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Author Topic: Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?  (Read 778 times)

broncoblair

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Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?
« on: December 13, 2016, 05:12:17 am »

Hi !

 I have one of these mics. People have mixed feelings on the Telefunken USA stuff but I feel I got a good mic. It has a Thiersch M7 and 9 times out of 10, it's the right mic for the job. But sometimes I want it to be more focused and punchy like I've heard from some other U47's.

I really want to have a head with a K47 (or would it be a K48). I'm wondering if I should hold out for a real Neumann one on eBay which will be very expensive, or what the K47 of choice has been in this forum ?
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radardoug

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - What Sort of Capsule ?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 01:51:28 pm »

Yeah definitely. Or hire a better singer.
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klaus

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - What Sort of Capsule ?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 03:28:58 pm »

Even Telefunken North America's representatives would probably agree that nothing matches the emotional draw, its musicality, and focus - summarized at "three dimensionality" - of an original U47/48.

What components are responsible for that quality in the original, that are missing in copy mics?
Principally, there are three (capsule, tube, transformer) and many more small factors that fill the gaps in between the big three.

As none of these components are present in the copy mics, none can deliver what a genuine U47/48 can deliver. Yes, you may get as much as one third closer to the sound of a real U47/48 by installing one of the original components- a Neumann K47/48, but don't kid yourself into thinking that this Frankenstein will deliver the sex appeal of a well-working original Neumann microphone.

One should also add resale value into these considerations. Used copy mics usually depreciate quite rapidly and severely in value, compared to originals, which have appreciated continuously ever since the mid 1980s, when the buying public finally got over its initial love affair with all things transistorized.

In sum, putting original, pricy, components into copy mics is a mixed bag, with marginal sonic improvements and no change in the direction the value of copy mics takes: down.
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Klaus Heyne
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gtoledo3

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 06:40:12 pm »

The neumann k47 will have more air, upper midrange energy, and less low mid than the thiersch m7 (either one).

Without arguing against Klaus's points - because I think they are very valid from his perspective, I will make a potentially strained analogy.

People still buy new Les Pauls. They obviously will never be worth what a '58 flame top is.

And, in reality, it's a totally different company nowadays.

But, if there was still a production line that made PAFs that were 99% the same, wouldn't you consider having the guitar setup with those? I think it's a valid line of thought, and possibly with a very functional end result.
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broncoblair

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 04:35:04 am »

Yes I definitely understand the fact that the originals are untouchable. I used many different 47's and 48's before I owned my own studio, and I wish I could've ended up with one but for me the Telefunken does what I need it to, well until now, I want to change things up !

So what is the consensus on new K47 capsules ? Call Neumann and order one (which I am sure costs a fortune but worth every penny) or are there some other capsule makers out there that you approve of Klaus ?
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soapfoot

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 11:22:16 am »


I'm not Klaus, but for original Neumann performance, I believe the OEM part is the only thing that gets all the way there right now. There are other capsule makers like Thiersch who are quite good, although different from original Neumann parts old or new.
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klaus

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Re: Telefunken USA U48 - Should I Invest In A Neumann Capsule ?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 02:45:07 pm »

I'd go one step further, stepping into opinion territory which few are willing or capable to do:

It's not just that these copy capsules sound "different" but that no one who has the financial means would ever choose them over the original Neumann product for esthetic reasons. The Neumann product simply sounds better, regardless your personal definition of 'better'.

But because all copy capsules are cheaper than the original, and some significantly so, a choice which should be made entirely on esthetic grounds becomes muddled by financial considerations.

I have argued repeatedly that, from my experience, the extra cost of buying an original Neumann capsule will be fully recovered not only through better sound of the mic, but at the time of the mic's sale.
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Klaus Heyne
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