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Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings
Old 22nd September 2015
  #841
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
It has nothing to do with 3U Audio.

It has everything to do "telling it like it is".

You actually implied that Advanced Audio Microphone were simply off the shelf Chinese microphones while in fact they are just off the shelf Chinese bodies.

You also imply that I am some kind of crafty marketeer!!! When actually, I first built some microphones for myself and when folks heard them I had to build more and I got pulled back out of retirement.

You usually only find me on Gearslutz when there is misinformation.

I got an e-mail from a friend in London who saw the post and thought I should come on and defend all the hard work we have put into microphones over the last 15 years.

There is always a new "flavour of the month" in microphones and I hope 3U stays around longer than some. The build quality looks fine but what takes the most amount of work from experience is keeping the build quality consistent.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
aamicrophones.com
Wait, who are you responding to?

With all due respect, the takeaways from this AA intervention seem to be that you have been in audio a long time, you have many clients with names, Chinese manufacturing has come a long way and 3U Audio mics may have a niche if people are into that U87 kind of thing. Oh and you said something about lowering some/one of your prices but that's certainly none of my business.

I'm not interested in disparaging you or the mics you sell but you seem to be posting a lot of long posts full of anecdotes that don't have much to do with the topic at hand (like when you got your first console or who you advised about their monitors in 1980 or whatever else). Don't get me wrong. I value experience a great deal. But what does that have to do with this very specific discussion? What's the difference between your FET47 and something like the Gauge ECM-47 besides the clipped caps and the headbasket? Same question regarding your CM12 and the Stellar CM-5? The transformer? Is it or is it not true that the factories you have your mics built at sell those same designs (or minor variants of them) to anyone else who can place a big enough order?

Customer service absolutely does count and it is something I value. But since you're here posting on this 3U thread and making claims about quality and value, let's just get right down to what exactly we're talking about. No anecdotes of past glory stories needed.

Let's just talk mics. I'm an honestly inquisitive guy and I'm happy to be wrong, but let's cut out the hubris.

Last edited by Ragan; 22nd September 2015 at 08:18 AM..
Old 22nd September 2015
  #842
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 

This thread has certainly gone to new heights. I step away for a day and so much happened.
Old 22nd September 2015
  #843
Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
It has nothing to do with 3U Audio.

It has everything to do "telling it like it is".

You actually implied that Advanced Audio Microphone were simply off the shelf Chinese microphones while in fact they are just off the shelf Chinese bodies.

You also imply that I am some kind of crafty marketeer!!! When actually, I first built some microphones for myself and when folks heard them I had to build more and I got pulled back out of retirement.

You usually only find me on Gearslutz when there is misinformation.

I got an e-mail from a friend in London who saw the post and thought I should come on and defend all the hard work we have put into microphones over the last 15 years.

There is always a new "flavour of the month" in microphones and I hope 3U stays around longer than some. The build quality looks fine but what takes the most amount of work from experience is keeping the build quality consistent.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
aamicrophones.com
Dave, i'm a musician with no agenda in this argument. Would you be so kind as to release some comparison videos like those made by JZ mics or Warm Audio so we can see the difference between your mics and other mics in the same price category?

I have money to spend and no preference for any brands. At the end of the day, if build quality is a non-issue, what we (the consumers) are more interested in is sonic qualities. You have nothing to prove here. But as you said that AA is all about customer service, this would further your company's policy even greater.

Thanks in advance
Old 22nd September 2015
  #844
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
I can tell you from past experiences over my 10 years posting on these forums that you truly know the buzz is strong on a new and well received product line like the 3U Audio Warbler-series mics, when your competitors spam the thread with their own marketing pitches and desperate, haphazard misinformation about these new products, in hopes of distracting and diverting some of the attention back to their own products...Nuff said!

...in the meantime, I suggest we get back to focusing on the original, more constructive topics of discussion in this thread, before the moderators have to do some serious mod-er-ating!...
Mate, u said your GZ251fet was number 1202 is it?

Well guess what? i got No. 1201 haha
Old 22nd September 2015
  #845
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetsh View Post
Mate, u said your GZ251fet was number 1202 is it?

Well guess what? i got No. 1201 haha
...yes, those are the first two of the newly revised GZ251FET...Guosheng made some improvements in this newer variant including a revised capsule tuning...how do you like it so far?...
Old 22nd September 2015
  #846
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
B)I have included the picture of a 3U capsule you posted and a Behringer capsule made by 739 in Bejing. They look incredibly similar and there is no way to know until you measure the capacitance of each capsule and have the two capsules under the same magnifying glass plus run a response curve.

However, what I noticed on the picture of the 3U capsule you posted whether its a 739 or not is a wrinkle in the diaphragm.

It's like that for all Chinese capsules there are alway some QC issues.

If you look carefully at the WARBLER capsule and 12 o'clock is top of the capsule you can see a wrinkle in the diaphragm from 4 to 6 o'clock.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
Advanced Audio Microphones
...actually Dave, you need to brush up on your manufacturing sources, as once again in this thread your info is incorrect and misleading...the capsule on the right (pic below left) is not a 797Audio capsule (BTW, the company is "797" not "739")...that capsule is a 34mm K47-type manufactured by Ningbo TongXin, and is the one most popular among modders for replacing the stock 32mm Chinese K67-type capsules in OEM mics...FYI, 797Audio capsules employ a screw pattern more like the Neumann-style retaining rings (pic below right)...Behringer uses those capsules, as has Rode and even David Bock...the original Beijing 797Audio was the government owned facility where Chinese engineers were trained by German microphone techs back in the 50's:
About us - English website - Powered by Wangzt!

