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Mic Shootout - Original 251, New 251, U47, C12, and More Condenser Microphones
Old 10th August 2011
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dry View Post
there was something very immediately recognizable in the guitar recorded by the original elam 251...reminded me of 70's singer songwriter acoustic sound , very beautiful...the new one did not have this. The only other mic that came close to THAT sound (for my ears was the AR-51). I also really liked the KORBY 67 on the vocals.
The GE 5-Star tube gives the original just a little extra air. The new Elam 251e is amazing with the GE 5-Star added.
Old 12th August 2011
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
The GE 5-Star tube gives the original just a little extra air. The new Elam 251e is amazing with the GE 5-Star added.
I'm going to need to hear those mics. I also thought the AR 51 was a really good sounding mic in these tests.
Old 3rd January 2012
  #33
Gear Head
 

The AR-51 sounds really good to my ears also. Why is it so cheap?
Old 19th January 2012
  #34
Gear Addict
 
NeumannCollecta's Avatar
 

The original Telefunken 251 blew away the other mics in this shootout. Simply put, the sound was richer, deeper, more engaging than the others. Why can't a reissue ever sound as good? Can't anyone make a reissue or a mod for the reissue to make it sound like the OG? I'm too often disappointed with "reissues"


.
Old 20th January 2012
  #35
Lives for gear
I bought that reissue from Greg and it sounds amazing. It's a little hard to judge anything with this vocalist. The reissue 251 is one of the best mics I have ever used, really head and shoulders above most everything out there except the finest vintage pieces. I do prefer non-vintage mics. I have an Andreas Grosser U47 also that I love and it is a slightly more detailed and present sound than a vintage Neumann.
Old 20th January 2012
  #36
AB3
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I agree. Truly a beautiful looking AND beautiful sounding mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I bought that reissue from Greg and it sounds amazing. It's a little hard to judge anything with this vocalist. The reissue 251 is one of the best mics I have ever used, really head and shoulders above most everything out there except the finest vintage pieces. I do prefer non-vintage mics. I have an Andreas Grosser U47 also that I love and it is a slightly more detailed and present sound than a vintage Neumann.
Old 27th January 2012
  #37
Gear Nut
 
semion's Avatar
 

Almost anytime I hear a recording, for me it falls into one of two categories,and that is purely intuitive, has nothing to do with technical terms.
a.hearing nice sounds
b.hearing nice music.
It seemed to me with absolute clarity, that the C12 and the original ELA M were in the
"b".
Old 22nd August 2012
  #38
Gear Nut
 

Thank you for this test! For me it is clear why people are using U47 now.
Just listen everything again in a pair of cheap headphones most people use.
Your voice in the mix is clearly better with a U47 and overall everything including the guitar.
The ela m 251 sounds clear and great alone in almost every hi end system but when you start to do the mastering the U47 wins all the way in the mix.

My 2 cents
Old 30th August 2012
  #39
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musky View Post
Thank you for this test! For me it is clear why people are using U47 now.
Just listen everything again in a pair of cheap headphones most people use.
Your voice in the mix is clearly better with a U47 and overall everything including the guitar.
The ela m 251 sounds clear and great alone in almost every hi end system but when you start to do the mastering the U47 wins all the way in the mix.

My 2 cents

I just listened to this old post...I think the U47 sounds thinner than I would expect. I have the AGrosser too. A special one from Donnx. Anyway..this one just sounds a little thin to me. Not sure why.
Old 6th September 2012
  #40
Gear Nut
 

It sounds thin maybe because it is the telefunken not the original.
I talk about the ADK CS-47YJ sorry for the confusion.
I really like the original 251 it fit perfectly on my voice too but most shootout I heard here and elsewhere on the web between 251 and 47 mics with specific singer ended with a great result with a u47 clone (not the original) and an original 251. Using the same mic on guitar and voice and one the 47 clone wins at the end in the mix in my taste. I think the main problem with all those 47 tube mics is none of them sounds the same. The great result is obtained most of the time with 1073 (style mic pre-amp) or the Great River.
Old 18th January 2013
  #41
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monkeyxx's Avatar
That original 251 really sounds fantastic.

