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if the u47 is the holy grail of mics why are neumann not making the same mic? Condenser Microphones
Old 21st December 2010
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Because its not that easy... and more importantly - its not that profitable.
You are right, but for once I would like to see someone more worried about the art of the product instead of their wallet.
Old 21st December 2010
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v241 View Post
The best I ever read was Newman instead of Neumann.

"Do you use newman mics?" "No tutt"

Newmann Retro
Old 21st December 2010
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalM View Post
:-) It was several years ago when I read that, maybe before this company had been founded. He might have thought it would be clever to translate the name Neumann to newman.
Old 21st December 2010
  #34
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“Don’t try to bend the laws of physics in pursuit of a particular sound. If people want the sound of the U 47, it’s up to them to try to get hold of one.” - Georg Neumann
Old 21st December 2010
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v241 View Post
The best I ever read was Newman instead of Neumann.

"Do you use newman mics?" "No tutt"
Please stop this orthographic snobbery... it's just ridiculous.

Old 21st December 2010
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ludovico View Post
Please stop this orthographic snobbery... it's just ridiculous.

Some people consider the proper spelling of names to be a sign of politeness and respect.
Old 21st December 2010
  #37
I wish that I could buy a u47 and a Fairchild and turn myself into the Beatles!

I can understand why people are obsessed!

I've never had a problem with my u87ai, though.
Old 21st December 2010
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Of course it could be done... the tooling cost is only about $600,000 USD - for a potential market of about 5-6000 units over the next 12-15 years [if you base the number on "historic" U-47 /48 sales from 1947 until production ceased [I believe in the early 60's]... wanna do the math on what that part would cost?
I did it for you: 600,000 USD / 6000 units = 100 USD / units. The prices of some mics from your company exceeds 10,000 USD. You might count 1000 $ per unit to get back your money for the tooling in 2 years at most. Where is the problem ?
Old 21st December 2010
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
I did it for you: 600,000 USD / 6000 units = 100 USD / units...Where is the problem ?

I say this respectfully, and bluntly: the problem is with you, specifically in your largely incomplete understanding of the manufacturing process and what's involved in developing a given product, getting it to market, and on top of all of that running a sustainable global manufacturing business.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 21st December 2010
  #40
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
You are right, but for once I would like to see someone more worried about the art of the product instead of their wallet.
Go for it!!!

I don't think anyone is standing in your way to do exactly what you have proposed. In the meanwhile, those of us with things like food habits and car payments get somewhat concerned about the wallet part... guess its human nature.
Old 21st December 2010
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I say this respectfully, and bluntly: the problem is with you, specifically in your largely incomplete understanding of the manufacturing process and what's involved in developing a given product, getting it to market, and on top of all of that running a sustainable global manufacturing business.


Gregory Scott - ubk
You might be more specific in your answer. Fletcher presented the tooling cost as being a major issue. According to his own figures it could be on the order of 1% of the selling price per unit sold on a 12-15 year duration. It is not a so obvious problem fot most members of this forum who are not involved in audio gear development. So, what would be the acceptable limit for the cost of the tooling needed for such a development (6000 units on 12 years, list price 10,000 $) ?
Old 21st December 2010
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
You are right, but for once I would like to see someone more worried about the art of the product instead of their wallet.
Heaven forbid they actually make money. Seeing as you're so worried about art, I have some great songs, maybe you'd like to use the really high end gear you've probably worked your ass off for to make me sound great for nothing. Seriously don't be cheap, it's for the art, whether you eat tonight is irrelevant, it's about the art. It's unreasonable. What part of that can't you guys get? Grab the old ones while you can, or better yet, buy a new microphone, one that isn't a clone or designed to sound old. A new sound? The seas could part I know, but lots of new passionate companies are making new mics.
Old 21st December 2010
  #43
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Well I didn't say give it away or free, at least they could still make them at a decent price, it isn't like the only mic they make, Neumann is tops when it comes to mics, rarely they make a bad one.

I have owned a 47 and should have my ass kicked for selling it, killer mic for sure, lived on my outside kick and most vocal tracks.
Old 21st December 2010
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
It would be interesting to know how many of the high end re-issues that Telefunken has sold in the last couple of years.

