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Telefunken USA RFT M16? or any Tele USA?
Old 15th May 2005
  #1
Gear Head
 

Telefunken USA RFT M16? or any Tele USA?

Anyone used any of the Tele USA mics, especially the RFT M16?
I suppose the price (1399) means it's not a great mic. Is it a Chinese capsule / mic?

I thought I'd see if they have a loaner or money back policy...
Old 15th May 2005
  #2
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I bought another to use as overheads on the last two sessions.

R-F-T M16
Old 15th May 2005
  #3
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Jamz

The link you provided doesn't work? A search on that site doesn’t yield anything either. Do you have a better link?

Also:

Did Dan provide an audible comparison or just a visual one in his email response? Perhaps you could ask him to join this thread and share his insights?


It's shame that Telefunken USA won't comment on the misconceptions regarding this mic. I've spoken with them on several occasions and will bring this thread to their attention as well. Their silence on this issue is doing more damage than good IMO. Several M16's are in use daily with outstanding results and feedback. They might want to let people know that as well.
Old 15th May 2005
  #4
Art
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hey there, couple of different things. I do not have this mic and therefore have no idea of how it sounds. I did have an opportunity to see the thread above and I have to say that in my oipinion it was somewhat inconclusive as most people noticed a significant visual difference between the quality of the two mics, although the general design appeared to be the same. In addition, I did speak to someone at Telefunken USA and I felt he was pretty forthright with the origin of this mic. He explained that the body/casing of the microphone comes from Asia versus that of there other mics which are machined in house. The mic however is assembled by Tele in house. Again, I can not say a whole lot about this mic since I have never physically seen one or heard one. Good luck in your research.

Art
Old 15th May 2005
  #5
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The listed link was sent to me by Dan. Apparently, he's a moderator over at Studio Forums. Initially, that link presented a series of posts concerning the R-F-T M16 and it's extreme similarities to the Apex mic. Implying both mics were probably created at the same place and Telefunken USA dressed up a thing or two to differentiate. The insides, shock mount, power supply were identical except for the tube, color and badge. The tube would not substantiate the difference in price.
I spoke with someone at Telefunken USA asking about the mic. I was told the same as Art. Dan was pretty adament that they weren't being totally accurate with that statement.
I don't know that this makes it less of a mic. I do believe, if true that it does make for an overpriced mic.
Old 15th May 2005
  #6
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Dan seems very knowledgeable. However, he runs a gear store, and carries a lot of lines, but I don't see Tele USA listed. That could be a factor in above mentioned opinion.
Old 15th May 2005
  #7
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Interesting thread. I'm curious about this rumor.

I heard a couple of m16s used as drum overheads a few months ago and they sounded very usable--for the money great. I've been waiting to hear from others about them myself.
Old 15th May 2005
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz
I spoke with someone at Telefunken USA asking about the mic. I was told the same as Art. Dan was pretty adament that they weren't being totally accurate with that statement.
I don't know that this makes it less of a mic. I do believe, if true that it does make for an overpriced mic.
You spoke with Telefunken USA about this mic? You have the benefit of insight to its construction and yet you posted with statements to the contrary?

BTW, you should ask for permission to post comments by others. Not thinking I included them in my response as well. I've been asked to remove those statements from my post. I shouldn't have included them. My apologies for that.
Old 16th May 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-O
You spoke with Telefunken USA about this mic? You have the benefit of insight to its construction and yet you posted with statements to the contrary?
Contrary?! Read my post.
I was as interested as anyone in this mic. Asked the same question as pegleg. Merely passing along information that was given to me.
Old 16th May 2005
  #10
m 16 Telefunken usa

I like many of us was interested in this mic
so i called Telefunken USA and said :
there's a lot of gossip and heresey on the forums whats up with this mic?

According to one of the guys at Telefunken usa who freely spoke without paranoia of the M16
as follows:

hand made/assembled in the same room as the 251's etc. by the same tech
i went there saw the room , and yes its actually true whatever that means to you.

it also shares the same resistors and capacitors used in the elam 251/c12.

it's capsule is called the k16 it is designed by telefunken usa
it is based on the kk67 nuemann capsule and is made to tele usa's spec
by a unamed european company (i didn't ask he didn't say)
the grill and body shell are made in china and are painted/assembled and whatnot by tele usa

the electronics are based on the c12.

the tube is a jan 12ax7 phillips NOS

thats the story as it was said to me

interestingly their $7500 U47 also has a capsule made for them in europe.

(other people like peluso are using chinese parts with amazing results from what i hear)

the build of the mic asthetically is on par with their other mics.

the included 6 pin mic to power supply cable is cheap, and a noticable corner cut at first glance.

