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Telefunken listening tests at the AES
Old 6th October 2008
Gear Maniac

Telefunken listening tests at the AES

I just spent the last 3 days doing blindfolded listening tests at the AES; I want to thank each of the guys ( and women too) who participated. It was a very pleasant experience and about 250 guys took the time to do it . The results were revealing......
over 90% of the people who compared the vintage to the new 251's chose the new ones as better.

once we discovered the hidden phase switch on the BACK(!!!) of the api preamps, ( one was reversed) the people who compared the new and vintage u47s thought they were very comparable and very very close..... I can tell you that in both cases, the new and old mics were MUCH closer than MANY of the old examples I have heard , which vary greatly. On Saturday evening , a comparison session at a local studio yielded identical results. While there was backround noise at the show, in no way did it prevent one from clearly hearing the mics being tested. .......JJ Blair and I spent a very pleasant hour or so talking and comparing mics. Ill leave it to him to post what he thought, if he wishes to ,but I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him , he's a very very nice guy, and quite knowledgable. I bet he's a good guitar player as well, and I look forward to hanging with him again . The show was pretty interesting, there's a plethora of new, cool analog gear , and its great to see stuff other than DAWs on the floor.
I saw one old friend who is a maker of a 251 knockoff, and asked him to bring his mic over to compare, which elicited the reply " why would I want to do that?"...I thought that was pretty hilarious actually.....Allen Sides was demonstrating his new monitor system , and as usual, it sounded incredible..... thanks to all of you who made it a LOT of fun!!!!!
Old 6th October 2008
Lives for gear
Hmmm...I would love to hear JJ's thoughts...
Old 6th October 2008
Lives for gear
sonicdefault's Avatar
Thanks for the report. I think I'm going to demo one. My 260 which I recently bought has me enthusiastic about their new products.

Old 6th October 2008
Lives for gear
T_R_S's Avatar
I must have been in the 10% because I could clearly hear the grainy top end in the reissues of both mics ...
To me the real test is how it sounds after you compress/de-ess/ and eq the track
Old 6th October 2008
Lives for gear
jjblair's Avatar
Dan, you were a prince and I loved talking with you. We will do a for real hang on my next visit.

BTW, I'm an OK player. Not currently the one I once was, nor as good as the guys I tend to surround myself with. But I get by and can sound pretty good with some studio magic.

Thank for coaxing me over to the lion's den. It was good to clear up misunderstandings and hurt feelings with Alan and Toni. We may have more that we agree on than we disagree on. And in the end, as Toni likes to say, we are all just "searching for the sound."

I terms of the test, other than saying I could hear a difference between the two, I'm very uncomfortable giving an impression based solely on spoken word, with a tremendously noisy environment. The fact that in that environment, the M16 mkII sounded so ballpark to the 251, makes me even more uncomfortable giving a verdict. When I do tests, I am very meticulous. VERY meticulous. I use a variety of instruments, at a couple of distances, I match gains very carefully, and interweave soundfiles so that there is no delay, and changes can be heard immediately, etc.

I can't hear mosquitos fart at 30 yards, and I need a lot more to make a judgment. Some people can ell you a lot about a mic in that situation. I'm no one of them, nor do I claim to be. The only thing going for me is that I'm familiar with those headphones!

I felt bad that I didn't ask to look inside the vintage 251 just to see what was and wasn't original. If that is your mic and you have an opportunity to post pics, I'd love to see, please.

That being said, I was glad to hear one of their CK12s that did not suffer from the problems of the last one I heard, which laid to rest in my mind that the last one I heard was in fact defective, and not an indication of how far off they are. I'm also glad to know that they are striving to make improvements, and even trying some of the alterations I suggested, even if they don't hear the same things I do. I like that spirit.

Thanks for the experience.
Old 6th October 2008
Gear Maniac

JJ - I definitely will get the internal pics posted to you on the 251. I also would be more than happy to get you a demo mic for a week or so to do the tests at your place. Id love to hear your reaction. I myself was shocked as well at how good the m16 mk2 sounded . go figure.....of course, the listening environment wasnt as desireable as a studio , and Im very interested to get you a mic to get a more critical appraisal from you.

oh , and to the guy who just got an m260 (i did also just get one myself) telefunken won the tec award for studio microphone technology for that mic at the show......I havent heard mine yet, but im looking forward to it. I also just got an AK47, and after trying out the m16mk2 , im hopeful it will be as good or better.....

and to the guy who was in the 10% , if you call me, ill try to arrange for you to listen to a mic at your own place, if you have any interest.
Old 6th October 2008
Gear Maniac

Thril factor

wil - you ought to call me and explain exactly what I should stop and why...these forums are free places to express oneself, and I note that you have posted over 10,000 times; my phone number is 510 5271411. You can call me anytime from 9 am til 10 pm pacific time. dan alexander
Old 7th October 2008
Originally Posted by dan alexander View Post
wil - you ought to call me and explain exactly what I should stop and why...these forums are free places to express oneself, and I note that you have posted over 10,000 times; my phone number is 510 5271411. You can call me anytime from 9 am til 10 pm pacific time. dan alexander
Dan i was posting a link to another thread. Click it and it goes right to it. That's all.

Old 7th October 2008
Gear Maniac


sorry if i misunderstood. I was awfully tired after the aes....but it was a lot of fun , me anytime and Ill show you the love.
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