Love to hear the one with your capsule. I noticed you do the Bock capsules too...I know you probably can't really suggest a manufacturer, but have you finished one that you've been really happy with?
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29th December 2012
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John, I don't make David's capsules. Those are made by MBHO in Germany. I currently make capsules for models by Blackspade, FLEA, Pearlman, and can be found in JJ Audio, Fox Audio Research and some smaller run and DIY mics.
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29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
I would imagine there are other solid US built tube mics but I do not have much experience with them.
I want to see a better built mic than a Lawson. After a long period of curiosity, I had the good fortune of recording some stuff with an L47 and 251 and was totally floored. When I took the mic apart it was pretty amazing to see the quality of the components used in there. Most mics I'll gut and put decent components in the circuit, not so with the lawson. Those mics, in every way, all the time, are on par with other offerings in the market at 2.5 times the cost.
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30th December 2012
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John, I had a 251 E reissue on demo a while back. It was totally amazing. Also, very hard to find used ones which would mean the owners arent letting them go. It's quite an investment to keep one but probably well worth it. I was never able to find anything very close in sound as far as new mics made either. The Blackspade mics I have heard on a demo session were nice but not the same. From the samples I have heard in the past here on GS of the Lawson, they sounded great though and so much cheaper.
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AB3
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I am fairly certain David Bock will use your capsule on a special order.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Campbell View Post
John, I don't make David's capsules. Those are made by MBHO in Germany. I currently make capsules for models by Blackspade, FLEA, Pearlman, and can be found in JJ Audio, Fox Audio Research and some smaller run and DIY mics.
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30th December 2012
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