The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
To Flea or not to Flea?
Old 13th May 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
fragilo's Avatar
 

To Flea or not to Flea?

Im looking to buy a Flea 47 and 49 as they are having a special on two mics for the month of May.

There is not really a lot of widespread info on these mics, other than a couple posts by a couple people here and there, nothing definitive from what I can discern.

Im wondering if any new users have adopted these things and what results they are getting. Or old users who have had time to get to know them.

Recently I checked out a Wunder CM7GT, and while it had a bit of a warm, tube-y, vintage-y mid range and top end, it didn't have the big blooming pillowy bottom Im looking for. In fact, I really haven't heard that big pillowy sound on any mic comparisons here, though I have heard it many times on records old and new. Feist, Mazzy Star, F+N Sinatra come to mind. Any alternative suggestions or word on the Fleas is much appreciated.

Cheers!
Old 13th May 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
in the red's Avatar
 

they offer the package with the m49 too? according to their eshop the package is for their 47 + 48?
anyway, had the 47 and 49 on trial, great mics! stunning build quality! didn´t hear the wunder though, so i can´t comment on that mic...
Old 13th May 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 

ther is a flea47 for dead cheap in the classified section...
Old 14th May 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
fragilo's Avatar
 

Dead cheap? So the resell value is not so high on these things I wonder...

I wondering if they are inherently clean and bright, or if they lean to the side of warm distortion and creamy dark velvet ?
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
in the red's Avatar
 

i wouldn´t call the u47 dark! the m49 sounds more balanced and natural, so maybe you could call that darker...
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 

It's probably not wise to be be so quick to assume anything about the resale value of FLEA mics .. Personally I'm thinking that there is a certain amount of economic uncertainty at the moment that is affecting the perceived resale value of ANYTHING ..

You could head over to the Remote/Location forum and ask either Plush, or a few of the other members there to share their experiences. Plush own's both original Neumann 49's and 50's AND the FLEA variant's. I haven't seen anything less than positive words said about them.

Regards RAy
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
I don't know what you mean by "dead Cheap". There are two in the classifieds right now one for 2550 Euros and the other for 2250 Euros. The list price is about 3000 Euros. 15-20% off of list for a used item isn't exactly dead cheap, especially in this economy.
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I too would like to know more. Any users out there?

Also, how does one buy or try these mics?

-R
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
I believe Tony Belmont is still the US dealer. Lot's of good reviews here comparing them favorably to the originals. Do a search. I'd be surprised if there wasn't someone in LA using them.
Old 14th May 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Hello FLEA freaks,

What would you like to know?

Here I use FLEA 47 and FLEA 49.
Both are outstanding and true to the original sound.

Ie.--47 is thick below with sparkle in the highs. Midrange boost is thick and authentic. Mic sounds old just like it should. Has that pillowy bottom the OP seeks. My FLEA 47 uses an EF12 tube---very very close sound to the VF14 original.

FLEA 49 has the typical soft treble of the 49 and has a genuine tube quality that one associates with a 50 year old mic. Mic sound is evoking a strong nostalgic quality. My FLEA 49 uses an ac701 but you have to specify this and pay extra for it.

This is the sound I seek. I totally trust and recommend the FLEA people (talk to Ivan) for excellent service and for answering any questions.

When you hear the sound, doubters crash to the curb.
Old 14th May 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fragilo View Post
Im wondering if any new users have adopted these things and what results they are getting. Or old users who have had time to get to know them. (...)
In fact, I really haven't heard that big pillowy sound on any mic comparisons here, though I have heard it many times on records old and new.
I have been the lucky owner of a pair of FLEA 49 for near two years, and of a pair of FLEA 50 for near one year. I'm just an amateur and cannot compare these mics to the original that they are intended to be the clone of. I can compare them only to other LD mics in my collection: AKG C414, Audio-Technica AT 4047 and 4050, Nevaton MC48, Brauner Valvet, Manley Gold and Neumann M149, this latter one arrived too recently for having yet been involved in the comparison game. I think that their main sonic feature, which I love, could be what you call 'the big pillowy sound'. There is a link to piano samples in my signature.

Here attached voice samples from a take recorded with a FLEA 49 and a Brauner Valvet side by side. The guy could barely sing... This was just for fun. No doubt that Thomas Quatshoff singing in a 50€ mic would be a billion times better. However could give you an idea about how sweet is the FLEA 49 sound, may be?

