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Neumann m149 and m147 Condenser Microphones
Old 28th April 2012
  #1
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Neumann m149 and m147

Deciding on tube mics, I have it narrowed down to the Blue Mic Cactus and either the Neumann M147 or the M149. I have experience with Blue and Neumann mics, but not with the ones I mentioned above. I've used the bluebird, the stage one rocket w/b8 cap, I currently have a Mouse, and I've used a TLM103 before, all with good/great results.

I know the sound quality would be better than the Mouse with using the Cactus, possibly the Neumann's too but, how do the M147 and M149 compare to each other, besides the M149 being more expensive? How do they compare to the Cactus classic, smooth, darkish tone?

I think the M149 has the k49 cap (better of the two) and the M147 has the k47 cap right? Well, as far as better of the two goes, depends on who you ask...

Thanks in advance...
Old 28th April 2012
  #2
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You might want to rethink your options if you want a real "tube mic". While the M147 and M149 indeed have tubes their design is rather different than traditional tube mics. Try looking into the Mojave line of mics, Manley, or any of the boutique companies remaking vintage mics. There you will hear a difference between a TLM103 and a "tube mic". I have heard the M147 on multiple occasions. Its upper mids were annoying and it lacked the low end you think it would have. I dont have any experience with the M149.
Old 28th April 2012
  #3
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Storyville's Avatar
I own an m147. Unless you really know what you are doing with it I wouldn't recommend it. It's a tricky mic to use because it has a hard upper mid bump and an uneven top end. In the right hands it's a GREAT mic, but it ain't entry level.

The m149, a deaf blind person could get a great sound out of it. Very nice "even harmonic" kind of thing going on - smooth, full, picks up good room at a distance, takes close proximity nicely as well.

Never really used the Cactus. I think the engineer used it on room capture for guitars on a session I was producing. Sounded good. Can't say much else.
Old 28th April 2012
  #4
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I would certainly add the Gefell UM900 and/or UM92.1S to the list, both these have the Neumann heritage.

(I recently became the Gefell distributor for the UK, but would have suggested adding these to the consider list anyway).
Old 28th April 2012
  #5
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Forgot to add ADK Custom shop and Telefunken USA....
Old 29th April 2012
  #6
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Thanks...I got more mics to research now. Much appreciated.

As far as the m147&m149 being modeled after the u47 and m49, which comes closer? Do the other boutique companies come closer to that sound than the Neumann m147&m149?
Old 29th April 2012
  #7
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short answer....Yes.
Old 29th April 2012
  #8
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
Thanks...I got more mics to research now. Much appreciated.

As far as the m147&m149 being modelled after the u47 and m49, which comes closer? Do the other boutique companies come closer to that sound than the Neumann m147&m149?
The new 147 1nd 149 were never meant to copy the old 47 and 49 - they were designed as valve mics for the 21st century with a valve sound but very low noise.

If you want a 47 or 49 like the original, look at FLEA.
Old 29th April 2012
  #9
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Only thing is, I can't afford 4k on a mic, yet. More than likely I'll get the cactus or something comparible. Maybe I can catch an in store demo at a deep discount. Hopefully prices will drop...I don't want to get a secondhand mic, if I can help it...
Old 29th April 2012
  #10
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
The m149, a deaf blind person could get a great sound out of it.
Unless the emphesis is on "could" I have to disagree with you. Unlike many people who dislike the m149 I do dig that microphone. I had a wonderful experience with it on a high pitched rootsy female vocalist in a studio where they had a 149 (I don´t own one). We had a Horch, a Pearlman and loads of great dynamic mics and the Neumann was the clear winner.
However when we tried it on the other singers (all male) it sounded as if it were broken. Raspy and a full octave missing in the low end. I´ve had microphones not fitting voices before but never really this extreme. I wouldn´t mind owning a 149 but it´s not an allrounder.
Old 29th April 2012
  #11
Fezzle
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The m149's are serious contenders for great Piano recordings
Old 29th April 2012
  #12
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Plush's Avatar
The M149 is a beautiful mic with a lush, velvety, gorgeous sound. It is one of the best mics ever made. Most people here diss it for the price. Actually many have never used it.

