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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => The Acid Test => Topic started by: Barry Hufker on September 06, 2008, 06:29:14 pm

Title: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Barry Hufker on September 06, 2008, 06:29:14 pm
The Telefunken USA U47M I purchased new was ordered with a Neumann K47 capsule and a low-noise VF14 tube.  The folks at T-USA were very easy to work with and quite concerned with customer satisfaction.  I have purchased from them before, buying a vintage pair of AKG C12A microphones and a new pair of their excellent RM-5C ribbon microphones (made by Silvia Classics).  In all cases the purchases have been great.

The microphone arrived in excellent condition, in a beautiful case, resembling a vintage suitcase, with power supply, power cord, microphone cable (with tuchel connectors) and a nice shock mount.

The sound was good.  I was initially quite pleased with what I heard but over time I came to realize it was worth the time and trouble to make a decent microphone excellent.

That's when I contacted J.J. Blair.  As J.J. is a moderator of this forum he may be embarrassed that I bring all this to public attention but tough!

J.J. was kind enough to accept the challenge and I couldn't have been luckier.  He had long and frequent conversations/emails with several microphone experts, while performing extensive searches online.  My description here can't do justice to the time, effort, insight, persistence, experimentation, craftsmanship, devotion and love he put into this microphone.

J.J.'s goal was simple - the best sounding U47 that could be created.  Toward that end he replaced part after part, listening carefully to each change.  He tracked down any and every lead someone gave him.  He analyzed his U47s in-depth making a huge effort to instill in the T-USA 47 the best qualities he found in others.  He also rebuilt important sections of the power supply.

He also kept me up to date with great emails about his latest thoughts and developments.  This way I could not only follow along but learned something with each new communication.  His effort to make me a part of the process is very much appreciated.  I felt as tho' I was standing next to him as he thought this through.

The end result? An incredible U47.  One which is as authentic inside as it could possibly be.  The sound?  WOW!  A beautiful, full bottom, a smooth midrange (and smooth is *the* word for the mic in general) and a lovely, silky top end.  It is a gorgeous sound.  It is classic in character and seductive.  This is the U47 I had hoped to own.  I would put this mic up against anyone else's 47.

I have an AKG C24 with a very sexy sound and tho' they are very different, J.J.'s 47 is easily as sexy.  Other fine mics I own have great qualities - and I am blessed to own them, but these two mics are THE TWO.  What is cool about that is to know what J.J. had to start with and what he was able to make it.  

Thanks J.J.!!

Special thanks goes to Klaus Heyne for his tremendous generosity and willingness to share his knowledge and experience.  Many thanks Klaus!

The signal path: It varies, but most recently an SSL Duality to Sound Devices 722 (line input with its built-in A/D).


Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 06, 2008, 06:42:45 pm
Thanks, Barry.  I'm glad you like it.  

A huge nod also to Larry Janus, David Bock and Oliver Archut for sharing their experience.  Larry, particularly, gets huge props for his patience and terrific explanations about things electrical.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: JGauthier on September 06, 2008, 06:53:25 pm
What percentage of the electronics would you say were replaced from the original unit? Any one part that just made a night and day difference- or was it the result of everything together?

Klaus put one of Oliver's transformers in a U87 he modded and I love it! Great to see so many R/E/P posters/mods are also the go to for real expertise!



Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 07, 2008, 02:16:39 am
The only thing I left in the mic was the transformer, the VF14 tube and the K47 capsule, which I actually reversed, preferring the backside.  Everything else, I literally gutted and replaced.  Every single capacitor and resistor was changed, and I even modified the PSU, as it was supplying too much voltage to the mic.  

My biggest problems, which are well documented in Klaus' forum and somewhere on GS, is that the drop resistor T-USA used was overheating the inside of the mic to unacceptable levels.  It is my understanding that as a result of my posts on the matter, they will be fixing this in future revisions.  I could be wrong though.  I wound up using two Caddock film resistors, heatsinked to the body, to rectify that problem.

I found the capacitor selections really poor as well, in terms of material and value choices, and I feel that changing those went a long way to improving the sound of the mic.  There was a standing wave in the midrange which I suspected was a result of the BMI electrolytic coupling cap they use in both their 47 and 251 mics.  A really horrible sounding cap, that has no business in that position, IMO.

