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Telefunken 21e versus Bock 251 Condenser Microphones
Old 10th November 2011
  #1
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Telefunken 21e versus Bock 251

Is the Tele 251e worth the price difference over the Bock 251?
Any users of both that can comment. It is apples and oranges? Are they similar - if not, how are they different. I know it is hard to write about these things. And I expect an answer like - try both and see - but practically speaking, that is not going to happen.

THANKS,
AB
Old 10th November 2011
  #2
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

Not exceedingly different, but you'd be able to pick one from the other in your own testing...

The Telefunken Connecticut mic compares with the good/great vintage examples and even bests them in a lot of cases, and the Bock mic is like if the original Telefunken company stayed around furthered development for all of these years.

The Bock 251 has a deeper and more pronounced low end and the capsule seems to have more reach -- you can back off of it a bit more and get the same closeness to the sound, and the low end hits you in the chest (when the source has a low end that hits you in the chest) where that really would never happen with a vintage 251. This is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite.
Old 10th November 2011
  #3
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I prefer the Tele reissue. It has a realism that is ridiculous. But you do have to really work it for extra bass/proximity.
Old 11th November 2011
  #4
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Thanks. To make it even more complicated - I am not sure whether to go with the CK12 or CK13 capsule!
Old 11th November 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Is the Tele 251e worth the price difference over the Bock 251?
Any users of both that can comment. It is apples and oranges? Are they similar - if not, how are they different. I know it is hard to write about these things. And I expect an answer like - try both and see - but practically speaking, that is not going to happen.

THANKS,
AB
Yes !
Yes!
And
Yes!
Telefunken 251 is that much better than anyone else.
Old 11th November 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 
Bradley Prakope's Avatar
 

I never got a chance to try the Tele 251, but I did demo a 250 for a while. I have never used an original so I can't speak to the difference, but ultimately I ended up sending it up back and buying a used Soundelux 251 and e49 for the same money the 250 would have cost. To me the 250 was a little smoother in the top end than the Elux but actually not as bright. I seemed to prefer the 250 on instruments more than the vocalists we were recording at the time. The Elux 251 has been my go to vocal mic for 3 years now and works great on 9.5 out of 10 vocalists. I will say there is the rare occasion with certain singers where the top end starts to get a little annoying, but it wins almost every shootout I put it through. As far as I know the Bock mics are pretty much the same as the Soundelux were and I gotta say they are pretty amazing for the price...
Old 11th November 2011
  #7
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I heard the new and vintage 251's a little while ago.
the new one sounded really close..its just the hi's on the original sounded sweeter more open to my ears.
in a mix would anyone really hear the difference? hmm thats like a 12k price difference..
that said I like the bock as well ..different enough to where I consider it it's own thing.
Old 12th November 2011
  #8
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I wonder if the highs would be a little sweeter with the AC701 tube?

Also, some 6072 tubes are better than others as well.

Best,
AB
Old 12th November 2011
  #9
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I'm told by some of the vintage mic nuts that the bigger difference is in the older CK12 vs newer style CK12's being manufactured today
..some think the newer ones just aren't on par w/ the older originals..that being said I heard that Tim Cambell's are very close.
if I were going to invest in a reissue it would have to really nail it.

Me?I would just get the Bock and be done with it..great sounding mic at a price that won't kill you and sonic alternative to the whole Neumann world.
fyi you can hear the Bock on the newest Arctic Monkeys release[vocals].
Old 12th November 2011
  #10
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Sage advice. I heard Tim Campbell's are very good - though I have not heard one in person. The new UM25 by Blackspade is suppose to have a Campbell capsule in its second rendition - and a great transformer. Not sure about their tube.

But after hearing that U67 in the shootout that we both responded to earlier, a glass tube can kill a metal tube. That ef86 (or ef806s) in the U67 is a killer tube. And I am sure some 6072s are as well.

Best,
AB


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I'm told by some of the vintage mic nuts that the bigger difference is in the older CK12 vs newer style CK12's being manufactured today
..some think the newer ones just aren't on par w/ the older originals..that being said I heard that Tim Cambell's are very close.
if I were going to invest in a reissue it would have to really nail it.