Available for around $3700 new in the US.
Old 29th April 2012
  #13
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+ 1 on ADK
Old 29th April 2012
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The M149 is a beautiful mic with a lush, velvety, gorgeous sound. It is one of the best mics ever made. Most people here diss it for the price. Actually many have never used it.

Available for around $3700 new in the US.
Yup. This mic is super model sexy. Been using one through a Fearn VT series mic amp...BIG bold bad mutha microphone, if you are asking me.

no sure whattt bee the complaints about price?? There's a lotta JUNK out there at higher $$$ and people eat it up like chocolate bananas. They's be dipped in whiskey...and squawk'n at ya eye lids!
Old 29th April 2012
  #15
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Ok. Think I'm gonna stick with the Cactus for my main mic, for now...
Old 30th April 2012
  #16
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Whoa! $2999 for that Cactus at Sweetwater. That is some serious cash for a mic, getting into some pretty high end territory. You are rapidly approaching the Flead and Wunder territory. I don't know what type of material you are doing, but you just flew by a lot of super mics on your way to .... well...

You just passed up the Manley ref c, Telefunken Ak47 mk2, Blackspade Um17r,
Pearlman tm-1 heh, Lawson l47mk2, Miktek Cv4. There are probably 4 or 5 others that fellow slutz could add to the list. Personally, I would rather have any of the 6 I mentioned over the Cactus--and I live in the desert. The Cactus is a nice mic, but to me $2999 is waaay too steep for what you're getting.

Seriously, if I were you I would do some serious auditioning of some other choices before I plunked down that kind of coin on the C word.
Old 30th April 2012
  #17
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Denny C's Avatar
Boy, did I get sidetracked. I know you want new, but if you look you might find a nice pre owned(notice I didn't say used) m149 for around $2700-3000. That would get me back on track on this thread, and hopefully I won't get flamed too badly for straying.
Old 30th April 2012
  #18
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No no, that's good. Im only questioning with what I know. So far Blue mics have been good to me. If I go to something else, how do they compare? I was looking at an in store demo Blue Cactus that was priced at $1599. If I can get something comparible to the quality I have seen with Blue mics, then I will be happy. Anyone used a Cactus or Stage 1 or 2 Bottle Rocket with a b6 or b7 cap that can compare it to a couple of boutique mics? I'd be interested to see which was preferred...
Old 30th April 2012
  #19
I've used a Stage 1 and thought it was horrible. It may have been broken, since it sounded so bad. Fyi, the is a Neumann m149 and m147Wunder 49 on eBay right now for $2400.
Old 30th April 2012
  #20
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Denny C's Avatar
Even though Blue has been good to you, expand your horizons the others could be 'better' to you. I have see the cactus model on the bay for around $1300 before, but I didn't even blink. The ones I've listed you might find a lot more exciting and they would cost you less. Win, win. Good luck.
Old 30th April 2012
  #21
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I haven't used the M149, but I think the M147 is a great mic. Reproduces vocals relatively naturally without a hyped top end. Good to have sitting around on a stand for when you need to quickly throw it in front of a cello, percussion etc as it's pretty easy to get a sound out of. Some said that people complain because of the price, but I've no idea what they go for so I'm just judging it on it's own merits.

Someone else mentioned the Geffel 92.1S, and while it is a GREAT mic, I don't think it's as much of an all-rounder as the M147. Mid-range is too colored on it. Suits some vocalists perfectly though.
Old 6th May 2012
  #22
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Been looking at the Black Spade Acoustics UM17R, BeezNeez Arabella, Blue Mic stage 1 and 2 bottle rocket, and the cactus. The multiple pattern/multi caps seem to be a better fit to what I need, rather than the 147/149. Now, if only all these mics were available new for around 2k$...

I used to have a stage 1 w/b8 cap going into a Presonus Eureka and that mic sounded clean. I wish I had kept the stage 1 now. But I sold the stage 1 and the Eureka and now have an Avalon 737 and a Mouse. I would love to have heard that xfmrless stage 1 with a b7 cap coming through the tubes in that Avalon 737. That would have probably been what I needed.

