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Author Topic: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?  (Read 5522 times)

Offline Avgatzeblouz

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Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:29:17 pm »
Hi everyone,
after browsing this forum and others, I thought I'd rather ask : I'm about to build a DIY U47, and want the best capsule possible. Apparently, from Klaus and others, The current K49 from Neumann is the best thing money can buy. But, I think I understood that you can put a K47fet as well, as the only difference is "K47fet is structurally identical to the K47/49 except for lack of precision matching of both capacitances to within a few picofarad, which is preferable on dual-address mics with variable patterns.". But by how much preferable is that ? Will I even hear a difference ? I'm waiting for the price of the K47fet, cause the K49 is steep !

Thanks a lot !
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 07:50:45 pm by klaus »

Offline klaus

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Re: K47fet in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 01:27:31 pm »
I have been buying Neumann's K47/49/fet47 capsules from Neumann for many years.

I can tell you from experience: their quality control and manufacturing tolerances are so good that it makes this an entirely academic subject:
Buy whatever is the cheapest K47/49 capsule at the moment- it won't make any qualitative difference!
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline Avgatzeblouz

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Re: K47fet in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 01:33:26 pm »
Thank you very much ! Can we expect the same quality as being the best for all their current capsules (K67, K87, etc...) compared to all clones/reskinned ones ?

And I'm adding that I had an answer from Sennheiser Canada, they're offering the K47fet and K49fet for almost the same price, way less than the K49. So why do they have just the K49, but kept 2 "FET" models ?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 01:50:04 pm by Avgatzeblouz »

Offline klaus

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Re: K47fet in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 03:57:23 pm »
I cannot answer your second question. It may have something to do with certain models not utilizing the rear side at all.  But pricing of Neumann LD capsules has often been illogical. For a time, the K47fet was more expensive than the K47... Other times, a K47 was more expensive than a K49. Through the years though, the K49 was usually priced higher than the rest.

Yes, despite audible, sometimes frustrating, variations of their current issue K67/870/87, we can still expect Neumann quality to be audibly superior to any aftermarket capsule or reskinning offering, regardless of provenance. Capsule and transformer manufacturing remain the last area of expertise by legacy companies like Neumann, that do not lend themselves to easy reverse-engineering, like most other microphone parts do.
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline gtoledo3

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 01:47:29 pm »
Isn't it the case that one of the sides on the k47 FET capsule isn't wired up? Maybe the 49 FET version too? Otherwise identical.


Offline klaus

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 05:02:23 pm »
Correct, the rear side of the K47fet has no wire attached to the eyelet held down by the center screw, but is otherwise ready to go.
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline radardoug

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 05:36:36 pm »
The rear side normally has a diaphragm with no gold on it.

Online David Satz

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 11:06:58 pm »
Klaus, at least during the Gotham Audio years, the discount which Neumann granted their distributors was a function of the quantity of each particular item ordered annually. The K 47fet has only ever been used in two microphone models, neither of which has been a real world-beater in terms of sales. So it's not entirely surprising if replacement capsules of this type might sometimes carry a higher retail price tag than the K 47/49, which costs somewhat more to manufacture but is needed more often.

--best regards

Offline klaus

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 04:35:20 am »
The rear side normally has a diaphragm with no gold on it.
That is not the case with the K47fet capsule. It is a fully-functioning multi-pattern capsule, with sputtering on both sides. Once you connect a rear lead, you can use it in any mic that is designed for K47/49 capsules.

Quote
The K 47fet has only ever been used in two microphone models, neither of which has been a real world-beater in terms of sales. So it's not entirely surprising if replacement capsules of this type might sometimes carry a higher retail price tag than the K 47/49, which costs somewhat more to manufacture but is needed more often.

A logical conclusion, upended by the fact that until about 5-10 years ago, the K47fet was usually about $100 cheaper (wholesale price).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 04:50:23 am by klaus »
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline Avgatzeblouz

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2016, 03:09:39 pm »
Correct, the rear side of the K47fet has no wire attached to the eyelet held down by the center screw, but is otherwise ready to go.

So how hard would it be for an experienced tech to wire the backplate ? Don't wanna save the 200$ if the risk is too big.

Offline klaus

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 09:57:04 pm »
All you need is a firm support for the capsule, a calm hand, and a correctly-sized screwdriver. No additional parts needed.
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline Avgatzeblouz

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 10:11:48 am »
Thought I would post the information I had from Sennheiser Canada regarding this strange capsule, called the K49FET. Remember I could buy the K47FET as well, for the same price. The K47 is not there anymore, replaced by the K49, we know that.
FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND (I want this to be clear), the K49FET is a K47FET, but with the wires installed to achieve multi-pattern. Looking at the answers from the parts sales contact I had, this seem to be the only difference. Which is great news to me, by the way.
I tried to register at Neumann website to ask for a confirmation, but the registration process seems broken.

Cheers,
Manuel.

Offline klaus

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2016, 02:14:13 pm »
That the K49fet is a K47fet with rear lead outs makes little sense, because then the capsule would be a K47/49. (Neumann does not sell or install second-tier quality capsules with the same functionality as first-tier ones.)

I also checked all currently-made Neumann transistor mics, and none uses a capsule called "K49" that would be in the K47/49 family, yet requiring its own sub-version designation (edge-terminated new capsule designs, as used in TLM102, 107, not included).

I will contact Neumann after the Holiday and post all currently-made single-backplate, "K47 type" capsules Neumann has available for sale.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 01:50:02 pm by klaus »
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Offline Avgatzeblouz

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2016, 02:55:35 pm »
Yes, I find it weird too. The salesman did not seem really aware. I will wait for your report before making rhe purchase, then. To help you helping me, here is the info I have :

K49FET : ITEM# 514753 (Senn. Canada)
K47FET : ITEM# 053223 (Senn. Canada)
K49 : ITEM# 053291 (Senn. UK)

Cheers,
Manuel.

Offline usattler

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Re: Which Neumann Capsule in DiY U47 Tube ?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2016, 11:38:32 am »
I have never heard of a K49fet, but I have been retired from the position of Technical Director at Neumann|USA for nearly 3 years.
To the best of my knowledge, these are the currently available large diaphragm capsules of the U47 to U87 lineage:

Capsule designation        Part Number          used in mic models
K47/49                          053291                 M149, U47, M49, U497
K47fet                           053223                 M147 tube, U47 fet
K870/67                        053225                 U87A, U67, M269, U77, U87 Gold, U87 Anniversary, TLM67
K87                               053224                 U87
K870/67 (selected pair)  071788                 SM60, USM69, QM69

Memory being what it is, this list makes no claim to be complete though... For current prices please contact your Neumann Service Center.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 01:48:38 pm by usattler »
Uwe Sattler
Technical Director - Neumann|USA (retired)