...as for the 3U Audio K47 capsule you commented on, that pic was taken by me of my own Warbler MK II, and there's absolutely no wrinkles (what you mistakenly see is a light reflection)...

...I'm quite familiar with capsule design and tensioning techniques...I am currently beta-testing high-grade capsules for both Dany Bouchard (D7 capsule) and Eric Heiserman (HK47 capsule), two of the new manufacturers of US/Canada-made premium capsules...Shannon Rhoades of Mic Rehab in Nashville is also a good friend and he recently rebuilt/tuned a vintage K87 capsule for me for my M269c...if you're not aware, Shannon is probably the premier capsule-tech in the US (maybe the world)...he maintains the massive classic-mic collection at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and he assisted his brother Tracy Korby in designing the Korby Microphone capsules...

...let's be clear here...I may be the only one in this conversation that has owned and used, in a pro studio environment, mics from AA, Stellar, 3U Audio, as well as hand-built mics by Dave Pearlman, Ben Sneesby, David Bock, Blackspade, Oliver Archut, and other respected builders...I found your mics to be very good quality, but I outgrew them, replacing them with mics custom built by respected techs such as Dany Bouchard, Shannon Rhoades, Eric Heiserman, etc...

...it also may be noted, that if people are seeking historically accurate re-creations of the classic European 47-style, C12-style or 251-style microphones, they will be more than likely looking at mics employing simple plate-follower circuits (not your beloved 2-stage, plate-follower CCDA circuit as employed by many of the older, cheaper Chinese tube mics, like the Apex 460 and Nady 1050, of which your tubes-mics are based upon)...prestige brands like Pearlman, Bock, Wunder, Lawson, Korby, Flea, Lucas and others all employ simpler plate-follower type circuits in their higher-end, more historically-accurate clone tube-mics...

...and for you to imply that 3U Audio mics are somehow "less professional" than your own products is foolish, ludicrous and not a good look for a competing manufacturer to state in a public forum, particularly because unlike me, and a few others here, you have never used a 3U Audio microphone...

...I am stating that the sonic resolution and articulation I have experienced using the 3U Audio Warbler-series ($270) and particularly the GZ-series ($599) is IMHO, superior to the AA tube mics I've owned, and much closer in sonic character to the custom-built mics I use regularly in my studio...and that was the impetus for forwarding this thread...just because Guosheng chooses lower price-points to sell his mics (factory direct), it has no proportionate correlation to their quality or sonic credibility...IMHO, they are absolutely equal to, or surpass the performance of your own AA products (or at least the 3 AA mics I've owned)...

...of the many Shanghai ShuaiYin manufactured mics (like your own AA brand) I've owned/beta-tested over the past years, only the Stellar CM-6 has retained a slot in my much-upgraded mic closet...that is of course, just my opinion...but I'm good with that...

Have a Blessed Day!
Attached Thumbnails
Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-behringer-capsule.jpg   Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-797audio-capsule.jpg  

Last edited by kidvybes; 22nd September 2015 at 08:40 PM..
Old 22nd September 2015
  #847
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Hey folks,

Lets keep it civil and on topic.

This is one of the most informative threads I've read on GS.

It is however overdue a clean-up of off-topic posts... 3...2...1
Old 22nd September 2015
  #848
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

BACK ON TOPIC!...

...just giving my new Warbler MKID a good going over...looks quite good!...the new angular head-basket definitely implies the Neumann inspired origin...the optional shock-mount is solid and sturdy...love the weight/heft of these Warbler mics...

...hoping to take it into the studio tomorrow...very curious to hear the variable voicing options on "omni" for vocals (diminished proximity over cardioid)...

...once again, first impression Guosheng, well done!...
Attached Thumbnails
Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-20150922_162940.jpg  
Old 22nd September 2015
  #849
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
BACK ON TOPIC!...

...just giving my new Warbler MKID a good going over...looks quite good!...the new angular head-basket definitely implies the Neumann inspired origin...the optional shock-mount is solid and sturdy...love the weight/heft of these Warbler mics...

...hoping to take it into the studio tomorrow...very curious to hear the variable voicing options on "omni" for vocals (diminished proximity over cardioid)...

...once again, first impression Guosheng, well done!...
NICE. Yes, let us know what you think.

I'm leaning more and more towards a pair of those.
Old 22nd September 2015
  #850
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
BACK ON TOPIC!...

...just giving my new Warbler MKID a good going over...looks quite good!...the new angular head-basket definitely implies the Neumann inspired origin...the optional shock-mount is solid and sturdy...love the weight/heft of these Warbler mics...

...hoping to take it into the studio tomorrow...very curious to hear the variable voicing options on "omni" for vocals (diminished proximity over cardioid)...

...once again, first impression Guosheng, well done!...
Is that single layer mesh?
Old 22nd September 2015
  #851
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
Is that single layer mesh?
...no, it's double-layer...finer secondary mesh inner layer, but pretty sheer...

Last edited by kidvybes; 22nd September 2015 at 11:38 PM..
Old 23rd September 2015
  #852
Gear Maniac
 

Advanced Audio

My apologies, The anecdotes are what you get. That's me Dave Thomas!!!

I am responding to all those who want to learn something about microphone builds and some basic theory of microphone electronics.

I have been on the planet for 68 years and 50 years full-time in Pro-Audio.

I love to pass along some of what I have learned over the years. Folks like David Royer and I have been members of the AES since the 70's and we have a lot of valuable experience as audio techs and a commitment to high end audio.