(or for $ 100 more they sell you a telefunken or fisher telefunken tube
and an upgraded Gothan 6 pin mic to power supply cable )



The shock mount has been around the market and is probably chinese and as far as bass floor transmission (walking in the room you see some db's on the meters) is concerned pretty worthless . but i've put a sand bag on the stand and otherwise no problems. for quiet stuff its fine , but no big deal get a different shock mount .

For a company that says built "to a standard not a price"

this mic seems like a joke.

however who is better situated to pull off the impossible/questionable buisness move
of making a mic so good and cheap other then tele usa?

they have sourced their components or recreated them and put in a lotta dough
and research to make their boutique "recreations".

but this mic appears their first original , not recreating but hybriding components
they already have assembled (the original guts of telefunken's original mics) and knowledge of how to make the guts of classic mics thru reverse engineering .
combined with cutting costs with imported parts In that sense its an understandable and not so suspicous buisness desicion for them.

but **** all that how do i think it sounds ?

my impression of the m16 which i own and have been using a lot the last couple of weeks is:

and as we all know this is an utterly relative science
relative to the source recorded
the signal chain
and the vision of the one recording
that said :

this mic is the deal of the century.buy 2 or 3 before they mass produce them for guitar center and then **** might go down -hill

it is 3D ! with goerguos tone.
if there is some cheap chinese mic thats just the same i want 10!

has qualities of a c12/251 and qualities of a 67/87
but is really its own , and i wouldn't give it back for anything.

i use it through a dw fearn a bae 312 and a even a mackie onyx
it shines .
it has a harmonic luster in the mids which is amazing and the highs have a 251 vibe
the lows are rich and tight.

BTW the gotham cable is definitley demanded although the telefunken tube is a little lower gain then the phillips and thats more of a color choice.

I also have some um70's the x-former ones and a um92.1 gefell which i love.
the m16 is in the supermodel range .

maybe they didn't know it would come together this good , they even said to me they were suprised how good it really is.

on the celeb endorsement note : apparently Alicia Keys did a shootout of all their mics and picked the m16 as her vocal mic.
normally i wouldn't give a **** a bout a celeberty endorsement
but i happen to agree with her .
maybe i'am an idiot for what you like sound wise but i
when i spoke to TEle usa they said i could try a 3 day check out to see if i liked the mic, and were really nice and helpful to me throughout.
so the company has a holywood $$ vibe but they cool to me.

good luck !
definetly hear one before you believe anything

just hear one!!!! i dare you!!!! fuuck
Old 16th May 2005
  #11
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Hmmmmmmmm....
Old 16th May 2005
  #12
84K
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There is no right way to make a mic... if it works, it works. If you are paying extra $$ for the Telefunken mic, then that is your choice... after all, it is a classic and well respected name. But, I could care less really. A Lexus SUV is the exact same as the Toyota SUV... people still pay more for the name and paint job there... so at the very least, it is the same as that. But again, I don't care. That's my 2 cents.
Old 16th May 2005
  #13
Gear Head
 

It would seem strange that such a company would buy a Chinese mic and slap their badge on it, as that could call their entire line into question - ie wouldn't be worth the trouble. I would understand if the capsule was Chinese made, though that doesn't seem to be the case.

I may give them a call and see if I can demo one. If we can get a substantiated claim that it's the same mic as the Apex, I, for one, would like to know that.
Old 16th May 2005
  #14
84K
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All I can say regarding the other mics is that they are built on premise. I have visited their offices, and the 251s are definitely built and tested at their office (and studio) and made in the highest possible level... although that was before the M16 existed, so I don't know anything about that mic. The E la m 251s are the real deal.
Old 16th May 2005
  #15
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They do look strikingly similar- First the RFT-16
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken USA RFT M16? or any Tele USA?-rftsmall.jpg  
Old 16th May 2005
  #16
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Then this- The APEX-460
Attached Images
Telefunken USA RFT M16? or any Tele USA?-apex460_sm_pack.jpg 
Old 16th May 2005
  #17
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$250 VS $1399 .... That seems like quite a markup for 'hand assembly' if thats all it is. It would be interesting to find out if there are any other differences between the two.
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken USA RFT M16? or any Tele USA?-sm_apex460.jpg  
Old 16th May 2005
  #18
Most definatly interested in also.
Old 16th May 2005
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
Then this- The APEX-460

Yeah, they do look pretty similar.

I wrote an email to telefunken to get a quote on the mic with shipping to my country included. Would be interesting to check it out.

Gustav
Old 16th May 2005
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-O
You spoke with Telefunken USA about this mic? You have the benefit of insight to its construction and yet you posted with statements to the contrary?

