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Neumann m50b 2016 price. Condenser Microphones
Old 28th April 2016
  #1
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Neumann m50b 2016 price.

Hi all.

I have been offered a trade deal on a Neumann M50b. The mic has been restored, looks really fantastic. Capsule if fully original has just been cleaned.

Power supply is a Neumann N52t one but non m50 original.

It's Omni only.


The person is asking U$16.000 which I honestly think is quite a lot.


Any advice?


Last edited by mucainsane; 29th April 2016 at 01:28 PM..
Old 28th April 2016
  #2
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If it has the original aluminum capsule and everything else checks out, you are in business. Its still on the high side but examples with the aluminum diaphragm are rare and exceptional sounding.
Old 28th April 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushwick View Post
If it has the original aluminum capsule and everything else checks out, you are in business. Its still on the high side but examples with the aluminum diaphragm are rare and exceptional sounding.
The person says it is all original. But the question is for how much a mic like that will go for now?
Old 28th April 2016
  #4
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The deal is right but do you have a use for the mic? The M50 is a unique design that is a must have for orchestral recorders (usually in a 3 M50 Decca Tree configuration). The omni pattern narrows at higher frequencies, giving a little extra directionality. Most unusual. But that's really the only situation that I know of that an M50 is a must-have. If you're thinking of it as a more general purpose vintage Neumann, I think you might be disappointed.
As always, YMMV.
Old 28th April 2016
  #5
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I have seen them going for as high as $16k sold. And that was a couple of years ago. They are not getting any cheaper.

One M50 may sell for less than a pair or trio (per mic).

I have an M50b pair for sale for $35k cash here in LA. I was offered $31k cash and turned it down. Although admittedly, I was on the fence with that deal and was very close to pulling the trigger.

Great mic by the way, beautiful, natural, grabs low freqs in ways many others do not.
Old 28th April 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
(usually in a 3 M50 Decca Tree configuration).
Just a historical note. Decca always used their Tree with outriggers. It took five m50s minimum.

The consensus seems to be that the closest you can come to the old m50 sound with modern mics is a Neumann KMA amplifier with a KK 133 capsule and a SKB 130 A diffraction sphere.

An alternate with a different but similar sound is a Schoeps CMC6 amplifier with a MK2H capsule and a KA 40 sphere attachment.

What all three have in common is the half inch diaphragm embedded in a 4 cm sphere. That's what gives them the rising directionality with frequency, and the broad HF bump that starts around 1-2 kHz. It's why you can't just EQ an omni and make it sound like a old m50. The sphere is the key.

Finally, one should recognize that the m50s used by Decca weren't the m50s Neumann sold to Decca. First thing Decca did with their shiny new m50s was rip out the electronics and replace the vacuum tube circuits with solid state. They were very much a Neumann/Decca hybrid.
Old 29th April 2016
  #7
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The landscape in 2016 shows us that there are very few great M50 mics for sale these days.

$14,000 is on the low side of what a good one is worth. They can easily sell for $20,000 and up each.

It is the middle iteration of the microphone that has the aluminum capsule.
The first M50's had a PVC diaphragm. Then the aluminum one in 1952 and in 1965 a change to the KK83 capsule.

The aluminum one is the most highly sought after.

It is the wooly and thick deep bass that is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the M50. Its tone is unique and is not able to be reproduced by any other microphone. The modern so-called "sound alikes" do not sound like a real M50. It is the bass end that is false.

Decca used their M50's in the tube version for many years. Remember, this mic came out in 1951 well before phantom power was invented. Once reliable P48 powering came on the scene, Decca modified their M50's, M49's and other tube mics to use excellently designed (Decca in house design) fet circuitry. This mod did NOT appreciably change the sound of the tube mic. The tube version has an even more wooly low end and offers a thicker, more lugubrious sound. A magnificent sound for sure.

This modification offered lower noise and better reliability according to the Decca maintenance department.

In use, one typically needs at least 2 M50 mics for center pair.
Tree use requires 3 but 2 are just as good. In no case do the outriggers need to be M50 microphones. Often KM53 or other omni or cardioid mics were used.

So for a useable M50 set up, buy 2 microphones.

