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Telefunken M7 vs Neumann K47
Old 28th October 2017
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Telefunken M7 vs Neumann K47

In the supposed case you had to replace a capsule of Telefunken vintage U47 capsule you prefer?

Telefunken USA M7 or Neumann K49

I want to hear your experiences and responses with interest.
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken M7 vs  Neumann K47-t700_531c42b094c502d54b00dbadc9898449.jpg   Telefunken M7 vs  Neumann K47-capsula-neumann-k49.jpeg  

Last edited by SmouseS; 28th October 2017 at 11:00 PM..
Old 29th October 2017
  #2
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For a new interpretation of the M7 I'would probably go with a Thiersch. As you might know the PVC skin starts to deteriorate right out of the gate. I've read of inconsistencies with Neumann's K47/49 offerings in recent years in particular from Klaus Heyne. A bit of a crap shoot on both fronts.
Old 29th October 2017
  #3
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FWIW, Thiersch offers two different films for the capsules, PVC and PET (i.e. mylar):
Thiersch elektroakustik
Old 29th October 2017
  #4
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The same type as it was there from the beginning. And I think re-skinning of the original capsule is the best option.
Old 29th October 2017
  #5
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage View Post
For a new interpretation of the M7 I'would probably go with a Thiersch. As you might know the PVC skin starts to deteriorate right out of the gate. I've read of inconsistencies with Neumann's K47/49 offerings in recent years in particular from Klaus Heyne. A bit of a crap shoot on both fronts.
The k47/49 is by far the most consistent and even sounding.

The other alternatives really are not in the same league.

I do like the sound of the thiersch redline, blue line, and gefell m7s, just not as much. Much more inconsistency in the lows and not the same cut in the mids. Sometimes they are a bit too weighty in the lows, sometimes they are shy. They can have a smoothness in the highs that is cool but so can a k47, so...

I've never heard of anyone who thinks the TelefunkenUSA capsules are anywhere close to the previously mentioned products, including myself. I haven't heard that new titanium thing though.
Old 29th October 2017
  #6
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The opening post could use clarification:

"Telefunken vintage" M7 capsule does not exist. Telefunken was the national and international distributor for Neumann mics, but did not manufacture any mics or parts of mics. What is probably meant: Neumann/Berlin M7 PVC capsules, made and installed in all Neumann LD mics until the late 1950s.

"K49" is nothing else but a K47 whose Mylar diaphragms were selected for uniform response on both sides, so that when installed in M49 or U48, the capsule could respond with greater uniformity, front-to-back.

Regarding quality of current capsule versions suitable for use in genuine Neumann U47 mics:

The genuine Neumann product (K47) is still in my opinion the best option if you want to capture the magic of that mic.
Yes, jazzcabbage is right: variations in current production K47, especially in the low end, can be quite noticeable, but they are less prominent and objectionable than the starker variations of current K87/K870 capsules for U87 models.

Microtech Gefell does not sell M7 capsules as spare parts, unless you own a Gefell mic, as far as I know. So that option is probably out.
Besides, their M7 PVC are not the same that they once were (which was very good, as good as Neumann Berlin M7). The old chemical that was used by Microtech Gefell until the early 2000s has been outlawed in Germany, so both Gefell and Thiersch now use a PVC formula with lackluster acoustic results: grainy, too forward in the upper mids, and lacking elegance and subtlety, especially in the highs, which, in the case of Thiersch, are under-represented in their Blue Line (PVC) and better in their Red Line (Mylar).

So what would be prudent in this situation today?
I'd stick with the Neumann product, unless the capsule goes into an aftermarket copy of a U47. In that case, spending upwards of $700 for a quality product is rarely justified, especially if genuine VF14 and BV8 are missing: you won't catch the true Neumann sound anyway.

P.S.: I was not aware that Telefunken North America manufactured M7 capsules. I speculate that these are probably Mylar, not PVC, as PVC is a bear to cast with any kind of consistency.

Last edited by Klaus; 29th October 2017 at 03:29 PM..
Old 29th October 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
. . .

