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Telefunken Elam 251E Mic
Old 21st June 2008
  #61
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foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Don't think it's fair to compare these two, considering the price difference.
life can be cruel and unfair at times

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
... trust your own ears only, not what other people claim!
Rentals for comparison cost me $500 including shipping and insurance. I did use my ears along with my API preamps, Neve mixer and Meyer HD-1 monitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
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
People will pay to indulge their passion. If I had an $11,000 vintage U-47 or a Telefunken reissue, I would want to keep it stock. If a $2000 tube is what it takes, so be it, that is not an insane price, it's the price the market will bare. I would not repaint my '59 Les Paul either.

I was responding to the previous comment by Dan Alexander where he clearly stated he has heard mic's outfitted with alternate tube types that sounded equal in "his opinion". I have not personally had the piles of U-47 and other authentic German vintage mics HE HAS. Check his web site. I'm not asking you to believe me or him, just stating the facts as I heard them.

There is a lot of smoke blowing in these hallowed halls. I'm not selling equipment. I'm not trying to hype my mastering business. I'm not trying to prove my schwantz is bigger than yours, just contributing. The fact that my ears are under the supervision of one of the top 10 ENT MD in the world means nothing, you could easily have a lot better ears than me.

I think the SOUND of the recorded tracks we create is the most important thing. There are a lot of people on Gearslutz who simply want to snipe each other about what piece of equipment they have. Go ahead on but I'm not going there.

When royalty checks start arriving in your mail box, YOU KNOW who's ears really make a difference. It's those folks I don't know, out there somewhere, pushing the buy button and consuming my music. THEIR ears are the ones that really matter. They don't know or care if I used a PE-54 or a U-87.

If it makes you feel a lot better knowing you spent the MOST you possibly could for your equipment, well, right on. There is a guy here who has a store, he'd really like to meet you, do you know Fletcher?
Old 21st June 2008
  #62
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
life can be cruel and unfair at times
Absolutely, bought my 1953 chrome top U47 for about $500 USD, got a bunch of sealed VF14 tubes for close to nothing, installed one and been happy ever since. That sound changed my life. Every time I hear it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
I did use my ears along with my API preamps, Neve mixer and Meyer HD-1 monitors.
Good, my bad experience shouldn't ruin your day. To each his own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
If I had an $11,000 vintage U-47 or a Telefunken reissue, I would want to keep it stock. If a $2000 tube is what it takes, so be it, that is not an insane price, it's the price the market will bare. I would not repaint my '59 Les Paul either.
Excellent point, but I still think there' might be more to it.



Martin
Old 21st June 2008
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
There is a lot of smoke blowing in these hallowed halls.
I stumbled across this image yesterday while researching BBQ cookoffs for the fall. I suspected it wouldn't be hard to find a chance to use it.

Fletcher, this one's for you.

Old 21st June 2008
  #64
Gear Nut
 

I'm elated TeleUSA is trying to recapture the magic of these great vintage designs, and I've been seriously considering buying from them. I have quite a few old tube mics--some of which were purchased from Dan A.-- but haven't been able to find a good 251. The glowing comments about the sound quality of TeleUSA's mics from many, including Dan and Fletcher, are certainly encouraging and make me want to give them a try.

But, negative comments have their place too, and can serve a valuable purpose to potential buyers by allowing them to make informed decisions. JJ relates his first hand knowledge of certain details of these mics, such as component values and parts quality gained from his personal observation. Why some people would want to silence him, I can't understand. Seems to me the truth serves all who take the time to listen.

If he is not telling the truth, and is misrepresenting the facts, it would be a pretty straightforward task to debunk his assertions.

So, rather than attacking the man for speaking up, why not disprove his claims (if you can). If you prove them false, you've discredited their proponent.

Anyway JJ, I appreciate your willingness to share your personal experience and observations. Sorry you're catching flack but it seems to be the norm rather than the exception on these forums for people to misinterpret the motives of others.

I think it would be difficult if not impossible for anyone to know if your claims are accurate without having more information. Opinions are in abundance here, it's just facts that seem to be in short supply.

I would welcome any more facts about JJ's contentions.

Oh, JJ, just remember "truth is a perfect defense". Won't necessarily prevent you from getting sued, but may be a predictor of the outcome.
Old 22nd June 2008
  #65
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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. 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.
But please don't assume that Mr. Alexander or others think your Peluso 2247LE can sound as good, or anything like a U47. It might resemble a U67 much more, considering that they share the same capsule design.

Martin
Old 22nd June 2008
  #66
outofphase
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
But please don't assume that Mr. Alexander or others think your Peluso 2247LE can sound as good, or anything like a U47. It might resemble a U67 much more, considering that they share the same capsule design.