I have lost a lot of great friends over the last couple of years and thinking about them urges me to tell stories. Some of these folks are classic characters and have true genius like my friend Ralph Dyck who was one of the developers of Midi and programmed the sequencing on TOTO's AFRICA. Ralph was one of my biggest mentors and you will see my name on Jupiter 8 the album we did with Ralph and Paul Horn in 1980. Paul passed away recently and was another amazing musician that I had the privilege of working with in the studio.

Paul Horn talked his way with a Nagra and a dynamic EV microphone into the Taj Mahal and recorded a Grammy multi million dollar record in the 60's.

The production cost!!

Rental of the Nagra and microphone plus one reel of tape. So, recording music is actually about capturing the performance and not what's the best microphone.

I again, apologize for boring you with stories of my electronic and music hero's fro the days before digital recording. However, that has been my life!!!

So, lets get into the GAUGE ECM-47

First of all the Gauge ECM-47 is a tube microphone and the CM47fet is a FET.

So, I am going to compare our CM47 tube microphones with the ECM-47.

Both, the CM47 and ECM47 are made at Shanghai Electronics and were based on their early SYT6000 microphones. Since 2007 the SYT6000 has had the 6.5:1 dual bobbin transformer, 35mm capsule, 6072a tube and 2.2ufd metal output capacitor that I specified.

Here is what I have worked with Shanghai Electronics on over the last 10 years.

Originally, the SYT6000 sample I had came with had an economical 32mm K67 capsule, a 12AX7 tube, single bobbin output transformer and 72v polarization.

I made changes to the SYT6000 sample here in our shop and then a few weeks later sent China the Sovtek EH 6072 tubes and had them change:-

1) The capsule to the AK67 35mm that John Peluso & Verner Ruvald designed.

2) The Transformer to a 6.5:1 dual bobbin with iron laminations.

3) The circuit boards with C8 being a larger 2.2ufd Metal film.

4) R5 & R9 to 200 meg ohms.

5) The fuse in the power supply to be external and the pilot light post fuse.

6) Foam feet to mechanically attached feet.

We actually send Shanghai the 6072a tubes for all their builds.


In my last long post I did describe the differences between the "off the shelf SYT-5 and the CM67se". The CM12se and the SYT1100. I described how I modified the circuit to improve the headroom.

I even shared the schematic diagram of our circuit for all to see and use.

This was back in 2001 when I came up with this improved design.

I am so glad Gauge has embraced our circuit as the two owners of Gauge have great ears and could obviously hear the improvement which is even greater with C6, C7, C9 and C10 removed. I am glad that I got to contribute to the legacy of World Class tube microphone circuits in some small degree.

You can go to Shanghai and buy the same microphones as the ECM47 and have your name engraved on it. it takes about 6-8 weeks if they have the metalwork in stock. However, we found that we need to buy 200 bodies of each model in order to not be waiting 90-120 days for the bodies to get from the metalwork factory to Shanghai Electronics.

From the posted Specifications... Gauge ECM47

The ECM-47 utilizes the 6072 tube and a 6.5:1 dual bobbin transformer.

First Introduced: May 29, 2009

Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
Sensitivity: 16mv/Pa (94db SPL @ 1kHz)
Impedance: 200 Ohms
Equivalent Noise Level: 18dB (A weighted IEC 651)
Max SPL: 135db for 0.5% @ 1kHz:
Capsule diameter: 1.38" (35mm)
Membrane Thickness: 6 Microns
Connector 1: Three-pin Male XLR
Connector 2: Five-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Multi-pattern (External 9-pattern switch).

List Price: $899

Advanced Audio CM47

Specifications:
1.07” (35mm) dual 6-micron mylar diaphragm AK67 capsule
9 selectable pickup patterns remotely switched from the power supply
Dual bobbin BV8 (6.5:1 ratio) output transformer
6072a tube Class A dual stage (CCDA)
Microphone connector; 7 pin gold, plated
Frequency response: 25Hz to 20kHz +/– 1.5dB
Noise: -17dB (A-weighted)
Impedance: < 200 ohm
Distortion: < 0.5% @128dB
Output: +20dBu with less than 1% distortion into 1.2K load

List price $735

The Gauge ECM47 has the same basic circuit, tube and transformer as our CM47.

If you have a Gauge ECM47 check C6, C7 plus C9 and C10 to see if they are populated on the board. Removing them makes a noticeable difference.

Check pin 1 on the 7 pin connector and see if its 144v or 125v.
Be very, very careful!!!

144v dc won't kill you but will wake you up quicker than your morning coffee!!

1) I specified the 6.5:1 transformer in this build and the 6072a and the 2.2ufd metal film which originally was 1ufd electrolytic.

2) In our build we have a 47 head grill fitted and all 4 caps are removed.

3) The microphone cable is tested here for phase and continuity.
We use a microphone phase tester to check the phase is correct on each CM47.

4)The trapezoidal headgrill on the ECM47 will increase the HF response at 12khz 2db over the 47 style headgrill.

5)We run a stress test, electronics test, visual inspection and listening test on each individual microphone we sell from the AA shop.

So, unless all those capacitors are removed and the grill changed the ECM47 will not sound like our CM47. However, we can provide these changes for $195 if you send the ECM47 to us including the 47 headgrill if you prefer less 12khz and the slight dip around 7khz that the U47 grill provides.

Here is the response of the CM47 with the 47 head grill and CM47 with a trapezoidal head grill. Yes, changing head grills will change the sound.

