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neumann m-149...worth it? Condenser Microphones
Old 25th February 2003
  #1
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neumann m-149...worth it?

Hey all... I think I have the option to buy one of these for a fair price (around 3k) and I can afford that... but I'm wondering if it's a worthwhile buy when I could save that and put it towards a slam in the not-so-distant future. I'm looking for a great large diaphragm mic to round out my mic cabinet for use on vox, micing my steinway grand, front of kit, etc. Should I go with an m-149? If not, what else is a no-tone-compromise large diaphragm mic? A friend recommended getting an NTK and having it modded but I have a hard time believing that would get close.
Old 25th February 2003
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
If not, what else is a no-tone-compromise large diaphragm mic?.
There are many - but one that seldom gets mentioned is the Sony C-800g

Quote:
valve condenser. Omni/cardioid. Dual diaphragm construction, uses Peltier-based heatsink cooling system to ensure optimum operating temperature for the valve, a 6AU6. Needs power supply AC MC800G. Dr Dre?s favourite.
not cheap - reportedly quite worth the US$6500 or so. I wish I had one. Anybody care to compare it to the M149?
Attached Thumbnails
neumann m-149...worth it?-sonyc800gpac.jpg  
Old 25th February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I'm sure that's an amazing sounding microphone, but I really can't spend that kind of money on a single mic. Most I can do would be for a brauner vm-1, but I'd almost be inclined to go for the neumann over that. I'd like to stay in the 3k region.

Anyone have any input on that modded mic route? Or say, any opinions on an m-149 vs. u87?
Old 25th February 2003
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
but I really can't spend that kind of money on a single mic.
Neither can I right now. Wish I could. I would go for the M149 before the 87 anyday. Have you considered an M147? Not quite an M149 - but pretty close and a lot cheaper. I own two and like it a lot.
Old 25th February 2003
  #5
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That is my feeling re: u87. BTW your studio looks great, Paul! What do you feel the tone/price trade offs are when considering 147 v. 149?
Old 25th February 2003
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
That is my feeling re: u87. BTW your studio looks great, Paul! What do you feel the tone/price trade offs are when considering 147 v. 149?
Better to ask someone who has a M149. The M147 lacks the multi-pattern feature, is physically smaller and may have a lower build quality. But, the M147 should sound very similar to the M149 in cardioid position.

Who has tried both?
Old 25th February 2003
  #7
They don't sound the same in cardiod. The M149 is a little more neutral/natural and extended on the top....it takes EQ much better. The M147 is a little more aggressive and forward in the mids, not as "pretty".
Old 25th February 2003
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Hello,

I was just concerned by the same question as yours few days ago.

My "main mics" was U87's and 414's but I was planning for something better, a top notch mic.
I buy the Lynn Fuston Mic CD and study it very carefullly lot of time.
Then, I borrow a M149 from my local dealer for a 10 days test, before I ended up to buy it. (I was still smiling even when paying)
It make a very beag leap from the U87. Less need to EQ. My mix are now better and easier.
The sound is big, warm without being mud. And it's wide, "even in mono" . It's like I had removed some plug/cork from my path.

I use it with preamp like amek 9098, avalon 737, neve 1272...
AND my lovely TC 6000 converter's rollz
It make the difference more that changing pre or converter. (unless you're using athe pre of a beringher)

It's very natural and sometime (very few) the U87 works better. (for me and until now, only on nylon guitar and "maybe" on some voice)

A big difference is that is way more cumfortable for the musicians. Your ear what you do. And the performance is very concerned by that point.

It has a very hi output with low noise. (though I was waiting for something even better) so you don't need to cranck the gain up on the preamp. I very like the 9 position low cut too, very usefull .

The 147 is definitively not in the same league.

For 3K, it's a very good deal ! I had mine for that kind of price and I wish to buy another one in order to do some stereo (drum overhead !!!! and piano heh !!!!). Need to deal with wife and children though (yes I dream, €€€ are not so easy to earn...)

There is around other fine mic that I really like :
- manley gold (a bit harch in the hi end when used in prox)
- brauner VM 1 of course.
- Some ADK !!!! cheap but extra price/perfomance ratio
- Sony 800 is fine.I find it agressive, very agressive... It may rocks on not so shinnning vocal though
- love U47 too

Sure it worth that price. And if you're not planning to spend way more, go that way... Note that Neuman price will grow up soon (about 12% on M149, and 30% OUCHHH!!! on TLM 103 )

Regards,

Sorry for some typo's. I'm french.......... christian, and totally against WAR ! grggt

Salvator

BTW : does anyone mention the SLAM ! rollz heh
We are close to the release of a version with the pre only. It's time to start saving $/€ ...
Old 25th February 2003
  #9
Quote:
Originally posted by salvator
Note that Neuman price will grow up soon (about 12% on M149, and 30% OUCHHH!!! on TLM 103 )
Neumann prices already did go up on January 1st, but only now is the market feeling the effects of it. Once the old stock from 2002 is sold off by the few remaining dealers with old stock, new prices will be in effect on a realistic level. For example the MAP on a TLM103 will be $975, this does not include shock mount.
Old 25th February 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Salvator,

The SLAM! is the reason I am worrying about this purchase! It is keeping me up at night.

