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-   -   Telefunken C12 - a worthy specimen??? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/876839-telefunken-c12-worthy-specimen.html)

elambo 16th October 2013 02:05 AM

Telefunken C12 - a worthy specimen???
 
Long ago we had a C12 and it was the best mic I've ever encountered. But the tube failed, was replaced, and the mic was never the same. It is now gone.

I've heard a little about the Telefunken C12s but only a little. If I'm going to spend $8,500-ish on a C12 is this the way to go? I'm not looking for very good $4,000 version, I'm looking for a mic worthy of the C12 name. The best of the new options.

Or... can a good vintage C12 be had for this $$? I'm more familiar with 47s and I know that for $8,500 you'll NOT find one, but maybe a C12?

hasbeen 16th October 2013 02:32 AM

Are you in the USA? The best thing to do in this case is demo the mic. If you can get to CT it would not be a problem. There are also some good dealers that should let you use one for a bit to let you decide. I love TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik microphones but there are a few haters round here too. So you will hear both sides. You will end up right where you started with the question remaining.

elambo 17th October 2013 04:26 PM

I have access to the mics and could demo one but before I go to the trouble of having it shipped I wanted to see if they're considered worth the price by those who've tried one and know what a C12 should sound like. Certainly there could be responses from people who've not tried one but don't like Telefunken for other reasons and simply want to protest -- that's 30% of GS -- but I know that some folks own/use this exact mic and I'm hoping they'll stumble across this thread.

asiandude 17th October 2013 05:10 PM

Flea C12, Wunder C12, RMS C12, Beesneez Microphone, and JZ C12 clone and many other clones out there as well. So many option for price under $8000 to consider.

7+1 17th October 2013 05:15 PM

For over $8000 it's an overrated mic. You'd be surprised... You might be able to find an original for around that... Make offers on ones online.. You never know.

elambo 18th October 2013 07:59 PM

Few few supposed "clones" earn the title, and I'm aware of a few in the $4-5K range which sound really good, but they're not clones. I have those, now looking for that last 5% withOUT buying an original because I don't think an original will fall <$10K.

SoundGuyLance 19th October 2013 04:11 AM

I haven't tried the clones, but from my personal experience the Telefunken C12 is a significant step up from the current AKG C12VR. I used the Tele for the first time last night in a session and both myself and the artist were really happy. Whether it's worth $8k or not is totally up to you but as soon as I set it up and hit '3' the thing sounded like a record.

Suspects 19th October 2013 05:08 AM

Tele C-12's
 
We have a factory matched pair of Tele's (S/N's 12 and 13). They are rather remarkable microphones. Do they sound like "original" C-12's? Couldn't tell you, as I've never heard one. i can tell you the Tele C-12 is the best acoustic guitar mic I've ever heard in my life, and I've got mic locker with some damn good mics in it. Our acoustic signal chain is C-12 into GML into Pro Tools with no EQ and no compression unless absolutely necessary (you can hear the compressor in the signal chain). As drum room mics (into our LaChapell 992) they make the kit sound big as a house, and we've had clients just use the room mics for their complete drum sound. I've even used the C-12's to make accordion kick ass (not an easy task). Although I don't have one, I would assume they sound fantastic on acoustic piano as well. They are smooth, extremely well balanced and have a sweet top end which makes them particularly good in capturing the sound of acoustic instruments. The only application they don't kill in (IMHO) is male vocals, as they don't have a real beefy low end which is what i'm looking for, especially in rock vocals. That's why we've got a 47 and a Wunder CM7...

Hardly an unbiased review, as I have a lot of money tied up in the mics, but if you are considering the C-12 design, you should demo the Tele's.

Dave/Suspect Studios

BTW - I think it unlikely that you can find a clean, good sounding vintage C-12 for less than $9K

elambo 19th October 2013 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoundGuyLance (Post 9518003)
I haven't tried the clones, but from my personal experience the Telefunken C12 is a significant step up from the current AKG C12VR. I used the Tele for the first time last night in a session and both myself and the artist were really happy. Whether it's worth $8k or not is totally up to you but as soon as I set it up and hit '3' the thing sounded like a record.

