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Telefunken AK47 or Neumann TLM49? Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd June 2006
  #31
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Now read what pegleg wrote again.... There was a very long thread a few years back about this mic and the quote below is about how it ended before it was locked. I too have 0 (that is ZERO) respect for them. Sorry.... oh and if money is tight, there are about 5 mics I think I would take a look at before either of these. YMMV.

As far as the whole Telefunken thing goes I would reccomend anyone considering a Telefunken, irregardless what anyone has to say, to call Them and get their side of the story ad I think it will make sense to you.

As far as the mics in question I tried them on my voice tonight and I actually sang in to the mics (yes believe it).

So far my conclusions are, considering I did the best job I could using the same proximity to the mics, that I really like the TLM49 and the K2.

I felt that the AK47 was less detailed compaired to the K2 but warmer producing more midrange. The detail on both the TLM49 and the K2 were great but the TLM49 had more balance due to the K2 lacking in the mids (for my voice). I found the TLM49 to be very true in the sense that the bottom end came out when tones were low and not on every tone like the AK47 and the K2 to some extent.

So far I am leaning toward the TLM 49. I will have another pair of ears listen to the recording tommorrow.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #32
Gear Head
 

Quote:
oh and if money is tight, there are about 5 mics I think I would take a look at before either of these. YMMV.

Well come on then spill the beans.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #33
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Well, just to make it clear, what I have responded to in previous threads WAS "their side of the story" (or, more properly, 'their story'). The evidence of my own eyes told me what they had changed and what they hadn't from the Apex mic, and it wasn't much. (Dan Richards at Sound Pure brought this thing to public attention to begin with). My ears told me the same. Their story at the time was 'heavily modified' Chinese mic (a mic also purchased by Apex, Nady and at least one other). The 'heavy mods' were, as far as anyone could tell, a different tube (noisier), two resistors, and one cap. The capsule, the transformer, the PSU, the shock mount, grille, etc, were all the same.

I could not pick one from the other with any regularity, except from the noise floor in quiet passages. Nor could anyone else who heard the recordings.

I do hope they have 'changed their ways', and made the M16 MKII and the AK47 (stupid name) LESS of a total scam. Supposedly they have actually changed more internal components this time. The M16 was a hell of a mark-up for a new tube, and a Telefunken badge and paint job.

I would have been more inclined to give them a second chance if they had made some admission of a mistake / bad choice, and been forthcoming with the 'MKII' mods. The fact that they weren't, and that Mr. Fishman posted some unprofessional comments on several threads...well...
I am no Telefunken apologist that is part of the reason I am doing this test. The person from whom I buy all of my pro audio stuff from likes their stuff so I thought I would try it.

Many months ago I tried the M16 for $1400 I compared it to mics that cost 400 and under and it clearly was better was it 1000 dollars better well I don't know about that.

so I thought I would search the internet and I came across the same apex mic comparison that you and everyone else saw at which point I didn't even give the M16 a chance and was very dissapointed that a company would do this.

That brings me to the now. I told my sales person that i was very dissapointed with what Telefunken had done. He asured me that they upgraded both the AK47 and M16 and to try the AK47. I took it home and in the interim I called them to ask what happened with the whole Apex thing.

I believe I talked with Mr. Fishman and was told that they developed this design with a Chinese Manufacturer to have this circuit built for them. This was a year and a half process. After completion of this process, their circuit was made available to whoever wanted it. My understanding of the situation is that they spent the R&D time on the Mics developement and justified it buy selling it for $1400 and $1500 respectively. It's easy to sell something for $200 to $400 when you have no R&D time invested in it.

I also called Tab Funkenwerk and asked him about this mic since the guys at Telefunken consulted with him regarding the changes. He told me he thought that it was built right (that is the very current model upgrades of the aformentioned mics) They changed the Transformers with USA Transformers built very similar to that of the U47 what else was upgraded I'm not sure. Mr Funkenwerk also told me to use my ears and call him back with my opinions.

Sorry for the bantering on and on but I thought I should let everyone know about my experience with Telefunken. How all of you gearslutz choose to precieve it is totally up to you.thumbsup
Old 23rd June 2006
  #34
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chadly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by danosol
I believe I talked with Mr. Fishman and was told that they developed this design with a Chinese Manufacturer to have this circuit built for them. This was a year and a half process. After completion of this process, their circuit was made available to whoever wanted it. My understanding of the situation is that they spent the R&D time on the Mics developement and justified it buy selling it for $1400 and $1500 respectively. It's easy to sell something for $200 to $400 when you have no R&D time invested in it.
The "that-darned-chinese-manufacturer-screwed-me" has happened to other companies in other fields quite a bit.