Buying procedure: Decide if you will accept a gold diaphragm M50. Write to Neumann to inquire about the baujahr (birth year) of the mic. This will tell you what capsule the mic was born with. Then have it inspected by an M50 expert. If it is genuine and sounding good, purchase as many as you can at $14,000. Buying from a good dealer will protect your purchase from fraud but will cost more. Usually a premium of $3,000-4,000.

I have a very famous pair of M50's that I use all the time. They are so monumentally famous within Decca (and because of what they recorded) that I cannot even talk about the details of them on a public forum.
Old 30th April 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The tube version has an even more wooly low end and offers a thicker, more lugubrious sound.
Old 30th April 2016
  #9
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BTW, $16,000 is not a bad price. Good M50s are frequently even more expensive than vintage 251s.
Old 30th April 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Youse is certainly right. I meant to say that it is thick sounding.
Old 30th April 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Youse is certainly right. I meant to say that it is thick sounding.
Maybe it's a lubricious, or a luxurious sound ...or all of the above !
Old 1st May 2016
  #12
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while im certainly a freak for vintage mics i dont get these prices anymore honestly. the things are ticking timebombs. those diaphrams are way too old by now. no one does them anymore. there are alternatives around. i would personally never invest in that today. if you have lots of money to waste, enough cash for a decca tree and are being booked for grand scale orchestra recordings in world class studios all the time - plus happen to have a vintage fetish - it might be a different scenario.

ps: looking at your studios webpage this kind of mic makes absolutely no sense at all. its a mic for big stages. not basement studios. get some u87s. they will do you more good. no offense intended.
Old 1st May 2016
  #13
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I have a friend who's a major scoring engineer in LA who is selling his M50's. Maintained by Klaus and in immaculate condition.

One stereo matched M50 pair ($17k ea), one LCR matched M50 set ($17k ea), one LCR matched M250 set ($17k ea), one LCR matched M150 set $12K for the set.

PM me if interested, and I'll put you in touch with him.

For the OP - $16k is a decent price if it is well maintained and if you have a use for ONE. Usually these mics are used in pairs and LCR sets. To find an immaculate LCR set in 2016 is rarer than hens teeth. These mics all belong to scoring engineers and scoring stages and it's very difficult to find the for sale.
Old 1st May 2016
  #14
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If we leave the collector value aside and look at similar tools, you could get 5 of the best omni mics available from DPA, Schoeps or Sennheiser, spheres, stands and cables and you'd still have enough left to pay for a year of high school for 10-20 kids in Africa.
Old 1st May 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
If we leave the collector value aside and look at similar tools, you could get 5 of the best omni mics available from DPA, Schoeps or Sennheiser, spheres, stands and cables and you'd still have enough left to pay for a year of high school for 10-20 kids in Africa.
True. But they wouldn't sound like M50's.....
Old 1st May 2016
  #16
Gear Addict
True - the sound of M50 is unmatched if they are good and with the sought after Alu Capsule.

First the Bass Area: The recorded orchestra sounds big and large (that is a good thing, mainly for scoring work, but also classical recordings, because an orchestra is big and large, so it is good to have mics that can deliver that information). This "size" you can not equally get with any other mic's. You also can not recreate it with any type of EQ. It is something you only get with real M50's.

The depth of field is great, but more interesting, the instruments coming form far away, i.e. horns, not only sound right on the main-M50's in terms of the dimension, they also sound bigger, while typically with "normal" modern mics, the farther the instruments are away the more little they are represented. A problem mainly in scoring work, but imo. also in classical music a little bit more size for the instruments placed behind would be nice sometimes. It is tricky to get the size right when "normal" mics were used, but easy when M50's were used.

the upper Mids (around 5 kHz) and high frequencies: The 5 kHz range that is so important is just perfectly right with M50's. Not only concerning the level there, but also concerning the quality. It is like words written on a parchment-like paper, it is nice and silky with great texture. Thats important in scoring work, and I also like that sound for classical music (while there the spektral balance of a DPA or others work as well, it is different however). If you need that 5 kHz Range, then nothing can deliver it as nice as an M50. You could put Spheres on DPA's but it is not even close, I even prefer it without spheres and try to recreate it with different approaches. The M150 or TLM50 are even further away. Also the Top End sounds amazing. Just a silky and elegant upper midrange and topend.

I am more than happy to have two M50 in mint condition and it was a great investments.