If I learned anything from Klaus, it's that some components definitely sound better than others.  Read my interview with him, and that's a point he makes over and over.  

I replaced all the metal film resistors with carbon comps, which seem to have a more classic sonic signature, and I replaced the Ohmite Flatso resistors in the capsule bias and grid shunt position with old school spiral carbon, like the originals Neumann used.    The metal film might measure quieter than the carbon comps, but I was trying to get more of a vintage sound out of this mic.  It surely seemed less strident with the carbon comps.  

Oh, and one final thing: I flattened that ridiculous looking dome shape on the basket that the T-USA, Wunder and Wagner mics have.  That just looks horrible, and inauthentic.  It was driving me nuts.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Barry Hufker on September 07, 2008, 11:00:08 am
I may be wrong in my recollection but I think flattening the dome was one of the first things you did.  That act seemed to symbolize the entire project - I'm going to make this right and here's proof!

Normally, I would advocate replacing carbon resistors with metal film, but your decision to do the reverse couldn't have been a better one.

Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 07, 2008, 11:44:29 am
Barry, a lot of thought went into that decision.  I discussed with with four guys who have all designed some very highly respected pieces of gear, and they all agreed that carbon comp had a sound more in line with what we were looking for.  The consensus was that metal film had a definite sound, and it was not great.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: wwittman on September 07, 2008, 06:35:41 pm
out of curiosity,

between the original Telefunken US mic and its upgrades, plus the costs of the mods JJ did... what's the TOTAL cost of the mic?


Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 07, 2008, 09:05:55 pm
JJ,

When are you going to start doing Mods on C12VR's?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Steve

Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 07, 2008, 11:18:57 pm
C12VR is well beyond my area of not-so expertise.  The U47 and 251 are easy.  Inside, they are the mic equivalent of a '57 Chevy.  All I did was follow the original schematics, something the manufacturer didn't do, and use better components, and miraculously, the mic sounded better.  It wasn't reinventing anything, just following directions.  Taking a mic that is one thing and turning it into something else is out of my realm.  
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: ioaudio on September 08, 2008, 01:29:22 pm
Extreme Mixing wrote on Sun, 07 September 2008 20:05



When are you going to start doing Mods on C12VR's?

Enquiring minds want to know.



hi,

i´m currently working on it. original biasing, which also means updated psu etc. if its ok i´ll post the work.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: JGauthier on September 08, 2008, 05:11:52 pm
J.J. Blair wrote on Sun, 07 September 2008 20:18

All I did was follow the original schematics, something the manufacturer didn't do, and use better components, and miraculously, the mic sounded better.  It wasn't reinventing anything, just following directions.  


That made me LOL! Is it somehow infringement, potential lawsuit, if they do? Sounds so simple...

I was also surprised to hear you left the transformer as often thats a piece everyone wants to change out! Too bad the OP doesn't have an unmodded on hand to give us some audio of the two! I bet its quite a difference!
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 08, 2008, 06:16:20 pm
Joe, they are using the AMI/TAB transformer, which is probably the best made BV8 around, and certainly the only one with the original lamination material, if I understand correctly.

And just to clarify, the follow the schematic in terms of the circuit.  It's incorrect values that were a problem.  
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: JGauthier on September 08, 2008, 06:47:43 pm
J.J. Blair wrote on Mon, 08 September 2008 15:16

Joe, they are using the AMI/TAB transformer, which is probably the best made BV8 around, and certainly the only one with the original lamination material, if I understand correctly.

And just to clarify, the follow the schematic in terms of the circuit.  It's incorrect values that were a problem.  


Gotcha! I wasn't familiar with the specific transformer in that mic or most mics actually! So its more an issue of component inconsistency.

I find this topic interesting because of the difference I noticed with my modded u87- it was leaps and bounds better! But I don't have the technical expertise to specifically explain any of it!
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on September 09, 2008, 06:19:17 am
J.J. Blair wrote on Sun, 07 September 2008 20:18

Too bad the OP doesn't have an unmodded on hand to give us some audio of the two! I bet its quite a difference!



Yes. Would also be interesting to hear samples of Barry's modded Telefunken copy up against an all original in top working order.

And even, if possible, to hear these two up against the Telefunken U47AE and Wunder Audio's latest incarnation of the CM7.