To look at costs and numbers realistically, you need to know how many potential customers really exist currently for 10 thousand dollar microphones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The market might even be smaller - while there are a whole bunch of people calling the mic the "Holy Grail" on GS - there are damn few that will actually buy one [even on a global scale] -- the actual market could be as few as 300 -350 units a year [smaller than it was in 1957] which would take it out to WAY over a decade to "recoup" the capital investment necessary to tool up the production run.
300-350 units a year and 10,000 $ per unit: it makes only 3 to 3.5 millions USD a year. This low assumption makes irrelevant an initial investment of 0.6 million USD for the tooling according to Fletcher. I wonder how much relative to the selling price is the manufacturing cost (tooling + parts + manpower) of this kind of very high end microphone for this business being profitable enough ?
Old 21st December 2010
  #45
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
300-350 units a year and 10,000 $ per unit: it makes only 3 to 3.5 millions USD a year. This low assumption makes irrelevant an initial investment of 0.6 million USD for the tooling according to Fletcher. I wonder how much relative to the selling price is the manufacturing cost (tooling + parts + manpower) of this kind of very high end microphone for this business being profitable enough ?
OK, I hope you don't mind if I help you out a bit here [you know what they say about when you ASSuME]... 300 - 350 units a year would be like a wet dream for a company like T-funk. 100 units a year would be a banner year to say the least!!! While these things get talked about every day [twice on Sundays, and 4 times a week during the slower summer months] the reality is they're not a "commodity" item to say the least.

There are a bunch of companies that build "clones" -- and without having hard sales numbers from the others, I HIGHLY doubt the GLOBAL market is 300-350 mics a year. The original U-47 / U-48 was in production for 15+ years [in a time when there were a multitude of PROFESSIONAL recording studios / broadcast facilities / etc.] that had real budgets. During those 15+ years fewer than 6000 units were produced - and many of those are still traded on a regular basis -- increasing the supply of the product while the "demand" has only increased slightly.

Second; the microphones built by T-funk RETAIL for $8,495 USD -- which makes "reseller cost" a measure less than that... which further makes your "sales projections" erroneous at best. I know its a common misconception that companies like T-funk are using rakes to fill their wheelbarrows with great big piles of showbiz cash -- the fact of the matter is its a misconception. There are many manufacturers of microphones that do exceptionally well - but for the most part they're in the "commodity" end of the microphone manufacturing industry, NOT on the "boutique" end of things. On the "boutique" side, the market is far smaller, the margins are a good measure slimmer, and the volume of overall sales is FAR lower.

There are a good 10-12 other factors involved with manufacturing that you're not calculating into you "sales projection" / "wildly profitable" equation - which aren't that difficult, but are factors none the less. If you would like to learn more about these things I would suggest you take a class at your local community college, or perhaps visit your local library.

Peace.
Old 21st December 2010
  #46
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Bummer, didn't know about the u47. Must've missed the holy grail meeting that week. Like that one guy posted, I coulda turned myself into the beatles with one of those. oh well.

I have a tip that my adat xt is due to be added to the holy grail list in 2060. Anyone want to buy it now at haf the going 2060 grail price? I'm thinking $14,500 and I'll throw in two free rare, vintage, holy grail vhs tapes.
Old 21st December 2010
  #47
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I propose a mandate that all new tube microphones produced will use a VF-14. There, now you have your quantity to make back your investment cost sooner. And the microphones would be better as well. Its a win - win!
Old 21st December 2010
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
OK, I hope you don't mind if I help you out a bit here [you know what they say about when you ASSuME]... 300 - 350 units a year would be like a wet dream for a company like T-funk. .
My ASSumption was actually your one here. Just a wet dream you said... Don't forget to wash the sheets.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #49
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It would be a step back into the wrong direction.

A perfect virtual U 47/ 50/67 etc. with different pre amp models
as a native plugin for their digital mics would be a much
more intelligent solution.

They could even partner with waves or softube.


There will allways be people who are willing to spend
6 k for a "real" U 47 as there will allways be ones who
buy neve desks and studer tape machines.

Progress in virtual modelling will make such investments
more and more the exception.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #50
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
My ASSumption was actually your one here. Just a wet dream you said... Don't forget to wash the sheets.
In case you didn't get the memo - there are a whole bunch of companies making U-47 "clones". There is Wagner, Vox-a-Rama, FLEA, T-funk, etc., etc., etc. The 5-6000 over the next 12-15 years figure was for ALL of them, not just TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik [and frankly it was probably on the "optimistic" side for the combined "sales figures" for ALL of these manufacturers].

The statement was based on the previously mentioned "historical" sales figures - not necessarily in fact as I have less than zero idea [and far less than zero interest] of how many microphones are sold or produced by these other manufacturers.

If there were capital to do a "manufacturer group buy" it might be something of a consideration -- but frankly, while there is great respect among several of these producers - the fact of the matter is that I don't think they could come to a solid consensus on lunch, never mind financing agreements on a major capital investment on production and long term stocking [never mind warehousing - allocations - whose gonna invest what on the front end, etc., etc., etc.]

Peace.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #51
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Can someone quantify (or even take a stab at qualifying) the difference between a VF14 and the myriad other tubes commonly used in microphones today? I ask only because if there is something truly special about the VF14, and if it could be used in other circuits to make other mics sound better, $600,000 might be a worthwhile investment.

