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Next Top Mic Condenser Microphones
Old 1st June 2014
  #1
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Next Top Mic

I am considering another versatile high end LDC mic for the studio for vocals only.
My current go-to are the following:
1. Sony C800G
2. Vintage U87
3. AKG C12VR
4. CAD VX2
5. Beyer MC840

I have used #3 the least so I could part with it. I am considering perhaps a U67, 251, C12 even. Not sure if it's over kill but want to have a serious arsenal. I do mostly Pop, Soul voices and some Rock-Pop.
Old 1st June 2014
  #2
Have you heard the beesneez Arabella or james? Both mics are amazing main vocal mics.
Old 1st June 2014
  #3
CJ1973,

I have the same wish at the moment !
Another versatile high end mic for vocals only.

That's my personal favorites:

Josephson C716
Josephson C715

Bock Audio 507 Tube Cardioid
Bock Audio 251

Neumann TLM67
Neumann TLM 49

Wunder CM 7 with M7 Capsule

AEA R44C
Audio Technica AT5040

in no particular order.


Hard times....

R.
Old 1st June 2014
  #4
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I have a Telefunken USA 251 and think its a marvelous mic. Just beautiful open and effortless sounding on so many sources.

I had a Telefunken USA c12 as well. Great mic very sexy, supple and smokey. Quite honestly not what I expected but a great mic nevertheless. Best mic I ever used on a guitar cab but not as crazy about it on male vocals.

I'd love to get another U67 I had one but I didn't like it. I think it was a bad modded example. Buying vintage can be tricky. U67s can be all over the place sonically depending upon how they were maintained, if they were moded ie has the filtering circuitry that rolls of the high end been removed, etc.

With that said. You should try and demo the elam 251. I have the non E version with AC701k tube. I have yet to hear a more beautiful sounding mic. If for whatever reason you don't want a U47, I would seriously consider an m49. I recently bought a Flea M49 which has that larger than life deep huge neumann vocal sound but is a little less prominent in the upper mids than its more illustrious sibling the u47. Might be just the thing.
Old 1st June 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
I have a Telefunken USA 251 and think its a marvelous mic. Just beautiful open and effortless sounding on so many sources.
Hello Palermo,

I believe you to 100% !

The problem with the Telefunken USA model.
They are too expensive here in Germany. Really!
If they are a little cheaper, I certainly jumping on the Telefunken train.

Well, Josephson, Bock and Wunder are still affordable here. And Neumann... Yes, for sure!

Lovely greetings,
Rolf
Old 1st June 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Hello Palermo,

I believe you to 100% !

The problem with the Telefunken USA model.
They are too expensive here in Germany. Really!
If they are a little cheaper, I certainly jumping on the Telefunken train.

Well, Josephson, Bock and Wunder are still affordable here. And Neumann... Yes, for sure!

Lovely greetings,
Rolf

Hey greetings Rolf ,
Unfortunately that is the case with the TeleUSA. I would have liked to have bought a TeleUSA u47 and I may do so at some point but the price point compared to the Flea47 made it difficult to justify at least at this juncture.

Wunder is also quite expensive here and a couple of Bock mics are north of $6k

I'm surprised you didn't mention to the OP the Neumann M149 as I know you highly regard that mic.

I have to say, I do like mics as I think they are the most crucial element in the recording chain. Good ones tend to be costly but are typically very well made like a hand crafted mechanical time piece and will endure multiple lifetimes. (Hey aren't you in or near Switzerland, they know a thing or two about beautifully crafted watches there ). I've never regretted buying high quality audio gear and instruments and I have had a couple of pieces actually appreciate over time.
Old 1st June 2014
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
Hey greetings Rolf ,

Wunder is also quite expensive here and a couple of Bock mics are north of $6k

I'm surprised you didn't mention to the OP the Neumann M149 as I know you highly regard that mic.

I have to say, I do like mics as I think they are the most crucial element in the recording chain. Good ones tend to be costly but are typically very well made like a hand crafted mechanical time piece and will endure multiple lifetimes. (Hey aren't you in or near Switzerland, they know a thing or two about beautifully crafted watches there ). I've never regretted buying high quality audio gear and instruments and I have had a couple of pieces actually appreciate over time.
Hello Palermo,

yes, the Bock and the Wunder cost here in Germany also more than $8k, but the Tele $13k. Not really affordable.....

I'm a proud owner of a M149 since years. Wonderfull mic! I love it!
But it's time for a new Baby... (The list above)

I live exactly on the swiss borderline. Yes, they have great watches, and Switzerland is the loveliest place on earth... believe me... and I have visit and seen a lot of countrys.

Rolf
Old 1st June 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Hello Palermo,

yes, the Bock and the Wunder cost here in Germany also more than $8k, but the Tele $13k. Not really affordable.....

I'm a proud owner of a M149 since years. Wonderfull mic! I love it!
But it's time for a new Baby... (The list above)

I live exactly on the swiss borderline. Yes, they have great watches, and Switzerland is the loveliest place on earth... believe me... and I have visit and seen a lot of countrys.

Rolf
Hey Rolf,
Lucky you. Not to derail this thread but it must be nice waking up to breathtaking views. I haven't been to Switzerland yet but I love most of the places I've been in Europe. I'll have to get there one of these days.

I'm surprised you haven't put any of the Flea mics on your list. I think Flea is out of Slovenia or the Czech Republic so I would imagine pricing is pretty favorable in Europe. From what I gathered the Flea and Wunder are of comparable quality while the the Flea is less expensive. Haven't used a wunder but the clips of their 47 seem a bit bright to me. The pearlman 47 looks really interesting especially at the price point.

I have a 251, a 47 and49 and pretty much feel set. Well, I'd like a 67 too. Having a choice of mics is really great as you can really optimize capturing the source in the context of a given song. I've had one mic work well on a vocalist for one song while another was better on a different song.

So I would say to the OP it's not overkill at all . This is GS, is it even possible to have too many mics.
Old 1st June 2014
  #9
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carloff's Avatar
Rolf: what I highly recommend is to save money and to buy something vintage. sometimes is possible to find something for very reasonable price.
Old 1st June 2014
  #10
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Honestly with the exception of the u67 which there really isn't an accurate reproduction of yet, why risk a vintage purchase. I mean sure the possibility of resale value is better but there is more of an outlay, capsules that need reskinning or any mod or replacement parts can significantly devalue it. Plus you never know what your getting. So yes future resale may be greater but so is risk. You can have similar resale effect with less risk by buying a TeleUSA, Flea, Bock or Wunder on the used market as well.

I mean if you insist on vintage I would buy from a reputable source, be able to demo it first, and know of a good competent tech should it need some reconditioning.

Again with TeleUSA, Flea, Wunder, Bock and others making incredible new reissues of the classic mics, there is no reason IMHO to buy vintage. James Lugo did a nice shoutout of a variety of new and vintage mics. The differences between vintage and reissue were negligible.

But with that said owning a bit of history is quite cool and there is something quite attractive about those vintage mics.
Old 1st June 2014
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloff View Post
Rolf: what I highly recommend is to save money and to buy something vintage. sometimes is possible to find something for very reasonable price.
Carloff, when I had your splendid knowledge and great experience about 'vintage microphones', definitely YES.

But I don't have it...

So it is safer for me, to buy a new one.
The main reason is also the warranty by the manufacturer and at my musicstore.

R.
Old 1st June 2014
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
Having a choice of mics is really great as you can really optimize capturing the source in the context of a given song. I've had one mic work well on a vocalist for one song while another was better on a different song.

So I would say to the OP it's not overkill at all . This is GS, is it even possible to have too many mics.
Well-worded !

R.
Old 1st June 2014
  #13
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carloff's Avatar
What all the respect I highly disagree.At first about resale value.I bought my first U47 for 2500 eur 10 years ago . Now the price is somewhere else.My friend bought Flea 49 and yet made changes by Andreas Grosser to be closer to my vintage one for another 1000 eur, he had a problem to even sell it for 3/4 of what he bought it( without modification).I have quite intensive test archive of very different clones compared to my well maintained originals.I'm using originals every day.Nor clone is acceptable for me to replace M49 or C12. Only two clones I'm willing to accept for play a game with U47. I own one.
BTW I just own in my mic locker now from vintage ones -only for instance: 2x U47, 1x C12, 2x Siemens SM204, 1x M49, 2x U67,1x M269,1x SM69 tube, 4x KM54, 1x KM56, 2x C28 , and many more...
I bought all these vintage mics for less than 18000 eur.Believe me or not.
PS if you would ever need to help with vintage mic. Don't shy to ask me.
Old 1st June 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloff View Post
I'm using originals every day.Nor clone is acceptable for me to replace M49 or C12. Only two clones I'm willing to accept for play a game with U47. I own one.
BTW I just own in my mic locker from vintage ones -only for instance: 2x U47, 1x C12, 2x Siemens SM204, 1x M49, 2x U67,1x M269,1x SM69 tube, 4x KM54, 1x KM56, 2x C28 , and many more...
I bought all these vintage mics for less than 18000 eur.Believe me or not.
PS if you would ever need to help with vintage mic. Don't shy to ask me.
Carloff, that's exactly what I mean with 'splendid knowledge and great experience' about vintage mics.

Thanks a lot for the offer to help !

R.
Old 1st June 2014
  #15
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carloff's Avatar
I have for example found for my friend last week nice M269 for 3000 eur. With the worst case ( and I believe it will be not, I still haven't it in my hands)if would be broken AC701 and capsule..still would be less than 1400 eur maintenance including work from Andreas.It means at maximum 4400 eur for mic which could double this price in the next 10 years. Sounds like a deal to me.
Old 1st June 2014
  #16
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Hey Carloff,

Look I like vintage mics. When I was at a studio I ab'd a Flea 47 and a Neumann U47. I tried to buy that U47 because it was spectacular. I owned a vintage U47 that was not. The owner after teasing me with a potential deal decided not to sell. I bought the Flea47 and have been more than happy with it The differences to me between it and the vintage one are in real world terms negligible. While I did prefer that particular U47 to the Flea 47 and other vintage U47 as well it will have zero impact on my production. And while i would love to own some nice vintage mics, I love my reissues as tools they are of comparable quality and can give equally good results, I think to suggest otherwise is absurd. infact, I'd put up my TeleUSA 251 against any mic new used vintage or otherwise.

As I posted in another thread. The differences people on GS fixate on in absolute terms is quite small and probably important to very few people. I mean few people even have playback systems capable of reproducing the nuances and shadings of difference. And these differences are usually only notable when individually scrutinized. I doubt few if any of the golden ears among us could pick out the neumann TeleUSA flea or wunder in the context of a mix.

Check out the tube test video where they shoutout 3 "u47s" the Flea and TeleUSA each sounded slightly different but all were qualitatively comparable and any preference is just that. I actually preferred the Flea 49 to the Neumann in the M49 shoot out. Sure it's YouTube mp3s compression but that's how 99% of the population hears the world.

So yes if I could get an original m269 for $4k I would buy it in a heartbeat. Rolf I'd advise you to do the same but just know what your getting into first. I think vintage mics are cool and you have the added benefit of never having to explain to someone why the name on the little triangle badge doesn't say Neumann or Telefunken but the current cost for a impeccable example is quite high and trying to refurbish or repair a neglected one is not something I would relish doing. And should you buy one that's original and should it need repairs like a capsule reskin, well then your "investment" will depreciate.

Carloff, l respect your opinion, your knowledge of vintage mics and numerous informative posts you have contributed to this forum. I've also done some comparisons myself and I can say without equivocation that any differences discussed will not be even remotely meaningful to the finished product as opposed to the content and performance these tools are designed to capture.

That goes for other gear as well. Didn't Adele use a rode into a la610 or something like that. That's nearly unusable garbage to a lot of folks who frequent the high end forum. Yet I don't think Adele would have sold a single additional record had she recorded it with a vintage u47 and 1073. Nor do I think the majority of her audience would have appreciated or enjoyed it any more. And isn't that what this is all about.

I feel we hijacked the OPs thread but I guess since he was considering the U67 he can get some differing opinions on buying vintage.

Regards
Old 1st June 2014
  #17
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carloff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
Hey Carloff,

So yes if I could get an original m269 for $4k I would buy it in a heartbeat. Rolf I'd advise you to do the same but just know what your getting into first. I think vintage mics are cool and you have the added benefit of never having to explain to someone why the name on the little triangle badge doesn't say Neumann or Telefunken but the current cost for a impeccable example is quite high and trying to refurbish or repair a neglected one is not something I would relish doing.

Carloff, l respect your opinion, your knowledge of vintage mics and numerous informative posts you have contributed to this forum. I've also done some comparisons myself and I can say without equivocation that any differences discussed will not be even remotely meaningful to the finished product as opposed to the content and performance these tools are designed to capture.

That goes for other gear as well. Didn't Adele use a rode into a la610 or something like that. That's nearly unusable garbage to a lot of folks who frequent the high end forum. Yet I don't think Adele would have sold a single additional record had she recorded it with a vintage u47 and 1073. Nor do I think the majority of her audience would have appreciated or enjoyed it any more.

I feel we hijacked the OPs thread but I guess since he was considering the U67 he can get some differing opinions on buying vintage.

Regards
Palermo, it is all alright. I agree with some aspects. With other not.For me is the most reasonable investment in vintage mic because of value. Sound is matter of if it was serviced and if there are right parts. There is nothing more magical.The basic is to have good technician who you believe in.Then you even save the money.And mic which you will be happy with If you have bad sounding U47 sell me this piece. in two months will sound amazing.
And I totally agree that is not important for final art value.But if you have commercial recording studio it is making credit to you and reason why to record there. Helping artist or not. Otherwise he could make it in his bedroom with SM7 (and I'm saying -why not) and could be sometimes better.Magical moments help.Not magical toys.
But it not makes me to say buy clones instead of original. Clones are clones.You will loose money when you will sell it.And you will sell it.Because of sound.How it behave in a mix ,how joy is to use original.
I like couple of clones Tfunken ELAM 251 is one of them. Wagner and Grosser U47.That is all. From new mics I would rather buy Brauner VMX, VM1, VMA, SONY C800 and Josephsons. Or new Sandhill ribbon mic that is sounding amazing.
B
Old 1st June 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carloff View Post
Palermo, it is all alright. I agree with some aspects. With other not.For me is the most reasonable investment in vintage mic because of value. Sound is matter of if it was serviced and if there are right parts. There is nothing more magical.The basic is to have good technician who you believe in.Then you even save the money.And mic which you will be happy with If you have bad sounding U47 sell me this piece. in two months will sound amazing.
And I totally agree that is not important for final art value.But if you have commercial recording studio it is making credit to you and reason why to record there. Helping artist or not. Otherwise he could make it in his bedroom with SM7 (and I'm saying -why not) and could be sometimes better.Magical moments help.Not magical toys.
But it not makes me to say buy clones instead of original. Clones are clones.You will loose money when you will sell it.And you will sell it.Because of sound.How it behave in a mix ,how joy is use original.
I like couple of clones Tfunken ELAM 251 is one of them. Wagner and Grosser U47.That is all. From new mics I would rather buy Brauner VMX, VM1, VMA, SONY C800 and Josephsons. Or new Sandhill ribbon mic that is sounding amazing.
B

Carloff, your lucky, you started your collection when the going was good. I'm coming close to buying a couple of vintage mics just because I'm fascinated by them much the same way I am fascinated by certain watches the history of their movements etc. I think it's neat stuff.

I'd probably agree with you about the 47. While I never tried a Wagner or grosser most of the vintage Neumann u47s I've heard are a touch smoother and warmer while still remaining articulate. Well at least that's what I hear.

You know I came close to buying a vintage u67 from sonic circus but it was sold by the time I called. And there's some guy on ebay from Japan that has a remarkable collection of vintage mics but I worry somewhat about an overseas transaction.

I think the takeaway to the OP should be if you can, demo the mics you are interested in new vintage otherwise. Mics are so personal and the supporting signal chain is important too. It's interesting how one mic will sound better with micpre a vs micpre b.
Old 1st June 2014
  #19
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carloff's Avatar
I think it is question of Luck. I bought one of my U67 3 years ago from ebay.From Thailand.For 2000 dollars. It was there for ages for 3100. Nobody bought it. Because it was from Thailand.So I tried " best offer" and put there 2000 ... he agreed. So I was expecting scam but said myself why not.It was paypaled, ebay return money and also free shipping.
3 days later I had U67 with extra tube send by some super fast Fedex service for 600 bucks sellers paid shipping. It was noisy as hell but after repair it is my the most favorite mic.
I bought C12 2 years ago for 3000 dollars. Still is opportunity to have some good deals.
Go for 67, it is very easy to repair. The most what will happen is broken capsule and tube. it is 700 dollars together if somebody will be expensive.
BTW I totally agree about 47 and clones. Exactly what I hear.The smoothness and still articulate the details.
Most of the clones are honky , or distorted .Or too clean.
Old 1st June 2014
  #20
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...with regard to all these prime examples of vintage classic mics being discussed...how about some dry vocal soundfiles (or links for the same) for those of us who don't have easy access to these unobtainium examples...what do these best examples sound like, for reference sake?...

...no reference files?...it never happened...
Old 1st June 2014
  #21
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jwh1192's Avatar
Have your C12VR modded. Take a look at the innertube audio magmic. Very large sound.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #22
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mattcollen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
I am considering another versatile high end LDC mic for the studio for vocals only.
My current go-to are the following:
1. Sony C800G
2. Vintage U87
3. AKG C12VR
4. CAD VX2
5. Beyer MC840

I have used #3 the least so I could part with it. I am considering perhaps a U67, 251, C12 even. Not sure if it's over kill but want to have a serious arsenal. I do mostly Pop, Soul voices and some Rock-Pop.
You have some great mics. Yes, you suffer from mic overkill, but so do most of us gearslutz. :p

I'd recommend a good U67 or the slightly sweeter alternate version (in my opinion), the M269c. Also, consider the very underrated (at least on GS) Neumann m149.

Good luck with your purchase. You really can't go wrong with any of the mics you listed.
Old 2nd June 2014
  #23
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carloff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...with regard to all these prime examples of vintage classic mics being discussed...how about some dry vocal soundfiles (or links for the same) for those of us who don't have easy access to these unobtainium examples...what do these best examples sound like, for reference sake?...

...no reference files?...it never happened...
It happened
3D Audio's 3D Mic CD
Old 2nd June 2014
  #24
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carloff View Post
...I was hoping to hear your mics, not Lynn Fuston's...
Old 2nd June 2014
  #25
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
Have your C12VR modded. Take a look at the innertube audio magmic. Very large sound.
I was thinking about that and spoke with David Brown about the whole AKG thing. Even though he is a Neumann specialist, he didn't feel it would really make a huge improvement. However, I'd love to know who has done this and what the results have been, as well as the risks associated with ruining a normal mic.
Old 3rd June 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
I am considering another versatile high end LDC mic for the studio for vocals only.
My current go-to are the following:
1. Sony C800G
2. Vintage U87
3. AKG C12VR
4. CAD VX2
5. Beyer MC840

I have used #3 the least so I could part with it. I am considering perhaps a U67, 251, C12 even. Not sure if it's over kill but want to have a serious arsenal. I do mostly Pop, Soul voices and some Rock-Pop.

I'd look for something complementary.
I don't see anything with an M7 or K47/49 capsule; not in your go-to list, nor in your wish list.
Old 3rd June 2014
  #27
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carloff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...I was hoping to hear your mics, not Lynn Fuston's...
hehe Im doing it sometimes
TEST M49,Manley Gold,U47,U87i
VOXORAMA 47, U47 FLEA test
2x Siemens SM204 (AKG C12) the best sounding acc.guitar ever

but lot of things were before was GS able to upload audio samples right in the post .. so lot of is down...
Old 3rd June 2014
  #28
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Miles Flint's Avatar
 

I don't know about *4 and *5 on you list, but forget about the C12VR. The Sony C800G is no doubt one of the best vocal mics I've ever worked with, but it doesn't fit on every voice/singer. Also you could get the U87 and buy the retro tube kit from innerTUBE, it's not making it an U67 but it's right in between the two, perfect! After some years of use I can say it's the mic that fits with most of the singers/voices here. Full, rich, open sound... You should give it a try.
Old 3rd June 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
I have a innertube mag mic, pair of VX2's and had a vintage 87, also swap clients with another local place with a C800G so I hear one on a voice I'm familiar with over my production a lot...I can't say enough good things about the Josephson C700A. I've even called other studios to nag them about what preamps they like best with theirs, and mostly we just end up babbling about how good the Joes are...

Also visually, client wow factor is not lacking at all here.

The joe has an amazing ability to have enough flavor/color/etc that it's always engaging and magical, but it's also clear, clean, big, 3d, takes fx (ridiculously) well, and open in a way that it lets other pieces in the chain really shine.
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