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Telefunken Elam 251E Mic
Old 20th June 2008
  #31
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
If the Telefunken mics are not good enough to record your music , you may as well stay home, and practise a bit more ....!!!
But an SM57 is good enough to record music with, isn't it?

IMHO, the most important thing should be what customers (including potential and non-famous) think about the product. The price level has a lot to do with this, expectations are sky high on a $10,000 microphone. Critisizing the critic will probably not help sales much.

From an European point of view, the whole TelefunkenUSA concept could be a little controversial, but personally I just love projects with lots of ambition! Especially by using the TFK name, those are mighty big shoes to fill, and it is also understandable that some customers get really picky about even minor details in the design.

Martin
Old 20th June 2008
  #32
Gear Addict
 

I'm sure the tele usa mics are very good quality and all (never heard them) BUT,

If I go to the steakhouse (which i wouldn't cause i'm a vegetarian) and order their most expensive steak and they give me their second most expensive steak: it doesn't matter if the second most expensive steak tastes twice as good and gives me super powers, I payed for the most expensive steak. I didn't want something that gives me super powers and tastes great, i wanted the most expensive steak... who is the restuaranteer to tell me different?

Samething with a microphone. If i pay for something and recieve something else for my payment, unless i consented first (IE, they give me a phone call and tell me the situation and i agree on the terms) I'm probably gonna be kinda peaved.

If i order an sm57 and recieve instead a u47 in mint condition with an sm57 badge, I would phone them and inform them of their mistake and check with them what is up. If they told me that that is how they now make sm57's I would test it out and decide for myself if it was a a decent trade off. if i didn't think so then i would send it back and demand what i payed for(I might have needed the sm57 for recording the sound of a microphone being struck with a hammer and I might have specifically wanted the sound of an sm57 being hit with a hammer - in which case a u47 is not going to do the trick - ever).

so basically, I'm with JJ on this one. I kinda feel that Dan (though i have no doubt about your credibility), I feel like you weren't dealing with what JJ thought was wrong with the telefunken stuff. I have never heard the tele USA stuff, But there is no doubt in my mind as to the tele USA stuff's abiity to capture the audio it is pointed at. There is doubt in my mind now, that if i were to buy some tele USA stuff blind, that it would not be what I payed for.


does this post make sense?

I hope I am not ruining what has so far been suprisingly civil.
Old 20th June 2008
  #33
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Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Seriously, a great thread. Thoughtful posts from JJ, Mr. Alexander, and Fletcher.

Great discussion.



Old 20th June 2008
  #34
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
There is doubt in my mind now, that if i were to buy some tele USA stuff blind, that it would not be what I payed for.
But here's the real point. My studio has two original U47's and the reason we bought T-USA's version as our third is because there's a 90% chance that if we bought another original it would NOT be what we paid for.

Crappy capsules, deteriorated components, broken stand mounts are par for the course - with no recourse. With T-USA you get brand new. Brand new capsule, brand new PSU, brand new xformer, and even in the AE a brand new VF14k with a life time warrantee and service. And guess what? It's sounds like a U47, it's scary! I'd take/buy it over most originals - oh yeah, and I did.

Perhaps there are some components that could be swapped that could make slight improvements, I agree with JJ in that regard. But I don't care, that's for the tweakers and modders out there. They've been doing that forever - even to the originals. Same thing when I buy a new guitar amp - out go the stock tubes, in come the NOS tubes. Sometimes even the speakers. It's all part of the game.

There are certain considerations a company must make who plan on producing a certain volume that a modder or individual can ignore. This is no secret.

We all draw our own line. But I can personally say unequivically that I am extremely happy with this mic. I can also say that JJ's reccomendation to swap the drop resistor is one that I feel is prudent and will do. I'm just seriously stoked that I have a mic and can do it to - that's the hard part!
Old 20th June 2008
  #35
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Quote:
There is doubt in my mind now, that if i were to buy some tele USA stuff blind, that it would not be what I payed for.
BTW,

If i were in the market for some nice mics I would still check the tele stuff out, I just wouldn't buy them blind... unless they were disgustingly cheap.
Old 20th June 2008
  #36
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jjblair's Avatar
First off, let me say that at the advice of a friend, I'm done with this thread. I won't be reading it or posting on it anymore. With that, I'll respond one last time to Dan, for whom I have a great deal of respect:

Quote:
I think if he was really concerned that Telefunken improve their product , a public, and ultimately negative airing of his assertions is not the best possible way to affect positive change.
This is where we disagree, Dan. When I had tried to engage them privately about improvements, I got zero response. And I finally reached a level of frustration, between the quality of the product, the lack of response, and other things previously mentioned, that the blog emerged, and some not. It's admirable that you stick up for your friend, though, and I respect you for that.