I don't, however, remember hearing that when all of the fuss was being made. I just remember a lot of red-in-the-face debating going on, much of it uncivil and unprofessional.

Perhaps I'm mistaken. I just don't remember it quite like that.

I have zero interest in this as I didn't own the telefunken or apex, it just undermined any respect that many had for the company.


Anyways, this is all old news. Back on topic. My bad.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #35
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Bat Head Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
... and the AK47 (stupid name)...
It stands for "Alicia Keys U-47" because I believe that the mic was supposed to be her signature series mic. She still uses it for her vocals I believe. Actually, I think the ones she uses are the M-16 mark 1, but I could be wrong.
Old 24th June 2006
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly
The "that-darned-chinese-manufacturer-screwed-me" has happened to other companies in other fields quite a bit.

I don't, however, remember hearing that when all of the fuss was being made. I just remember a lot of red-in-the-face debating going on, much of it uncivil and unprofessional.

Perhaps I'm mistaken. I just don't remember it quite like that.

I have zero interest in this as I didn't own the telefunken or apex, it just undermined any respect that many had for the company.
I agree with the above 100% including the fact that I don't own any Telefunken USA gear (and will not ever due to that very thread).

Quote:
Anyways, this is all old news. Back on topic. My bad.
Actually this is disagree with.. at least a little... it is old news for us who where here for it but new folks to the forum should be informed... if nothing else they should be made aware of the search button and the the need to use it in this case.
Old 24th June 2006
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by danosol
Well come on then spill the beans.
Well I hear very good things about the Pearlman, never tried one but....

Most of the Soundelux line is around that price range if you shop around new / used.

The Audio-Technica 4050, 4047 and 4060 are all great valule mics (very good mics well above what they sell for) that would probably hold their own with the M16 or the TLM49.

Hell when it gets right down to it for that money I would see if I could pick up a 70's U87 some place. You might have to reach a bit but I think it would be a better value and a better mic all the way around.
Old 24th June 2006
  #38
Gear Head
 

Thanks for all the input from everyone. After listening to these mics again with a friend who has a lot of experience with mics (He owns a U47) I came out with a totally different point of view on these mics. The TLM49 has a very flat response which would probably translate to being exceptional fo kick and voice overs, but for vocals the AK47 had much more character.

My friend who has listened to both picked it out after a few passes (ofcourse this is my crappy voice ot it might have been sooner). For me it will be the AK47 but I don't think you could go wrong with either of these mics. They are all very good.
Old 24th June 2006
  #39
Gear Addict
 
JOHN's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by danosol
Thanks for all the input from everyone. After listening to these mics again with a friend who has a lot of experience with mics (He owns a U47) I came out with a totally different point of view on these mics. The TLM49 has a very flat response which would probably translate to being exceptional fo kick and voice overs, but for vocals the AK47 had much more character.

My friend who has listened to both picked it out after a few passes (ofcourse this is my crappy voice ot it might have been sooner). For me it will be the AK47 but I don't think you could go wrong with either of these mics. They are all very good.
Hi dansol
What do you mean the AK47 had much more character. What was the character in sound can you explain more please?

When you say the TLM49 has a very flat response which would probably translate to being exceptional fo kick and voice overs, can you explain the flat response please and how did the flat response sound to you what is missing in terms of sound from the TLM49?

why do you say exceptional fo kick and voice overs, waht is exceptional in the TLM49 in this area for you?

This will all help me in my choice of Mic
Thank you danosol.
Old 24th June 2006
  #40
Gear Head
 

Quote:
What do you mean the AK47 had much more character. What was the character in sound can you explain more please?

It sounded warmer, fuller and smoother, a sweeter top end.


Quote:
When you say the TLM49 has a very flat response which would probably translate to being exceptional fo kick and voice overs, can you explain the flat response please and how did the flat response sound to you what is missing in terms of sound from the TLM49?

why do you say exceptional fo kick and voice overs, waht is exceptional in the TLM49 in this area for you?