Here is the picture of the inside of a CM47 from 2011. You can see that it looks quite similar to the inside of the Gauge and even in 2011 Shanghai was still leaving C9 and C10 on the circuit boards and we had to remove them here.

So, if you can get a Gauge for $479 on clearance and do these minor upgrades yourself you will have a World Class Microphone. Go for it!!!

We sell the 47 headgrill for about $35 and have all the proper replacement parts.

I have gone into the CM12se build before. It has the same capsule as the STELLAR CM5 which is also made in Shanghai and based on our circuit improvements. Again, remove C6, C7, C9 and C10.

The CM5 has a 5:1 transformer while the CM12se has a larger 8:1.

The CM12se sells for twice as much as the CM5.

I cannot sell the CM12se for the price of the CM5 and support it with with our 2 year warranty which can be upgraded to 5 years if you sign in on-line!!!

I could not put the care into the build that it requires at that price...sorry!!!

The edge fed capsule are the ones that give us the most problem and we are very strict with the testing of these capsules in our shop.

Last week, I went through three AK12 capsule before I found one I was satisfied with for a single microphone build.

This is from capsules that we have pre-tested in China.

Here is how many capsules we have rejected or replaced in microphones over just the last few slow summer months. No, one wants to be inside the studio during the warm summer months. Which is good, as thens when my Blues Trio gets some gigs on local winery patios.

The bottom line is its really is not like taking a microphone off the shelf and re-badging it here at Advanced Audio Microphones.


Cheers, Dave Thomas







Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
Wait, who are you responding to?

With all due respect, the takeaways from this AA intervention seem to be that you have been in audio a long time, you have many clients with names, Chinese manufacturing has come a long way and 3U Audio mics may have a niche if people are into that U87 kind of thing. Oh and you said something about lowering some/one of your prices but that's certainly none of my business.

I'm not interested in disparaging you or the mics you sell but you seem to be posting a lot of long posts full of anecdotes that don't have much to do with the topic at hand (like when you got your first console or who you advised about their monitors in 1980 or whatever else). Don't get me wrong. I value experience a great deal. But what does that have to do with this very specific discussion? What's the difference between your FET47 and something like the Gauge ECM-47 besides the clipped caps and the headbasket? Same question regarding your CM12 and the Stellar CM-5? The transformer? Is it or is it not true that the factories you have your mics built at sell those same designs (or minor variants of them) to anyone else who can place a big enough order?

Customer service absolutely does count and it is something I value. But since you're here posting on this 3U thread and making claims about quality and value, let's just get right down to what exactly we're talking about. No anecdotes of past glory stories needed.

Let's just talk mics. I'm an honestly inquisitive guy and I'm happy to be wrong, but let's cut out the hubris.
Attached Thumbnails
Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-bad-caps.jpg   Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-cm47-cardiod.jpg   Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-cm47-trapezoidal-head-grill.jpg   Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-mic-parts.jpg   Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings-workshop-caps.jpg  

Old 23rd September 2015
  #853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
NICE. Yes, let us know what you think.

I'm leaning more and more towards a pair of those.
Christmas came early eh?

I'm doing a shootout on the GZ251fet vs my stellar CM6 now.

SO far so good.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #854
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
My apologies, The anecdotes are what you get. That's me Dave Thomas!!!

I am responding to all those who want to learn something about microphone builds and some basic theory of microphone electronics.

I have been on the planet for 68 years and 50 years full-time in Pro-Audio.

I love to pass along some of what I have learned over the years. Folks like David Royer and I have been members of the AES since the 70's and we have a lot of valuable experience as audio techs and a commitment to high end audio.

I have lost a lot of great friends over the last couple of years and thinking about them urges me to tell stories. Some of these folks are classic characters and have true genius like my friend Ralph Dyck who was one of the developers of Midi and programmed the sequencing on TOTO's AFRICA. Ralph was one of my biggest mentors and you will see my name on Jupiter 8 the album we did with Ralph and Paul Horn in 1980. Paul passed away recently and was another amazing musician that I had the privilege of working with in the studio.

Paul Horn talked his way with a Nagra and a dynamic EV microphone into the Taj Mahal and recorded a Grammy multi million dollar record in the 60's.

The production cost!!

Rental of the Nagra and microphone plus one reel of tape. So, recording music is actually about capturing the performance and not what's the best microphone.

I again, apologize for boring you with stories of my electronic and music hero's fro the days before digital recording. However, that has been my life!!!

So, lets get into the GAUGE ECM-47

First of all the Gauge ECM-47 is a tube microphone and the CM47fet is a FET.

So, I am going to compare our CM47 tube microphones with the ECM-47.

Both, the CM47 and ECM47 are made at Shanghai Electronics and were based on their early SYT6000 microphones. Since 2007 the SYT6000 has had the 6.5:1 dual bobbin transformer, 35mm capsule, 6072a tube and 2.2ufd metal output capacitor that I specified.

Here is what I have worked with Shanghai Electronics on over the last 10 years.

Originally, the SYT6000 sample I had came with had an economical 32mm K67 capsule, a 12AX7 tube, single bobbin output transformer and 72v polarization.

I made changes to the SYT6000 sample here in our shop and then a few weeks later sent China the Sovtek EH 6072 tubes and had them change:-

1) The capsule to the AK67 35mm that John Peluso & Verner Ruvald designed.

2) The Transformer to a 6.5:1 dual bobbin with iron laminations.

3) The circuit boards with C8 being a larger 2.2ufd Metal film.

4) R5 & R9 to 200 meg ohms.

5) The fuse in the power supply to be external and the pilot light post fuse.