BTW, you should ask for permission to post comments by others. Not thinking I included them in my response as well. I've been asked to remove those statements from my post. I shouldn't have included them. My apologies for that.
The mics are shown above. I am doing my homework and still leaning heavily towards trying one out this week on vocals.
Like i said...I was interested enough to call and speak with a person at Telefunken about this mic. My Gearslutz post inquiring about this mic yielded very few experienced responses. Maybe not as many M16 owners a couple of weeks ago? I was then contacted by a third party who tested the mic. I was sent a link which depicts the above 2 aforementioned mics open and exposed. It appeared the only major difference were the tubes. The R-F-T had a slightly better tube.

AFTER speaking with the very cooperative people at Telelfunken I was given this news concerning the alleged similarities by someone else. It raised questions. When Pegleg asked I gave the only info I had. Thought I was helping by offering the info I had gathered.
FWIW I have used the Telefunken USA 251s and they are beautiful in appearance build and sound. I would like nothing more than a name badged mic that sounds awesome at a reasonable price. In fact I'd buy two. I too will give Tele another call today.
Old 16th May 2005
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz
The mics are shown above. I am doing my homework and still leaning heavily towards trying one out this week on vocals.
Like i said...I was interested enough to call and speak with a person at Telefunken about this mic. My Gearslutz post inquiring about this mic yielded very few experienced responses. Maybe not as many M16 owners a couple of weeks ago? I was then contacted by a third party who tested the mic. I was sent a link which depicts the above 2 aforementioned mics open and exposed. It appeared the only major difference were the tubes. The R-F-T had a slightly better tube.

AFTER speaking with the very cooperative people at Telelfunken I was given this news concerning the alleged similarities by someone else. It raised questions. When Pegleg asked I gave the only info I had. Thought I was helping by offering the info I had gathered.
FWIW I have used the Telefunken USA 251s and they are beautiful in appearance build and sound. I would like nothing more than a name badged mic that sounds awesome at a reasonable price. In fact I'd buy two. I too will give Tele another call today.

Unfortunately the information you provided was one sided to say the least. Perhaps a balanced perspective could have been wiser. With the inclusion of information you gathered from Telefunken USA an off set the "rip off" claim could have avoided confusion. That's if you had followed up with Telefunken USA again after you were "given the news" about similarities with the mics that is. I know I would be looking for a direct explanation my self....

and which I believe Telefunken USA should do the courtesy of providing....in a timely fashion.

As I said before their silence is doing more harm than good here at the moment IMO. Although a nice "controversial" buzz is pushing things along right now it's a dangerous game to play. They have an interest in this mic and should take advantage of it. It would be a shame for this to ruin a great reputation. Although most people love a winner even more people enjoy pouncing on a loser. Even if they have to create one.
Old 16th May 2005
  #22
84K
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If it is the same.... $1399 for a chromed tube mic that has a Telefunken badge is a great deal for B and C level studios... many could gain by advertising that they have a Telefunken Tube Mic. Most people who buy time at B and C level studios wouldn't know the difference between a 251 or an M16, but the name does have weight to it.

With that being said, If I were in the B or C level studio biz I would think about owning one. Even if it is similar to a $250 mic.... You can say you have a Telefunken to your clients and you look better equipped then the guy with some $1500 mic no one knows outside of "we the gearslutz" knows. Besides, what do you guys expect from a Telefunken Tube Mic in the $1500 price range?? What do you want from them?? People expect too much.... You can't think they are going to make a hand made mic that competes with a 251 for 1/5 the price. How would that make any business sense? tutt
Old 16th May 2005
  #23
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The price point is something that needs to be restated here. But curb appeal aside results are what matter IMO as I believe we all agree upon. The question could be is the M16 worth $1150 of confusion?
Old 16th May 2005
  #24
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-O
The price point is something that needs to be restated here. But curb appeal aside results are what matter IMO as I believe we all agree upon. The question could be is the M16 worth $1150 of confusion?

Dude, now you are just being an ass. Everyone has different needs. I am sure it sounds great... if doesn't, don't buy it. I am sure you can try before you buy. Why are you so against them? You must be a dealer who sells something else??? Tell me I'm wrong?
Old 16th May 2005
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-O
Unfortunately the information you provided was one sided to say the least. Perhaps a balanced perspective could have been wiser. With the inclusion of information you gathered from Telefunken USA an off set the "rip off" claim could have avoided confusion. That's if you had followed up with Telefunken USA again after you were "given the news" about similarities with the mics that is. I know I would be looking for a direct explanation my self....

and which I believe Telefunken USA should do the courtesy of providing....in a timely fashion.