Those song lyrics kind of make me uncomfortable.
Old 8th February 2013
  #42
Gear Nut
 
buttonjaw's Avatar
Soooo.....

Now that Telefunken has replaced the TK67 capsule with the new TK51D capsule I'm really excited to demo the AR-51. Apparently the new capsule greatly improves "the frequency response with an extended low end and a smoother, open high end."

For those folks who purchased the AR-51 how has the mic performed? Has anyone who bought the older version upgraded to the new capsule? And if so, how did that affect the sound?

BTW thanks to all those folks responsible for the shootout. Top-notch work.

Buttonjaw
Old 16th February 2013
  #43
Gear Nut
 
Tigri's Avatar
 

I would skip the ADK and Korby U47. They seem to sound dull and without life to me. They are really dark and nothing in the sound supports the music.

The Korby U67 is a bit better. It seems to have more life to the sound then the U47 but is still a dull sounding mic. There is some midrange character in this mic that reminds me of a real U67.

The Telefunken AR51 comes out nice! It has to much top end for my taste but it doesn't sound that bad. The lower-mids are less pronounced, which, in a busy mix, could be a great thing. In this more intimate setting, I miss the "warmth" or body.

The Telefunken U47 is a big step up. It is good balanced and has some great body and character with a smooth top-end. It would be a matter of taste from this point. The presence boost seems to be a little more in the mids instead of the real airy frequencies.

The Elam251, both versions sound great. The original seems to sound a little more rounded/balanced frequency wise. But the new one sounds almost identical, in a blind pick, it would be difficult to hear the difference.

The C12 is my number 1 on the list. It is a little more balanced in the airy high frequencies compared to the 251's and has great body and presence. It sounds more "expensive" compared to the U47, which has more of a vintage character going on in the presence frequencies. It sounds balanced in all ways. And serves the music flawless in this application. It is a bummer that the C12VR wasn't tested. Yes. I would love to hear that beauty too.

I have used a lot of U67's and U47's in my 4 years of being a prof engineer. Never ever heard the C12 before and I am really impressed. 2 months ago, I had an original Elam251 in use and it impressed me. The C12 impresses me even more... Very modern sounding mic.
Old 16th February 2014
  #44
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zephonic's Avatar
I landed on this thread by googling AR-51 reviews.

I am a non-vintage person, and believe that modern technology should sound better than the old stuff.

But here I liked the old stuff better. A lot better.

The AR-51 sounded the smallest.
Old 16th February 2014
  #45
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Piedpiper's Avatar
The AR-51 is very much a budget mic. The kind of resources that were applied to the development of the classic mics are currently generally being applied in the direction of profit and quantity rather than quality.
Old 17th February 2014
  #46
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chrisdee's Avatar
I'v been listening to the vocals take 1 and to my ears the original Elam251 sounds best in this test. For me a clear second is the AR51!

In this particular take I find the new Elam251 to be to dark/ less bright, muffled sounding and takes a clear last place!

I agree with others that is sounds like the AR51 lacks bottom end compared to the Elam's. However to my ears the top end is almost as good as the original Elam and certainly better than the new ELAM. I think maby the AR51 might be the best choice in a dense mix.

If this test is accurate I'm dissapointed in the new Elam251. I expect much more for an mic this expensive. It totally lacks the top end and articulation of the original. In this case the AR51's top end sounds really close to the vintage ELAM. However I don't think ELAM worth $10 000 to $15 000 dollars more than the AR51.

Anyway, thanks for this test. You have just saved me $9000 dollars for not buying a new Elam251!
Old 19th February 2014
  #47
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I don't like the modern Telefunken Elektroacoustic company, at all, does this belong in the Moan Zone for me to say that?