6) Foam feet to mechanically attached feet.

We actually send Shanghai the 6072a tubes for all their builds.


In my last long post I did describe the differences between the "off the shelf SYT-5 and the CM67se". The CM12se and the SYT1100. I described how I modified the circuit to improve the headroom.

I even shared the schematic diagram of our circuit for all to see and use.

This was back in 2001 when I came up with this improved design.

I am so glad Gauge has embraced our circuit as the two owners of Gauge have great ears and could obviously hear the improvement which is even greater with C6, C7, C9 and C10 removed. I am glad that I got to contribute to the legacy of World Class tube microphone circuits in some small degree.

You can go to Shanghai and buy the same microphones as the ECM47 and have your name engraved on it. it takes about 6-8 weeks if they have the metalwork in stock. However, we found that we need to buy 200 bodies of each model in order to not be waiting 90-120 days for the bodies to get from the metalwork factory to Shanghai Electronics.

From the posted Specifications... Gauge ECM47

The ECM-47 utilizes the 6072 tube and a 6.5:1 dual bobbin transformer.

First Introduced: May 29, 2009

Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
Sensitivity: 16mv/Pa (94db SPL @ 1kHz)
Impedance: 200 Ohms
Equivalent Noise Level: 18dB (A weighted IEC 651)
Max SPL: 135db for 0.5% @ 1kHz:
Capsule diameter: 1.38" (35mm)
Membrane Thickness: 6 Microns
Connector 1: Three-pin Male XLR
Connector 2: Five-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Multi-pattern (External 9-pattern switch).

List Price: $899

Advanced Audio CM47

Specifications:
1.07” (35mm) dual 6-micron mylar diaphragm AK67 capsule
9 selectable pickup patterns remotely switched from the power supply
Dual bobbin BV8 (6.5:1 ratio) output transformer
6072a tube Class A dual stage (CCDA)
Microphone connector; 7 pin gold, plated
Frequency response: 25Hz to 20kHz +/– 1.5dB
Noise: -17dB (A-weighted)
Impedance: < 200 ohm
Distortion: < 0.5% @128dB
Output: +20dBu with less than 1% distortion into 1.2K load

List price $735

The Gauge ECM47 has the same basic circuit, tube and transformer as our CM47.

If you have a Gauge ECM47 check C6, C7 plus C9 and C10 to see if they are populated on the board. Removing them makes a noticeable difference.

Check pin 1 on the 7 pin connector and see if its 144v or 125v.
Be very, very careful!!!

144v dc won't kill you but will wake you up quicker than your morning coffee!!

1) I specified the 6.5:1 transformer in this build and the 6072a and the 2.2ufd metal film which originally was 1ufd electrolytic.

2) In our build we have a 47 head grill fitted and all 4 caps are removed.

3) The microphone cable is tested here for phase and continuity.
We use a microphone phase tester to check the phase is correct on each CM47.

4)The trapezoidal headgrill on the ECM47 will increase the HF response at 12khz 2db over the 47 style headgrill.

5)We run a stress test, electronics test, visual inspection and listening test on each individual microphone we sell from the AA shop.

So, unless all those capacitors are removed and the grill changed the ECM47 will not sound like our CM47. However, we can provide these changes for $195 if you send the ECM47 to us including the 47 headgrill if you prefer less 12khz and the slight dip around 7khz that the U47 grill provides.

Here is the response of the CM47 with the 47 head grill and CM47 with a trapezoidal head grill. Yes, changing head grills will change the sound.

Here is the picture of the inside of a CM47 from 2011. You can see that it looks quite similar to the inside of the Gauge and even in 2011 Shanghai was still leaving C9 and C10 on the circuit boards and we had to remove them here.

So, if you can get a Gauge for $479 on clearance and do these minor upgrades yourself you will have a World Class Microphone. Go for it!!!

We sell the 47 headgrill for about $35 and have all the proper replacement parts.

I have gone into the CM12se build before. It has the same capsule as the STELLAR CM5 which is also made in Shanghai and based on our circuit improvements. Again, remove C6, C7, C9 and C10.

The CM5 has a 5:1 transformer while the CM12se has a larger 8:1.

The CM12se sells for twice as much as the CM5.

I cannot sell the CM12se for the price of the CM5 and support it with with our 2 year warranty which can be upgraded to 5 years if you sign in on-line!!!

I could not put the care into the build that it requires at that price...sorry!!!

The edge fed capsule are the ones that give us the most problem and we are very strict with the testing of these capsules in our shop.

Last week, I went through three AK12 capsule before I found one I was satisfied with for a single microphone build.

This is from capsules that we have pre-tested in China.

Here is how many capsules we have rejected or replaced in microphones over just the last few slow summer months. No, one wants to be inside the studio during the warm summer months. Which is good, as thens when my Blues Trio gets some gigs on local winery patios.

The bottom line is its really is not like taking a microphone off the shelf and re-badging it here at Advanced Audio Microphones.


Cheers, Dave Thomas
Yes, I misspoke when I said "FET".

I can't find the Gauge ECM-47 for anything other than $479. And the Gauge-named CM87 (whatever they call it) is $149.

As I said, I absolutely value customer service in general. It's up to each potential customer to decide whether what you offer on these mics is worth the price differential.

I know a good bit about the backstory of how AA and Stellar and Gauge got to selling these mics as they are now. More than I care to post here. Your prices are your business. The only reason this all got brought out into the light is because of one over-zealous fan making big claims.

