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What's your favorite vocal mic? Condenser Microphones
Old 30th September 2005
  #1
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

What's your favorite vocal mic?

I'm possibly going for broke on the killer vocal mic. I'm considering:

Telefunken USA Elam251 E
Telefunken USA Elam251 F
Brauner VM1
Brauner VM1 KHE
Vintage Neumann U47

We're trying to get a shootout going but my buddies rental company is slammed and a lot of stuff is out. What are your thoughts?
Old 30th September 2005
  #2
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True North's Avatar
 

Hey James, A friend and I did a pretty major vocal mic shootout with about 21 mics ranging anywhere from $300 to $7000. We tested the mics on both M&F vox. All of our listening test were completely blind. We tested the Telefunken USA ELAM -I preferred the Soundelux Elam.

The top three mics in our test were as follows;
Charter Oak SA538
Rode Classic II
Soundelux 251
Honorable mention; M147, M149, Rode K2, Telefunken USA 251


Feel free to PM if u have any ??

Good Luck
Old 30th September 2005
  #3
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Brandino221's Avatar
 

I like the U87. All I know is I am dieing to check out the korby kat 4. I am sure I will love that even more.
Old 30th September 2005
  #4
My Lynn Fuston Mic CD Results a few weeks ago

I'm only listing the mics I picked 3 and 4 times total:

Favorite Mics (Female Vox) - Listen #1
(4) GT Electronics AM 62
(3) Soundelux ELUX 251
(3) Manley Reference Gold
(3) Lawson L-47MP
(3) Blue Dragonfly
(3) AT 4033a/SM


Favorite Mics (Male Vox) - Listen #1
(4) GT Electronics AM 62
(3) Sanken CU-41
(3) AKG *C 12
(3) Lawson L-47MP
(3) Neumann M 147
(3) Shure SM-57


Favorite Mics (Female Vox) - Listen #2
(4) GT Electronics AM 62
(3) Soundelux ELUX 251
(3) Sanken CU-41
(3) Neumann M 147
(3) Manley Reference Gold
(3) Blue Dragonfly
(3) AKG *C 12
(3) AT 4033a/SM
(3) Shure SM-57


Favorite Mics (Male Vox) - Listen #2
(3) Neumann M 147


Favorite Mics (Female Vox) - Listen #3
(3) Soundelux ELUX 251
(3) Sanken CU-41
(3) Manley Reference Gold
(3) Lawson L-47MP
(3) Blue Dragonfly
(3) AKG *C 12
(3) AT 4033a/SM
(3) Shure SM-57

Favorite Mics (Male Vox) - Listen #3
(4) GT Electronics AM 62


My personal favs include:

c12
47
87
49
147
AM62 (currently - had to buy it because I chose it 4 times on the CD)
4033
Old 30th September 2005
  #5
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

I have that CD but it never really worked for me, it was something about the overall sound or the bare vocal that bugged me.

We do mainly rock stuff. Does anyone own both the Telefunken USA 251 and the VM1 or VM1 KHE?
Old 30th September 2005
  #6
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DigitMus's Avatar
 

Of course it's all dependent on the singer/song/room/etc. but these are a few that almost never let me down (in no particular order):

Brauner VM1 KHE
Brauner Valvet BE
Soundelux E47
Soundelux E49
Microtech Gefell UM75
AEA R84



Scott
Old 30th September 2005
  #7
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Digimus,

I have the E49. Do you thing the VM1 KHE would be complimentory?

I know these are broad questions, I'm just struggling to be able to hear these mics all at the same time
Old 30th September 2005
  #8
My favorite is the Korby with the 67M and 251 capsules but I think you tried that one already didn't you? What about the Korby didn't work for you? I'm using it on male rock vocals mostly.
Old 30th September 2005
  #9
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

The Korby mic was cool, maybe that's an idea but I remember when we demoed it against the e49 the e49 sounded way bigger.
Old 30th September 2005
  #10
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

The VM-1 K.H.E. and the E-49 Soundelux. E-49 doesn't do the top-end thing that that KHE does, though -- not that that's better or not...just different.

I'm working on some tracks done on a Pearlman --> Millennia STT-1 setup

VERRRRY nice! The Pearlman's designed around a NOS Telefunken EF-14 http://www.rotundrascal.com/Custom%20Microphones.htm

James, Mr. McCurry has these mics & just got one back from the Duran Duran sessions.
Old 30th September 2005
  #11
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

...so the Pearlman is cool, cuz' the other day when we demoed it it sounded weird.

p.s. your 1073 is burning a hole in my studio. ~
you should change you signature to: 'It's better to have a gun and not need a gun than to need a gun and not have gun'. - the immortal words of Master G!
Old 30th September 2005
  #12
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C12? After all, you said "going for broke"

No I don't own one, but since I'm spending your money...

Steve
Old 30th September 2005
  #13
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

My only thing is I'm so not the tech kinda guy, so the old vintage mics scare me. I hesitated putting up the U47 refrence but I went for it.

Notice how I wrote 'I'm so not the tech guy'. That's what happens to you when you live in LA to long, you start speaking like an idiot!
Old 30th September 2005
  #14
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I hear you, I wouldn't necessarily want to keep up with a C12 either. I just noticed you had listed that U47, so thought you might want to consider other older classics.

