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Author Topic: Bock 251  (Read 7369 times)

J.J. Blair

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Bock 251
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:27:13 pm »

I hadn't heard David's latest version of this mic, since he switched from using the 6072 tube to the 5670, so he lent me one recently to check out.  Goddamn.  If you need a 251, and don't want to spend $20,000, this is the one I'd get.  Honestly.

Listening to it against a mic that he built for me using a NOS CK-12 capsule, 5 star GE 6072 and a TAB built T14/1, and a mic that consists of a Tele USA body, yet everything from the capsule down to the resistors is vintage AKG, I'm so impressed that he managed to keep that great sound in the new revision, even with changing to very big components.  

I can only assume that a great deal of work was done with Oliver at TAB, to make sure the custom transformer delivers the tonal balance in combination with this tube, that the 6072 and T14/1 combo gives you.

The reason for the change is simply the fact that usable 6072s are scarce, and expensive.  David's philosophy is that it would be bad business to build a mic, for which he can't supply first rate replacement tubes in the foreseeable future.  He searched for a tube that was high quality, that he could get in sufficient quantity, and bought himself a truck load of 5 star GE 6072s.  Other companies are either selling mics with inferior 6072s, or they are using an outright different tube altogether, which completely changes the sound of the mic, when paired with the T14/1.  This brings up problems of noise and getting away from that vintage 251 sound.

Having heard a few of his custom built Haun CK12 type capsules, I can say that they certainly have tighter tolerances from one to the next than real CK12s.  I have a lot of CK12s, including a couple NOS ones, and I've borrowed a few to test, and even though they all have a similar hallmark, they are all over the place, even within the same revision.  There is a much more uniform response to the Bock capsule, from one to the next.

However, my very favorite CK12 has a little more sibilance and air to them, than the Bocks.  That being said, I have had a chance to personally test the AKG CK12 that David based his capsules on, which he deems as his favorite, and the high end of his capsules are definitely modeled after that one.  Nonetheless, his capsules certainly fall within the sound of what I think of a really good examples of CK12s.

But that frequency response comes down to a question of taste, and I find that not everybody likes those high frequencies the way I do.  In fact, while they can make some voices sound magical, they can make some unlistenable, and perhaps it is better to uniformly go for the less brighter option.  It makes the mic more universally usable.  None the less, on a singer such as my girlfriend, who is all about soft, throaty air, this  mic sounded every bit like a 251, in capturing the air, and the texture, while still delivering sparkling mids.  In fact, I had her do takes between my Bock with the vintage parts, and this new one, and I will be comping between the two, without anybody ever noticing, I assure you.

There are several people making 251 type mics, but I have been saying to people for some time (and this only reinforces my impression),this is my favorite one.  Also, I love knowing that there is a real microphone genius on premises, who is designing, building and testing the mics himself.  The craftsmanship, part selection, and attention to detail, puts these mics at the top of the class, as well.  

And for the benefit of Google:

Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251 Bock Audio 251
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tunetown

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Re: Bock 251
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 10:48:20 pm »

I have the ELUX version with the 5670 tube. Whilst I have never used an original 251 I am absolutely thrilled with the sound of this mic. The Cardioid is something to behold.

JJ, considering it's the same capsule used for the CS-1, are there many similarities? I'm still waiting for my pair.

Cheers
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Peter Houghton
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Bock 251
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 03:18:46 pm »

Well, I find the CS1 very different, mostly because of the low end response, which is enormous on the CS1.  You'll see when you get them.  There's a timbre similarity, because of the capsules, but the overall coloration and frequency balance is totally different.
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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

RMoore

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Re: Bock 251
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 12:15:08 am »


Cool review J.J.
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Fibes

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Re: Bock 251
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 11:12:27 am »

Glad to hear it. The 251 is on my want list but there's a host of other stuff in the "needs to be upgraded" before I get there.

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tunetown

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Re: Bock 251
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 06:06:33 pm »

Thanks J.J.
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Peter Houghton
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