As for me, I have owned and used many expensive mics and many budget mics (U87s, M49s, 414s old and new, high end Blue, low end Blue, AEA, Royer, Bock, CAD, Pearlman...all over the map) including a couple of the mics you sell (I opted for the more inexpensive named variants Stellar, Gauge, etc). For anything below really high end stuff, I'm going 3U Audio. I like the sound of classic, transformer based LDCs. My Warbler I sounds scary close to the 70s U87 I've used a good bit.

Just the other night I put a Warbler MKIV up against mu favorite vocal mic (at least that I own). It's a Soundelux (David Bock's company) U95s that has a capsule that the afore mentioned Shannon Rhoades skinned and tuned specifically for my voice.

Make no mistake, I definitely preferred the U95s, but the Warbler IV was not in a vastly different class. It sounded great. The U95s was Bock's flagship US made U47 style tube mic, streeting around $3k. And this capsule has been reskinned by the best in the business. I was extremely impressed that the Warbler MKIV didn't just totally pale by comparison.

I sold my pair of 414b-ULS's in favor of Warbler I's. Not because I didn't love the 414s but because I found the Warblers just as good and I used the difference in money for other gear.

None of this is surprising when you have a mic full of WIMA, Dale and Fairchild components and a custom, high quality capsule. The only thing that is surprising is the price. We're used to paying multiple markups, not buying the mic from the guy who builds it in his own factory.

No one's disparaging your mics so I wouldn't be taking passive aggressive shots at 3U Audio. Some of us who have been using these 3U mics have a lot of experience and it makes you look at best uninformed and at worst petty. And I'm sure that is not your intention.

Last edited by Ragan; 23rd September 2015 at 02:08 AM..
Old 23rd September 2015
  #855
Gear Maniac
 

AA Microphones

There must be sites out there of independent studio folk that have compared our microphones to others!!!

I don't even run my own response curve that appear on the web-site they are done by independent Fox Audio Research so there is no perceived bias.

If I ran comparisons here in my studio and posted them folks might think I manipulated the results.

I do have a lovely re-stored Sony MXP3036 to record through which has 24 very clean preamps which can be patched directly in the RADAR.

I suppose we might be able verify by video that all microphone were treated equal in some way?

I was invited by David Stewart who is the Studio Manager at British Grove Studios in London to bring some of our tube microphones to compare with their large collection of vintage tube microphones. He told me that our CM67se has been used over the Bosendorfer Grand and he was interested in hearing our CM251 and CM49 that Robbie Nelson at RAK loves.

My wife and I are looking to see if David has time available in January a few days before we fly to Lisbon to meet with our European business partner. We are also planning on doing some comparisons at Atlantico Studios in Lisbon who have an enviable collection of vintage tube microphones.

I think these visits with video authentication and World Class engineers my be the way to legitimize a listening comparison???

I think this might be of more interest.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
aamicrophones.com
Old 23rd September 2015
  #856
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 

I swear to God, I've learned more about Microphones in this thread alone then every other source combined. This is easily one of the greatest threads GS has produced. Can you even learn this in School?

When this thread first started I didn't know anything about the inner workings of mics, the difference between edgr-terminated vs center terminated capsules. What made these boutique/Chinese offerings different than the big box offerings, etc.

I looked at the 1st pics posted of the Warbler exposed and I thought to myself, I don't know anything about mic specs but this person is:

A. Confident about his work to be publishing pics of the inside and

B. Is advertising the components the mics are made with, which is something I've rarely come across.

Then it just built over time with many insightful posts about where these mics come from, how they're put together, why some designers make changes on the circuit board, why some head baskets over others, and the different schools of thought involved. It's almost like peeking inside of a mic gives you clues about the designer and how their mics have their own unique personality.

To say I have a deeper appreciation of my mics and mics in general is an understatement. Truely inspired if anything else.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #857
Lives for gear
 
Sir Chris's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetsh View Post
Christmas came early eh?

I'm doing a shootout on the GZ251fet vs my stellar CM6 now.

SO far so good.
I am very interested in this comparison. II will be ready with my snacks.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #858
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
From the posted Specifications... Gauge ECM47
List Price: $899

Advanced Audio CM47
List price $735
...the Gauge ECM47 has never sold for $899 (inflated MSRP)...it's always been only $479...

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
The CM12se sells for twice as much as the CM5.
...true...so what have we learned here?...

AA CM47 is $735, the Gauge ECM47 is $479
AA CM12se is $845, the Stellar CM-5 is $415
AA CM67se is $965, the Fame VT67 is $375 (w/Lundahl transformer)

...if you're the type to buy the extended-warranties that sales people try to sell when they're closing the deal with your electronic purchases, then Dave's pitch may have value and appeal...but for those of us who like to "lift the hood", inspect the build-quality and components, and maybe even consider after-market upgrades, we don't flinch at clipping a few filter caps...

...will the angular head-basket sound very different than the circular head-basket?...maybe, maybe not...which will you like better?...head-basket swaps are a two-screws-and-your-done procedure...no sweat...

...or tube swaps?...ditch the Electro-Harmonix 6072A and go for something NOS...RCA, GE or maybe Euro Amperex or Siemens...

...I've owned the AA CM12 and the Stellar CM-5, and they both sounded really good...but much too similar, so the more expensive CM12 was cashed in...I owned the AA CM47 and the Stellar CM-6...again both good, but this time very different...the CM-6 had a truth, clarity and openness that absolutely slayed the CM47 on most voices...so the more expensive CM47 was cashed in...