Daniel
Idee und Klang | Tonstudio und Audio Design - Basel




Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
True. But they wouldn't sound like M50's.....
Old 2nd May 2016
  #17
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The simple Economics of Studio Recording and Budgets, make the whole scenrio totally unrealistic, it's a ridiculous amount of money and for the acquired gain, zero results, you might as well blow it on hookers and Coke! And Yeap .....the 2 x $8K Agency Hookers!
Old 2nd May 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
BTW, $16,000 is not a bad price. Good M50s are frequently even more expensive than vintage 251s.
Thanks for the tips. So coming back to price market, why the M50 can be even more expensive than ELAM 251's as these are considered to be the golden eagles of mics?
Old 2nd May 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
The deal is right but do you have a use for the mic? The M50 is a unique design that is a must have for orchestral recorders (usually in a 3 M50 Decca Tree configuration). The omni pattern narrows at higher frequencies, giving a little extra directionality. Most unusual. But that's really the only situation that I know of that an M50 is a must-have. If you're thinking of it as a more general purpose vintage Neumann, I think you might be disappointed.
As always, YMMV.
That's one of the things I am wondering. I am not recording on any great recording room right now, neither orchestras.
Old 2nd May 2016
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mucainsane View Post
Thanks for the tips. So coming back to price market, why the M50 can be even more expensive than ELAM 251's as these are considered to be the golden eagles of mics?
Not only are they considered one of the greatest mics ever made, and probably the best mic ever at that particular application, they are even rarer than 251s.
Old 2nd May 2016
  #21
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Btw, even with my mic collection, I wouldn't buy M50s, unless I were regularly doing orchestral recordings. And when I do gigs that need them, I tend to use studios that have them available.
Old 2nd May 2016
  #22
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Hi all. Thanks for all messages and infos. Always learning more from people with great experience!


So that's what I got from the technician who refurbished it.


"Capsule and valves are in perfect shape. The capsule had only to be cleaned and it is like new.
Inside the mic only some polyester capacitors were replaced.
Capsule is the aluminium one k5o type.

The PSU has been fairly restored, leaving only the Zeners (Germanium) transistors and diodes.

The capacitors where all replaced for Nichicon and Epcos (Siemens) following and keepingbthe the same ESR (equivalent series resistance).
The PSU is fully compatible for all models using AC701 valves."


I have some few pics for now.
Attached Thumbnails
Neumann m50b 2016 price.-capsule-before-cleaned.jpg   Neumann m50b 2016 price.-casule-clened.jpg   Neumann m50b 2016 price.-neumann-before-restoration.jpg   Neumann m50b 2016 price.-neumann-restored.jpg   Neumann m50b 2016 price.-neumann-set.jpg  

Old 4th May 2016
  #23
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with all due respect - and daniel i really respect your sound i really do - i have heared some amazing mixes coming from your factory... but no, not any single mic is worth that kind of chash. its stupid collectors madness nothing else. any seriuous tech could build you a no compromise clone using original parts for a fraction of the price. these are prices for idiots who kno nothing about tech - and nothing else. sorry. do the research. or pay 15k... if you recoup its all great. but its nonsense.
Old 4th May 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
... one LCR matched M250 set ($17k ea)...
What is an m250? I've looked at the (USA) Neumann site, and they don't list this anywhere. They have the m50, the tlm50, etc. But no m250. I'm guessing this was maybe a European mic?

What's the difference between an m50 and an m250?
Old 4th May 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
What is an m250? I've looked at the (USA) Neumann site, and they don't list this anywhere. They have the m50, the tlm50, etc. But no m250. I'm guessing this was maybe a European mic?

What's the difference between an m50 and an m250?
its just an m50 with broadcast plug. nothing else. different plug . more rejection. nothing to worry about.
Old 4th May 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
with all due respect - and daniel i really respect your sound i really do - i have heared some amazing mixes coming from your factory... but no, not any single mic is worth that kind of chash. its stupid collectors madness nothing else. any seriuous tech could build you a no compromise clone using original parts for a fraction of the price. these are prices for idiots who kno nothing about tech - and nothing else. sorry. do the research. or pay 15k... if you recoup its all great. but its nonsense.
Sorry but your viewpoint is coming from a place where there is no money to be made in recording. If one has an active real recording schedule, then M50 microphones make sense. They are for use in a hall.

It is not collectors who make the price high. It is the performance and the special sound of the M50 which makes the price high. Also there were fewer made in comparison to studio mics.