As I said before their silence is doing more harm than good here at the moment IMO. Although a nice "controversial" buzz is pushing things along right now it's a dangerous game to play. They have an interest in this mic and should take advantage of it. It would be a shame for this to ruin a great reputation. Although most people love a winner even more people enjoy pouncing on a loser. Even if they have to create one.
Dan-O
Wasn't one sided. I wasn't attacking. I was conveying the only info available to me. I have no experience with the mic personally. Hence, my questions. I merely responded with what someone else found. I did not call them a "rip off". I'm hoping this mic is amazing...regardless of where all the parts are made. In fact I just spoke with Telefunken and one will be delivered to me tomorrow to use for a weeks worth of sessions. I'll post my results at weeks end if anyone is interested.
As far as the specs and build...Everyone should do their research. I've done mine and FWIW I'm having one delivered tomorrow.
This mornings phone call to Telefunken was a pleasure. They are honest, proud and forthcoming. You should call them with any questions. But keep in mind that not every answer may be what you want to hear.
Old 16th May 2005
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
If it is the same.... $1399 for a chromed tube mic that has a Telefunken badge is a great deal for B and C level studios... many could gain by advertising that they have a Telefunken Tube Mic. Most people who buy time at B and C level studios wouldn't know the difference between a 251 or an M16, but the name does have weight to it.

With that being said, If I were in the B or C level studio biz I would think about owning one. Even if it is similar to a $250 mic.... You can say you have a Telefunken to your clients and you look better equipped then the guy with some $1500 mic no one knows outside of "we the gearslutz" knows. Besides, what do you guys expect from a Telefunken Tube Mic in the $1500 price range?? What do you want from them?? People expect too much.... You can't think they are going to make a hand made mic that competes with a 251 for 1/5 the price. How would that make any business sense? tutt
Why not just buy one of the cheap old Telefunken dynamic mics on ebay and include the name on your studio gear? Again, it does Telefunken USA no good if people are advertising their mic, but use it and it's not any good. I haven't heard it, nor the Apex mic, but I should CERTAINLY be getting a better mic for $1399, regardless of what name is on it.

I think Tele USA might be getting some calls today. At this point, I'm tempted to get an Apex as well, and find out for myself. IMO, if it's the same mic, they've made a big miscalculation. Of course, slapping your bagde on other people's mics IS in the Telefunken tradition, right?

But making a $400 Chinese mic into $1399 isn't.
Old 16th May 2005
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
If it is the same.... $1399 for a chromed tube mic that has a Telefunken badge is a great deal for B and C level studios... many could gain by advertising that they have a Telefunken Tube Mic. Most people who buy time at B and C level studios wouldn't know the difference between a 251 or an M16, but the name does have weight to it.

With that being said, If I were in the B or C level studio biz I would think about owning one. Even if it is similar to a $250 mic.... You can say you have a Telefunken to your clients and you look better equipped then the guy with some $1500 mic no one knows outside of "we the gearslutz" knows. Besides, what do you guys expect from a Telefunken Tube Mic in the $1500 price range?? What do you want from them?? People expect too much.... You can't think they are going to make a hand made mic that competes with a 251 for 1/5 the price. How would that make any business sense? tutt
Good point.
Old 16th May 2005
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
But making a $400 Chinese mic into $1399 isn't.
Im currently looking for a cheap chinese mic to use as a body for a DIY tube mic. When Im done with it thats all therell be left - the body. Itll be a significantly better mic, different electronics, and a different capsule. Lets wait and see what telefunken says about this. I agree it would be an incredibly stupid move if they just rebranded a chinese mic, but I doubt thats what they did.

Gustav
Old 16th May 2005
  #29
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I suggest interested parties call Telefunken USA, ask questions and draw your own conclusions.
Old 16th May 2005
  #30
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
Why not just buy one of the cheap old Telefunken dynamic mics on ebay and include the name on your studio gear?
I have not seen a tube Telefunken mic in mint shape for $1400... Let me know when you do!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
I haven't heard it, nor the Apex mic, but I should CERTAINLY be getting a better mic for $1399, regardless of what name is on it.
OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
I think Tele USA might be getting some calls today. At this point, I'm tempted to get an Apex as well, and find out for myself.
Call them!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg
IMO, if it's the same mic, they've made a big miscalculation. Of course, slapping your bagde on other people's mics IS in the Telefunken tradition, right?

But making a $400 Chinese mic into $1399 isn't.
You, as a consumer, have that right to choose. You also have the right to make opinions without hearing things. I wish I had ears in my eyes too! Keep On Rockin Brother!
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