It was very clean with no color, I liked it but in the end I think the AK47 was more in line with vintage, warm sounding characterics that you hear so much about and that most of the other mic companies try and emulate. With the whole kick drum I feel it would be great because it would translate, with minimal color, the sound of the kick.

If you spent a lot of time in perfectly tuning your kick to your likeing the last thing you would want is for it to come out sounding different in the mix. Hope that helps, by no means am I an authority on any of this these are just my opinions and those of my good friend who helped me in my decision.
Old 27th June 2006
  #41
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danosol
I have posted vocals through the TLM49 and various pres on the thread TLM49 first impressions.
FYI
16th June 2006 10:11 AM



Thanks I have seen those threads and I appreciate all your time in auditioning the TLM49 for us. A very trusted friend and salesperson really liked the Telefunken AK47 and suggested I get that mic for the price range that I am looking in. He is a big vintage officianado and really knows his stuff and own many vintage mics including the U47. Unfortunately he has yet to try out the TLM49.

This is where my problem lies. I am trying to get some time set up really soon to audition these mics with a singer. I believe you said that you have the Rode K2 How did the TLM 49 compare to that.

Thanks
Actually yes I said I would do that, didn't I I forgot sorry.
I will try to get you a comparison with the K2 and TLM49 in the next few days. You know what is interesting, is that people also have to realize that on a deep male voice the mic choice will be different than on a high male or female voice. In my opinion.
I get busy and forget. Would you like a warm vintage sounding pre or a open straight wire type?....you are going to say both aren't you haha
I think I should make a bit of a contest out of this. There are some people on these threads that are brand lovers more than sound itself. I should put some mics up and have people say which mics they like the best.
Would that be too much of a bother?
Thanks
Lou
Old 27th June 2006
  #42
Lives for gear
 
chadly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Actually this is disagree with.. at least a little... it is old news for us who where here for it but new folks to the forum should be informed... if nothing else they should be made aware of the search button and the the need to use it in this case.
I agree with you 100%. I just didn't think it merited debating. Definately worth mentioning though.
Old 27th June 2006
  #43
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by danosol
It sounded warmer, fuller and smoother, a sweeter top end.





It was very clean with no color, I liked it but in the end I think the AK47 was more in line with vintage, warm sounding characterics that you hear so much about and that most of the other mic companies try and emulate. With the whole kick drum I feel it would be great because it would translate, with minimal color, the sound of the kick.

If you spent a lot of time in perfectly tuning your kick to your likeing the last thing you would want is for it to come out sounding different in the mix. Hope that helps, by no means am I an authority on any of this these are just my opinions and those of my good friend who helped me in my decision.

Actually, if I may put in my two cents. I believe that the TLM49 has warmth and color but is also very clear or articulate. If you want flat try AKG414's or Rode NT1 .
These are not bad mics, they just don't have color. The TLM49 does along side of these for sure. Maybe not as much along side a AK47 I am not sure. Again my caviat if you will... everything sounds different on different things.
Old 27th June 2006
  #44
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Well I hear very good things about the Pearlman, never tried one but....

Most of the Soundelux line is around that price range if you shop around new / used.

The Audio-Technica 4050, 4047 and 4060 are all great valule mics (very good mics well above what they sell for) that would probably hold their own with the M16 or the TLM49.

Hell when it gets right down to it for that money I would see if I could pick up a 70's U87 some place. You might have to reach a bit but I think it would be a better value and a better mic all the way around.
I thought the same with the older 70's U87 and just about found one, when a good friend and mic snob said, "you have to know the capsule" if it has been sung through without pop screens, and crud and god knows what have accumlated and degraded it, the mic will not sound as good as older vintage models should. So I decided to find out from Nuemann how much a repl capsule would be . 800.00 Canadian. About 700.00 American. I did buy the TLM49 because I like it for my voice. I own a lot of mics and have a Pearlman on order. It is a bit of a gamble on an old mic if you can't audition it or even inspect it first.
My opinion again.
Lou
Old 27th June 2006
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Well I hear very good things about the Pearlman, never tried one but....

Most of the Soundelux line is around that price range if you shop around new / used.

The Audio-Technica 4050, 4047 and 4060 are all great valule mics (very good mics well above what they sell for) that would probably hold their own with the M16 or the TLM49.

Hell when it gets right down to it for that money I would see if I could pick up a 70's U87 some place. You might have to reach a bit but I think it would be a better value and a better mic all the way around.