James, I don't know what mics and preamps you're using now, but I would like to offer the idea of trying a Gordon preamp on your existing mics. That thing is just amazing, and made all my collection much more useful. It just seems to take the mic/pre interaction effect out of the equation and leaves the real mic sound. Maybe worth a shot for a risk-free trial before chasing all the mics.

Steve
Old 30th September 2005
  #15
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo
...so the Pearlman is cool, cuz' the other day when we demoed it it sounded weird.

p.s. your 1073 is burning a hole in my studio. ~
you should change you signature to: 'It's better to have a gun and not need a gun than to need a gun and not have gun'. - the immortal words of Master G!
No, it's another mic -- I exchanged it. This one's awesome -- really.

The 1073's burning a hole in your studio -- well, it already burned one in my pocket heh

Now where was that power supply again? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Old 30th September 2005
  #16
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James, you must be made of money. Didn't you just go through this search about a year ago? I certainly haven't tried as many mics as you have, but I'm very happy with my Korby KAT 4. I find uses for all four heads. I'm surprised to hear that anything sounds "way bigger" than the Korby. Now you're making me want to hear an E49.
Old 30th September 2005
  #17
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True North's Avatar
 

We A/B'd the Korby against many mics and the only capsule that I really liked was the U67 (sounded great on acoustic). The 251 capsule wasn't bad but I really preferred the Soundelux 251 and next to that the Telefunken USA 251.

I know you guys got a Jones to spend lots of money but I am telling you, you should at the very least give the Charter Oak and the Rode Classic II a listen. Tele USA and Sound were very close to my ears but I thought the Soundelux sounded better.
Old 30th September 2005
  #18
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

I'm not made of money but I have clients with a s**t load...lol
Old 30th September 2005
  #19
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DigitMus's Avatar
 

Yeah, what Gregg said about the KHE - it has something going on in the top end that's just unique (smooth?, well yeah, but more than that...pretty?? umm... on a pretty voice, yeah). They (KHE & E49) are definitely in the same ballpark, but one's playing left field, while the other's playing shortstop...or something like that. I think that if you like the E49 on a voice, the KHE will compliment it as well (but a little differently).
You should also really audition the UM75, another "larger than life" LDC, but a little more character (& of course, different type of character) than the E49 or KHE.


....so many mics, so little money, eh? heh


Scott
Old 30th September 2005
  #20
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True North's Avatar
 

nuf' said
Old 30th September 2005
  #21
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Does anyone know a reputable mic broker that can bring by some mics to my studio in Los Angeles for me to demo? ...in the morning...Whoa! That's asking a lot. I have a session with a female in the morning. I just thought I'd give it a shot.
Old 30th September 2005
  #22
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
Hands down a good U67.
Old 30th September 2005
  #23
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robmix's Avatar
What about Westlake audio ? I did a mic shootout years ago and they provided everything.
Old 30th September 2005
  #24
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

So did I but it was wack. One of the mics seemed cool but when I got to my studio it was not working. Plus Westlake doesn't sell gear anymore.
Old 30th September 2005
  #25
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mixerguy's Avatar
check out the AT 4060 - can be had for about $900 - a great vocal mic.
Old 30th September 2005
  #26
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hedgehog's Avatar
 

I like: BPM TB 100
GT AM 62
Microtech Gefell UMT 70 S
for male Vocals. The BPM and GT mics are multipattern tube mics. BPM is a small factory in Germany. The sound is pretty warm and clean.


I know these are not the high end microfones, but I guess not everybody here in Gearslutz, me includet, has the money for 67´s, 251´s or 47´s!

Greez
Old 30th September 2005
  #27
84K
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84K's Avatar
Of the vintage mics,

U47 is my favorite... but you have to get one with a VF14 and you better get at least one spare tube with it or forget it. Chances of that? Slim to none. So, that's out of the running.

C12: No point. Get a Telefunken USA E Lam 251 E.

Elam 251: Same as above.

U67: The best of the vintage that is realisticly priced, sounds great, and the tubes are not too rare to find for a decent price.

_______________________________________________________________

As for the new tube mics.... Talking no budget....

The Brauner KHE is great if you like that EXTREMELY bright modern extended top thing. I hate that, so I am not the guy to ask. If you like that, this maybe the best of the bunch.

Soundelux: With No budget, No comment.

Korby: With No budget, No comment.

Pelusso: Definitely No Comment.

Tele USA e lam 251E: It is right there with the original 251s. If that is what you like. I do!!! heh heh heh

Best Of Luck!!!
Old 30th September 2005
  #28
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Well, I did the impossible! I got a mic dealer to bring over a vintage U47, VM1 KHE, M49 and a U99 to my studio at 4am. Whoa! Freaky.

So I will be doing a shootout.

Until tomorrow...
Old 30th September 2005
  #29
84K
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84K's Avatar
Awesome!!! I look forward to your results.... (Make sure you get some sleep)!! heh
Old 30th September 2005
  #30
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Thanks man but it's too late for the sleep thing. Gotta go to work. The only thing missing is the TeleUsa 251. My buddy's is out on a rental. That's next.
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