...don't get me wrong...Dave's mics are good, and I respect Dave's building a proper brand as he's done, though I think he short-changed himself in his less-than-flattering (and somewhat inaccurate) comments about Guosheng and 3U Audio...oh, and that excessive name-dropping...ouch!!!
Old 23rd September 2015
  #859
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Shall we beckon Guosheng to join the thread? I've been in contact with him in just the last few weeks actually! I've got his Warbler II coming my way! Make no mistake, 3U Audio is the absolute best deal going on right now for high quality condensers. A 29-page thread praising his mics (99.9 percent of the posts) sort of speaks for itself!

Last edited by guitarboy94; 23rd September 2015 at 02:58 AM..
Old 23rd September 2015
  #860
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Shall we beckon Guosheng to join the thread?
...it's deja-vu time for me...I remember the first couple of GS Stellar threads, about 8 years ago, when a certain prominent mic-modder and a couple of his minions made it their business to fully engage in the conversation and try to pull attention away from the newly converted Stellar believers back to the modder's wares...

...a very familiar scenario...right down to the inaccurate passive/aggressive remarks about the mic's designer...but Peter Bloch took the higher road, and no matter how hard they hit, he remained silent in the background, letting his mics do his talking for him...I believe Guosheng shares that posture...I also believe that his mics speak volumes in terms of design excellence and value...Peter Bloch, Guosheng Zhuang, Dany Bouchard, Shannon Rhoades, (just to name a few) are all mad-scientist types...leave them to their "lab duties"...it's where they live (and we all benefit from their madness!)...

Old 23rd September 2015
  #861
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
Shall we beckon Guosheng to join the thread? I've been in contact with him in just the last few weeks actually! I've got his Warbler II coming my way! Make no mistake, 3U Audio is the absolute best deal going on right now for high quality condensers. A 29-page thread praising his mics (99.9 percent of the posts) sort of speaks for itself!
I'd be really surprised if Guosheng wants to get down in the sandbox and mix it up here. He seems like a "my mics speak for themselves" kind of guy.

I still get a chuckle out of this exchange from the original Advanced Audio intervention in this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by microphonefolk View Post
The Chinese designers are all very capable but what they don't yet fully understand how "ROCK&ROLL" engineers used LDC microphones!!! This effects the circuit design more than the capsule unless you get a under tensioned capsule where the diaphragm sticks to the back-plate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...I relayed these remarks to Guosheng, and he responded with the following information and sound clip:

"We have many tests for the 3U mics' reliability, stability and consistency in our factory. Certainly, a diaphragm that sticks to the backplate is very bad for condenser mics, but for the 3U mics, it's not a problem. I attached a sound clip that illustrates what will happen when high SPL pressure (a strong burst of clean air into the diaphragm) is applied to a 3U microphone.
Every 3U mic must pass this test. The test confirms that a 3U mic's diaphragm can momentarily touch the backplate, but will not stick or collapse onto the backplate. I don't suggest performing that same test for other brand mics.
Do you think 'rock&roll' SPL is higher than a direct burst of clean air into the diaphragm?"
Classic stuff.

I, for one, prefer top shelf design and implementation (conspicuously lacking in gigantic markup) over endless reminders of career length and one million Dave Royer references.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #862
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 

I'm with both of you guys. I'm not going to bother Guosheng about joining this thread (I'm guessing he would politely decline anyways). Being the design genius that he is, better to keep him in the lab designing more mics and let his product do the talking! LOL
Old 23rd September 2015
  #863
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I'm with both of you guys. I'm not going to bother Guosheng about joining this thread (I'm guessing he would politely decline anyways). Being the design genius that he is, better to keep him in the lab designing more mics and let his product do the talking! LOL
Yes indeed. And let's be frank here, there are commercial interests involved. I can think of more than one mic company owner that wouldn't exactly relish the thought of a guy with Guosheng's knowledge of who's designing and building mics for who posting here openly about it.

It's a crazy world out there with international design/manufacturing. My advice for any potential gear buyer is just do as a much research as you can and buy for reasons that make sense to you. If it's brand recognition for your studio that's one thing. If you just want the piece of gear, that's another.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #864
Gear Maniac
 

Microphone Capsules

I haven't been to China for 18 months and things change fast.

Before, I left to go there in 2014 I couldn't find anyone in Ningbo, Bejing or any other location in China that would build me double sided capsules with 6 micron diaphragms. However, hopefully that has changed.

Please!!!! To be clear I didn't imply they are less professional.

If Gueseng is skinning capsule himself then they should be really good.

It doesn't matter who you use in China what happens is all the skilled Chinese workers goes back out to the country side for Chinese New Year. They don't all come back and we have issues with capsules made after that time until the new workers are up to speed. So, we try to hold stock from other time periods.

You love 87's and plate follower circuits. That's your opinion!!

I love the cathode follower circuit and the emitter follower circuits like the 414.

The plate circuit will impart more tube/transformer distortion while the cathode follower has a better transient response. It that simple. Its a choice.

The 1962 RCA tube manual states that as a fact. So, the sound difference is simply taste and one is not wrong.

I would love to talk with Gueseng as I would be great to have a second source of capsules from someone who can communicate in English.

They must be 6 micron skinned double side matched within 2pf of each other.

We are ordering 150 capsules at a time every few months and all the guys listed below will tell you capsule quality is KING!!!

I love that I have contributed in some way to increasing the quality of many economical microphones and there are more forward thinking Companies out there making professional sounding and economical microphones.

That you have heard and worked with that many microphones is amazing.


In the 20 years I worked at Ocean Sound most of the recording was done with either the 2-u47's, then the 414eb, then the Sony C37a and the the U87.