Martin
I AGREE.

Old 22nd June 2008
  #67
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3rd&4thT's Avatar
 

Thanks for one of the alltime great Food Fights on Gearslutz. The Clash of the Titans. Awesome.

I may be reading it wrong, but I gather from these posts that Telefunken USA treats folks with warranty cards well. It's a shame they are so prickly and defensive with folks who don't have one.

There has to be a better way to deal with the limited (microscopic) potential customer base for $10,000 mics. How many people do they scare off with their hair-trigger dragon breath? It sure doesn't electrify my gearlust.

Plays Well With Others D -

3rd&4thT
Old 23rd June 2008
  #68
Gear Maniac
 

nit picking vs. guitar picking

I wanted to weigh in one more time here on this somewhat overdone hail storm ...

1) Fletcher is one hell of a guy , who simply doesnt pull any punches. In my experience with him , which is fairly extensive, he is correct about 97.5% of the time , which is about all one can ask of any guru type guy .... in other words , he pretty much knows what the f#$%^&* he's talking about....and I do not believe for one moment that he would express any b.s. for the sake of making a sale....

2) Telefunken hasnt posted actually anything here whatsoever , and to get all prickly about their " attitude" is simply not being fair . In my vast experience with them , they may not be 110% correct , but they are clearly well intentioned. To judge their buisness activities based on one very shortlived misjudgement, which occured years ago, is making what to me is an obviously incorrect overgeneralized assumption. There aint no one in buisness who is 100% perfect .

3) The least expensive Tele 250 package available is about 5500 . , not 10k. , which is a hell of a good deal considering that a vintage one goes for well over 15,000.!! Their M12 (c12 reissue) is a bargain .

I really dont want to get in a pissing match , but I think it would be interesting for some of you to call Toni Fishman and engage him in conversation. Id be really curious to see if you could get the president of Neumann or Akg on the phone as easily. The Telefunken guys are actually quite accesible because they really DO care...
Toni isnt some big time exploitive oil tycoon ; he's actually just a former hippie type taper guy who just fell in love with old mics....

oh , yeah , I also dont think for one second that he has had a serious intention of Sueing Anyone over any of this .... I do think he finds the controversy personally upsetting , simply because he does deeply care.

I was using my Tele 250 again last night and this morning, and it sounds great, what more can I say?
Old 23rd June 2008
  #69
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tiny333's Avatar
 

ok
thumbsup
Old 24th June 2008
  #70
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post

3) The least expensive Tele 250 package available is about 5500 . , not 10k. , which is a hell of a good deal considering that a vintage one goes for well over 15,000.!! Their M12 (c12 reissue) is a bargain .
Dan, those professional series still seem to come with a rebadged 25$ chinese OEM power supply. Are they funking serious about that? 5 years ago, I could buy a real U47 for 3500€, these days a non historical correct clone will cost even more?

Chinese (or Polish) metal work isn't that expensive, the average tube mic itself doesn't have more than 15 components inside. An M7 ripoff can be found for 250€ and Oliver's BV8's cost 250$. What did you say, a bargain? Ow, I forgot the 50$ EF14.

Basically because Wunder, TelefunkenUSA and Flea dominate this market, they can really ask whatever they want for these microphones. The current vintage prices are based on collector's item/hype . But putting a 50$ ancient tube in a microphone clone doesn't turn it into a real one either?
Old 24th June 2008
  #71
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outUVphaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony666 View Post
Dan, those professional series still seem to come with a rebadged 25$ chinese OEM power supply. Are they funking serious about that? 5 years ago, I could buy a real U47 for 3500€, these days a non historical correct clone will cost even more?

Chinese (or Polish) metal work isn't that expensive, the average tube mic itself doesn't have more than 15 components inside. An M7 ripoff can be found for 250€ and Oliver's BV8's cost 250$. What did you say, a bargain? Ow, I forgot the 50$ EF14.

Basically because Wunder, TelefunkenUSA and Flea dominate this market, they can really ask whatever they want for these microphones. The current vintage prices are based on collector's item/hype . But putting a 50$ ancient tube in a microphone clone doesn't turn it into a real one either?
My vote as a tele u47m owner, stands in line with Fletcher's perspective.

All politics (that some people seem to want to get into) aside, as stated by Fletch the line is exceptional.

The elam and the 47 by Tele are quality pieces of equipment and demonstrate exceptional craftmanship.

If they are asking for it and people are paying it there remains one of two possibilities;

1) The deaf have truly inherited the earth

or

2) The sound quality of the product warrants the price.

The last time that I checked, a free market system is exactly that. Anything but free. You get what you pay for.