And with that, I'll quote Eric Cartman:

"Screw you guys, I'm going home."

Old 20th June 2008
  #37
outofphase
Guest
JJ Thank you for starting the revolution, a LOT of people will think twice before buying a mic from Telefunken USA.








Elvis has left the building.
Old 20th June 2008
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
I agree with OOP. Thanks JJ..

The bottom line is that Tele makes great mics, but they need to be held to their own standard.

I have no problem with what JJ is doing and I thank him for it. Tele may not be happy about this, but
if JJ didn't get a response from them before posting the blog regarding his observations and testing of
the components, then doesn't that speak to the fact that he may be on to something?

If there was no problem, then Tele could have simply responded to his inquiry and explained their choices.
How difficult is that? It was a good thing that Tele was taken to task for the M16-MKI, and this discussion
is also a good thing.

I would be very interested in purchasing mics from Telefunken in the future, once these concerns are addressed.

People expect a high standard for the parts that are under the hood of their cars when purchasing vehicles,
so I see nothing wrong with questioning the components that go into top dollar microphones, and expecting
the manufacturer to address these concerns in a transparent manner.

I think JJ was very thorough and concise in his concerns, and took care before posting publicly, and I thank
him for that.

It will hopefully result in improved products down the road, (products that I will likely be purchasing).
Old 20th June 2008
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by africantigercow View Post
If i order an sm57 and recieve instead a u47 in mint condition with an sm57 badge, I would phone them and inform them of their mistake

SM57s have badges?
Old 20th June 2008
  #40
Gear Maniac
 

sm57s vs 251

"But an SM57 is good enough to record music with, isn't it?"

An sm57 is the best mic ive ever used on electric guitar , and ive compared them to every classic mic ...and by the way , they were good enough to make almost every instrumental track of every Creedence recording...however , not everyone writes tunes and sings as well as Mr. Fogerty .....that said , obviously it goes without saying that there are many cases where a great condenser mic is more desirable than an sm57 , if you are actually able to purchase one. Without someone manufacturing them , that wouldnt be all that easy . In the case of the Telefunken reissues vs. the original mics , it would also be a great deal more expensive...
Old 20th June 2008
  #41
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Here's what I tried to say... No doubt TFKUSA mics are good enough to record music with, but that's not necessarily enough in this case.

Just as an EF or UF14 might do the job well, but still not be the same as a VF14, at least not technically.

Martin
Old 20th June 2008
  #42
Gear Addict
 
bonne's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
Crappy capsules, deteriorated components, broken stand mounts are par for the course - with no recourse. With T-USA you get brand new. Brand new capsule, brand new PSU, brand new xformer, and even in the AE a brand new VF14k with a life time warrantee and service. And guess what? It's sounds like a U47, it's scary! I'd take/buy it over most originals - oh yeah, and I did.

Perhaps there are some components that could be swapped that could make slight improvements, I agree with JJ in that regard. But I don't care, that's for the tweakers and modders out there. They've been doing that forever - even to the originals. Same thing when I buy a new guitar amp - out go the stock tubes, in come the NOS tubes. Sometimes even the speakers. It's all part of the game.
Yes, but you loose your warrantee if you open up the TeleUS mics to replace substandard parts.

Much preferred if all the components had been optimised before the mic was put on the market. Apparently not the case with the 47AE.

Somebody had to stand up and tell. Thanks JJ

JB
Old 20th June 2008
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

vf14 , uf14, and 14 year olds

"Just as an EF or UF14 might do the job well, but still not be the same as a VF14, at least not technically."

technically smchmeclically ...... what matters is sonic performance!!

again , over the years, we have retrofit at least (30) u47s with uf14's, and they are , and I say this without equivocation, every bit as good, and identical sounding, as any with a vf14.

unless you have a real life argument, other than
" well , you had to change the power supply voltage , so its TECHNICALLY not the same " get real .... and go make a recording or something
Old 20th June 2008
  #44
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Substandard parts? ... but the mic's sound good? Have some of you actually read what you've written?