We also have a C12VR and it hasn't been used in years. It's hardly reminiscent of a C12.

elambo 19th October 2013 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Suspects (Post 9518079)
i can tell you the Tele C-12 is the best acoustic guitar mic I've ever heard in my life, and I've got mic locker with some damn good mics in it.

You've hit the exact button I wanted this mic to press. I currently use KM54s for acoustic and they're incredibly good. I'm selling one and thinking of grabbing a C12 in the process.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Suspects (Post 9518079)
BTW - I think it unlikely that you can find a clean, good sounding vintage C-12 for less than $9K

Yeah I'm not holding my breath (slight pun slightly intended). They passed the $10K threshold a while ago.

elambo 21st October 2013 02:28 AM

Any other Tele C-12 users out there who've compared it to vintage C-12s?

PaulOcchialini 21st October 2013 03:44 PM

The tele's are great... I know allot of people poopoo on the price and modern/vintage debacle crap but.... The C12 telefunken new has sounded better to me against many c12s. I've come to the conclusion that when in a situation where I have had both vintage and modern... When the vintage example happened to be a good one, the performer would not sound better on one or the other.. Allot of the time the tele's are brighter, not always.. While on the topic my tele U47 has also sounded better than 90% of vintage examples I have used. I attribute that to age and lack of maintenance/lack of care.. Also try the RMS audio works, picked up their M49 and its dope... Dude likes to talk too and has GREAT ears...

I for one am totally over vintage gear... The boys and girls with money to burn can have them... I want quiet, trouble free gear that sounds awesome... Telefunken does that and I know that my mics will be perfect in 30 years... I have have spares for all of the components in my mics... And when the industry is looking back these mics will be coveted.. And I have shining examples of all of them..

All my tele's need at least an hour powered up to sound right... Jfyi.

elambo 21st October 2013 04:29 PM

Thanks Paul!

I'm riding both sides of the vintage fence I'm afraid. I wouldn't miss the trouble they cause, or the fear of finding replacement tubes once they fizzle out, but there is that "sound" which modern mics VERY rarely capture. A great vintage mic can be magical.

That's essentially the root of my question. People familiar with great specimens from 50 years ago will know what that "magic" means and I was wondering if the Tele C12 has it. I don't know how we lucked into it but our C12 was one of the best of them, so the bar is set rather high because of that. Maybe its pipe dreams to think that a brand new mic could truly emulate that, hence the question. You and some others are making it sound like a test drive is a good idea. Thanks again!

I'll check in with RMS. I have a rental property only blocks from him so maybe I'll stop by the shop.

Mike O 21st October 2013 05:03 PM

You may have been using tubes as just an example, but tubes for a C12 should not be hard to come by at all.

Now, depending on the actual C12, a failed transformer might be hard to replace with exactly the same.

Doc Mixwell 21st October 2013 05:33 PM

Best idea is to get the mic in-house for evaluation at your studio and use it with your instruments. Then report back here,
kfhkh

Melodeath 21st October 2013 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elambo (Post 9516832)
Few few supposed "clones" earn the title, and I'm aware of a few in the $4-5K range which sound really good, but they're not clones. I have those, now looking for that last 5% withOUT buying an original because I don't think an original will fall <$10K.

Could you elaborate on these models that sound great, but aren't clones? A C12 is not particularly hard to clone parts-wise, other than the capsule itself, which admittedly, is most of the sound. Good Ck12 options exist, though, and the rest of the required parts are not too obscure. Another important point is that there was huge deviation among CK12 capsules.

allthatdark 21st October 2013 07:13 PM

Let´s not get too esoteric here.

We all know the artefacts mp3 can produce.

We´ve been hearing those for years. We know them. It is still possibly to distinguish from that clip if the microphone in question seems strange, or if it is the singer that produces an odd harmonic.

There is no need for an holistic approach, i certainly doubt that.

(If I could afford to I would try out that microphone in my studio tomorrow.)