Microtech Gefell does not sell M7 capsules as spare parts, unless you own a Gefell mic, as far as I know. So that option is out. Besides, their M7 PVC are not the same what they once were (which was very good, as good as Neumann Berlin M7). The old chemical that was used until the early 2000s has been outlawed in Germany, so both Gefell and Thiersch switched to a PVC formula with lackluster acoustic results: grainy, too forward in the upper mids, and lacking elegance and subtlety, especially in the highs, which, in the case of Thiersch, are under-represented in their Blue Line (PVC).
...
Klaus, I am glad you raised the difference in the composition of the chemicals to manufacture PVC, as I figured I'd ignore that due to some past threads where I took some beatdown on the differences. Do you have any opinions as to the sound of Thiersch's PET/MCF or whatever he calls his mylar skin for M7 capsules as compared to the original PVC (yes, I realize 'original' no longer really exists but if anyone can add some insight into this it is you)?
Old 29th October 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
Regarding quality of current capsule versions suitable for use in genuine Neumann U47 mics:

The genuine Neumann product (K47) is still in my opinion the best option if you want to capture the magic of that mic.
Yes, jazzcabbage is right: variations in current production K47, especially in the low end, can be quite noticeable, but they are less prominent and objectionable than the starker variations of current K87/K870 capsules for U87 models.
Klaus, would you say Neumann's move from a brass/bronze ring to the current plastic ring on the K49 might have impacted the tonality of the capsule?
Old 29th October 2017
  #9
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Klaus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage View Post
Klaus, would you say Neumann's move from a brass/bronze ring to the current plastic ring on the K49 might have impacted the tonality of the capsule?
I don't believe so, as the backplate and diaphragm construction/tensioning/aging remained the same to this day.

And, to this day, I encounter phenomenal, brand-new K47/49 which sound every bit as sexy and emotionally attractive as those produced in 1959. But not as high a percentage as those found in pre-2000 or thereabout versions.

Which is what drives me nuts: you cannot predict from looking at a new K47/49 whether it's going to be superior or merely mediocre. You must install it and listen, then reverse sides, and listen again: very often the two sides sound markedly different, and not infrequently reversing sides, thus making a front-side selection, can reverse fortunes of an otherwise lackluster capsule.
Old 29th October 2017
  #10
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Klaus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
Klaus, (...) do you have any opinions as to the sound of Thiersch's PET/MCF mylar skin for M7 capsules as compared to the original PVC (yes, I realize 'original' no longer really exists but if anyone can add some insight into this it is you)?
I prefer Thiersch's PET/Mylar M7 over his PVC M7. I find the Mylar version more balanced, with less aggressive mids and better transitions between the frequency bands.

But that is not what you asked. I am old enough to have encountered plenty of original M7 Berlin PVC capsules, and nothing except the pre-2000 MG/Neumann Gefell PVC M7 comes close.

It's now a not so well kept secret anymore that one way to get genuine Neumann M7 sound for your priced U47/48/M49 is to pilfer an M7 from a Gefell mic made before the early 2000s: even a mid-1990s M7 from one of their transistor mics (which are fairly cheap) will have a decent lifetime left, and will give you an idea how good an M7 can sound, compared to what aftermarket companies (and, unfortunately MG itself) produces today.

And, before I get blowback from MG reps or aftermarket capsule dealers: these are my personal opinions. The fact that I do not profit from stating them here (I don't sell Neumann or any other capsules to third parties) should be considered.
Old 29th October 2017
  #11
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
I don't believe so, as the backplate and diaphragm construction/tensioning/aging remained the same to this day.

And, to this day, I encounter phenomenal, brand-new K47/49 which sound every bit as sexy and emotionally attractive as those produced in 1959. But not as high a percentage as those found in pre-2000 or thereabout versions.

Which is what drives me nuts: you cannot predict from looking at a new K47/49 whether it's going to be superior or merely mediocre. You must install it and listen, then reverse sides, and listen again: very often the two sides sound markedly different, and not infrequently reversing sides, thus making a front-side selection, can reverse fortunes of an otherwise lackluster capsule.
Strange question in this context: Do you ever sell on any 'vetted by your ears' capsules? Edit: Answered that one already I see. Ignore me.

At some point I want a k47 that is on the more magical end of the scale in a mic, and the idea of paying full Neumann price and still risking a mediocre specimen doesn't much appeal.