I'm looking forward to trying out the Telefunken AK47 very soon (mine should be here in about 10 days), glad to know people are enjoying it. There are several microphones that are great bang for the buck that could have also been included in the above, CharterOak and Peluso to name a couple.
Old 27th June 2006
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoEgo
I thought the same with the older 70's U87 and just about found one, when a good friend and mic snob said, "you have to know the capsule" if it has been sung through without pop screens, and crud and god knows what have accumlated and degraded it, the mic will not sound as good as older vintage models should. So I decided to find out from Nuemann how much a repl capsule would be . 800.00 Canadian. About 700.00 American. I did buy the TLM49 because I like it for my voice. I own a lot of mics and have a Pearlman on order. It is a bit of a gamble on an old mic if you can't audition it or even inspect it first.
My opinion again.
Lou

Good point but rememebr there are plantly of places that will do the work for you without having to fo back to Nuemann, probably better work for cheaper as well.

Old 27th June 2006
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
I'm looking forward to trying out the Telefunken AK47 very soon (mine should be here in about 10 days), glad to know people are enjoying it. There are several microphones that are great bang for the buck that could have also been included in the above, CharterOak and Peluso to name a couple.

Forgot about them, sorry. Yes good points.
Old 28th June 2006
  #48
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Actually, if I may put in my two cents. I believe that the TLM49 has warmth and color but is also very clear or articulate. If you want flat try AKG414's or Rode NT1 .
These are not bad mics, they just don't have color. The TLM49 does along side of these for sure. Maybe not as much along side a AK47 I am not sure. Again my caviat if you will... everything sounds different on different things.

Quote:
I thought the same with the older 70's U87 and just about found one, when a good friend and mic snob said, "you have to know the capsule" if it has been sung through without pop screens, and crud and god knows what have accumlated and degraded it, the mic will not sound as good as older vintage models should. So I decided to find out from Nuemann how much a repl capsule would be . 800.00 Canadian. About 700.00 American. I did buy the TLM49 because I like it for my voice. I own a lot of mics and have a Pearlman on order. It is a bit of a gamble on an old mic if you can't audition it or even inspect it first.
My opinion again.
Lou

Lou, your comments are refreshing and I agree with them totally. It's what works best for you, wether it's for a type of voice, instrument, or if it's something that will work for you as an all around mic. I really liked the TLM49 a lot and for the the price that I got it for it was great, unfortunately I couldn't afford to keep both and I had to make a decision. Luckily I own the K2 and I like it a lot. I just had to choose the right mic for me at this time.

I know there are skeptics of the Telefunken mics but they sound good and they have redesigned the mics after the Apex fiasco. I have posted a link that verifies my conversation with Tab Funkenwerk regarding his input on the mic. Check it out it's worth a look, everyone deserves a second chance.

Ajay

HTML Code:
http://www.rftfunkwerk.com/
Old 28th June 2006
  #49
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
This is where on-line forums get confusing. 414s and NT1 are flat? Does anyone else agree with this? Every Rode mic I have heard has been very bright (well, brittle / harsh to me), and most engineers I know consider the various 414s to each have a distinct character. The 414B ULS, which is my favorite, is not what I'd exactly call a 'flat' mic...

When I think of 'flat' - and I assume we're talking frequency response - I think of B&K mics, or perhaps a TLM170.

I have a hard time imagining the TLM49 as having a flat frequency response. It does share a capsule with the M147, and still similar to the Gefell UMT70, a capsule that is not 'flat' sounding in any other mic body...

Well the ones I tried were not ballsy and not a lot of top end air. No they are not flat as in perfect straight on paper. aurally to the sources I was recording though, The ones I have used at the time, didn't bring either of those enhancements to the table.
I alos own 3 Rode mics and I don't find them brittle harsh at all. Maybe the pres I have get along with them. I should have covered my *ss saying it was my opinion haha. In fact I will admit I am not sure what 414 it was. I do love the TLM49 though and I do acknowlege that it is not a flat mic.
Old 28th June 2006
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
414s and NT1 are flat? Does anyone else agree with this?