PaulOcchialini 21st October 2013 07:33 PM

Hmm magic... Yes I understand. But I don't believe in Santa... I think it's more likely certain examples may have aged in a certain way... Maintained properly, and handled well.. The artist brings the elusive magic, we just capture it and encourage them for more...Last week we had a female artist and the RMS won, hands down over many more expensive options. She sounded "magical" on a much less expensive mic...

Fletcher 21st October 2013 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elambo (Post 9508406)
I've heard a little about the Telefunken C12s but only a little. If I'm going to spend $8,500-ish on a C12 is this the way to go? I'm not looking for very good $4,000 version, I'm looking for a mic worthy of the C12 name. The best of the new options.

Let me hit you with the disclaimer first -- I used to work for T-funk as both an employee and later as a consultant. I am no longer in their employ [the last contract expired in February of 2012], but some of the guys that work there are still friends. I worked there after my 20+ year term at Mercenary Audio [I left there in July of '09... before the place went to hell in a hand basket]... I'm currently back to freelance engineering [etc.], some consulting work and the such.

With that out of the way, I can tell you that in my 30+ years of experience I've used, heard, played with a metric fµck-ton of C-12's and T-funk's "reissue" is indeed pretty spot on with some of the best of those. Their capsules were reverse engineered from a specimen provided by Allen Sides [owner of Ocean Way Recording along with being one hell of a "top shelf" engineer and having one of the largest and best maintained microphone collections west of Black Bird]... I can also tell you that every one that leaves their factory is tuned to be remarkably close to their "benchmark original" C-12 [I've seen them do it].

So -- all that said... I can't tell you if you're going to like it for your purposes or not... but I can tell you that its worth trying. FWIW, I'm not in a position to sell it to you, nor am I in a position to profit from your purchase in any way... and I still think its worth your time and energy to give it a go.

I hope this is of some assistance.

Peace

Mike O 21st October 2013 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulOcchialini (Post 9524750)
Hmm magic... Yes I understand. But I don't believe in Santa... I think it's more likely certain examples may have aged in a certain way... Maintained properly, and handled well.. The artist brings the elusive magic, we just capture it and encourage them for more...Last week we had a female artist and the RMS won, hands down over many more expensive options. She sounded "magical" on a much less expensive mic...

There is of course no question that no mic is perfect for all sources, the REAL magic comes from the performer, and that sometimes much less expensive microphone is right for the source. That includes less expensive C12s or "inferior" CK12 capsules.

But there can be no doubt that some examples of microphones are "magic" or at least "unique". This happens with inexpensive, expensive, new and old mics and probably everything else made by humans.

If I didn't have original C12s or access to original CK12s I'd probably build an AMI kit with Tim Campbell's capsule which I believe is the closest you can get. If you are going to clone - "do it yourself".

Sounds Great 21st October 2013 08:26 PM

I agree with the post above that the C12 might not be the best choice for male vocals. At least it wasn't for me when I had that option, along with U47, U87, etc. It isn't quite as beefy. Last time I recorded I settled on a U67. But I haven't owned these microphones and had proper time to really get to know them.

I did own a C414eb for many years though, which did have the C12's capsule. And loved that capsule to death, literally. :(

In my opinion the original capsule in any vintage C12 may not be long for this world. Something to consider if spending close to 10 grand on one.

elambo 21st October 2013 08:36 PM

Very helpful guys - thanks!

Sniperschool 21st October 2013 08:57 PM

Not tried any of the 'clones' but you might find there's one that sounds more like your old C12 than a vintage unit would

I have 3 original C12's that sound great but different from each other

Aside from a C12VR which others have you got or tried?

PaulOcchialini 21st October 2013 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike O (Post 9524861)
There is of course no question that no mic is perfect for all sources, the REAL magic comes from the performer, and that sometimes much less expensive microphone is right for the source. That includes less expensive C12s or "inferior" CK12 capsules.

But there can be no doubt that some examples of microphones are "magic" or at least "unique". This happens with inexpensive, expensive, new and old mics and probably everything else made by humans.

If I didn't have original C12s or access to original CK12s I'd probably build and AMI kit with Tim Campbell's capsule which I believe is the closest you can get. If you are going to clone - "do it yourself".