NB According to FLEA, their model A has the same cap and the same electronics like the FLEA 49. And the price is very close to the one of a Valvet.
Attached Files

voix Valvet.mp3 (2.41 MB, 10004 views)

voix FLEA 49.mp3 (2.41 MB, 10028 views)

Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
fragilo's Avatar
 

Cool thanks for all the info guys.

The clips posted were pretty roomy and with a kind of closeted whisper voice, so it was hard to tell what the mics sounded like, but thanks anyway.

Im thinking unless Plush is out of his gourd that or Ivan's cousin or something these things must be the real deal, gonna make a move on some.

Cheers
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fragilo View Post
Im thinking unless Plush is out of his gourd that or Ivan's cousin or something these things must be the real deal, gonna make a move on some.

Cheers
Plush is not one to mince words, nor give praise to anything that doesn't pass the muster - check his creds and discography - high profile user, tho he's most likely in a different genre of recording than you...

I've not heard the FLEA mics, nor seen any (I also live in the GTA) so I can't lend any firsthand info, except there are a few chaps selling them in the classifieds (new/demos from overseas/Finland/EU, so likely voltage needs switching for US/CAN) so look around - there might be a deal to be had...

Good luck - if you get one, please PM me - I'd love to hear it!
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Hello FLEA freaks,

What would you like to know?

Here I use FLEA 47 and FLEA 49.
Both are outstanding and true to the original sound.

...

Mic sounds old just like it should

...

FLEA 49 has the typical soft treble of the 49 and has a genuine tube quality that one associates with a 50 year old mic. Mic sound is evoking a strong nostalgic quality

...
plush, i do apologize, i value your opinions here on GS, but i must call you out on this.

how can a brand new mic sound so old? yes, these mics may well sound superb, but really, can they sound so "old"?

please clarify. i am confoisted.
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
fragilo's Avatar
 

I hope what Plush means by old sounding is that they've figured out what distortion properties and anomalies make the classics so great, then enhance and highlight that rather than removing it to make it cleaner.

I hate when I read promo for re-issues that say "improved distortion figures" and "extended frequency rage", that defeats the purpose. I'd rather see increased distortion and coloration in this day in age. If a 1712 Stradivarius is still the most pleasing sounding cello, maybe there are things you just can't improve on.

I mean, how crystal clear can you get before its beyond human distinction, or attraction for that matter? Didn't we really apex with the analog era as far as what the human ear can physically reproduce, and what sound characteristics connect deepest to the living and aware soul? I really don't think we'll even classify as homosapien by the time our race needs something more pleasing to the ears for what it does than a 1712 Strad or a '57 Fender or a '49 Neumann or a '72 Neve or a '69 Chevy....
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
good point, very eloquently put, but i believe that my question remains unanswered...
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubrichie View Post
good point, very eloquently put, but i believe that my question remains unanswered...
I think you're getting hung up on language. I'm sure that all he means is that they sound like the original rather than "modern". Simple enough. No need to "call him out".
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
swankdoc's Avatar
 

A young person can have an old soul.

'doubters crash to the curb' > gotta remember that one.
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Richie


Dude, unless you're an investigative reporter for "Current Affairs", somehow "Calling him Out" just doesn't sound right. Na' wa' mean?? How well versed are you on microphone design? Tube electronics and circuits? Transformer loading and design? To be honest, your question could elicit a 3 page response .. I don't got that time spare right now.

You seem to have focussed on the word "old". For arguments sake, one could also say that the FLEA mics are "painstakingly authentic recreations" of the original Neumann mics. Other reissued mics in this category might be the Wagner 47, the Telefunken 47 recreation, Beez Neez Tribute, etc. There's actually quite a list. Lot's of people agree to disagree about which mics should be on this list, so opinion counts for a lot here ..

They all seem to share common traits : A capsule modelled on the original K47 capsule, a modified tube circuit redesigned around an original VF14 or an EF14 tube, and a transformer that mimics the behaviour of an original BV8 transformer.

If you've used an original Neumann U47 then you'll understand why some get so obsessional about this sound. A lot of people say that it's a "vintage" or an "old" sound. I have no idea about your level of knowledge or age. Search around the web and research a bit. Klaus Heynes forum over on ProSoundWeb has a lot of info about these mics. Hope this helps.


Regards RAy
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
By saying, "it sounds old," I mean that it sounds like a vintage U47. It sounds like a old tube mic. It is part of the FLEA design to have the FLEA 47 sound like a Neumann U47.

It's as simple as that.

