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who makes the best current m50 style mic?
Old 30th April 2015
  #1
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Klauth's Avatar
who makes the best current m50 style mic?

Looking to get an m50 style mic for my mono drum room, And am considering the following:

Flea m50
Wunder cm50
Neumann m150

Any and all opinions are welcome.
Old 30th April 2015
  #2
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John Willett's Avatar
 

If you want a clone of the original, then the Flea 50 is the one I would go for (or the Flea 250 - the only difference is the multi-pin connector on the mic.).

If you want a modern equivalent - then the Neumann M 150 is the one I would look at.

There is also the Neumann KM 133-A (or 133-D) to consider - this has the same capsule as the M 150, but open and attached to a pencil mic body, instead of being enclosed by a large cage.

There is also the Gefell M 221, which has a Nickel diaphragm and a choice of ball size.

I think the original had a nickel diaphragm - I assume the Flea has this (could not find the info on their site) - The new Neumanns have a Titanium diaphragm and the Gefell has a Nickel diaphragm.
Old 30th April 2015
  #3
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Marcocet's Avatar
M50 capsules went through a couple different eras. First they were PVC, then aluminum, and at the end of the run mylar. As far as I know they're mostly aluminum and that's also the most sought after.

I know I'm covering well worn ground here, but in any tube condenser mic the most important parts are the capsule, transformer, and tube. If you're trying to get as close to a M50 as possible you should try to get the closest for all three. The capsule's the hardest one, I don't think anybody makes a good aluminum pressure omni capsule right now, much less one actually mounted in a sphere, but I could be wrong. Personally i'm skeptical of the mics that come with removable spheres (if the edge of the sphere and the capsule aren't perfectly aligned it should cause frequency dependent issues), but I don't have enough experience with them to really speak out against them. Next hardest is the tube, which should be a AC701/k (or a Hiller MSC2 if you wanna be pedantic about it but there are even fewer of those around). Having quite a bit of experience with U67s and M269s side by side, where the primary difference is exactly that tube, I can comfortably say that they are extremely different microphones. Plenty of people are remaking the transformer with varying degrees of success. After that is the other electronics and body shape, but I don't think we're close enough to even start worrying about that stuff.

If you just want a mic that sounds good and you can use in the same applications as a M50 there are plenty of other great options out there, as John said. You don't even strictly need to have a globe on it to get a similar high frequency lift in the diffuse field. I'd consider adding the DPAs (can't remember the model number, 4003 maybe?), Schoeps with MK2S capsules and maybe even the Josephson omnis with gefell caps to that list.
Old 30th April 2015
  #4
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
M50 capsules went through a couple different eras. First they were PVC, then aluminum, and at the end of the run mylar. As far as I know they're mostly aluminum and that's also the most sought after.
Thanks for that, I had forgotten they were aluminium diaphragms, not nickel.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
Personally i'm skeptical of the mics that come with removable spheres (if the edge of the sphere and the capsule aren't perfectly aligned it should cause frequency dependent issues), but I don't have enough experience with them to really speak out against them.
On the Gefell M221 the sphere clicks into place with a positive "click" so it is exactly right every time. And, of course, the surface of the sphere needs to be in line with the diaphragm, not the end of the microphone.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
If you just want a mic that sounds good and you can use in the same applications as a M50 there are plenty of other great options out there, as John said. You don't even strictly need to have a globe on it to get a similar high frequency lift in the diffuse field. I'd consider adding the DPAs (can't remember the model number, 4003 maybe?), Schoeps with MK2S capsules and maybe even the Josephson omnis with gefell caps to that list.
The Josephson uses exactly the same capsule as the Gefell M 221 (the MK 221), but the body is larger and I don't think there is a ball option on the Josephson (the Gefell comes complete with two balls - a 3cm one and 4cm one).

Last edited by John Willett; 30th April 2015 at 02:30 PM..
Old 30th April 2015
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
If you want a very close sound just look to a KM 53

if you want a drum room sound , vintage warm and gorgeous tone , buy a Schoeps CM 51
Old 1st May 2015
  #6
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Klauth's Avatar
Good stuff guys! Thanks for help.
Old 1st May 2015
  #7
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drBill's Avatar
I have a buddy who has 11 vintage M50's that he uses for scoring stages. (brings his own) For cheaper gigs, he bought and uses a set of the Neumann M150's.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #8
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M150 is the one to go for if you want a proper Neumann capsule with low noise head amp.
The tlm 50 if you can find someone willing to sell would be a brilliant find.
Old 19th January 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I have a buddy who has 11 vintage M50's that he uses for scoring stages. (brings his own) For cheaper gigs, he bought and uses a set of the Neumann M150's.
Your buddy likes the Wunder CM50's too
Old 19th January 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The Josephson uses exactly the same capsule as the Gefell M 221 (the MK 221), but the body is larger and I don't think there is a ball option on the Josephson (the Gefell comes complete with two balls - a 3cm one and 4cm one).
2016 Update:

Yes, Josephson makes a Custom Sphere for their brilliant C617 SET with Mk221 capsule. It is called the SPB40 and sells for $110 USD
Old 19th January 2016
  #11
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Plush's Avatar
KM 53 offers the same wooly bass sound as the genuine M50.

There is no modern or older mic that has the same sound as an M50. Hence their rare type and very high price.

I have two for sale at $15,000 / each.
Old 19th January 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
KM 53 offers the same wooly bass sound as the genuine M50.

There is no modern or older mic that has the same sound as an M50. Hence their rare type and very high price.

I have two for sale at $15,000 / each.
I need four, sorry no deal!
Old 6th February 2016
  #13
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
I need four, sorry no deal!
There is a set of five M150 available for rental in Stockholm. Send me a message if you need info.
Old 7th February 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkAudio View Post
There is a set of five M150 available for rental in Stockholm. Send me a message if you need info.
m150 =/= m50
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