First off... I'd like to welcome some of you to the 21st century where there are all kinds of groovy environmental laws that prevents some of these parts from being made or implemented. There is the RoHS "lead free" directive for the EU... didn't exist in the 60's but it sure as **** exists today... there are parts that were in steady manufacture in the 60's for which there is no demand today [other than the recreation of historic microphones]... so, if you were a parts manufacturer who has pretty much the same cost to set up a machine run for 100,000 components or 1,000,000 components... are you gonna take the time to set up a run for 1,000?

If you say "yeah, I would set up to run 1,000" then please, pretty please with sugar on top... build more AC-701/k's that are 'microphone grade'... setup to do a run of those tubes will be somewhere in the $500,000 USD range... but for $750 a tube you'll be able to recoup your costs in 5-7 years... maybe even turn a profit by year 8 [or 10].

As for Telefunken USA not responding? ... I know JJ said he wasn't going to respond anymore... but I have to ask how hard he tried? Even when we weren't a T'funk dealer I have never had a problem getting Toni on the phone... now that we are a dealer I still have no problem getting Toni on the phone... so if you're serious about wanting to contact them give me a shout [I'm certainly not hard to find] and it'll happen in a heartbeat.

At the end of the day what is truly important with these things is that their owners can hang them on a session and make recordings with them. The mics upon which they're based have "historic collector value"... these things don't. They may in 30-40 years but at the moment they're just tools with which you can fabricate recordings. I love the vegetarian doing the steak analogy... I don't think anyone was promised a filet mignon and delivered a porterhouse... they were served what they ordered... and obviously there are several hundred other owners who are more than satisfied with their meals.

When I order a steak I order it medium rare. Sometimes it comes out medium... if it's still tasty I'll consume it because I don't feel like waiting for them to make me a new one. In the case of my microphones if I don't like the way one sounds it goes back and gets tweezed by the MFG. until it does what I want it to do... or I just reverse the sale and move on. This should [and does] hold true for the great majority of microphone purchasers... I know we send out mics for "demo" all the time... and sometimes they come back because they didn't suit the full requirements of the end user... sometimes they order a second so they have a pair of mics that work better than expected for their applications. My point being that it's all a matter of taste... my point being that I really don't care how they make the motor so long as the car is fast.

Peace.
Old 20th June 2008
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
unless you have a real life argument, other than " well , you had to change the power supply voltage , so its TECHNICALLY not the same " get real .... and go make a recording or something
With lots of friendly respect sir; making recordings is one of the things I do a lot.

I agree 100% with you that sonic performance is exactly what matters. Only reason I care for technical stuff is because it's how we achieve sonic performance!

As for the U47 with other tubes than VF14, apart from changes to the PSU, you also need to do something about the cathode circuitry, which is very much part of the audio path. So it won't be the "normal u47 circuit" anymore. But I have no doubts that it can sound great all the same, my own work with these microphones confirm that.

The other issue I mentioned; underheating, has more to do with tube life and noise. With your long experience, what can you tell us about that?

All the best,

Martin
Old 20th June 2008
  #46
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Substandard parts? ... but the mic's sound good? Have some of you actually read what you've written?

First off... I'd like to welcome some of you to the 21st century where there are all kinds of groovy environmental laws that prevents some of these parts from being made or implemented. There is the RoHS "lead free" directive for the EU... didn't exist in the 60's but it sure as **** exists today... there are parts that were in steady manufacture in the 60's for which there is no demand today [other than the recreation of historic microphones]... so, if you were a parts manufacturer who has pretty much the same cost to set up a machine run for 100,000 components or 1,000,000 components... are you gonna take the time to set up a run for 1,000?


As for Telefunken USA not responding? ... I know JJ said he wasn't going to respond anymore... but I have to ask how hard he tried? Even when we weren't a T'funk dealer I have never had a problem getting Toni on the phone... now that we are a dealer I still have no problem getting Toni on the phone... so if you're serious about wanting to contact them give me a shout [I'm certainly not hard to find] and it'll happen in a heartbeat.


Peace.

Hi Fletcher,

I can't speak to JJ's findings as I know very little about the components, etc. and don't claim otherwise, and am certainly no expert.

What you are saying is reasonable and may be completely valid. I would say though that if Telefunken took the time as (JJ had stated) to threaten legal action on PSW for his blog (I have no way
of knowing as I didn't read the PSW posts), why not just as easily post something saying "here's why these components were chosen" and state the reasons you've stated? Seems to me it would
clear a lot of speculation up, no?

