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New or vintage Microphones. Does it really matter?
Old 26th January 2007
  #31
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

before gotham audio closed, i went there alot to buy cable to build my tube
mic patchbay. frequently, joe would describe the more difficult part of his work
almost like a shrink : telling someone that the vintage C12 that they had just
purchased for $7000, while "working", had almost no original parts inside.....
strange 80's replacement parts, etc.....over the couple of years there were
several vintage "real" 47's and 67's of this variety.....very heartbreaking for
people who had just paid real money for these mics and about to enter
the times when $3000 day rates were fading.........

i am a big fan of david bock and soundelux mics - the e47 sounds great
i hope that an e-67 is on its way, perhaps his new company structure will
bring that about...

i also hope that the e-54 and e-56 can be made to happen

a friend of mine purchased an sm-69 and loves it - i can not think of an
alternative - if it is a great price - if not, i would buy two new mics

63' ghia makes sense

i was in a studio in la a couple of weeks ago with several vintage m-49's - they
sounded pretty amazing, crapped out and were replaced with 87's

the e-49's would have worked great through the whole session

the 63' ghia (with a modern sound system) would have been a great place to hear
mixes, especially in la

be well


- jack
Old 26th January 2007
  #32
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I think some vintagemics are great not because they are vintage, because they are just great mics. There is a reason why so many companies trying to copy them. The problem is to find a good one. So does it matter vintage or new? I don't know. But I know it does matter whether you have great tool or not.

Andreas
Old 26th January 2007
  #33
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
i was in a studio in la a couple of weeks ago with several vintage m-49's - they
sounded pretty amazing, crapped out and were replaced with 87's
I was in Capitol A a couple of weeks ago and we had an unbelieveable amount of vintage mics in play for a small Orch session. We had so many 67's I couldn't count them. heh heh Sure enough, one of them went south during the session and caused a delay that cost us a bit of time with an orchestra in play. Not what you hope for.

Frustrating. Still, it sounded awesome and seeing that many 67's in one place almost made me wet myself.

I think for the normal studio, a modern alternative at a fair price is the way to go unless you need the status symbol of a particular vintage model.
Old 26th January 2007
  #34
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Quote:
a modern alternative at a fair price is the way to go unless you need the status symbol of a particular vintage model.
Kind of a catch-22. If you need that status symbol, your probably already headed for disaster. I know with all the bull**** I've bought into gearwise, having a session go south cause of technical difficulties makes you look like an ass. At that point I'd rather be using a Berringer as long as it didn't get flakey on me.

Man sometimes you forget that the #1 job is to get a good recording technically. IE low noise, no pops, clicks, hums etc. Nothing says amature more than this kind of crap. Reliablity and consistancy is #1. After that it's all gravy.
Old 27th January 2007
  #35
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post

If you purchase a vintage mic, it should be cleaned and checked by a REAL expert. Once any restoration is done, there's no reason you should expect problems. Many studios have problems with their vintage mics because they are not cared for and stored properly...

Gotta agree. If you've got a super high quality item that is built solid, not modded in some goofy way, and well maintained it should work just as well as something new, and better in a lot of cases.
Old 27th January 2007
  #36
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Quote:
It used to seem like, when a smaller studio 'finally' got a Neumann U47 or 67 (or whatever), that elevated their status in the community
Sure, your right. It really depends on your market place. I've found that when doing the small stuff people don't even know what a U47 is...they actually wonder what the old clunker isheh OTOH the people that know the difference are more results orientated than fetishing over brands.

But sure, if you have someone that's sang into 47's their whole life - you ain't gonna teach the old dog new tricks - but by the same token, if your recording guys like this - you probably have a good gear budget and the whole thing is moot.
Old 27th January 2007
  #37
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Many studios have problems with their vintage mics because they are not cared for and stored properly...
Of course you're right, but I think Capitol takes care of their gear, don't you?
Old 8th April 2008
  #38
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flymax View Post
There's something to the sound of a well maintained hi end "vintage" mic..the components, the craftsmanship, all that..
Most people, given the choice, choose the older ones.