The most exciting microphones that I have heard in awhile are the Tele 251 and 47.

They sweep me off my feet. While this is a subjective opinion, that is how music and sound generally works. It's a matter of how it touches you and where it hits you.

The Tele reissues touch you and they hit deep.

You can say that The Tele's are mere recreations, but the last time that I checked, the listener's ear (the buying public) rarely discerns and even less frequently asks itself the question as to whether it was a 47 or a re-issue. They merely adhere to the time honoured tradition of the buying public's credo;

"How does it sound?"

The minutia seems to escape them.

You may argue pearl upon swine... Then again, perhaps not.

These mics (the Tele's) are worth every nickel. They sound great (scratch that > They sounds freakin fantastic.

What else can one say?


Cheers,
Old 24th June 2008
  #72
Gear Maniac
 

Drawn In ....

"Dan, those professional series still seem to come with a rebadged 25$ chinese OEM power supply. Are they funking serious about that? 5 years ago, I could buy a real U47 for 3500€, these days a non historical correct clone will cost even more?

Chinese (or Polish) metal work isn't that expensive, the average tube mic itself doesn't have more than 15 components inside. An M7 ripoff can be found for 250€ and Oliver's BV8's cost 250$. What did you say, a bargain? Ow, I forgot the 50$ EF14.

Basically because Wunder, TelefunkenUSA and Flea dominate this market, they can really ask whatever they want for these microphones. The current vintage prices are based on collector's item/hype . But putting a 50$ ancient tube in a microphone clone doesn't turn it into a real one either?".............

i REALLY dont want to do this , but here goes:

1st: a power supply is a power supply is a power supply.....whatever anyone may think , if it delivers the correct voltages, and has sufficient filtering , the bottom line is it will work properly . No matter what some power supply makers suggest, once you have these criteria met, there is NO WAY that the power supply makes ANY difference in sound quality...Chinese, austrian or australian, or built by some mad genius tech in Indianapolis....

2nd: now this is FACT, so please dont give me any crap about it:

No Telefunken branded mic that sells for over $1500. has ANY metalwork OR other parts made in china,timbuktu or burma; only the RFT line of mics use metalwork from Asia...
The least expensive 250 or 251 systems do use Asian made power supplies, but who gives a rats ass? You can get yourself a $5000 gold plated, handbuilt power supply the size of mt.everest, and the mic aint gonna SOUND ANY DIFFERENT!!!!

2nd: Manufacturers ALL use basically the same formula: an item retails for 5 times what it costs to build....that pays for r&d, employees,advertising, bookkeeping, insurance, tax attorneys, and the other ENDLESS expenses of owning a manufacturing concern...oh yeah , and maybe the guy who owns the company might like a profit (oh, the rat bastard) on his huge investment of money, time and energy....

3rd) the last vf14 that sold on ebay went for $$1090.00 , as is, with no return guarentee, and if you can get enough of any of the appropriate tubes to build u47s , I suggest you try ; it shouldnt cost more than 80 or 100 grand to get set up to build some ....

4th) I just sold a u47 for $8350. it took about 8 hours to sell it!! What you could get ONE for 5 years ago is meaningless...I bought dozens and dozens of them for $400 . or less, so what? Ive seen em advertised for 11k, by one of the guys who makes clones no less....... not only that , If you can get one today for 3500 euros, one has to wonder what caps and resistors ( you will HAVE to replace ( every single one in the mic with one exception) and tubes you will have to buy and install to get it to work properly, even if the diaphragm is functional ..and if its an original m7, I GUARENTEE it will need to be reskinned, or replaced, as it will NOT work fer SH%^.....and once you have replaced every leaking 50 year old filter cap in the power supply, which is basically all thats in there, does it really matter if the metal box is 50 years old and made in Germany? AND if you decide to use a uf14 or ef14 , you will need to rewire the mic , and use a completely custom built power supply anyways...that is , if you want the thing to work correctly ... and anyone who claims " oh you just change one resistor value" or some other nonsense , is blowing hot air somewhere...

With all due respect , If anyone wants to argue any of this with me , PLEASE , call me at 510 5271411 ( that's my home number by the way), cause im getting blisters on my guitar callouses from this damn keyboard ... and please , do not call before 9 am California time ... I need my beauty sleep ...


