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Which FLEA Mic? Condenser Microphones
Old 31st December 2017
  #1
Gear Addict
Which FLEA Mic?

I've wanted a FLEA mic for a number of years after reading countless positive reviews on them and I'm now considering a purchase. However, they have expanded their line considerably in the last few years. I've always been a huge fan of the vintage U47. But FLEA now offers their mics in several new configurations...U48, U49, the 12, U47 Next, U48 Next, U49 Next, and the 249.

I'm a bluegrass singer and musician and harmonize with myself on recordings. I'm currently recording vocals through an RME Baby Face, to a UA 610 LA and a Manley Reference Gold mic which I love. But I'd like to have a few more "colors" available. I record my acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin) through a Millennea HV3C pre. I would also like to be able to record a FLEA through the Millennia or perhaps a Great River pre. But I'm not sure which pre would go best with which FLEA?

Given the above info and given the fact that Nashville is a 12 hour drive for me, which FLEA mic would you recommend ordering for my application? I could always try the mic out and return it if it wasn't what I was looking for. I'm leaning toward (initially) trying the standard FLEA 47. I'm open to suggestions on the capsule.
Old 1st January 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
From what I know, the 47 is going to be pretty from the Manley, which is a good thing for your mic locker.
Old 1st January 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
From what I know, the 47 is going to be pretty from the Manley, which is a good thing for your mic locker.
If it's got to be Flea then yes the 47 or the 49 (which may work better with your voice and instruments will be a strong contrast).
Old 1st January 2018
  #4
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andersmv's Avatar
 

Don't forget about Flea's new Superfet line of mics. I posted in the thread about the mics, but I had a chance to try one out at Vintage King in Nashville and compare it with the tube Flea 47. Solid mic that was really close, might save you some money if stretching over $3k is hurting. Here's sound files from my time at Vintage King, keep in mind that I'm not playing to a click track and the mics were in different rooms (so different takes and probably not exactly the same placement).

Flea SUPERFET VK - Google Drive
Old 1st January 2018
  #5
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Mike O's Avatar
 

As Paul suggested, try the Flea 49. I've never heard one, but if it comes close to real 49 you will likely enjoy it very much.
Old 1st January 2018
  #6
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50+ years on both sides of the glass in acoustic Americana, mostly Bluegrass, recording has produced the following opinions. Do not waste your $ on variable pattern mics: Flea has a market home run in the "card only next" offerings. Contact a knowledgeable dealer, such as Aaron Householter with Recording Services and Supply, to work out a reasonable audition of the Flea "next" line. I have 6 high end tube mics, 4 are multiple pattern, and none of them are ever out of out of the "card pattern". The ability to control the amount of room in the capture requires careful precise source placement and card pattern control.
Hugh
Old 1st January 2018
  #7
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Plush's Avatar
For you I recommend the brand new FLEA Superfet 48. This solid state mic is fantastic ( I have it here) and offers cardioid and figure-of-eight patterns.

FET with the DNA of a tube.

Smooth and detailed sound with a rich quality. Good price.

Buy it today.
Old 1st January 2018
  #8
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Salty James's Avatar
I have the vintage F48.
Ef12 tube.
It is a mind blowing good mic. Always used as a secondary mic to the main (carefully placed spot mic) it always delivers great results. Kinda unbelievable, really.

Most dont know that the Beatles (and lots of subsequent English stuff) used MOSTLY u48 not u47's as did Sinatra.

Also a 48 operates in I slightly lower power setting when in cardioid. Giving the cardioid pattern a little more character than a 47.
Old 1st January 2018
  #9
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There are other mics in that 47 flavor that you might want to check out that deliver what you may be looking for. I know FleA is a GS Fav but you might want to check out the Bock, Wunder & Horch - to name a few.
Old 1st January 2018
  #10
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aremos View Post
There are other mics in that 47 flavor that you might want to check out that deliver what you may be looking for. I know FleA is a GS Fav but you might want to check out the Bock, Wunder & Horch - to name a few.
Had a Wunder and Grosser 47.then I chose a custom Bock 47 (over the flea 47).
The standard in house m7 capsule/ef12 Flea 47 sounded a bit rounder darker.
it is a nice mic though.
Also in my comparison The 49 next was pretty cool but to my ears didn’t sound like a real m49.
Old 1st January 2018
  #11
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Mike O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Had a Wunder and Grosser 47.then I chose a custom Bock 47 (over the flea 47).
The standard in house m7 capsule/ef12 Flea 47 sounded a bit rounder darker.
it is a nice mic though.
Also in my comparison The 49 next was pretty cool but to my ears didn’t sound like a real m49.
I've not done comparisons to other vendors "47s", but I've found Bock's 47 very useful.

And Bock treated me right when somebody dropped my 195.
Old 1st January 2018
  #12
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Plush's Avatar
Bock 47 is truly excellent and has the advantage over other U47 types of having extended bass response. I know that it is a fantastic microphone.

However, my suggestion for FLEA Superfet 48 was based on the OP's wish for a relatively "affordable" microphone.
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