I recorded Diana Krall once on a SM58 and two ECM22p microphones in the piano live to 2-track for a radio show that performance most likely got her a record deal.

I am happy that our microphones are out there and quite capable of capturing
incredible performance from incredibly talented people.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
advanced audio microphones


...let's be clear here...I may be the only one in this conversation that has owned and used, in a pro studio environment, mics from AA, Stellar, 3U Audio, as well as hand-built mics by Dave Pearlman, Ben Sneesby, David Bock, Blackspade, Oliver Archut, and other respected builders...I found your mics to be very good quality, but I outgrew them, replacing them with mics custom built by respected techs such as Dany Bouchard, Shannon Rhoades, Eric Heiserman, etc...

...it also may be noted, that if people are seeking historically accurate re-creations of the classic European 47-style, C12-style or 251-style microphones, they will be more than likely looking at mics employing simple plate-follower circuits (not your beloved 2-stage, plate-follower CCDA circuit as employed by many of the older, cheaper Chinese tube mics, like the Apex 460 and Nady 1050, of which your tubes-mics are based upon)...prestige brands like Pearlman, Bock, Wunder, Lawson, Korby, Flea, Lucas and others all employ simpler plate-follower type circuits in their higher-end, more historically-accurate clone tube-mics...

...and for you to imply that 3U Audio mics are somehow "less professional" than your own products is foolish, ludicrous and not a good look for a competing manufacturer to state in a public forum, particularly because unlike me, and a few others here, you have never used a 3U Audio microphone...

...I am stating that the sonic resolution and articulation I have experienced using the 3U Audio Warbler-series ($270) and particularly the GZ-series ($599) is IMHO, superior to the AA tube mics I've owned, and much closer in sonic character to the custom-built mics I use regularly in my studio...and that was the impetus for forwarding this thread...just because Guosheng chooses lower price-points to sell his mics (factory direct), it has no proportionate correlation to their quality or sonic credibility...IMHO, they are absolutely equal to, or surpass the performance of your own AA products (or at least the 3 AA mics I've owned)...

...of the many Shanghai ShuaiYin manufactured mics (like your own AA brand) I've owned/beta-tested over the past years, only the Stellar CM-6 has retained a slot in my much-upgraded mic closet...that is of course, just my opinion...but I'm good with that...

Have a Blessed Day!
[/QUOTE]
Old 23rd September 2015
  #865
Gear Head
Can we fork the mud slinging into another thread?
Old 23rd September 2015
  #866
Gear Head
 
henbat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetsh View Post
Christmas came early eh?

I'm doing a shootout on the GZ251fet vs my stellar CM6 now.

SO far so good.
Really looking forward to hearing this one! Just got a mail from Zhuang that he was back in Australia and had listened to my clips and that the GZ251fet would be best for my voice.

But one thing I was curious about was that he wrote:

"If you don't have more experience for condense mic, you should start from Warbler MKIV. If you focus on sound quality, you should buy GZ251fet."

Does he mean that the Warbler is easier to record with or what?
Old 23rd September 2015
  #867
Gear Nut
 

I have now received the Warbler 4 to go along with the CM-1 Black. People have been noting that the CM-1 sounds closer to the recent 87's but I hear more of an old school 87. I am really pleased with this microphone and somewhat surprised that it hasn't gotten more recognition on this thread... especially for how little it costs. I may have to get a second as a pair. It certainly sounds terrific on my Larrivee.

The Warbler 4 to me doesn't sound quite as good on the acoustic as the CM-1 Black but sounds absolutely fantastic on voice. It has a lovely breath of air to it and nice mid range clarity. With the acoustic, I think it will be fine as well but will likely take a bit more time finding the sweet spot for placement.

It's nice to have two new microphones to play with. Cheers to Guosheng for delivering everything quickly and with great quality. I was pondering getting a few extra shock mounts but am thinking for my purposes they aren't overly necessary.
Old 23rd September 2015
  #868
Quote:
Originally Posted by henbat View Post
Really looking forward to hearing this one! Just got a mail from Zhuang that he was back in Australia and had listened to my clips and that the GZ251fet would be best for my voice.

But one thing I was curious about was that he wrote:

"If you don't have more experience for condense mic, you should start from Warbler MKIV. If you focus on sound quality, you should buy GZ251fet."

Does he mean that the Warbler is easier to record with or what?
i would say maybe more sensitive so mic-placement, gainstaging and post production is very important.

Sometimes, with more expensive gear, you gotta have the skills to properly utilize it or you'll be disappointed after the money you spent.

At least that's what my understanding is from my time on gearslutz and youtube.

BTW, i like your voice man. High powered male vocals FTW =)
Old 23rd September 2015
  #869
Gear Head
 
henbat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetsh View Post
i would say maybe more sensitive so mic-placement, gainstaging and post production is very important.

Sometimes, with more expensive gear, you gotta have the skills to properly utilize it or you'll be disappointed after the money you spent.

At least that's what my understanding is from my time on gearslutz and youtube.

BTW, i like your voice man. High powered male vocals FTW =)
Yes ok, that sounds reasonable. Well, I´m really looking forward hearing your shoot out!

Thanks man
Old 23rd September 2015
  #870
Quote:
Originally Posted by henbat View Post
Yes ok, that sounds reasonable. Well, I´m really looking forward hearing your shoot out!

Thanks man
Met some cool Swedish people here in Aussie doing their exchange and they showed me some Old School Swedish rock.

Apparently, my friend's grandpa was some Rockstar back in his time. One of his songs sang about marijuana so now i know what its called in Swedish ahah
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