Not really...especially the Rode. The 414B-ULS sort of sounds 'flat' in that it's really not a very bright microphone, but man, that mic is just a dud all around IMO (the mids are not very musical at all).
Old 29th June 2006
  #51
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
This is where on-line forums get confusing. 414s and NT1 are flat? Does anyone else agree with this? Every Rode mic I have heard has been very bright (well, brittle / harsh to me), and most engineers I know consider the various 414s to each have a distinct character. The 414B ULS, which is my favorite, is not what I'd exactly call a 'flat' mic...

When I think of 'flat' - and I assume we're talking frequency response - I think of B&K mics, or perhaps a TLM170.

I have a hard time imagining the TLM49 as having a flat frequency response. It does share a capsule with the M147, and still similar to the Gefell UMT70, a capsule that is not 'flat' sounding in any other mic body...
From the pages of AKG
I didn'nt think my ears were that far off the mark.

"A reference-quality microphone especially used for accurate, beautifully-detailed pickup of any acoustic instrument."

Looks pretty flat to me. I guess it wasn't the XLII or the ULS that I used, but this one. I did acknowledge that it was a good mic, just not as sweet.
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken AK47 or Neumann TLM49?-akg.jpg  
Old 3rd September 2006
  #52
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

bump.

Just wondering if anyones developed new opinions on the AK47
Old 3rd September 2006
  #53
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orange's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
bump.

Just wondering if anyones developed new opinions on the AK47
I'm just adding my opinion that I wouldn't touch a Telefunken USA product ever again as a point of principle - for the reasons outlined previously. People accuse Behringer of dodgy business practices, but at least their products are cheap.
Old 3rd September 2006
  #54
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Mics have two criteria---quality and qualities. Comparing mics of with drastic differences in both is relatively meaningless.

In this case, for example, the TLM49 could've been the highest quality, but lacked the warm toobey high end rolloff you needed for your source.
Old 3rd September 2006
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
I'm just adding my opinion that I wouldn't touch a Telefunken USA product ever again as a point of principle - for the reasons outlined previously. People accuse Behringer of dodgy business practices, but at least their products are cheap.
Old 10th March 2007
  #56
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
I'm just adding my opinion that I wouldn't touch a Telefunken USA product ever again as a point of principle - for the reasons outlined previously. People accuse Behringer of dodgy business practices, but at least their products are cheap.

I have problems also with this company.
First, they use the well established and respected Telefunken name for their own company. Original? hmm.
Second, the chinese fiasco.
Third, naming mics after assault rifles is not cool. AK47, M16. Alicia Keys??? uhh.
dfegad morons
Old 10th March 2007
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
I don't want to re-open a can of worms, but
There's a shootout thread on here at the moment involving the AK47, the M16, a Peluso 22 251, an AKG C414 B-ULS and an M-Audio Sputnik. I am pretty confident both the Telefunken/R-F-T mics are going to pass with flying colours, at least if they're new, so I'd look out for it. I get the feeling that the company has done its goddamn time!!!
Old 10th March 2007
  #58
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
So now these $1499 mics are 'passing' alongside $600 mics (instead of $250 Apexes...)?
heh

I guess it's a step in the right direction.

I'll listen to the samples - though the 414-ULS is the only mic I'm familiar with in that list (as a basis for comparison).
I much preferred the AK47 to the other mics in that test btw
If it's about which is the best deal, I guess the Sputnik does best, but if it's about which sound I preferred, it was the AK47.
Old 10th March 2007
  #59
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The results are here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/113433-vocal-mic-shootout-peluso-telefunken-414-sputnik.html

I changed my mind a few times as things went on, but both Tele mics did do pretty well overall. I had two mics vying for favourite. One of them was the MK16 but what amazes me is that the other was a Sputnik!!! They both sound pretty direct to me, which ought to be good for rock, though really bad for some other stuff.
Old 10th March 2008
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
Mics have two criteria---quality and qualities. Comparing mics of with drastic differences in both is relatively meaningless.

In this case, for example, the TLM49 could've been the highest quality, but lacked the warm toobey high end rolloff you needed for your source.
Well, we use one with a nice valve pre (sebatron) for that "toobey" quality, we think it beats M49 and M149's through 1073's...... It's the combination that counts! Also it's how vocals sit in finished (ie mastered) mixes through every playback system imaginable, remember? Why do peeps make up their mind about such things listening to a voice in solo through who knows what and at who knows where? I've seen the same people who just "loved" the extra "zing" in a soloed M149 declare the finished vocal sound didn't gel with the rest of the song's sound..... too much "zing" I suspect.....
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