Me?I would just get the Bock and be done with it..great sounding mic at a price that won't kill you and sonic alternative to the whole Neumann world.
fyi you can hear the Bock on the newest Arctic Monkeys release[vocals].
Old 12th November 2011
  #11
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post

But after hearing that U67 in the shootout that we both responded to earlier, a glass tube can kill a metal tube. That ef86 (or ef806s) in the U67 is a killer tube. And I am sure some 6072s are as well.

Best,
AB
yeah the 67 has a lot going on inside the circuit aside from what the tube imparts
I'd be curious to hear Mike 's Wunder version
Old 15th November 2011
  #12
I own the new Telefunken 251e and it's definitely one of a kind (although some come close). The closest mic I've heard to it (besides the vintage version which is almost identical when they have the same tube) is the ADK CS-251J. It's not cheap (over $2,000) but still much less than the Tele. The Tele AR-51 is another great 251 contender. The AR-51 is just a little brighter with a little less bass, but that can be a good thing in many situations. I never seem to need much EQ on any of those 3.
Old 12th April 2014
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I'm told by some of the vintage mic nuts that the bigger difference is in the older CK12 vs newer style CK12's being manufactured today
..some think the newer ones just aren't on par w/ the older originals..that being said I heard that Tim Cambell's are very close.
if I were going to invest in a reissue it would have to really nail it.

Me?I would just get the Bock and be done with it..great sounding mic at a price that won't kill you and sonic alternative to the whole Neumann world.
fyi you can hear the Bock on the newest Arctic Monkeys release[vocals].
Honestly I have a tim Cambell ck12 flea12 and a 251E Tele USA

Talking with someone who doesn't want to be quoted but knows their sh t
the best / truest /
more consistent then AKG was/ is Tele USA.
Both sound great to me - but I do think Tele has nailed it.
Tim Campbell's is amazing too and he will tweak ones he has made to have the high end he is going for- amazing !
Old 12th April 2014
  #14
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasandi View Post
Honestly I have a tim Cambell ck12 flea12 and a 251E Tele USA

Talking with someone who doesn't want to be quoted but knows their sh t
the best / truest /
more consistent then AKG was/ is Tele USA.
Both sound great to me - but I do think Tele has nailed it.
Tim Campbell's is amazing too and he will tweak ones he has made to have the high end he is going for- amazing !
its interesting,seems like a little bit of a crap shoot with even the newer CK12 style capsules.I've heard a few Tele usa 251's and a few different mics with Tims Capsules.
they all sounded a bit different.
the guy I sold my Tele USA 251 to brought his over to see how they would hang on drum over's and his was quite a bit darker.
I know someone who had a pair of flea 12's and went through 2 capsule swaps to get them the way they wanted.
Old 17th April 2014
  #15
badge I hear you- it also then starts toward a rabbit hole of subjectivity
which ck12 sound are you going for....mercy me
Old 18th October 2014
  #16
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zak7's Avatar
 

any suggestions??
Old 18th October 2014
  #17
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zak7 View Post
any suggestions??
Suggestions for what?
Old 31st July 2016
  #18
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Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Bock vs Tele

I own both a Bock 251 and 407 and in about a month I'll be renting both the Telefunken 47 and 251 and will do a direct comparison. I look forward to the results!

I also got to do some overheads with a Soundelux 251 last week and in a head to head comparison against my Bock 251, I'm sad to say my new Bock didn't live up to the quality of the old Bock.
Old 1st August 2016
  #19
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zohomoho's Avatar
 

Maybe look into the new Mojave MA-1000. I got a demo deal on one just on a whim and love it. It has a huge toroidal transformer. Nice airy highs but my favorite part I like is how well it handles sibilance.
Old 1st August 2016
  #20
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I'd advise a quick email to David about the Soundelux/Bock comparison. Unless you're looking for something unusual from the mic, the Bock should be closer to the original than the Soundelux. He's only improved his materials and methods across the years. Something is likely amiss.
Best to have a proper comparison, whatever your final conclusion.
Old 1st August 2016
  #21
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bom619's Avatar
 

Bock/Soundelux

They do sound different but both have proven to be better than the other comparable mics out there. I can't explain it other than the Soundelux is more of a "straight wire" and the Bock has a spooky change in the high end that is instantly reminiscent of the vintage 251's (of which, I have enjoyed using for many records).