How does the m149 hold it's value btw?
Old 25th February 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

If you have the M149 for about 3K, it's a very good deal. This mic worth well above 3 grand. period. Over here, in france, he is very well (VERY) considered by clients and lot of singer are themself asking for this mic.

My advice is to wait for the SLAM. You've to start with the begining of the chain...

I am waiting for the pre only version of the SLAM ($ is the cause)
But I think it's not yet available.

Do you need comp & lim ?

Best Regards,

Salvator
Old 25th February 2003
  #12
Here for the gear
 
RCMSOUND's Avatar
 

Re: neumann m-149...worth it?

hi

well my english is not that nice (i am german)...
i heard every mike from neumann and i think the 149 is the worst mike i heard from them...
my favorite mike is the rhode classic 1 or classic 2... it works on every vocals (low or loud,male or female)..
the most newer neumanns have a compression effect on loud vocals which makes them thin and without warmth...
if you compare the old m49 and the new 149 u will hear this horrible sound of the new 149...

a very nice cheaper mike is the AKG 414 BTL 2...
this is the one with the golden face....

peace from germany
Old 25th February 2003
  #13
Rab
KMR Audio
 
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If you've got $3000 to spend on a mic you should also take a serious look at the Soundelux U99 and U95S. One of my chaps trialled these against a M149 for a female vocalist with a slightly raspy edge and they worked a treat. In the UK these are around £2000-£2500, so I guess these would be within your budget in the US!
Old 25th February 2003
  #14
I think you can get more mic for your money.

However, as a studio with clients in and out the whole time, the M149 make a very good impression visually.

So they have a 'wow' factor that cant be discounted.

Studio with clients that need to be impressed visually - get one
Studio where that is not important - shop around!

Old 25th February 2003
  #15
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Due to frequent freelance engineer requests, I will have to buy a pair of 149s just to avoid renting them all the time.

I like them mainly as room/ambiance/perc mics, but you see freelancers using them on vocals here as well...particularly for French variety/pop styles where a bright trebly sound seems to be sought after.

We had one on Salvatore Adamo's vocals here last week.

FWIW the 147 and 149 sound nothing alike. I don't have anything nice to say about the 147. The 149 isn't a personal fave either, but it's far better than the 147 and it has value in the eyes of clients.

Jules, wanna get rid of your 149s?
Old 25th February 2003
  #16
No clients like em too much!

Also, I love them on drum room!

And the 1960's 3 mic drum technique (Kick mic + 2 x M149's)

And male rock vocals!

I got mine grey market from Germany, factory matched, close serial numbers..
Old 25th February 2003
  #17
Re: neumann m-149...worth it?

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
Hey all... I think I have the option to buy one of these for a fair price (around 3k) and I can afford that... but I'm wondering if it's a worthwhile buy when I could save that and put it towards a slam in the not-so-distant future. I'm looking for a great large diaphragm mic to round out my mic cabinet for use on vox, micing my steinway grand, front of kit, etc. Should I go with an m-149? If not, what else is a no-tone-compromise large diaphragm mic? A friend recommended getting an NTK and having it modded but I have a hard time believing that would get close.

For $3K I would probably get used a U67 or if you look hard enough an M49.

A new mic would probably be the Soundelux E47 or 251.

You can get a used 149 for as low as $2-2.5K.

Is it worth it?

I don't really think so.

It was on my mic most over rated list along with the C12VR and Sony C800G.

You can mod the M149, but is it really worth all the trouble?
Old 25th February 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Well, I got one for 2795. It just seems like a great deal when they are going for so much more now and I figure that if it's not worh it to me, I can sell it at around what I got it for, but that it was too good a price to pass up. I'll let you all know what I think when I get it! Thanks for the advice, everyone. And those of you who wanted one for a pair, if I really feel silly in a month or two, maybe we can work out a deal.
Old 25th February 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Oh, and just to clarify, this is a brand new mic. So I figure if I can sell it in the 2-2.5k region and use it for a while, it's not a big loss.
Old 25th February 2003
  #20
Quote:
Originally posted by Rab
you should also take a serious look at the Soundelux U99 and U95S. One of my chaps trialled these against a M149 for a female vocalist with a slightly raspy edge and they worked a treat. In the UK these are around £2000-£2500, so I guess these would be within your budget in the US!
The U95S has been discontinued for 15 months, and the Soundelux E47 is the replacement. It's a tad more clear and extended in the top frequencies than it's predecessor. It's a good one to A/B against the M149, as is the Brauner VM1 or even the Valvet voice if you only need cardiod. It just depends on what flavor & amount of obvious character you are after in the microphone.
Old 25th February 2003
  #21
Han
Lives for gear
 

I have one M149 and I will get another one soon I hope. IMHO it's a great mic, not only the looks.

