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How does a Flea 47 sound compared to a new Telefunken 47?
Old 23rd January 2014
  #1
How does a Flea 47 sound compared to a new Telefunken 47?

I know this is probably a worn out question but I searched and really couldn't find people with actual experience. I'm not looking for which one sounds more like an original 47, I personally don't care. How do they stack up sonically? I've heard so many great things about the Flea but I used one in the past and wasn't blown away, maybe it wasn't a good one, had a lesser capsule etc.

Basically I'm embarking on a new business venture that is going entail me singing on record a lot. So I'm looking for a mic for myself. Any thoughts? Maybe Beezneez, Pearlman, Bock, 47, 67, 251, 49, etcโ€ฆ What about Lawson? Most of you know I have owned or used a ton of mics but I'm kind of looking for a fresh perspective. I'm not looking for a vintage mic, I want something new with available parts and a warranty.

Here are clips of my voice:
http://jameslugo.com/sounds/James_Lugo_Destiny.mp3
http://jameslugo.com/sounds/Cage-Master.mp3

????
Old 23rd January 2014
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
I posted this in another thread.


'I have tried so many U47 types in my obsession with the sound. I have owned a Peluso 2247SE, Pearlman TM1, Flea, Beesneez T1 and finally an early Telefunken USA with Thiersch reskinned Neumann M7 and VF14M tube.

I sold all others and kept the Tfunk in the end. Recently I bought another Pearlman to use with my Tfunk for Glyn Johns drum mics. Both my Pearlmans have been the early black with the Telefunken steel tubes. They have come closest in sound to my Tfunk which I would put beside any vintage U47 with no qualms. I am sure I could get Flea to match my U47, but the price of a Pearlman is a no brainer for me.'

To your question; I had the same experience with the Flea as you. The Pearlman was and still is my favorite next to my Tfunk. I know that Flea will modify a mic to your specs but so will Dave and Pearlman is a lot closer with a very quick turn around. And the Pearlman stands tall next to mics that cost 2 or 3 times more $$.

As for comparisons with the new Telefunken I can't comment on their version of the VF14 (VF14K) because mine has a VF14M from back when they were selling with original Neumann capsules (reskinned) and tubes.
Old 23rd January 2014
  #3
Thanks man. This is so hard cuz now I don't live in LA and I don't have a black Amex card to throw a bunch of mics on to try. I do remember trying Pearlman's 250 when he first made it and I was blown away by it.
Old 23rd January 2014 | Show parent
  #4
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
Thanks man. This is so hard cuz now I don't live in LA and I don't have a black Amex card to throw a bunch of mics on to try. I do remember trying Pearlman's 250 when he first made it and I was blown away by it.
No problem. If you are ever near Boston you are welcome to try the Pearlman and Telefunken side by side. Or I could make some vocal clips if you need them.

Good luck, I know how hard it is to make these decisions.
Old 23rd January 2014
  #5
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...James, what hasbeen said...
...call Dave and ask him about building you one of his TM-47 mics...like a TM-1 on steroids!...metal tube instead of the EF80 in the current TM-1 and I believe he offers Thiersch M7 capsules besides his own in-house K47 capsule...he'll build based on your request and he'll voice it to your taste, all at very reasonable pricing...great guy, and as good customer service as you'll find...
Attached Thumbnails
How does a Flea 47 sound compared to a new Telefunken 47?-1558452_10152152174997439_2132074529_n.jpg  
Old 24th January 2014
  #6
You should have asked last time you were here! My big three mics are a 251 and a U47 from T-funk and an M49 from Flea. Obviously these are apples and oranges but quality wise are in a very similar ball park. Haven't tried the Flea 47 I'm afraid.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...James, call Dave and ask him about building you one of his TM-47 mics...like a TM-1 on steroids!...and he'll voice it to your taste...great guy, and best customer service you'll find...
Yeah Dave is a good friend of mine. He's on my list of people to call Tuesday when I get back in the country. I love that 250 of his! Do you have his 47? Clips?
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You should have asked last time you were here! My big three mics are a 251 and a U47 from T-funk and an M49 from Flea. Obviously these are apples and oranges but quality wise are in a very similar ball park. Haven't tried the Flea 47 I'm afraid.
What's your opinion for my voice?
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
What's your opinion for my voice?
You got something I can listen to?
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You got something I can listen to?
Ignore my last. i just spotted the clips in your signature. I'd be guessing the ELam 251 (or even the lowly Gefell M930) even as I put the other mics up for the shootout.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #11
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
Yeah Dave is a good friend of mine. He's on my list of people to call Tuesday when I get back in the country. I love that 250 of his! Do you have his 47? Clips?
...I have the current TM-1, but I've been considering a capsule swap/upgrade to the M7 (not that I'm unhappy with Dave's K47 capsule, but I have another 47-ish mic from Ben Sneesby that sounds very similar)...I'm sure Dave will let you demo one in your studio...