Could give us an idea of how close the copy-cats are getting to the sound of the real deal, and what can be done by finetuning componentry in the copies.

JB


BTW: I'm looking for a stock U47 in top working order, if anyone has a lead on one. I'll let one of my vintage Stratocasters go if I find what I'm looking for.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Tricatel on September 09, 2008, 09:12:43 am
Hello J.J.,

I am happy to hear that you seem to get the wanabe Telefunken U47 to original specifications, my tech
tried but the cost would have been higher than buying a real one.
About two years back I bought one of their so called recreations and aside that it did not sound like a U47 at all, the parts they used were just a joke.

When it first showed up here, there were loose parts inside, the PSU was a pretty poorly retrofitted N12 (the housing that AKG used)and over all the first impression was just sloppy workmanship.

My service tech, a 30 year Neumann veteran in Berlin took a look at it and after his examination I decided to send it back.

Even the Tele guys promised that the mic is up to snuff with any vintage 47, it was more or less a joke.

The capsule they use was suppose to be a genuine Neumann, with a super low noise VF14.
But after my Tech examination I found out that the capsule was NOT a NEUMANN or even Gefell, but it came from a guy in London that sells them on e-bay. The skinning was done by an ex Gefell tech.
The VF14 was noisy and foremost microphonic, the wiring was iffy and the "Made to a Standard Mic" was just made with a microphone kit that sells here in Germany for around $1200 (depending on the exchange rate).
And last but not least, those bunch of f*#$^&g idiots have nothing to do the the original Telefunken AG.

At least they gave me my money back!

Jack.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 09, 2008, 10:55:55 am
Jack, well, I can't agree with your tech on the cost, as I used about $100 in parts.  

The capsule that was in Barry's mic was a new Neumann K47.  This would be the first I've heard of them using reskinned K47s.

And as far as the capsules that Robert Crash sells, they are reskinned by Siegfried Thiersch.  
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: seedyunderbelly.com on September 09, 2008, 12:45:03 pm
Hi JJ

How did it compare with a real U47?

-j
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 09, 2008, 02:22:34 pm
seedyunderbelly.com wrote on Tue, 09 September 2008 09:45

Hi JJ

How did it compare with a real U47?

-j


John, I have an original U47, serviced by Bill Bradley, which is a really great sounding example of a 47.  I've A/B'd against other vintage 47s as well as new clones, and it always stood up with the vintage ones, and was always better than the clones.  It's not one of the magical 47s, but it's a really good one.  

When I got Barry's mic, I preferred mine to his.  However, when I was done with Barry's mic, I liked the sound of it better than my 47.  I'd been waiting for this one record to get finished, so I can do all the same things to my mic that I did to Barry's.  We keep having to go back and grab vocals in spots on songs, so I'd been leaving it in order to keep the tone consistent.  

That record is finished though, so it will probably happen this week, as soon as I get my M49s off my bench.  

Bill had done some things I find curious, such as increasing the voltage on the PSU, and using a 2.2
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Tricatel on September 09, 2008, 02:41:16 pm
Hello JJ,

I do not exactly recall the list, but from what I remember.

Wrong plastic connector (fits but creates noise over while)
Wrong (low impedance) plastic used for all components.
Wrong connector blades.
Wrong tube socket.
No heat sink resistor.
Wrong PSU.
Wrong surface plating (nickel will stain with time)
Mostly wrong everything.

It is hard to believe that the cost for the update parts is less than $100 and I do not want to think about the work cost.

In any way only a Neumann is a real 47!!!

Jack

Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Barry Hufker on September 09, 2008, 06:23:48 pm
J
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 09, 2008, 07:10:37 pm
Jack, T-USA is not longer using the FLEA bodies.  I believe the new ones are currently made in China, but the connectors on this mic were fine.  

That non heat sinked drop resistor was a major issue that I posted about already, and as I said, I think they are changing it as a result of my making a stink about it.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: wwittman on September 10, 2008, 02:44:20 am
wwittman wrote on Sun, 07 September 2008 18:35

out of curiosity,

between the original Telefunken US mic and its upgrades, plus the costs of the mods JJ did... what's the TOTAL cost of the mic?