Like all vintage gear, it's expensive to keep it working properly if you dont know how to fix it yourself..trust me, I've learned the hard way ..
bump to an old thread...

Some have never been reproduced authentically, like the nickel capsule tube KM54/56, or FET KM88, M50 (not to mention all the U47's/251's etc. etc.). the biggest question is the condition the mic is in. This is the grey area where many dreams end up as money pits, and constant frustration.

Although there are GREAT mics currently manufactured, none surpass some older designs. I could never afford the real high ticket items, so I'm just a punter, but I have worked with a few lovely, vintage microphones that no current design has come close to. It'd be perfect if exact recreations existed, but sadly...

Tho at the end of the day, there's no "magic" behind the microphone without a certain "magic" performing in front of the microphone.
Old 8th April 2008
  #39
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tone delux's Avatar
 

the telefunken usa elam 251E isn't bad. it sounds better than 1/2 the elam 251s you come accross. but there is the other half that have the mojo and kill the telefunken USA reproduction model. But as always YMMV.
Old 8th April 2008
  #40
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stagefright13's Avatar
 

From the groupdiy forum here is a Vintage U87 capsule you decide.
Attached Thumbnails
New or vintage Microphones. Does it really matter?-4_before.jpg  
Old 8th April 2008
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post
I'm about to buy a Neumann SM69 from VK.

Would someone please tell me about a new alternative?

`
The Neumann 69 is unique, nothing like it, but for stereo mics a SoundField 422 offers equally amazing (but different) sound with better imaging. Variable pattern, angle and M/S mode. So that would be one to consider.
Brad
Old 30th October 2010
  #42
Vogon
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Lunde View Post
The Neumann 69 is unique, nothing like it, but for stereo mics a SoundField 422 offers equally amazing (but different) sound with better imaging. Variable pattern, angle and M/S mode. So that would be one to consider.
Brad
Ridiculously cool mics.
I wish they'd make a basic mono cardioid and/or MP too...
Old 30th October 2010
  #43
Lives for gear
We are in the second golden age of mics, IMHOP. U think the transition to digital really put a spotlight on the mic in the chain and gave gave some great new designers a real chance to shine. If it were not for digital I don't think we ever would have seen the rebirth of the ribbon mic.

People don't realize back in the day a U47 cost a couple of hundred buck. Factoring inflation, thats probably less than what a nice Bock or Pearlman equivalent cost today. And I believe that the best of the new mics would have sat well next to the vintage mics back in the day. They were tools then as they are tools now.

If you are buying a mic with an eye to investment potential fine. BUT if you are buying a tool, IMHOP the issue of "vintageness" should be a non issue. If the mic rocks for its intended use fine. Factor in the potential for tech issues and price and a decision will become obvious.

In most cases...a great new mic, well chosen will be the choice.
Old 30th October 2010
  #44
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I think that for every vintage neumann (or others), there is a modern equivalent that can do the trick except for an U67. It won't necesairly be a clone, but that is also not necesairy. Old mics do vary so much (due to their age) that it's impossible to determine 'this is the XXX sound. I rather buy a new mic with support than an 50+ years old thing where you don't know the history from, and that may die next week...

But the name can off course attract client, and the resale value will mostly only go up. If that is a factor, i would buy old ones... But for sound only spending big bucks on a old one, i don't think so. If it's cheap (most old dynamics), it's less an issue.

Last edited by waxx; 30th October 2010 at 01:40 PM.. Reason: cosmics
Old 30th October 2010
  #45
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Latinlover's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxx View Post
I think that for every vintage neumann (or others), there is a modern equivalent that can do the trick except for an U67. It won't necesairly be a clone, but that is also not necesairy. Old mics do vary so much (due to their age) that it's impossible to determine 'this is the XXX sound. I rather buy a new mic with support than an 50+ years old thing where you don't know the history from, and that may die next week...

