R/E/P > Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab

Impressions on Church 47?

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Wow, I get the privilege of being one of the first 10 posters on the new forum, which is pretty cool!

I am relaying a question from a friend who has acquired two Chruch 47 mics.  He is wondering what the approximate value of these mics is.   I wouldn't even know where to start. But I did find an old mic lab post on the subject from back in 2004:


My comment to him was:

My guess would be that you are looking somewhere under what a genuine U47 would go for, I'd be happy to post up on Klaus Heyne's mic lab to see what others think? It's a great forum and you'll get an pretty straight opinion on this.  Chances are that someone on there has bought/sold one of these recently.

Any ideas here on the new forum?
Thanks in advance!
-Terrence Town

I am sorry to report that valuation discussions have never been part of this forum, and probably never will be. Please read the Ground Rules (http://repforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,989.0.html) for the reason why.

In general, it is a safe assumption that, all else being equal, a Church mic will be worth less than an original U47 without the Church alterations (tube, transformer, circuitry, body.)

Maybe I can be provocative here though and re-channel the post to folks' impressions these days of how the Church 47 sounds and compares with the Neumann U47. 

I know that some of this has been covered back in the 2004 link above but it would be interesting to hear a more up-to-date perspective, especially with all of the U47 clones out there these days.

-Terrence Town

Terrence and Klaus,

This is my first post so please go easy on me. Recently I purchased 2 Church 47 microphones and wanted to know more about these mics so I started doing research and found some interesting information. I wanted to share my research with others so I started a website called http://church47.com

Terrence had asked about value so I will put it this way: to me a microphone is a paint brush for music engineers and producers to "paint with sound".

 1. Value- WOW- Does the mic make you say wow when you hear it?

2. Time- Do you have to spend time with eq and twisting knobs to get the sound you like?

3. Replacement- Can you replace the mic? (reissues or clones- how much do they cost?)

4. Number of mics- How many Church 47 mics are there? (my latests count is 35.)

I have also found over the last few months there are different versions of the mic and Stanley Church continued to evolve his microphone. It seems to me like the church mic is the American hot rod. I remember building hot rods when I was 16 and taking a Porsche and placing a V6 with a paxton supercharger in it.

Getting the handling of the German engineering but having an American motor in it. The Porsche can not be valued as a Porsche but a hot rod. Since most of the Church mics sound different that I have come across, listen and make your own value judgement. I will be doing some recording with the various Church 47s I have found and make them available to listen to as well as putting my Church mic in the rental house so people can make their own judgement.


Very well stated Johnny.

To answer the OP's questions:

1. To estimate value, (which we're apparently not allowed to help you with here) try searching eBay under "Church Mic" and look for ones that fit the description of the original vintage mic (not some hokey lavalier mic that's used in church services). Some have sold recently, so look around. Those prices seem to reflect reality.

2. I recently purchased a Church and had Toby Foster repair it (from scratch, essentially). This one in particular is missing the original M7 (most are, in actuality) but compared favorably with an actual U47, IMHO. I felt the top end was where I saw the biggest difference. It seemed darker than the 47 with a stronger midrange. Keep in mind, this is probably not consistent with the M7, but still nice nonetheless.

3. Johnny made reference to the Church being a hot rodded mic. As I see it, very little in the Church resembles a U47 (especially once the M7 has been removed). That being said it's still a very useable mic.

I'm not sure what motivation (outside of $) pushed Stanley to spend MGM's dollars on developing the mic but it's no slouch. No doubt we all have heard this mic on countless American (film) recordings over the years until MGM eventually retired them. I recall no instances of any MGM product released from that era that sounded like crap.

That's my $.xxx



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