The Mouse does have a robust sound to it, but it lacks the sheen of the other tube mics I mentioned. But for now, I should be fine till I actually decide to dive in and buy one of the above mentioned tube mics. As of now, leaning more towards the Black Spade UM17R.
Old 6th May 2012
  #23
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Avening's Avatar
 

I do know that my Arabella Producer Series sits closer to the M49 side of the spectrum, but has a 47'ish bottom end to my ears. If that makes any sense. Regardless, it's a big and smokey microphone. I'd imagine the Blackspade would be pointing in that direction, but I've never used it so can't really comment. Beesneez really does make a top-notch mic though. Won't disappoint.

My $0.02 FWIW ....
Old 6th May 2012
  #24
The UM17R is a great all-arounder in the M49 vein, and is especially killer on female vocals and guitar cabs, where it hangs very favorably with vintage M49 and U67.
Old 6th May 2012
  #25
Neumann M 149 Tube

R.
Old 21st June 2012
  #26
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mattcollen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by griff71177 View Post
Deciding on tube mics, I have it narrowed down to the Blue Mic Cactus and either the Neumann M147 or the M149. I have experience with Blue and Neumann mics, but not with the ones I mentioned above. I've used the bluebird, the stage one rocket w/b8 cap, I currently have a Mouse, and I've used a TLM103 before, all with good/great results.

I know the sound quality would be better than the Mouse with using the Cactus, possibly the Neumann's too but, how do the M147 and M149 compare to each other, besides the M149 being more expensive? How do they compare to the Cactus classic, smooth, darkish tone?

I think the M149 has the k49 cap (better of the two) and the M147 has the k47 cap right? Well, as far as better of the two goes, depends on who you ask...

Thanks in advance...
If I were you, I would avoid the M147. I believe a good U87 kills the M147. With that said, the M149 is an awesome mic. IMO it is one of the best mics on the market today. It is a killer tube-based mic (not a traditional tube mic). It is hard to make an M149 sound bad. However, do not expect it to sound like an M49. The M149 and M49 comparisons have been the root of most of the M149 hate. The mics are completely different animals. The M49 is vintage (for better or worse). The M149 is a hifi modern condenser sweetened up by a tube in the signal chain. The M149 was not created to sound like the M49 and it won't. But, it sounds amazing and modern. It has plenty of body and smooth airy highs. The only similarities between the two (M49 and M149 are the K47/49 capsule. Even the M147 shares the capsule. The capsule does not make or break the mics. It is just one component.

My advice is as follows: M147(no), M149 (is a winner and brilliant), and I have no experience with blue mics.
If you want a modern tube mic with a vintage feel, check out Gefell (original Neumann) mics. The UM900 is insane.
Out of the mic options you listed, I would go for the M149. In my opinion it is one of the best LDC mics on the market.
Old 24th June 2012
  #27
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the thoughtful response. Heard great things about the m149. Little pricier than I'd like to spend, but if i can find one for around 2k$ in like new condition, I'd scoop it up.

Leaning more towards the UM17R by black spade acoustics, also the Blue Mic cactus or the stage two bottle rocket, if I can find one of them for a decent price. That should get me the sound quality I need/want and then I can finally focus on the music and not the gear...
Old 24th June 2012
  #28
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Denny C's Avatar
UM17R...good choice!
Old 6th July 2013
  #29
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GeneHall's Avatar
[QUOTE=Storyville;7827476]I own an m147. Unless you really know what you are doing with it I wouldn't recommend it. It's a tricky mic to use because it has a hard upper mid bump and an uneven top end. In the right hands it's a GREAT mic, but it ain't entry level.

+1 the 147 is not for the innocent or those in a big hurry. Fantastic Mic but like has been stated, the top is uneven but manageable. I personally feel this mic gets dogged on way more than is warranted. For the $$ in Oz, we chose the Flea 249b over the 149.



Sent from my XT925
Old 7th July 2013
  #30
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vernier's Avatar
Have to try 'em and see what works with your gear. 149 is versatile, good room, ok on some vocals (some). It's high output makes the preamp an option ...I run it straight to tube compressor for best results.
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