Tooling up a tube factory to make a tube for one kind of microphone would be like building a glass factory to make one particular windshield.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
I have owned a 47 and should have my ass kicked for selling it, killer mic for sure, lived on my outside kick and most vocal tracks.
zaza, please stay on point. you once owned a fet47.big diff,champ.nothing remotely grailish about the fet47
Old 22nd December 2010
  #53
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Fletcher's Avatar
Just curious - do you have it on actual knowledge that it was a 47FET or is that just supposition because he mentioned a kik drum?

FWIW - valve 47's [and 48's!!!!!!] work great outside of kik drums too!!

Peace.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Just curious - do you have it on actual knowledge that it was a 47FET or is that just supposition because he mentioned a kik drum?
i've read numerous posts of his where he's mentioned his beloved u47fet
Old 22nd December 2010
  #55
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As a Neumann dealer I can only speak of various, blips and blurts I've heard occasionally. This is not a statement from Neumann, it's from me.
My feelings from all I've heard and had hinted at me is that several factors come to play, the tube being the largest. Mechanical parts etc are very easy. But then other things like, why produce a mic that has an estimated manufacturing cost (based on expected numbers of sold units etc) of about $12,500 ( I heard that was an estimated like 8 years ago) just to have people find some small thing and say "oh it's not a real U47"
The other big factor is...Neumann has moved on and is heading in a different direction. I can't say as though I agree with everything they do and if "I were in charge" I'd probably do things a little differently. But I also dont agree with those "same ol' Neumann haters" (we know who you are) that complain about the fine mics Neumann makes these days. The TLM49 being one of my fave Neumann's of ALL time.
I'd like to see Neumann take on some of the "doable" mics like the KM series or the U47FET. Those are all killer mics and have shot up high enough in value to where I can see a profit being made by Neumann/Sennheiser. I still say they could do a U67, but I doubt we'll see that anytime soon.
Meanwhile while youre waiting for that U47 reissue, which I agree with Fletcher that many new boutique companies are making excellent examples, pick up the Neumann D-01 mic and try something totally different :-)
Old 22nd December 2010
  #56
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call me names if you want, but I guess your ears are just that much more finely tuned than mine, because to me there isn't a single decent mic in the TLM line.
add the KM184 to that, and it leads me to suspect that Sennheiser/Neumann doesn't KNOW HOW to build a mic like the Neumann of old did

or they would.

you ask why they don't build a KM?
well, indeed! why don't they simply build the KM84 INSTEAD of the god awful 184?
there is something esoteric in an 84 that can't be found anymore? I think not.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #57
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Maybe a company like JJ-electronic in Slovac Republic would be interested in a reproduction of the VF14 if they can see a worthwile market for it.

From the JJ homepage:

"In 1994, JJ Electronic started with the production of three types of tubes. Today, we offer an assortment of more than 20 types of tubes. In 1999, capacitors and tube amplifiers were added to the JJ Electronic manufacturing program.

To ask the remaining tube manufacturers is probably not a new idea I guess
Old 22nd December 2010
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyToby View Post
Maybe a company like JJ-electronic in Slovac Republic would be interested in a reproduction of the VF14 if they can see a worthwile market for it.
at one point of time the chinese will reproduce and sell a VF14 for a bargain rate. Just wait 5-8 years ...
Old 22nd December 2010
  #59
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A CD costs around 20 cents to make, yet it is sold at €20.

This should give you and idea about the differences between manufacturing costs and final street prices.

Whatever the company and manufactured product, there are dozens of involved costs not apparent to the public that has never run a business. Licenses, insurances, R&D, amortizations, financial costs, salaries, ss, maintenance, taxes etc, etc, etc. Add to that marketing, distribution, retail, VAT (18-25%) and such and you'll understand better why things cost what they do. This applies to 100% of companies all over the planet.

On the other hand, any business is an investment. When one can easily obtain profitabilites close to 5% with zero risk, any activity with some sort of risk, as a manufacturing company, must yield profitabilities of 10-30% for people to even entertain the thought of considerate them as viable. What are the expected sales? Will we get more profit by investing in some other product instead? (cost of opportunity)


Building a tooling machine to manufacture VF14s is just a 1% of the whole story.

If re-issuing a U47, part for part, VF14 included, was profitable, some company would have already done it.

There is your answer.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #60
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Unfortunately all the equipment used to produce the VF14 was destroyed and I'm afraid no one is ever going to tool up for that mic again.

Some manufacturers can make an exact copy of an M49 and really it's a way more versatile mic than a U47 IMHO. So my question becomes why is no one doing a remake of an M49 for a reasonable price? Wait, I said reasonable price...

I know AC701 tubes are scarce but they are available and in some quantities. That said, I also know that Oliver Archut bought all the equipment to manufacture these 701 tubes (from Germany many years ago) and has it all out in Gaylord, KS with him. Only trouble there is he won't get around to "experimenting" on re-manufacturing these for a couple years yet.

There are a lot of great mics on the market today... way more than "back in the day".

Holy Grail only applies to some "mythical" cup that many, many people died over (though it was a great excuse for a crusade!).
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