YOu can pay more for a 47 clone but FLEA offers the real thing for reasonable money. The people behind FLEA are also good people and so I believe that they are deserving of support. They treat the customer like you want to be treated and they provide excellent customer service.

Warranty on FLEA mics is 10 years by the way.

I will be buying more FLEA 47 soon.
Old 15th May 2010 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
It's worth pointing out, re: the Flea's competition, that Wunder is more recently offering several differently voiced versions of their M7 capsule, available to both of their CM-7 designs. Their GT glass tube/PCB version is quite affordable at even less than the Flea. Of course their steel tube version is much more expensive than the Flea. I know Ben at BeezNees also will voice a capsule to a customer's preference. His T-1 is about the same price as the Flea.
Old 16th May 2010 | Show parent
  #22
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
ther is a flea47 for dead cheap in the classified section...
where!
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Red 7's Avatar
I had Flea 49 and it had nothing to do with the sound of original M49. But I heard lot of good things about their Flea 12.
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I ended up getting the Flea 47 and 49 and love them both. The 47 goes very deep and is very sweet. It holds its own with any 47 clones or originals I've heard, and I vastly prefer it to the Wunder versions, which to my ear sound smaller and more pinched by comparison. I can't say if the Flea 49 gets at the classic U49 sound as I have less experience with that mic, but I'm finding it to be an incredible multipurpose instrumental mic with great depth and size. It's smoother than the 47, with less of that midrange forward "lean", which makes it more versatile but less vibey.

I highly recommend trying these mics for yourself--Ivan, at Flea, is a joy to deal with. Don't worry that it's an international transaction. Everything went very smooth for me.

-R
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
I can't say if the Flea 49 gets at the classic U49 sound as I have less experience with that mic,
You mean M49 of course!
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
mics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Ie.--47 is thick below with sparkle in the highs. Midrange boost is thick and authentic. Mic sounds old just like it should. Has that pillowy bottom the OP seeks. My FLEA 47 uses an EF12 tube---very very close sound to the VF14 original.
Hi Plush, I have to agree to disagree with the above statement. The Ef12 is a great tube, as a matter of fact it can be considered by some as superior but alas, it does not sound the same as the EF/VF14. The Ef12 40hz to 250hz is very similar but the VF/EF14 becomes much thicker and more dense form 250hz - 600hz. At this point they are again similar until they reach 2k; this is where the clairity of the EF12 begins to stand out. The EF/VF14 then start to roll away at around 16k depending on the tube whereas the ef12 remains on a more linear line.

Please don't feel that i am trying to discredit you as i am not. I work with both of these tubes everyday and can hear the difference instantly. I am a fan of both but the EF/VF14 has the thickness and depth that is not found in the EF12.

Cheers
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
By saying, "it sounds old," I mean that it sounds like a vintage U47. It sounds like a old tube mic. It is part of the FLEA design to have the FLEA 47 sound like a Neumann U47.

It's as simple as that.

YOu can pay more for a 47 clone but FLEA offers the real thing for reasonable money. The people behind FLEA are also good people and so I believe that they are deserving of support. They treat the customer like you want to be treated and they provide excellent customer service.

Warranty on FLEA mics is 10 years by the way.

I will be buying more FLEA 47 soon.
I think FLEA now offer a lifetime guarantee.

I visited them earlier this month and was extremely impressed at the dedication of the company and the quality of manufacture.

FLEA supply the hardware kits for other "clone" manufacturers such as Wunder as their engineering is so superb.
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 

Flea is serious! I have a 47. I wish I could have a 49 and a 12 as well.
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Thank you, Ben. I am sure you are right about the tubes. Perhaps in some divine future I will be able to experiment with using the EF14 tube in the FLEA 47.

It's great to hear that other esteemed posters are getting turned on to FLEA.
I can say that the FLEA 47 is my favorite microphone.
Old 27th August 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red 7 View Post
I had Flea 49 and it had nothing to do with the sound of original M49. But I heard lot of good things about their Flea 12.
Hello Red 7,

I have not had good luck in placing the U67 mic on the plates of the M15. What I use on there is a beat 47 for extra heft and weight. Do you get a special sound when you let that 67 flop around on the plates as the tape is going?
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 98 views: 42738
Avatar for nst7
nst7 14th February 2014
replies: 2704 views: 399352
Avatar for Diogo C
Diogo C 30th October 2015
replies: 291 views: 51626
Avatar for Rixsta
Rixsta 21st May 2017
replies: 240 views: 36783
Avatar for Wiggy Neve Slut
Wiggy Neve Slut 24th October 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump