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Author Topic: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?  (Read 20030 times)

Oliver Archut

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2010, 10:22:53 am »

Valvo did...

Philips bought the tubes at Telefunken....

But Tungsram did quasi steeltubes for a short while during the war. Quality was pretty low compared to TFK.

Philips did glass versions, as well as Tesla, Lorenz, and Loewe did.
The quality of those tubes is pretty low due to war time raw material supply.

After the war the former Telefunken plant in Erfurt then Funkwerk made Glassversion of the Steeltube, in 1958 the production was transfered to Muehlhausen (a former Lorenz plant).
The quality of those glass versions are substandard.

Even Telefunken made Glass versions of their steeltubes in Ulm.
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Oliver Archut
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rphilbeck

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2010, 06:03:18 pm »

Well it's fun to hypothesize how it might be done anyway.  I don't own a u47 and I doubt I ever will, but I find this conversation very enlightning and interesting.

I thought that some company had recently recreated the vf14?  
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burp182

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2010, 06:38:11 pm »

How much does the steel casing play into the sonic characteristics of a VF14M? If it is simply a matter of being a slave to recreation as opposed to an actual sonic issue, I'd buy a glass one. Or five.
I understand that everything else about making tubes in the modern world is a certified nightmare but if the case is one of the major issues in the massive expense, then...
I know this seems like a know-nothing question, but it is something I've wondered about across the years. Education, please, gentlemen.
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Oliver Archut

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 07:53:08 pm »

It is possible to make a VF14 replacement tube in a glass envelop, there has been a huge advancement in material science since 1958. But will the market take it up as good enough? That is the difficult question.

If every specialty point of the VF14 is replicated that matters, there should be no problem with a glass envelop, but even making a tube like that is a challenge, the current manufactures are unable to do because nobody has the machines left to make double helix filament.
Sovtek/EH/Reflector started to make spiral filaments a few years back to get better hm rejection, but it is in the end a single Helix filament.

Also the gettering process of the steel tubes was quite unique compared to the standard ring getters. So many points to talk about without getting to a real comparison, unless a tube like that is made.

Best regards,
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Oliver Archut
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2010, 01:32:08 pm »

rphilbeck wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 23:20

(...) I have no idea how many U47's were ever made, but if there are 1000 in existence and you got half of those owners to put down $1000 each, you've got your half a mil.  The power of the internet and these types of forums are probably the perfect outlet to communicate and gather data for such a project.

The money we are talking is pocket change for anyone who owns a U47.



If you can find a real one for around that price (I bought my last two for that ballpark), then why bother?  

BTW, nobody recreated the tube, recently.  They modified another tube to work in its place, and stuck it inside a steel tube body.  Nobody whose ears I trust has had one to compare against the real thing, so the jury is still out for me.  Besides, that company is not selling them, and is using them for their own mics only, AFAIC.
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rphilbeck

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2010, 12:42:03 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Wed, 24 November 2010 13:32


If you can find a real one for around that price (I bought my last two for that ballpark), then why bother?  




I see your point, but I would think that this supply is getting extremely small, and anyone who understands the value of a u47 sound would be interested in seeing one of the prime components to that sound become readily available.  I found this info online from Oliver Archut:

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/tag/vf14

Quote:

Oliver Archut

Only 27,500 VF14 tubes were ever made by the original Telefunken company in Germany, and they stopped production in 1958. Only about 1/3 of the VF14’s passed Neumann’s rigorous standards for being considered “microphone grade.” So, with about 9000 tubes and approximately 5500 U47/U48 mics made, there are virtually no spare tubes left.


5500 u47s manufactured.  If half of those still exist you've got 2750 potential buyers.  Anyone who can afford to have a $10k mic is likely not going to think twice about plunking down a grand to assure it's continued operation.  If only 75% of the potential 2750 owners bought a new vf14m than you are looking at a gross profit of $2,062,000.  That's a 400% potential return on a $500,000 investment based on a very conservative estimate of the total opportunity (5500 mics).

P.S.  $1000 per tube is peanuts.  You could easily charge $1500 - $2000 per tube and double those profits.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2010, 02:22:39 am »

You're making a lot of assumptions.  A very big, famous studio in LA has had opportunities to buy VF14s at $2,000  for some of their non functioning U47s, and balked.  
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

rphilbeck

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2010, 11:41:31 am »

Very true.  There is going to be some risk in any investment though.  You just have to look at the Risk Of Investing and weigh it out.  
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David Bock

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2010, 12:18:24 pm »

I love it when people who would never provide the cash speculate about the profitability of a venture they think someone else should start.

compasspnt

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2010, 01:28:12 pm »

Oliver Archut wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 19:44

Just to build the right machinery to vacuum seal the steel envelope (the two metal pieces need 180,000 Ampere at 35V to be joined together), plus the specialty machinery to make the footplate would be about $500,000.



The $500k mentioned is just for one part of the tooling.

To actually make these finished tubes would cost far, far more than that.
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KB_S1

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2010, 01:35:00 pm »

Also the startup costs only have been discussed here.
How much per unit?
Delivery, insurance, marketing and so on.

Then there is the difficulty convincing a very cynical and sometimes entrenched target market, as Oliver hinted at.

What would be genuine amortisation levels required?

If someone does go ahead it will be very tough and deserving of enormous respect.
Or they are certifiable.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2010, 02:19:29 pm »

The precursor of the U47 was created when an industrialized country was taken over by a fascist dictator who relied on vocal inflections to invoke the desired response in his audience, and who devoted unlimited government resources to developing the perfect microphone to reproduce his voice.

That combination of factors is unlikely to happen again, thankfully.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2010, 06:37:41 pm »

A friend of mine tried to talk Paul Allen into this adventure recently.  I don't think he got anywhere.  
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Tim Campbell

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2010, 07:55:51 pm »

If you could get the right materials I'm sure it would be possible
to handmake small batches of these tubes  with minimal equipment in a glass envelope. A neon sign shop could do the vacuum for you.

If you were going to do this though the AC701 would be much easier to produce.
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rphilbeck

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Re: Why Can't The VF14M Be Made Again?
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2010, 11:51:27 pm »

dbock wrote on Fri, 26 November 2010 12:18

I love it when people who would never provide the cash speculate about the profitability of a venture they think someone else should start.



You know you really touched on a nerve there because I fully and totally respect any individual or entity's decision to, or not to, invest capital in whatever venture they see fit.

I am not sitting here complaining or whining about how some corporate outfit will not invest their capital to provide me with some esoteric good that I want.  I stated earlier in the thread that I was only speculating, and found the conversation very interesting.  I am simply exploring, learning, and discussing sir.

Let me say again that as a working, taxpaying, employed, and former small business owner that I fully understand, appreciate, and respect any entity's capital and their decision in how to invest it!   I hope that is clear.
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