?
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Tricatel on September 10, 2008, 09:11:01 am
Hello JJ,

please check out Mr. Thiersch webpage, he worked as a development engineer at Gefell.
http://www.thiersch-mic.de/stm_geschichte.html
However, his skinning work leaves much to be desired for.
The M7s he does either PVC or Polyester suck compared to original Berlin or Gefell.
The 87 capsule he did for me was not useable at all, a 54 he did was O.K. at least for the price.

Here is a quote of the Telewackers web-page:
Telefunken USA's Platinum Series microphones are the award winning, historically correct replicas of the originals. Each microphone system represents a meticulous reverse engineering of the original classic equipment. Hand Built and assembled in the USA.

So were is the made in China fits into all that?

Jack

Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: MI on September 10, 2008, 09:47:16 am
wwittman wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 02:44

wwittman wrote on Sun, 07 September 2008 18:35

out of curiosity,

between the original Telefunken US mic and its upgrades, plus the costs of the mods JJ did... what's the TOTAL cost of the mic?







?


J.J. Blair wrote on Tue, 09 September 2008 10:55

Jack, well, I can't agree with your tech on the cost, as I used about $100 in parts.


So $100 in parts...but figure a few hours labour? If you had to hire a tech to do it figure at least $75 / hour?

J.J., can you please advise where you bought the parts?

Barry, is it not the V series you bought? The M is EF14 tube.

$9,995 VF14 -  http://www.telefunkenusa.com/products/show_product.php?item= 7&cat=mics

$6,995 EF14 -  http://www.telefunkenusa.com/products/show_product.php?item= 12&cat=mics

Has anyone tried their new VF14 tube?

MI
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 10, 2008, 10:20:58 am
Jack, thanks for the correction regarding Thiersch.

Regarding Barry's mic, it was a U47-M, but it did indeed have a VF14.  It was not marked with a "V."  IIRC, the plate said "U47-M serial no. 0087."

I've criticized T-USA many times for the use of the phrase "historically correct."  But it's not like the FTC is going to sue them for misleading advertising or anything, so...
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on September 11, 2008, 05:42:07 am
Barry Hufker wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 00:23

J
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on September 11, 2008, 05:52:39 am
Hi JJ

Been following your U47 investigations and try-outs with great interst. Good work.

Would you care to name the resistors and capacitors you ended up using in Barry's mic? Brand, type and value in the respective positions.

Did you closely follow the values in one of the known U47 schematics or did you deviate in some positions to get a particular performance?

Would be much appreciated!

Thanks

JB
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 11, 2008, 09:43:38 am
I used all  carbon comp resistors on the ladder, in the same values prescribed in the schematics.  A couple different brands.  The capsule bias resistor and grid shunt resistor were 100MΩ and 200MΩ respectively, and I used NOS carbon spiral resistors made by TRW.  I used NOS, military issue, paper in oil caps in the C3 and coupling cap position, both at 1
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on September 12, 2008, 12:02:01 pm
Good one! Thanks.


What brands of carbon comps do you recommend?


What's a good source for the NOS paper in oil caps?

JB
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 13, 2008, 02:33:23 am
You can do one stop shopping at surplussales.com.  They have NOS Allen Bradley carbon comp resistors.  You may or may not prefer them to carbon film or metal film.  The originals were not carbon comps.  The metal film are supposed to be quieter, but the sonic signature of carbon is more in line with the vintage mics, from what the various design gurus have told me.

They have high quality JAN paper in oil caps by West Cap, in 1
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on September 13, 2008, 10:05:44 am
Thanks again.

I am interested also in hearing about your work on your own U47 when you get started on that.
Will be interesting to see if you can take that to the next level as well, and maybe even turn it into one of the magic specimens. Good luck with that!

JB
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on September 13, 2008, 11:29:44 am
I actually did the transformation the other day, but on mine, I used a Hovland in the coupling cap.  I let it burn in for a couple days and used it on a vocal last night.  I'm going to listen to that vocal with that same singer against some previous stuff, and see what happened.  
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on October 20, 2008, 06:57:13 am
I guess you've used your refurbed U47 on a few things now, JJ. How has it turned out? Did you get a marked improvement changing out the caps and resistors?

Saw what you wrote about your 47 being upstaged on a particular singer by your refurbed M49:

 http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/0/23754/16/4796 /#msg_23754

Wonder how the 47 would do with a similar new K47 and Oliver transformer?

JB
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: George_ on October 20, 2008, 04:45:01 pm
why are you using carbon? they have wide tolerances in specs...

