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Telefunken AR51
Old 23rd December 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Telefunken AR51

Any news on this mic yet? Supposed to be a PCB based version of the 251 with the chinese capsule and metalwork. I cant find anything about the transformer though. Apparently they were at AES. Anyone get word of this mic (MSRP $1500?)
Old 23rd December 2009
  #2
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Noone saw this at AES?
Old 23rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
I am told Official Release will be @ NAMM this year....
Old 23rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #4
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Adam is correct!!

The mic was shown at AES last year but will not be "officially released" until the NAMM show in Anaheim. TELEFUNKEN will be down in "E hall" at booth #1868.

There will be a handful that will be out to select "Diamond level Stocking resellers" before the official release but the official release will be at NAMM.

You will be able to audition the AR-51 at NAMM... or in the privacy of your own studio by contacting one of the Diamond level Stocking resellers and arranging a demo.

The microphone is indeed based on the electronics of the ELA M 251 E though the body parts for the first 50 units are "all American"... and made of steel. The capsule and power supply are from offshore manufacture, but we do like 3 extra levels of quality control prior to installation in the microphone system.

The pattern switching process is accomplished from the power supply which also helps to reduce the cost of production of these mics [the switch assembly on the ELA M 251 E costs a bloody fortune!!], and mounting the electronics of the amplifier on a PC board [vs. the "point to point wiring" in the ELA M 251 E] is the final point of cost savings.

It should be pointed out that the traces on the PC board have 4 times the necessary current handling capacity to account for "current on demand" draws which help with things like "low end clarity" and "transient response"... and it does feature a NOS tube and the same output transformer found in the ELA M 251 E [including the ones built during the 60's by AKG].

The mic should street for about $1695 USD which is pretty damn amazing when you hear what this little puppy does!!!

Peace.
Old 23rd December 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Fletcher, why did they use the chinese capsule? That would be the weakest link in that mic. Why Why Why???? With TFunk CK12 or CK13, it would be steal even at $2500 and fill out that HUGE gap between the 251 and the RFT line.
Old 24th December 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Fletcher's Avatar
It sure would be a steal at $2500!! There are plans to do versions of the AK-47 & AR-51 with American and German made capsules but they'll land in the $3-6k range [don't quote me on that... at the moment it is slated for end of 2010 early 2011 development... a lot can happen between now and then].

The CK-13 is going to remain proprietary to the ELA M 25x series for the time being... but on the bright side, it will be available as an "aftermarket alternative" capsule housing as well as in the ELA M 251 T.

Peace.
Old 25th December 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Why does $2500 sound out of line? I wouldnt pay $3500 for a chinese mic with a $50 NOS tube, a $150 transformer and an American made capsule. If the street price of the AR51 is going to be around $1500, your are telling us that Telefunken is going to charge $2000 for the capsule upgrade? I dont know about you, but that seems rather steep.
Old 26th December 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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looking foward to the AK47 with US capsule...

If thirsch capsules are $700.... why would hte ak47 with US capsule cost between 3 and 6 k???

2600 seems like a logical price increase
Old 26th December 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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tapehiss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by laddie.music2 View Post
looking foward to the AK47 with US capsule...

If thirsch capsules are $700.... why would hte ak47 with US capsule cost between 3 and 6 k???

2600 seems like a logical price increase
because anything they make in america must meet the minimum $9k requirement!!!!!!!

just kidding, but your post makes sense, and i don't see why an american capsule would increase the cost by $4k..

but when do we get to see a pic of the ar51????? im really looking forward to the release of this mic!!!!!!
Old 26th December 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by laddie.music2 View Post
looking foward to the AK47 with US capsule...

If thirsch capsules are $700.... why would hte ak47 with US capsule cost between 3 and 6 k???

2600 seems like a logical price increase

OK... hopefully I can get through this response with an explanation that makes sense.

First off, it is a bit more involved that merely getting a capsule and dropping it in... kinda like you can't just drop a Chevy 327 motor into a Kia and expect to get a dragster out of it. In the motor example you would need to change the motor mounts, the transmission, the length of the drive shaft, and the front suspension to accommodate the additional weight and torque of the new motor.

In our microphone example you will need to adjust the amplifier to accept a new capacitor [which is what one of these capsules is, a capacitor]. There is R&D time involved, there are months of listening tests, amplifier tweezes, as well as the development of a capsule mounting system... which in itself will include a fair bit of R & D time as where the capsule sits in the head basket is actually critical to the overall sound of the unit.