FYI: David will upgrade your Soundelux to modern Bock standards for a very reasonable price. It's totally worth it!
Old 3rd August 2016
  #22
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Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Unfortunately the Soundelux was a rental, but if it was mine I don't think I'd want it upgraded- the soundelux was better sounding to my ears, had much more of that desirable thick smooth mid-range you hear in good vintage mics, while the modern Bock sounded like the best Audio Technica ever made by comparison, so to speak. Now I only had a chance to compare them as mono drum overheads and I didn't delve into it deeply and the Bock 251 is still the most compelling sounding mic I own.

My sales people say the Soundelux sounds better because it's from a time when Mr. Bock himself was making them by hand one at a time.

I look forward to trying out the Telefunken 251 to see if that's where the true mountain top really is. Am also curious how my Bock 407 will stack up against the Tele 47. I digress but I'm kinda pissed the Bock 47 dropped in price by 2 k recently though. What did I pay for with the extra 2 k I shelled out. This means I can't ever sell it at reasonable loss.

Good lord I don't want to buy real vintage mics. It's a rabbit hole I don't want to go into, I hope it doesn't get to that



Quote:
Originally Posted by bom619 View Post
They do sound different but both have proven to be better than the other comparable mics out there. I can't explain it other than the Soundelux is more of a "straight wire" and the Bock has a spooky change in the high end that is instantly reminiscent of the vintage 251's (of which, I have enjoyed using for many records).

FYI: David will upgrade your Soundelux to modern Bock standards for a very reasonable price. It's totally worth it!
Old 3rd August 2016
  #23
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antichef's Avatar
I also have the Bock 251 and 407 - I'm about to use the 407 in a session. I love them both but haven't done much comparison with similar mics. I will be watching with interest for your report.
Old 5th August 2016
  #24
Vintage mics (depending on upkeep) will only gain value as they are fewer and far between as well as not being made! So if you do purchase a vintage you know you have a good investment/ ROI

The bock 251 I have heard/ used really sounds pre eq'd and has a real finished sound. It can and cannot work depending on the voice, you may or may not want that sound. Very scooped mids or maybe the 3-10khz region is more present and dominant giving it the lighter sound in the bottom/ mids. I would not feel comfortable spending the $ for it, I feel there can be better options for me, however The mic may be the perfect fit for some looking for that vibe. It's a quality mic that performs well and can capture beautiful pro takes
Old 5th August 2016
  #25
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For the record, David continues to make the mics in the same individual, labor intensive way he always has. There is no lessening of attention in comparison to the older mics nor has he elevated production levels. If anything, he's even more meticulous now.
Old 6th August 2016
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
The bock 251 I have heard/ used really sounds pre eq'd and has a real finished sound. It can and cannot work depending on the voice, you may or may not want that sound. Very scooped mids or maybe the 3-10khz region is more present and dominant giving it the lighter sound in the bottom/ mids. I would not feel comfortable spending the $ for it, I feel there can be better options for me, however The mic may be the perfect fit for some looking for that vibe. It's a quality mic that performs well and can capture beautiful pro takes
Well said sir, that's exactly how I feel about it.
Old 6th August 2016
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
For the record, David continues to make the mics in the same individual, labor intensive way he always has. There is no lessening of attention in comparison to the older mics nor has he elevated production levels. If anything, he's even more meticulous now.
That's good to know, and does make me happy.

Didn't sound the same at all though. Different enough that if you told me the Soundelux and Bock were both emulating the same mic, I wouldn't have believed it in a blind test.
Old 6th August 2016
  #28
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jjblair's Avatar
I just want to point out that real examples of vintage 251s will sound different from one to the next. If there's a difference between two mics, it's usually the capsule. If you bought a second one, and found it didn't match the first, I would contact David, and perhaps he could sort that out.
Old 7th August 2016
  #29
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

I own an early Soundelux Elux 251 (one of the first 20 made). Really great mic - one of my best purchases ever.
Old 9th March 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Interested to hear how you think these 2 mics compare?
I know you spoke very highly of the Flea 12 in other threads and I think you preferred it to the bock 241 if i'm not wrong?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasandi View Post
Honestly I have a tim Cambell ck12 flea12 and a 251E Tele USA

Talking with someone who doesn't want to be quoted but knows their sh t
the best / truest /
more consistent then AKG was/ is Tele USA.
Both sound great to me - but I do think Tele has nailed it.
Tim Campbell's is amazing too and he will tweak ones he has made to have the high end he is going for- amazing !

Last edited by davehall6162; 9th March 2018 at 10:44 PM..
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