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M49 Decca Fet or FleA M49 with AC701? Condenser Microphones
Old 7th February 2017
  #1
Gear Nut
M49 Decca Fet or FleA M49 with AC701?

Hi fellow slutz,

I would like to add a M49-type mic to my arsenal. An M49 Decca FET and a used FleA M49 with AC701 are available for me, at almost the same price now. Which one would You choose?? I have to use it for classical female voices, but it's an investment of course.

Please share your thoughts... :-)


Thanks,
Tranny
Old 7th February 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
 
morphtec's Avatar
One of those I suppose:
NEW Neumann m49.........
?
Seems like Decca kept the original transformers - so you could get a new AC701 from BTB-Elektronik (if you're in Europe) and a PSU from whomever and let someone like Peter Drefahl reverse the mod. That's what I would do ...
Old 7th February 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
I had Oliver make me an M49C (the B's have the M7 capsule and are better suited for classical recording). I've compared mine with three other M49's and I can honestly say that no one could tell the difference. In fact I've borrowed one from a friend to pair with mine for stereo recording more than once. I miss Oliver, I was always going to have him make me another one.

Tough choice without hearing them both. Side by side would be the real tell. Decca engineers were fanatical.

I do use different patterns depending on the source. So that is important to me.

I'd give Klaus a call and pick his brains on it. Worth paying him for his time even to evaluate the mic.

Best of luck on your decision.

BTW, I've owned just about every God mic out there... the M49 is my favorite and also the most versatile of them all IMHO.
Old 7th February 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I'm biased, but owning one and having used both, I would get the Decca mic- and don't mess with it by trying to tube it.
These are special mics in their own right, modified for a reason and are stunning.
Old 7th February 2017
  #5
Gear Addict
 

I use a Flea 12 and Flea 49 for male and female vocals and love both. Vocalists selections are very close to 50% on each and they are surprisingly similar in the highs yet each has character in the mids and lows.

I recently recorded violin with the combination in M/S along with a DPA 4099 and was very impressed with the result. In M/S, the F12 was cardioid and the F49 was figure of 8.

My Pueblo Audio preamps have dual outputs so I ran the 2nd output of the pre for the F49, which is -5 dB, to a second pre, level-matched and reversed polarity at the X-Desk. The musicians loved what they were hearing as they played which was inspirational to all.
Old 7th February 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
Thanks guys for your really interesting posts. Modding back is a great idea, if one can get a real pro to do it, for some reasonable amount of money. Any ideas, how much this retro mod should cost? (Excluding the PSU and the AC701, these are available from third parties.)

Thanks again!
T.
Old 7th February 2017
  #7
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by transsylvan View Post
Thanks guys for your really interesting posts. Modding back is a great idea,
If it's a Decca mod - modding back is *not* a good idea IMHO.
Old 8th February 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 
morphtec's Avatar
correct me if I'm wrong, but Decca didn't do any kind of magical FET transformation to these mics ... they took a variable pattern tube mic and turned it into a cardioid only 48V FET mic .... no? And they used the same non-fairydust FETs/parts as everyone else did?
If I want a cardioid only FET KK49 mic, I would buy a used TLM49 and modify the circuit (OP could even reverse engineer the Decca circuit if he buys the mic! ) ... no need to hack a perfectly good M49. Better to reverse it to original - in my opinion.
Old 8th February 2017
  #9
Gear Nut
Is it a REAL Decca mod?!

Yes, it's a good point of view, Mr. Willett: "if it's a Decca mod". Please check the photos that I've received from the seller. Is it a REAL Decca mod? Or someone was just cloning that mod? OMG...
Old 8th February 2017
  #10
Gear Nut
Hopefully this time the pictures are uploaded. Is it the REAL Decca mod? Could anybody tell it....?
Old 8th February 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 
Tstein's Avatar
 

No Photos yet
Old 8th February 2017
  #12
Gear Nut
Pictures again..
Old 8th February 2017
  #13
Gear Nut
Another try... Are png-s supported here?
Old 8th February 2017
  #14
Gear Nut
I give up for today...
Old 8th February 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 

You, teaser, you ...
Old 8th February 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
No teasing here: Is it a REAL Decca mod?!

Please find the jpeg pics of the modded M49. Can anyone suggest if it is a real Decca mod, or just some forgery...?

Thanks for the patience!
T.
Attached Thumbnails
M49 Decca Fet or FleA M49 with AC701?-image-3.jpg   M49 Decca Fet or FleA M49 with AC701?-image-7.jpg   M49 Decca Fet or FleA M49 with AC701?-image-8.jpg  
Old 8th February 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 

It was worth the wait.

BTW, you can edit a post without having to start new ones.

Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble!

Now I'm having problems on my end.
I see the the pictures but the connection is too slow to blow them up.