It took me over 20 years of searching to find the right pair.
Old 4th May 2016
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Sorry but your viewpoint is coming from a place where there is no money to be made in recording. If one has an active real recording schedule, then M50 microphones make sense. They are for use in a hall.

It is not collectors who make the price high. It is the performance and the special sound of the M50 which makes the price high. Also there were fewer made in comparison to studio mics.

It took me over 20 years of searching to find the right pair.
totally respect that. and if you are a classical engineer its most likely the nexus. still, it makes no point to spend that kind of cash from any tech point. as i have said its a freakin mic no holy grail. there are no fairies living in it. buy a flea body, harvest a sm2 and off you go. it will take about 6k for a pair. obviously this is not for everyone and you need a good tech - but you guys are madly overpaying for what you get. to each his own. no mic is worth 17k. even if it could turn farts into frank sinatra. btw your m50 is most likely not even acting remotely as it should it might sounds stellar still but these capsules are too old to still be anywhere near to specs. now, who is going to bring them up to date? no one - the craft is simply lost.

ps: btw read the ops post! he is some guy in a basement. can we please try to give advice that makes sense instead of pushing idiots dreams?!! false´advice makes me sick and pushes unknowledable people into debt. this forum is full of that bs and i hate that fact.

Last edited by salomonander; 4th May 2016 at 01:20 AM..
Old 4th May 2016
  #28
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Weepit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Sorry but your viewpoint is coming from a place where there is no money to be made in recording. If one has an active real recording schedule, then M50 microphones make sense. They are for use in a hall.

It is not collectors who make the price high. It is the performance and the special sound of the M50 which makes the price high. Also there were fewer made in comparison to studio mics.

It took me over 20 years of searching to find the right pair.
Bah.

Plush are telling me you can't make a great recording with some Fleas mics, DAV preamps and a nagra recorder?
Old 4th May 2016
  #29
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Hello Weepit,
I never suggested that one can't make a great recording with normal good gear. Please re-read my post. I'm rebutting salomanander's posts which are simply negativity.

For the salamander: Lizard like comments from a nattering nabob of negativism. You assume a lot including that old mics must be too old to sound good. Hilarious. People don't need a M50 mic to make a good recording and I never advised the OP to buy one if he does not know what it is. There's doubt in the air. I wonder if you have a grip on punctuation or a M50 microphone.
Old 4th May 2016
  #30
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
with all due respect - and daniel i really respect your sound i really do - i have heared some amazing mixes coming from your factory... but no, not any single mic is worth that kind of chash. its stupid collectors madness nothing else. any seriuous tech could build you a no compromise clone using original parts for a fraction of the price. these are prices for idiots who kno nothing about tech - and nothing else. sorry. do the research. or pay 15k... if you recoup its all great. but its nonsense.
Hi, I think you are wrong on this. If it is worth as much or not can be discussed, fact is however it will be difficult to get one for a lower price, and fact is also, that I can use it, and, if I have the luck that it will not go defective, I can always sell it for the same price. That would not be the case with most other mics. U47, M49 or M50 and some others however give you that benefit. So while it might be expensive, the risk that you loose money if you buy one and sell it later is really little.

2nd: Show me any Tec that can build a clone that is close. I discussed this for years with a lot of tecnicians. Nobody could. You have no chance to even get a Capsule that sounds close to the Alu Capsules. It is just not possible. Look what flea is doing (I mean they probably produce the most respected clone), as they could not reproduce the Alu capsule (they told me they have tried but had no succes) they now use a mylar M7 that they put in a sphere. That might sound great or not great (they offered me to demo it, but I did not had time sofar), but of course it is something totally different to the original M50 Capsule. But it is a good way, if you can not reproduce something, try something else. Also Neumann had no luck to create somthing equally nice as the M50.

I spent about 100K for a D-Control 32 Channals 6 years ago. What is the worth now? Probably not more than 10 till 20k, and in 4 years I can give it away for free. That's probalby more a wast of money:-). But every vintage Mic I own I could sell anytime for the same amount of money that I paid if I would need money quickly or even for more. So that's why I think that Vintage-Mics are worth the money.

But every opinion is true somehow and I respect your opinion. I would never suggest to anyone to buy vintage mics if they don't make sense to him..

Daniel
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