I mean realistically after the M16-MK1/Apex thing, there is perhaps a certain degree of hesitation in some buyers minds towards Telefunken (which I'm sure they are aware of), so it would be easy to
put those questions to rest. Seems totally reasonable to me.

As far as collectors value, I don't care either. If I buy a Telefunken mic, I want to record with it. If I want to invest, I'll buy real estate. I would have reasonable expectation though that if I purchase a 10k + microphone,
it will, with proper care, be a purchase that will last me a lifetime (or close to it).

Cheers

Last edited by Squawk; 20th June 2008 at 10:33 PM.. Reason: added comment
Old 20th June 2008
  #47
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tiny333's Avatar
 

great thread i agree with everyone
Old 20th June 2008
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
SM57s have badges?
They don't need no stinkin' badges...
Old 21st June 2008
  #49
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
Interesting use of Einstein's theory of relativity...

Anyhow, you're right. I am a bit of an ass, you did not deserve to be called an idiot, your probably a nice person. My apologies.
sorry man, haha. glad to see everything works out
Old 21st June 2008
  #50
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
why not just as easily post something saying "here's why these components were chosen" and state the reasons you've stated? Seems to me it would clear a lot of speculation up, no?
let me ask you this question: why should they? it's as though you go on a car forum and challenge the CEO of chrysler to
give a reason as to why he chose this or that alloy for his piston rings.

just look at this thread... it doesn't stop about what the hell is inside the thing, while others are simply saying they sound great.

can you imagine the pandora's box if these guys actually answer? no answer would be good enough.

JJ himself signed out of this thread because of his friend's advice. in all of gearslutz i haven't seen this kind of scrutiny as to what parts are inside a product. manley came out with a box that says pultec EQP1A on it. is anyone bitching about that, or crucifying her because it doesn't have original triad/peerless transformers? UA, API, etc. etc. have changed parts through the years for whatever reason but i haven't seen this kind of witch hunt. i don't get it.

if the thing has 10¢ caps or frikkin hamsters in it but it sounds like it does, and i have a lifetime warranty what more do i need? BTW i had an issue with the mic attributable 100% to me - it had nothing to do with telefunken, and they resolved it immediately, as though it had been their fault. they could have easily said, 'you opened the mic and fiddled with it? forget the warrantee' but they didn't. and they charged me 0¢.

to sum up: great sound, timely and friendly service, lifetime warrantee, i'm happy.
Old 21st June 2008
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podgorny View Post
SM57s have badges?
Naw. SM57s don't need no steenkin' badges.


[EDIT: Good to know that great minds run in the same gutters. That door was open too wide not to walk right in....]
Old 21st June 2008
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
JJ himself signed out of this thread because of his friend's advice. in all of gearslutz i haven't seen this kind of scrutiny as to what parts are inside a product. manley came out with a box that says pultec EQP1A on it. is anyone bitching about that, or crucifying her because it doesn't have original triad/peerless transformers?
I'm fairly certain that, if you do a search, you'll find people bitching about the Manley/Pultec equalizers...it just hasn't happened much recently, as they've been around for a while now...but they've taken heat for it. And they weren't even marketed as exact reproductions of the original units, which the Telefunken USA microphones have been....so sure, I'd expect a little more scrutiny than usual.
Old 21st June 2008
  #53
outofphase
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal View Post
if the thing has 10¢ caps or frikkin hamsters in it but it sounds like it does, and i have a lifetime warranty what more do i need?
You need 20¢ caps or a frikkin Kangaroo so it could sound a little bit better

The problem here is that Telefunken USA are charging up to $8k or $10k for their mic, you wouls expect top quality components, you can buy an original U47 for that money.
Old 21st June 2008
  #54
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Silvertone's Avatar
Funny Fletcher as you were the one who came up with "**** on a stick" and drove it around the AES convention. You were applauded (and condemned by some) for outing what was the truth at that time.

Now along comes JJ how many years later and does basically the same thing. Puts his beef with the company out in the open. Again I applaud it because if it forces the company make a better product in the long run we as the consumer are that much better off.

Keep it coming guys!
Old 21st June 2008
  #55
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Not even close Larry... I was making an "artistic statement" that I thought their [alesis and Mackie] stuff sounded like ass and shouldn't be used by anyone who considered themself a professional. JJ's point was that not all the parts are historicly correct.