...currently only tracking on a female vocal, nothing on male vocals as yet...
Old 24th January 2014
  #12
Gear Nut
 

My advice - book a studio for a day just to do mic tests (obviously book a studio with an appropriate collection of mics). If you have to travel to a different town, it will be worth the effort.

Every single mic mentioned here is (a) great (b) expensive and (c) potentially horrible for you.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxhumana View Post
My advice - book a studio for a day just to do mic tests (obviously book a studio with an appropriate collection of mics). If you have to travel to a different town, it will be worth the effort.

Every single mic mentioned here is (a) great (b) expensive and (c) potentially horrible for you.
That's the problem I'm in NC. Not a lot of that going on. Sound Pure is giving me a few mics next week. BUT I am on a plane as I type to Mexico to see Armando at his place. I can only imagine the insane mic locker he has. But that could get ugly, I have 24 karat taste.
Old 24th January 2014
  #14
the flea sounds better! =)

new tele 47s sound great too. just the flea, to me, sounds better.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by missioncontrol View Post
the flea sounds better! =)

new tele 47s sound great too. just the flea, to me, sounds better.
There it is. I have a Tele 47 and 251 coming next week from Sound Pure for me to try and I have been talking with the rep from Flea.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
There it is. I have a Tele 47 and 251 coming next week from Sound Pure for me to try and I have been talking with the rep from Flea.
nice. i regularly rent a tele 251 and i love it. think they hit it pretty close to the mark - doesn't hurt too that it is beeeyootiful.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
Thanks man. This is so hard cuz now I don't live in LA and I don't have a black Amex card to throw a bunch of mics on to try. I do remember trying Pearlman's 250 when he first made it and I was blown away by it.
I own both the Flea (EF12, F7) and the Pearlman TM-250 (with the crappy tube Dave included in it, and after being sent three more crappy tubes, I just recently bit the bullet and bought a good tube from this dude Christian Whitmore ([email protected]), which I've yet to try out due to the TM-250 being at another studio.

I think my Flea sounds pretty stellar--haven't used the TFunk though. Even in a live setting, it sounds great.

I remember seeing this YouTube video that put the TFunk versus Flea versus Neumann. That and some good friends in LA (Satoshi Naguchi--works on some seriously high end music / scores, inc. Hans Zimmer) recommended the Flea line as being very good, so that's what I went with.

If you're auditioning the current line Tele 47, I would highly recommend auditioning the Flea (EF12 F7) 47. Based on that YouTube video, and the fact that I like mine, and several friends prefer either the original Neumann or the Flea to the current Telefunken, I just think it's worth your time.

Back to the Pearlman, even with the crappy tubes, it does sound pretty amazing... just noisy and slightly harsh. De-esser was my friend last time I used it.

Is there any way of hearing your voice, Mr. Lugo? Let us know what you decide, and best of luck. I'm sure YOU can't sound bad no matter what you use. You're our hero.
Old 24th January 2014
  #18
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
I like the Flea 47's.
ime not an exact 47 sound but still very usable.
bigger low end than the Wunder I had.
T funk built Greg Wells a 47 a couple years ago.not sure what they did tube wise..likely their fake metal can tube but he still loves it.I think he's been using it a lot on his records.
the Bock is completely different but pretty damn awesome too.
I'd love to hear your voice through the proper classic velvety 47 thing.
the 47 I have is a thing of beauty.just has that sound,when its on the right singer its instant .
ime the VF14 tube makes a difference.
vs. the flea it has slightly thicker more focused low mids and a sweet subtle "airyness" in there.of course it was about 5 grand more..
Old 24th January 2014
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
I'm not looking for which one sounds more like an original 47, I personally don't care. How do they stack up sonically?
I'm 'wundering' why no one mentioned the CM7.
From the clips that I've heard, would love to try it.

I know maybe it's not your target, but did you consider the Manley Gold Ref?
Love the smooth top end on it (really different from the Ref C).

Tele U47 vs Manley Gold Ref vs Ref C vs Bock:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Bm...B6E344C43AAC34
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRLK View Post

Is there any way of hearing your voice, Mr. Lugo? Let us know what you decide, and best of luck. I'm sure YOU can't sound bad no matter what you use. You're our hero.
Thanks for the great post. There are 2 links of me singing in the first post.