But the name can off course attract client, and the resale value will mostly only go up. If that is a factor, i would buy old ones... But for sound only spending big bucks on a old one, i don't think so. If it's cheap (most old dynamics), it's less an issue.
Old 31st October 2010
  #46
Gear Addict
 

My experience has been that certain 'vintage' mics have a uniqueness to them - the km84 and the u47 come to mind quickly - nothing has sounded like those to me except those. If you like that sound and are really picky (not a negative thing) you would prefer those.
New mics can be equally wonderful - the newer designs from Horch and Wunder do really grand things (albeit different than the aforementioned mics), as I'm sure many others do.
Other contemporary mics than have a long history of 'constant greatness' would be the Schoeps mics. I've several from different periods and they all do really wonderful things - in their case the 'vintage' aspect is not so much of a factor (unlike Neumann).
So, to answer your question, yes, it matters in a number of scenarios; and,
no, it doesn't matter in other situations.
Have fun trying mics and making your own decisions for your own circumstances. Everyone's different.

Last edited by vitreouswindows; 31st October 2010 at 02:56 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 31st October 2010
  #47
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walth View Post
New or vintage Microphones. Does it really matter?

Basically, it's all about the performance in the first place.

Regarding new microphones I'm highly interested in Wagner, Bock & Horch mics.
It's certainly no mistake to check those (and other) mics before laying down a fortune for a original, although they're great if purchased in a pro way. No doubt about it.
Old 31st October 2010
  #48
Lives for gear
 

ELAM 251
U47
C12

Nothing, as in NOTHING current is better than these mics in excellent condition.

In the human price range-

any mic with a real CK12
RCA 44
MD409

NOTHING made currently can match either of these. How RCA did it, Ill never know, but the 44 has smashed EVERY coles, royer, new manufacture ribbon weve tried... Its got a brilliant top end for a ribbon. And AKG got a freq response from the CK12 thats just nutty on the top end... The Senn MD409 is so much better than current production its stupid... But Senn also stopped making them because they were too expensive to make VS profitability... Thats not a good thing. I own a 906 and its nice but its no 409...

One of the things people forget is Metallurgy. ALL METALS ARE CUT WITH CHEMS NOW TO GAIN MORE YIELD AND CUT COSTS. ALL of them. You cannot replicate some of the old technologies because they dont make it like they used to...

Combined with tube technology becoming old tech... The greatest minds in the country worked with tubes for a very long time. Speak to any knowledgeable engineer and they will admit tubes are a black art... And many tube technologies are no longer possible. If you are a big brain from Cal Tech, 99.9% of you will not be focusing your degree on tube technologies... A dead/dying science thats flatlined.

And the groove tubes guy is NOT making tubes that compete with the best NOS vintrage tubes. Not even close... Ive tried for 20 years.

So the tubes are worse, the materials are cut, and the manufacturing is made to make 100,000 units not just 1000 but this applies to EVERYTHING not just audio gear. It all adds up to create some real potential issues...

Now that said, I totally agree there is no reason you cant make a great record with current production gear- it just wont sound like the old tracks everyone is chasing. That doesn't mean its not great, but we will have to wait till all the people who remember tape are dead and buried before we can move on. If you were alive in the 70s, when tape was king, digital will never fill that gap. I even miss some aspects of cassettes... There is a new overall top end frequency/feel sonically now. Love it or hate it. Cassettes couldn't replicate the spectrum like a CD...

I admit parts are built to much more consistent specs now- thats a HUGE plus. But the parts often aren't as good- thats a minus.

But even with all the plugs on gearslutz and threads like these, if you go into ANY major recording studio here in Cali- the mic locker has more vintage than not... Which says more for longevity and quality than anything else. If the mics didn't work, they wouldn't still be there...

And the only clones that come close to the originals, cost WAYYYYYYYY more relatively and OFTEN use NOS parts... Sadly, on the internet, most have not heard or used a C12, 251, 44 or U47- so its easy to wonder what the fuss is about. But its real, maybe not 20 grand real, but its real.
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