Big difference.

The Telefunken mics sound great and are in use by professionals around the globe on a daily basis. While at the time Mackies and adats were also in use [c'mon... someone has to remember "Jagged Little Pill"... did like 15 million units where it was widely reported that overdubs were done at the producer's house on an adat] the fact of the matter is that nobody ever said they sounded "great"... and certainly nobody [except, maybe Jim Williams] was complaining about the parts they used to build the thing.

How about we hang with 'apples and apples'?

Peace.
Old 21st June 2008
  #56
teleusa has come by their reputation by their own
actions , noone has "done" that to them.
Old 21st June 2008
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
Mazo Audio's Avatar
 

Hey Barack

J.J. for V.P. !
Old 21st June 2008
  #58
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foldback's Avatar
Much thanks to Dan Alexander for weighing in on the tube issue, makes me feel a LOT better about my Peluso 2247LE purchase, it is definitely in the ballpark with the two U-47 I rented for comparison. Klaus has stated that you can't get magic without the original low noise tube used in a U-47. It's good to know that other respected and experienced people in the industry think the substitute can sound as good as the original. I'm much more interested in recording killer sounding tracks than what tube or cap or transformer is inside my mic.

I appreciate the original poster who compared the sound of his new T-Funk USA mic to his vintage Neumanns and found them to be indistinguishable. That is great news for us recording types, at least we CAN still buy new equipment that sounds as good as what Frank and the Beatles had.

I have not spent much time on the T-Funk website because their business practices violated a trust.

If TeleUSA just market the mics as "great sounding" that is much different than "historically accurate" or just like what what was available in 1957. Wunder markets some of their expensive mics as historically accurate and they clearly describe the lengths they go to in order to achieve this and they spell out the differences. If I buy a new CM-7, I have faith that it will be the fullon gadget, not the flavor of the week depending on what's available.

TeleUSA slapped their "highend" name on some dirt cheap chinese mics in a blatant attempt to steal some profit from the exact batch of engineers who could least afford to be raped, the ones who want that "Big" sound but can't afford it. I bet they wish they could take that back. This is a move I'd expect from the government not a boutique niche audio equipment manufacturer. TRUST AND HONESTY MATTERS, especially in our little recording and production business! Saying "I'm sorry" is not enough. Reminds me of Hillary Clinton passionately describing being shot at on some airport runway and then when she is outed for lying about it she says "I'm sorry".

I do not want TeleUSA to go out of business, I want them to succeed. I'm not sure how they can regain the trust of this relatively small industry. Their greed made it a much harder path to continued operation and success.

It is very interesting that this thread has brought out a couple of big name "gear pimps" who are defending the actions and reputation of an equipment manufacturer who deliberately tried to "milk" the users.

I was heavily involved in retail during the 70's and 80's. Ultimately I left that industry because I did not want to defend the products of the manufacturers to my customers who were my friends. I've seen Dans sales efforts for years, in print and on ebay, I respect the way he has done business and I would trust and believe his words if I was contemplating a purchase from him. Fletcher's words and opinions seem to modulate with what Mercenary decides to market. I did not buy my 8816 because of the little lightning bolt on the button and I still think it has more headroom, clarity and sounds better than a Toft ATB. My how opinions change when Mercenary becomes a dealer for a product, something like "well they were **** a couple years ago, just milking the name, but now I'm very pleased with the product, its great, and for your shopping convenience, you can now buy it from me". As always, YMMV.

Many thanks to Gearslutz for being a place we can discuss these issues. Hopefully we all learn together.

Peace
Old 21st June 2008
  #59
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
Much thanks to Dan Alexander for weighing in on the tube issue, makes me feel a LOT better about my Peluso 2247LE purchase, it is definitely in the ballpark with the two U-47 I rented for comparison.
Don't think it's fair to compare these two, considering the price difference. My personal experience was quite the opposite from yours; that they had very little in common. But trust your own ears only, not what other people claim!

As for the tubes, would people really pay insane prices and try to manufacture VF14s again if there wasn't anything special about them?

Martin
Old 21st June 2008
  #60
outofphase
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
makes me feel a LOT better about my Peluso 2247LE purchase, it is definitely in the ballpark with the two U-47 I rented for comparison.



Well then... time to sell the U47's and get the "Pelusos" guys.
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