I like it on many vocals, woodwinds sound very good with a 149 and (grand)piano also.

Actually I wish I had 10 of them 149's.

Oh, and RCMSOUND, there must have been something wrong with the 149 you have tried.
Old 26th February 2003
  #22
Here for the gear
 
ThEdArKtOwEr's Avatar
 

Here at WallTrigger our most expensive mic is an AKG-414. We use it like professionals on things like drums, basses, and pianos we only have one, because it's real expenisve. So we have to use our minds a whole lot in order to compensate for our lack of equipment (due to the price). If I had three-thousand dollars I'd spend it on another 414 and a some concerts.
Old 27th February 2003
  #23
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andre tchmil's Avatar
 

I don't like my M147, but It has the Neumann logo on it
vocals, nope , perhaps some female singers sometimes.
Drums or room, nope, to squashed.
I always grap back to my 2 BPM mikes
Old 27th February 2003
  #24
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which BPM do you have?
Old 27th February 2003
  #25
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I'm auditioning a Lawson L47 right now, which is availabe factory-direct only for about 2 k. I only mention that because somebody brought up the U-99, which I had also tried and only sort of liked. Both mics presume to get at roughly the same thing--namely a vibey and vintage 47/67 sound with a little more detail and high end extension. So far (1 day) I'm liking the Lawson a lot. It's fat and distinctive sounding and puts out a very large image. I'm liking it through my Great River NV preamp but would like to reach for something more transparent, as the mic itself already has plenty of attitude. It doesn't exactly sound like my 67's, but has an analogous quality.

I've personally never cared for the 149--it has always seemed too bright or cold and doesn't reach for the sweet stuff. Others disagree.

-R
Old 27th February 2003
  #26
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andre tchmil's Avatar
 

German BPM CR- 73 , bought these 2 in the early 90's, way before the cheap chinese boom heh .

I use my M 147 mainly as talkback mic. heh
Old 27th February 2003
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Well, I'll get a bunch of similar mics together and A/B 'em I suppose. I got the m149 at such a price where any loss I'd take would be similar to renting the mic anyway. I'll make sure to post a thurough review.
Old 27th February 2003
  #28
Auditioning vocals just this week, we decided on a Beyer 201 over the M149, SM57, Senheiser 441,

Different strokes for different folks!

Old 27th February 2003
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Stizz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Turpin
There are many - but one that seldom gets mentioned is the Sony C-800g
not cheap - reportedly quite worth the US$6500 or so. I wish I had one. Anybody care to compare it to the M149?

We have both the M149 and the Sony here - The noise floor on the Sony is absolutely incredible! And it has a very nice silky top end. The M149 is warmer - maybe like a U87 on steroids...

They are both great mics to my ears, but very different in character. The M149 might be more versatile - I have not wanted to try the C800 on anything other than vocals.
Old 27th February 2003
  #30
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
I'm auditioning a Lawson L47 right now, which is availabe factory-direct only for about 2 k. (snip) So far (1 day) I'm liking the Lawson a lot. It's fat and distinctive sounding and puts out a very large image. (snip)
I've personally never cared for the 149--it has always seemed too bright or cold and doesn't reach for the sweet stuff. Others disagree.

-R
I'm always amazed at the variety of opinion on both of these mics.

We use both and the 149 tends to be the general, all purpose, go to vocal mic. The Lawson has a bit more 'edge', is a little more 'forward' sounding, and doesn't have the high-end extension of the 149. Great for a more aggressive sound. Love 'em both.

We have 'shot them out' on various vocal sessions repeatedly... We always wind up preferring one or the other, but its always close. Inches, not miles. These two are close relatives in terms of sound.

As far the 149's sound, last nite (er, this morning) I tracked R N R vox with one:
149>DW Fearn>1176>LA2A>HEDD...

Bright and cold would not fit into my description...

Warm, airy, fat, aggressive, silky, etc., do fit...

BTW, a little 'iron' in the path works wonderfully with the transformerless 149.

As with all things audible, YMMV.
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