I have two home built c12's with Ami transformers, and Tim's capsule.. Good but not that good.. I would buy the metal work from flea not ami, Wunder and almost certainly tele USA buys bodies from flea..

Fletcher.... Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't tele acquire the original capsule blueprints and manufacturing details from akg or another source?

Melodeath 21st October 2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulOcchialini (Post 9525040)
I have two home built c12's with Ami transformers, and Tim's capsule.. Good but not that good.. I would buy the metal work from flea not ami, Wunder and almost certainly tele USA buys bodies from flea..

Fletcher.... Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't tele acquire the original capsule blueprints and manufacturing details from akg or another source?

Have your ocmpared your DiY with a real C12? What mic body did you use?

madrid73 22nd October 2013 12:00 AM

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gears...l-version.html

PaulOcchialini 22nd October 2013 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melodeath (Post 9525156)
Have your ocmpared your DiY with a real C12? What mic body did you use?

No I have not... Next opportunity for sure but.... This is what I can say... Tele USA has done a great job... Me slapping **** together is exactly what all of the clone makers do..... Telefunken dialed it in.... Microphone guys like Klaus Heyne can Take a Wunder CM7, which is a decent attempt at a U47...and Dial it in... RMS audio works is a deal....The dudes dialing in...

Palermo 22nd October 2013 01:00 AM

Interesting. I mentioned in another thread that while utilizing the tele c12 and the the c12 remic setting in the UAD ocean way plugin, the wet and dry frequency response and tone was just about the same. This may be far from scientific but it leads me to believe that Tele pretty much nailed it. Btw, I did not find the c12 bright at all it was very silky and rich sounding. The quality too of their hand made in the USA mics is exceptional too. I own their 251 with the Ac701 tube and it is one of the most phenomenal sounding mics I've ever had the pleasure of using



Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 9524808)
Let me hit you with the disclaimer first -- I used to work for T-funk as both an employee and later as a consultant. I am no longer in their employ [the last contract expired in February of 2012], but some of the guys that work there are still friends. I worked there after my 20+ year term at Mercenary Audio [I left there in July of '09... before the place went to hell in a hand basket]... I'm currently back to freelance engineering [etc.], some consulting work and the such.

With that out of the way, I can tell you that in my 30+ years of experience I've used, heard, played with a metric fµck-ton of C-12's and T-funk's "reissue" is indeed pretty spot on with some of the best of those. Their capsules were reverse engineered from a specimen provided by Allen Sides [owner of Ocean Way Recording along with being one hell of a "top shelf" engineer and having one of the largest and best maintained microphone collections west of Black Bird]... I can also tell you that every one that leaves their factory is tuned to be remarkably close to their "benchmark original" C-12 [I've seen them do it].

So -- all that said... I can't tell you if you're going to like it for your purposes or not... but I can tell you that its worth trying. FWIW, I'm not in a position to sell it to you, nor am I in a position to profit from your purchase in any way... and I still think its worth your time and energy to give it a go.

I hope this is of some assistance.

Peace


elambo 22nd October 2013 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulOcchialini (Post 9525570)
Microphone guys like Klaus Heyne can Take a Wunder CM7, which is a decent attempt at a U47...and Dial it in

Our CM7 might be particularly special then because it sat very comfortably next to our vintage 47s and on a respectable number of sources had an edge over the classic mics. It was the reason we were comfortable enough to let them go way back then. In our experience Wunder has done a great job with his 47. I suppose, like anything, that it could be better under the care of someone who... dials it in. ;)

PaulOcchialini 22nd October 2013 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elambo (Post 9525648)
Our CM7 might be particularly special then because it sat very comfortably next to our vintage 47s and on a respectable number of sources had an edge over the classic mics. It was the reason we were comfortable enough to let them go way back then. In our experience Wunder has done a great job with his 47. I suppose, like anything, that it could be better under the care of someone who... dials it in. ;)

Well I'm glad you think you got a good one..personally I'm done with Wunder....

Edit: yeah that sounded a little sideways, I just mean I have no reference to your Wunder and U47... Wooters?