james
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I like the Flea 47's.
ime not an exact 47 sound but still very usable.
bigger low end than the Wunder I had.
T funk built Greg Wells a 47 a couple years ago.not sure what they did tube wise..likely their fake metal can tube but he still loves it.I think he's been using it a lot on his records.
the Bock is completely different but pretty damn awesome too.
I'd love to hear your voice through the proper classic velvety 47 thing.
the 47 I have is a thing of beauty.just has that sound,when its on the right singer its instant .
ime the VF14 tube makes a difference.
vs. the flea it has slightly thicker more focused low mids and a sweet subtle "airyness" in there.of course it was about 5 grand more..
Thanks RB. I real vintage 47 is probably out of what I wanna spend. I'm gonna check out the Flea.
Old 24th January 2014
  #22
Didn't Klaus Heyne say that these days the guy who has the closest capsule to
a classic U47 was Ben Sneesby? Closer than the Theirsch if I'm remembering it right, He talked about it on thread here on GS, maybe do a search, you might want to check one of those out to James.
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #23
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
Thanks for the great post. There are 2 links of me singing in the first post.

james
James, loved the audio clips! I have been really fighting this same battle looking for the right vocal mic for our new studio. I gotta say that I have been really leaning towards the Flea 47.

I hear so many people talk about the Pearlman mics but I have never seen any clips posted anywhere. I am seriously interested in hearing these mics!

After listening to the clips of your voice I was wondering if possibly the Flea Next may be a good fit for your voice? You have a lot of very clean presence in the midrange it seems and when you went down into your lower register on the clips you provided it sounded to me just a bit thin on the bottom of your voice. I think the Flea 47 is outstanding for pretty much all voices but I think the low end to mid range balance on the Flea Next may be a bit better of a balance for your voice.

Here is a clip of Natalie Oman singing softly into a Flea Next. I know it is comparing very big apples to very big oranges but if you listen to her voice on the Flea 47 versus the Flea Next you will hear what I am talking about as far as the performance of the mic is concerned.

Tube Tests Show Ep.33 "FLEA 49 NEXT Tube Microphone" - YouTube


OK, now where are the Pealman clips?
Old 24th January 2014 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
James, loved the audio clips! I have been really fighting this same battle looking for the right vocal mic for our new studio. I gotta say that I have been really leaning towards the Flea 47.

I hear so many people talk about the Pearlman mics but I have never seen any clips posted anywhere. I am seriously interested in hearing these mics!

OK, now where are the Pealman clips?
I did have that same thought for James, especially after hearing his voice... I wonder if the 49 would be the better fit. In my opinion, based on the clips I've heard of the two, and knowing my Flea 47, I think the 49 is a little more mid focused and open, less colored and huge, per se' as well.

Again, without having worked with any 49 directly, I'd guess it's almost more closely akin to an M269, which I have heard a few times versus a Neumann U47, and it's simply more open and significantly less colored and full in the low mids.

I should DEFINITELY make a TM-250 clip one of these days though, especially once I get the new tube in it. I feel confident that it would sound pretty good on your voice. Nice smooth mid forward design for sure with a pretty top end.

Great voice, James! Glad to hear you're using it more!!! =)
Old 24th January 2014
  #25
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lugo View Post
U67 > 1073 > 1176. Done. The sound of rock.
Old 25th January 2014
  #26
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If you can get ahold of a Lucas cs4, that deserves your consideration too.
Old 25th January 2014
  #27
Well I am at Armando's studio Cosmos in Mexico and about to try his best 48, 67, vintage 87, 251 and Gefell UM900. I will report back. This should answer a lot of questions.

p.s. This experience of being out here is beyond words.
Old 25th January 2014
  #28
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Enjoy your time down south man, and while in the Cosmos try everything you can, when you get back take your time beg barrow, rent everything you can man.
Remember you have the advantage.
A you always have your voice there when you demo.
B This for your voice so you know what your searching for when you hear it.

I would consider finding a dealer who could arrange a demo of a bunch of contenders ( bring your own headphones). A plane ticket today can save you thousands in the long run, and a great dealer will let you bring in some contenders he can't get and might just make some calls and and bring some stuff in for the demo!

Oh and enjoy Mexico City! I hate to say it but there's more there than the Cosmos!
Old 25th January 2014
  #29
Sang through:

Neumann U48 VF14 Tube Vintage
TelefunkenUSA U47AE
Neumann U87 with battery, vintage
Neumann U67 vintage
Neumann 269 vintage
Gefell UM900
Telefunken ELAM 251 Vintage
Manley Ref C


About half the mics I liked on my voice about half I didn't care for. We did a blind listening test after I sang. The 67 and U48 were really nice, the 251 was terrible for me. But the Gefell UM900 was the absolute winner. It brought out all the body and top in my voice and didn't bring out to much mid, it brought out just enough and the mids sounds insanely good. It had an incredible 3Dness without sounding to big. It also was very quick and caught all the little throat stuff. Thanks Armando and the guys!
Old 25th January 2014
  #30
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
The Flea 47 with a EF12 is unbeatable IMO I prefer it over certain vintage 47's that come through here.

They Fleas are expensive but they really do sound magical. Much better than the T-funk reissues or whatever they call them.
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