Let me provide some hard evidence: you can actually pay more for a "Telefunken" "clone" than you can for a serviced vintage specimen, the REAL THING. This actually bothers me.
Old 19th February 2014
  #48
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I don't like the modern Telefunken Elektroacoustic company, at all, does this belong in the Moan Zone for me to say that?

Let me provide some hard evidence: you can actually pay more for a "Telefunken" "clone" than you can for a serviced vintage specimen, the REAL THING. This actually bothers me.
I thought the vintage ELAM251's went for +10k and upwards?
Old 19th February 2014
  #49
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Piedpiper's Avatar
And so does the T Funk...
Old 21st October 2014
  #50
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
original ELAM is soo much better in this test, that is not even funny... Korby KAT U47 and ADK sounds just broken by comparision
Couldn't hear a crazy difference between the vintage and the new Tele 251… Man, the Elam whichever is THE mic I've been looking for! not the c12. Best in that shootout.

Okay, listened with volume real low… The old one has more high sustained, while the new one closes up the highs fast. The old one is the best. Would be happy with either… I see why people like the c12 lol, when the singer screams "baby girl," i was for sure thinking it would break up, but it sounded very good. I was for sure thinking the elam wouldnt break up and it didn't… Awesome… would love to have both, but if I could choose one it'd be the Ela M. man 9k wow, this isn't a poor mans game! hahaha… Does the bock 241 sound close?
Old 17th November 2014
  #51
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blackfinder's Avatar
 

anyone compared ELAM mics with latest AR51 with updated capsule ??
Old 27th November 2014
  #52
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfinder View Post
anyone compared ELAM mics with latest AR51 with updated capsule ??
That is something I would like to hear aswell. Especially a 251 compared to a AR51 mod (CK12 capsule ++). I'v just bought a AR-51 and am sending it to Andreas Grosser to be modded. New CK12 capsule + Haufe transformer ++.

I have revisited the clips above again and on guitar I really like the Telefunken C12 intimate, warm and natural sound. Second is the U47, but it sounds a bit hollow/ midrangy compared to the C12 wich sounds just right in this clip.

Original 251 comes in third, new 251 fourth and AR51 last (mainly because it lacks lowend and some of the body of the other microphones). Hopefully the mod will give the AR51 the body and lowend it's missing.
Old 27th November 2014
  #53
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blackfinder's Avatar
 

i dont know how much will cost you that AR51 mod, but the latest capsule is stated just to add low end and smoothness on highs, due to bigger size and different design...

As of October 2012's Audio Engineering Society conference, the AR-51 and AR-70 STEREO microphone now include the TK51D capsule, a 34mm dual-membrane, edge-terminated design. This larger surface area provides an extended low end and a smoother, more open high end in comparison to the original TK67D. The implementation of this new capsule brings the AR-51 and AR-70 STEREO sonically closer to the ELA M 251E and C12 that employ the legendary edge-terminated CK12 capsule.
Old 27th November 2014
  #54
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfinder View Post
i dont know how much will cost you that AR51 mod, but the latest capsule is stated just to add low end and smoothness on highs, due to bigger size and different design...
The mod will cost about $1000 dollars. I think the CK12 capsule alone is almost $500 dollars. He will also change to a HAUFE Transformer wich is about $200 dollars. It's a significant amount but if it takes me to or closer to the "promised land" i think it will be worth it.

How do I check if the new TK51D capsule is inside my AR-51?
Old 27th November 2014
  #55
Gear Addict
 
blackfinder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
How do I check if the new TK51D capsule is inside my AR-51?
i guess is quite simple... if you bought after October 2012 and your mic is not one of the old stock item still around, you already own latest design.

off course you can contact Telefunken and ask them directly giving your mic's serial number
Old 27th November 2014
  #56
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfinder View Post
i guess is quite simple... if you bought after October 2012 and your mic is not one of the old stock item still around, you already own latest design.

off course you can contact Telefunken and ask them directly giving your mic's serial number
I just bought it new from the store. I got a deal on it because it has been opened once or twice. But I don't know how long the store has had it. I guess my best bet is to contact Tfunken with the serialnumber.

Thanks
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