But you will get your answers, I'm sure.
And from more specialised guys to boot.
Old 8th February 2017
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

M49 Microphone

Is the fet mic vintage ?
Old 8th February 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
If a real Decca mod, then it probably is an excellent mic.

For those speculating about generic parts or a run-of-the-mill mod, that is not what Decca did.

Mick Hinton at Decca rebuilt that mic to sound the same as the tube version. Or virtually the same. What a gorgeous sound.

Use it in good health. It probably recorded many famous records.

Yes, you can change it back to a tube M-49 if you have an expert mic tech do the work.
Old 8th February 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
correct me if I'm wrong, but Decca didn't do any kind of magical FET transformation to these mics ... they took a variable pattern tube mic and turned it into a cardioid only 48V FET mic .... no? And they used the same non-fairydust FETs/parts as everyone else did?
If I want a cardioid only FET KK49 mic, I would buy a used TLM49 and modify the circuit (OP could even reverse engineer the Decca circuit if he buys the mic! ) ... no need to hack a perfectly good M49. Better to reverse it to original - in my opinion.
The TLM49 would never come close.
The transformer in a real 49 can no longer be manufactured legally.
The benefits of the conversion include 4db higher signal to noise ratio, and a low end that goes subsonic in the most defined way possible. I have never heard a mic that sounds as good as these,and I have heard the best mics in London - there is a reason that British Grove has 11 of these.
Old 8th February 2017
  #21
Gear Addict
 
morphtec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
The TLM49 would never come close.
The transformer in a real 49 can no longer be manufactured legally.
The benefits of the conversion include 4db higher signal to noise ratio, and a low end that goes subsonic in the most defined way possible. I have never heard a mic that sounds as good as these,and I have heard the best mics in London - there is a reason that British Grove has 11 of these.
Where did I say the TLM49 would be "coming close"?
If I remember correctly ever since the B-revision of the M49 you could internally change the mic to cardiod only, which gives you the same 4db + higher S/N ... so that isn't unique to the Decca-mod.
I'm not arguing against the mod btw. I just said what I (!) would do.

So, in your eyes, the Decca M49 finally is the "tube mic killer" everyone has been waiting for. Interesting!
Old 8th February 2017
  #22
Old 9th February 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
Where did I say the TLM49 would be "coming close"?
If I remember correctly ever since the B-revision of the M49 you could internally change the mic to cardiod only, which gives you the same 4db + higher S/N ... so that isn't unique to the Decca-mod.
I'm not arguing against the mod btw. I just said what I (!) would do.

So, in your eyes, the Decca M49 finally is the "tube mic killer" everyone has been waiting for. Interesting!
You're right, I skim-read your post on my iPhone - I thought you were implying that a modded TLM 49 would be a a substitute for the Decca m49.

I don't think there is a need for a "tube mic killer" Tube mics and non tube, serve different purposes when recording.

I suppose I'mjust trying to make the case not to destroy an amazing mic by retrofitting a tube. Just buy a tube version or get a FLEA.
Old 9th February 2017
  #24
Gear Addict
 
morphtec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
You're right, I skim-read your post on my iPhone - I thought you were implying that a modded TLM 49 would be a a substitute for the Decca m49.

I don't think there is a need for a "tube mic killer" Tube mics and non tube, serve different purposes when recording.

I suppose I'mjust trying to make the case not to destroy an amazing mic by retrofitting a tube. Just buy a tube version or get a FLEA.
Hm ... you could transform the TLM49 - you just need the BV11 and the Decca schematic ... BV11s are, of course, unfortunately pretty hard to come by.
Old 9th February 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by transsylvan View Post
Hi fellow slutz,

I would like to add a M49-type mic to my arsenal. An M49 Decca FET and a used FleA M49 with AC701 are available for me, at almost the same price now. Which one would You choose?? I have to use it for classical female voices, but it's an investment of course.

Please share your thoughts... :-)


Thanks,
Tranny
dont know how the ac701 flea does. a friend of mine brought a standard flea m49 to my studio to test against my originals last week. the flea did not do so great to be honest.
it sounded good but lacked all the vibe. i found the high end pretty nasty compared to the vintage ones. the mids were much thinner.... it was really easy to pick the two apart. the headgrill was off as well - at least compared to my b versions.. a good bit smaller than my headgrills. maybe there were revision i dont know. it just did not sound sexy to us and was returned.
Old 23rd February 2017
  #26
Gear Nut
The M49 Decca is on the way to a German expert, to be built back to the original B specs. It was not an easy decision, but sometimes one have to choose... Thanks to all helpful contributors, I will let you know about the outcome of the project. :-)

Thanks as always!
Tranny
Old 23rd February 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Now we're talking.
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