All of these costs have to be absorbed in the final selling price of the product.

In addition, with ANY manufacturing concern there are fixed overhead costs that must be accommodated by the selling price of the unit to the reseller network. There are formulas to spread out these costs that are used by every manufacturing concern from Motorola to Manley to API to Chandler to A-Designs and Ford... which leads us to a few other economic principles from which no manufacturer can escape... mainly "economy of scale".

Take Motorola for a moment. The technology in one of their mobile phones is tremendous!!! It could easily cost tens of millions of dollars for them to design a new phone and then tool up for a production run of those phones [and order the parts, stock the parts, account for sales, blah, blah, blah]. However, they know they can expect to sell 10-15 million units of that product which allows them to amortize those costs over a whole ****load of units... AND permits them to purchase the parts that go into those phones at the best possible price because they're building so many.

Now look at a little boutique microphone manufacturer in South Windsor, CT. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to design the new product, source the parts, stock the parts to build the new product, bring the product to market [ever notice the banner ads in the upper right hand corner of this website, or the ads in Tape Op?... they ain't free]. All of these costs have to be built into the final selling price of the product in order for the company to remain in business.

TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has been around for I think 8 or 9 years at this point. It is still not a profitable company... though it is getting closer. Each product made by any manufacturer anywhere has to support the R & D costs of every other new product made by that company... it has to support the marketing costs of all of the products made by that company... it has to support the "overhead" [administration] costs of that company... it has to support the interest payments on the loans that need to be taken to stock the parts to build the product... it needs to support the rent, lights, trash removal, insurance, warranty support, yada, yada, yada [not to mention the salaries (etc.) of the people that work there... while we all love our jobs, we like to eat have a roof over our head and put gas in the car every now and again].

While in a wonderful utopian world it would be lovely to take a $700 capsule and drop it into a $1700 mic and call it a $2600 product [and that might actually be possible if the company was looking at sales of 10,000 units per year instead of about 150-200 units per year]. However, with the 150-200 units per year, it would unfortunately be a recipe for driving that company out of business in pretty short order.

At that point the only parts of that microphone built "off shore" would be the metal head basket grill, the body tube and the power supply [hardly a "Chinese" microphone at that point]. The product would be in a range similar to Bock and Wunder product... US built with superior parts and a unique tone that gives the product a reason to exist.

Hope this makes sense.

Peace.
Old 26th December 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
but when do we get to see a pic of the ar51????? im really looking forward to the release of this mic!!!!!!
Here is a copy of the "raw jpg." files... the ones we'll use for things like "cut sheets" and advertisements as time goes by [in other words, they're not really for 'release' but we're all family here so what the hell].
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken AR51-ar-51.jpg   Telefunken AR51-ar-51-system.jpg  
Old 26th December 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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tapehiss's Avatar
awesome looking mic!!!!!!!! thanks for the pic!!!!!!!

i'm looking forward to checking that thing out!
Old 27th December 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Fletcher's Avatar
Tapehiss -- you noted your location as Washington... if you're in DC there is also Chuck Levin's Music in Maryland Chuck Levin's if you mean Washington State then I'm afraid you'll have to do it "mail order" [or "web order"] as we don't have a 'stocking dealer' in your area... at least not yet.

Peace.
Old 27th December 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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tapehiss's Avatar
i am washington state!!!!!
but thanks for the info!!

i buy some of my gear from a company in portland, oregon... as it is only a 40 minute drive from my home....

i do wish they sold telefunken,,,,they're currently doing bock, neumann, geffell, schoeps + more for hiend mics....

the company is tidepoolaudio.com Tidepool Audio - Pro Audio Sales - Portland Oregon

great company, i would love to see them with the telefunken line!!!!!!!!!!!
if not, maybe i'll send for a mercenary or VK stock when i get the funds together.

but the ela M260 and ar51 are deffinately on my list of mics to try!
Old 28th December 2009
  #15
Gear Nut
 
+6/185's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tguy View Post
Any news on this mic yet? Supposed to be a PCB based version of the 251 with the chinese capsule and metalwork. I cant find anything about the transformer though. Apparently they were at AES. Anyone get word of this mic (MSRP $1500?)
My 2 cents - I have a AR51 and love it. It came with a 6072 tube in it but have also use it with a ECC81. This is a very nice sounding mic on acoustic guitar and vocal.
Old 28th December 2009 | Show parent
  #16
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
John is one of our "beta testers". When we think we're close [or done] we send our mics out to some people we respect and get their opinion prior to release [sometimes we can live in a bit of a bubble]. John is one of the people who has more than earned our respect.