Also, one last question if I may, since hearing and giving your opinion on Sneesby k7's, have you heard any newer ones (as it was a little while ago) and if so would you say they are improving still?
Old 29th October 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
(...) since hearing and giving your opinion on Sneesby k7's, have you heard any newer ones (as it was a little while ago) and if so would you say they are improving still?
I have not tested or listened to any other Sneesby capsules since I posted about his initial release, a few years back.
Old 29th October 2017
  #13
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Also, one last question if I may, since hearing and giving your opinion on Sneesby k7's, have you heard any newer ones (as it was a little while ago) and if so would you say they are improving still?
If you do a search there is a thread on one of the diy forums that lay suspect the capsule that was submitted to Klaus for testing due to the fact that the QC of subsequent capsules sold to the diy community have not -in their opinions- been up to par.
Old 29th October 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
I prefer Thiersch's PET/Mylar M7 over his PVC M7. I find the Mylar version more balanced, with less aggressive mids and better transitions between the frequency bands.

But that is not what you asked. I am old enough to have encountered plenty of original M7 Berlin PVC capsules, and nothing except the pre-2000 MG/Neumann Gefell PVC M7 comes close...
Well, I was not so bold as to venture that question directly and so thanks for answering it anyway.
Old 29th October 2017
  #15
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
I have not tested or listened to any other Sneesby capsules since I posted about his initial release, a few years back.
Thank you! Always great to read your thoughts, thanks for sharing them!
Old 29th October 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
 

This thread becomes tremendously interesting :-)
This is the link of the capsules of Telefunken that it uses in the U47.


M7 Capsule*| Telefunken Elektroakustik

Description:
M7 Large Diaphragm Dual Sided Capsule

The TELEFUNKEN M7 capsule is our exact recreation of the original M7 capsule. The backplate and hole pattern are machined identical to the original, and the capsule is hand-skinned and tensioned. The M7 was originally designed in the 1930's, but most known for its use in the U47 and U48 microphones. Capsule Diameter: 31.8 mm Membrance Diameter: 26 mm Membrance Material: 6-micron gold-coated mylar

Has anyone had any experience with this capsule?



Thanks Klaus for your contributions, and, of course, all those who are participating with this thread.
Old 30th October 2017
  #17
I had Tfunk USA build me a U48AE from their custom shop with a VF14m tube and a NOS Neumann kk48 (kk47) capsule. Had them build me a separate complete grill and capsule assembly using their M7 capsule so I could switch back and forth from U48 to U47 at will.

To my ears, the M7 lacked the musicality, depth and "magic" of the Neumann capsule. Ended up selling that capsule assembly because it wasn't even in the ballpark. Now, all of this is anecdotal to my own experience and results may vary, as well as ears. Just thought I would share since I am in the unique position of having owned and heard both capsules in question.
Old 30th October 2017
  #18
Here slutz, judge for yourself:

Very nonscientific here...Also you can hear the difference between the VF14m and the VF14k from TFunk in addition to the difference between the capsules.

Preamp was a Grace m101.

Different takes. Not gain matched. But you can hear for yourself.

Attached Files

Telefunken Test M7 vf14m.wav (8.07 MB, 3269 views)

Telefunken Test M7 vf14k.wav (8.07 MB, 3113 views)

Telefunken Test kk48 vf14k.wav (8.07 MB, 3187 views)

Telefunken Test kk48 vf14m.wav (8.07 MB, 3244 views)

Old 30th October 2017
  #19
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Not very scientific either but as good as it gets fwiw

http://www.panphonic.com/M7/tellme.html
Old 30th October 2017
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Thank you for your contribution.
stevehusseyband.
Wonderful!!

---------

Do you use the link?
The tracks seem empty. The player scrolls but nothing sounds.
Some information?

Panphonic.com
Old 30th October 2017
  #21
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehusseyband View Post
Here slutz, judge for yourself:

Very nonscientific here...Also you can hear the difference between the VF14m and the VF14k from TFunk in addition to the difference between the capsules.

Preamp was a Grace m101.

Different takes. Not gain matched. But you can hear for yourself.

Wow. I really love the KK47 capsule.