Last edited by dan alexander; 24th June 2008 at 07:17 AM.. Reason: additional info
Old 24th June 2008
  #73
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
1st: a power supply is a power supply is a power supply.....whatever anyone may think , if it delivers the correct voltages, and has sufficient filtering , the bottom line is it will work properly . No matter what some power supply makers suggest, once you have these criteria met, there is NO WAY that the power supply makes ANY difference in sound quality...
In addition to ripple filtering and voltage there's a bit more to a good power supply in general. It's easy to forget that it has to deal with the audio signal too in many cases. But I agree that it doesn't matter where it's built!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
AND if you decide to use a uf14 or ef14 , you will need to rewire the mic , and use a completely custom built power supply anyways...that is , if you want the thing to work correctly ... and anyone who claims " oh you just change one resistor value" or some other nonsense , is blowing hot air somewhere...
That's almost exactly what I tried to tell you when you wrote:

"As for the matter of ef14 vs.uf14 vs. vf14 tubes, the simple fact is that the performance of these tubes, given the proper powering voltages , in the normal u47 circuit is identical."

There is no normal circuit U47 after rewiring the mic. I'm glad that we can finally agree on this.

Finally, please explain what you wanted to say by: "vf14 , uf14, and 14 year olds"?

Martin
Old 24th June 2008
  #74
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post

No Telefunken branded mic that sells for over $1500. has ANY metalwork OR other parts made in china,timbuktu or burma; only the RFT line of mics use metalwork from Asia...
The least expensive 250 or 251 systems do use Asian made power supplies, but who gives a rats ass? You can get yourself a $5000 gold plated, handbuilt power supply the size of mt.everest, and the mic aint gonna SOUND ANY DIFFERENT!!!!

]
So when do whe get the "handbuild in China" model retailing at 2000$ heh
Old 24th June 2008
  #75
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Great thread - thx to everyone participating (civilly, I might add!)

So much useful and entertaining information, I think this thread deserves a rating (no, not XXX or in that manner!) and hopefully dialog might continue amongst both the learned and the owners, and will help to inform potential buyers of ANY 'hi-end' mics...

Thx again!!! thumbsupthumbsup
Old 24th June 2008
  #76
Gear Maniac
 

audio and power supplies

there are a very few tube mic power supplies (sony c37a and C17,akgc60 and tele m201) which have active components (the audio output tranny specifically) in them , however , no other neumann ,or akg power supplies , and NO power supplies use by telefunkn usa microphones do so ...the audio output from the mics travels down the cable to the connectors on the power supply, thats all......a power supply is simply supplying the correct voltages to the tube and to polarize the diaphragm ...as long as the voltages meet specification for voltage and filtering , the mic is properly powered.....more filtering than required makes NO audible difference , and spec is spec..for example an ac701 heater voltage is specified ( in Neumann literature) at 3.8 to 4.2 volts dc ..if one wants to debate that a km54 that recieves 3.8 sounds different than one that gets 4.2 volts, you might take it up with the manufacturer; i seriously doubt it...
Old 24th June 2008
  #77
Gear Maniac
 

I dont know about Martin , but 14 is below my age threshold .....as for "normal "u47 wiring, there are NUMEROUS original schematics from neumann, which are all slightly different ; and again , who gives a rats ass? Whatever SOUNDS best is what we ought to be concerned with , and if I can hear that something sounds better than something else , thats what concerns me ...the guys who insist on 50 year old tone caps in their telecasters are either historians or nut cases , not sound engineers... I can, without equivocation GUARENTEE that the tone control is NOT working properly . I can also say the same about any 60 year old Neumann mic that has original caps and resistors...we must have recapped at least 100 (probably more) u47s , and magically changed them from sounding like crap to sounding fantastic...

Last edited by dan alexander; 24th June 2008 at 08:03 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 25th June 2008
  #78
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Martin Kantola's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
I dont know about Martin , but 14 is below my age threshold
Thanks for the explanation, but I'm afraid I still don't understand what you are saying with this?

It is true that Neumann has a schematic version both for the VF14 and 13CW4 but not for any other tubes as far I as know.

Power supply design is a very important aspect of high quality audio. As a general rule, it is not enough pay attention only to ripple and voltage. The old and simple supply for the U 47 works great, but only problem is if the line voltage isn't right, because voltages fed to the mike will follow.

Martin
Old 9th July 2015
  #79
I took a trip to the Telefunken factory in CT,
To test theit entire elecktro-Aukoustic line.
Mr Alan Venitosh was the gentleman who set everything up and recorded me for test purposes.
All of the mics were great,
However, my opinion of the Elam 251-E was it was very bassy ?
I recorded acoustic guitar and vocals.
For that price point, i was really surprised that it wasnt amazing, at least yo me it wasnt.
I feel if your going to spend $9K on a mic, it should be amazing right out of the gate.
Then again this is my humble opinion of course.
However, Alan was really helpful and a very kind person;-)
I chose to purchase the Flea 47 with the EF12 tube instead,
I thought it sounded amazing instantly.
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