If you're unfamiliar with John's work, here is a link to a 2006 "Tape Op" interview with John... John Cuniberti - Tape Op Interview
Old 28th December 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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+6/185's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
John is one of our "beta testers". When we think we're close [or done] we send our mics out to some people we respect and get their opinion prior to release [sometimes we can live in a bit of a bubble]. John is one of the people who has more than earned our respect.

If you're unfamiliar with John's work, here is a link to a 2006 "Tape Op" interview with John... John Cuniberti - Tape Op Interview
Thanks for the kind words Fletcher. I'm starting a project this month that is a bit like the Everly Brothers and will be using the AR51 on vocals and acoustic instruments. I will report my observations as I go.
Old 29th December 2009 | Show parent
  #18
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Please do!!

On what sound sources do you anticipate trying the AR-51?
Old 29th December 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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+6/185's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Please do!!

On what sound sources do you anticipate trying the AR-51?
I tested the AR-51 and a AK-47 on the two vocalist (via a Great River MP 2NV mic preamp to ProTools @ 96k) and preferred the AR-51. It seemed to have a smother upper mid range and less hype. I'm generally not a fan of mics that over boost the top in the 5-10k range. I would rather do the EQ myself. I know many people will disagree with me but I always preferred the U-67 and M-49 over a U-47 on most vocals. I also used the AR-51 on a 1938 Martin 0018 and a new Gibson J200 and in bi-directional it was fantastic sounding. Very rich with a smooth top end.
Old 30th December 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Fletcher's Avatar
I'd love to hear some of that... are you planning to be at NAMM?
Old 30th December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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+6/185's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I'd love to hear some of that... are you planning to be at NAMM?
At the moment I plan to be there. I will stop by the booth and say hi.
Old 30th December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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pearldrum944's Avatar
I tried the ar51 at AES in NY. Seemed like a really cool mic, I preferred it on my voice over the ak-47 easily. Both mics had a very different sound, I agree with "+6/185" about the top end.
Old 31st December 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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Fletcher's Avatar
I see you're in CT... give a shout next week and we might be able to figure out how to get one to you for a week to play with if you'd like... all we'd ask is for your feedback.

Peace.
Old 31st December 2009 | Show parent
  #24
I'm excited about hearing that mic Fletch.
We love our M-16!
Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #25
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Roscoe - I'd be happy to get you out a production model for you to hear [we should have some available in a week or so, lemme know your recording schedule]... of course this would end up happening shortly after you send up that copy of the Bottle Rockets latest like we talked about last spring!!!

Peace.
Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Roscoe - I'd be happy to get you out a production model for you to hear [we should have some available in a week or so, lemme know your recording schedule]... of course this would end up happening shortly after you send up that copy of the Bottle Rockets latest like we talked about last spring!!!

Peace.
PM sent for Bottle Rockets "Lean Forward" shipping info.
Old 2nd January 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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+6/185's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoenyc View Post
PM sent for Bottle Rockets "Lean Forward" shipping info.
Hey - what can I get for a copy of The Rockets EP called Re-entry with Eddie Money singing when he was 22?

Re-entry
Old 3rd January 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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pearldrum944's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I see you're in CT... give a shout next week and we might be able to figure out how to get one to you for a week to play with if you'd like... all we'd ask is for your feedback.

Peace.

That would be very cool to try it on some sessions.
Old 3rd January 2010 | Show parent
  #29
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearldrum944 View Post
That would be very cool to try it on some sessions.
Give a shout to the office +1 860.882.5919 and I'll find out what we have available to give a go or if we've been able to get them out to any of the resellers yet.

Peace.
Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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Krubbadoo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Give a shout to the office +1 860.882.5919 and I'll find out what we have available to give a go or if we've been able to get them out to any of the resellers yet.

Peace.

I am about to buy an AK47...Makes me wonder if I should listen to the AR51 before...mmmm...
Fletcher, when will we be able to hear it in Montreal Canada? Thanks.
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