I am in the same predicament. Custom Tfunk-VF14M-but I had the an original Neuman M7 with a Thiersch reskin.

Now I am going to do what you did. Thanks for posting. May be unscientific but I heard what I needed to hear!

Old 30th October 2017
  #22
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehusseyband View Post
I had Tfunk USA build me.. using their M7 capsule...

To my ears, the [Telefunken USA made] M7 lacked the musicality, depth and "magic"
Just so the forum clearly understands, you're speaking about a Telefunken USA made M7 capsule in comparison to a vintage Neumann K47 capsule.
Old 31st October 2017
  #23
Gear Nut
 

i was planning to build a D-47 TubeMicrophone in the distant future.
Vintagemicrophonepcbkit.com
would this be the closest to the magical U47?
why is not possible to manufacture VF 14 and BV8 replacements today that sound as good as the old ones? it would seem that technology could be used to copy those tubes
Old 31st October 2017
  #24
Gear Nut
 

i was reading about this topic from a thread from 4 years ago on page 9 here:What is stopping Neumann from making new U47's?
and dabigfrog liked the LUCAS CS4 mics. looks like i am going to build a direct box Hans and either a tube overdrive pedal or <1 watt tube amp like the killer ant: Blackheart™ - Lab Studies :: Case # BH1H and an upgraded coffee lake i7 8700K / Z370 hackintosh https://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersgui.../#CustoMac_Pro
Old 31st October 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramar View Post
i was planning to build a D-47 TubeMicrophone in the distant future.
Vintagemicrophonepcbkit.com
would this be the closest to the magical U47?
why is not possible to manufacture VF 14 and BV8 replacements today that sound as good as the old ones? it would seem that technology could be used to copy those tubes
I think Andreas Grosser still makes a solid state VF14 replacement, but from what I remember he only installed these in U47 mics sent to him for work. I haven't heard these myself and you can find threads here and elsewhere on the subject.
Old 31st October 2017
  #26
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehusseyband View Post
Here slutz, judge for yourself:

Very nonscientific here...Also you can hear the difference between the VF14m and the VF14k from TFunk in addition to the difference between the capsules.

Preamp was a Grace m101.

Different takes. Not gain matched. But you can hear for yourself.

What's a "kk48"?
Old 31st October 2017
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
I think Andreas Grosser still makes a solid state VF14 replacement, but from what I remember he only installed these in U47 mics sent to him for work. I haven't heard these myself and you can find threads here and elsewhere on the subject.
that is good to know as i am trying to create options to choose from. i would need to find the other 2 parts, not only a BV8, but a matched BV8 and an acceptable capsule, if i am to have a magic mic. if i were to build 3, i wonder what my chances are that some of the parts would match. i was listening to Philip Glass's cousin discussing magic on a podcast, he said with magic, it is either amazing or it flops and is stupid. there is a reason people like the genuine U47. here is what appears to be one on CL, local to me, for $14500 https://losangeles.***************/s...362342741.html and if it is a true magic one with matched parts it might be a good deal, right? and if it isn't, it still might be a good deal, providing another one comes up for sale and the parts can be mixed and matched
Old 31st October 2017
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
What's a "kk48"?
good question. i hope i can post this discussion from another list:
u-48 capsule i.d.
this topic looks like it takes patients
Old 31st October 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramar View Post
good question. i hope i can post this discussion from another list:
u-48 capsule i.d.
this topic looks like it takes patients
Trying to figure out if it's a k47 that's being referred to as "kk48" because it came from a U48, or if it's some non Neumann product that is called a kk48.

EDIT- reading further above, yes, I see it was a Neumann k47.

Yep, personal preference.

And it's so cool to be able to get the real deal. For the small amount more it's worth it.

An actual Neumann k47 in a quality tube mic circuit is just an amazing sound. For whatever shades of difference Klaus is talking about above, none could be called mediocre relative to the offerings of other companies. If you are taking a bunch of really high tolerance capsules...the highest tolerance in the biz...and comparing them to one another, you are already talking about very very minuscule differences.

Last edited by toledo3; 31st October 2017 at 05:07 PM..
Old 31st October 2017
  #30
The Heiserman HK47 is very nice K47-type capsule.
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