?

is it really worth to modify a T? they used to have pretty cheap stuff.. is it better now?

cheers
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Larrchild on October 20, 2008, 11:29:07 pm
Quote:

why are you using carbon? they have wide tolerances in specs.

I don't think that is a problem. You check them with a meter first.
Their problem is they are measurably noisier.
But so what?
They sound great.
Sing louder.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: George_ on October 21, 2008, 01:57:49 am
Larrchild wrote on Tue, 21 October 2008 05:29

Quote:

why are you using carbon? they have wide tolerances in specs.

I don't think that is a problem. You check them with a meter first.
Their problem is they are measurably noisier.
But so what?
They sound great.
Sing louder.

also the temperatur behaviour of carbon is a prob.. and the noise of course.

Wink

but.. whatever works.. oh.. no.. that is another forum Wink
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Larrchild on October 21, 2008, 02:03:50 am
If you mean they change value under load, that may be true.
And may be why we sometimes like them. Smile
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: George_ on October 21, 2008, 02:34:48 am
...aha.. Cool
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Larrchild on October 21, 2008, 03:37:34 am
That is more of a guitar amp coloration effect. Using carbons in the plate resistor.
In this case, as a grid resistor, it's not under any real current stress, but I suppose it's utterly non-reactive nature is what is being heard.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Barry Hufker on October 21, 2008, 11:13:36 am
J.J. modified my T-USA 47.  He and I wanted the same goal: to make it sound as close to an authentic U47 as possible.  All parts decisions were based on sound.  The result is a wonderful sounding mic which is superior to the one I started with.  It is a gorgeous, silky sound.

Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on October 23, 2008, 10:29:54 am
BTW, I don't find the noise to be an issue at all.  And yes, like Larry said, I measure all components before installing them, making sure I find the ones with the value I want.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: kats on October 23, 2008, 11:14:32 am
Hey JJ, I have the new head basket from T-USA for my U47AE. It looks perfect, just like the originals!

And no, I don't think I'll do a review swapping baskets Smile

But when I do have a chance I'll review the mic with some sound files against some originals.

I will say this right now though. I'm extremely pleased with the mic and it gets used as a stereo pair with one of our 2 originals as it sounds closer to "stock" than our second U47 (which has a K47 rather than an M7 that our other original houses).

That being said, I believe that the elephant in the room with the T-USA U47AE (that houses their VF14K tube) are the capsules themselves - moreso than anything else component wise).

I was not happy with the original capsule it shipped with and it did not pair well with our M7 U47 (it sounded a bit too dark, or dull). I discussed this with T-USA and they kindly sent me the plots of a new batch of M7's and based on my experience with the original capsule it shipped with, combined with what I felt would mate it closer to our original, I chose a new one.

Obviously there's only so much you can tell from a plot - but I must be lucky. It was as dead on a match you could ever wish for. Even my parter (who actually owns the original) admitted he couldn't really tell the difference. And trust me, that stubborn fella would have loved to say the opposite.

I also know that Aramando (who posts on PSW under Del Cosmos) received his "AE" housing a capsule from the same batch (of 6) T-USA M7's that I chose from had the same expereince as me compared to his original U47's.

Herein lies the problem (IMO). What is a U47 supposed to sound like? For all of us, it's supposed to sound like our favorite original that we have become accustomed to. but there's only a select few that really know what those originals sounded like new in box.

Maybe the first capsule they sent me was actually a better representation? I doubt it, but how can I really know?

Anyhow, let me wrap up by making the point I want to make. When your spending this kind of money on a mic - know what you want to hear and why your buying it. Don't buy a copy 47 because you've heard U47's are great mics. Buy it because you want a specific sound that you know well. If the mic doesn't measure up, work with the company you bought the mic from and get it right.

Keep in mind that their idea of the perfect U47 sound might be different than yours just as there is varience is sound between the originals. Keep in mind that there will be a varience in sound between the capsules the company manufactures, and God forbid, you may have a more acute sense of sound than the manufacturer.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: danickstr on October 23, 2008, 09:08:42 pm
We know exactly what a fantastic U47 sounds like in the most important context of all...on the music we love that it was used to record.

But other than that, I think your post is very relevant.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: kats on October 24, 2008, 04:09:31 pm
danickstr wrote on Fri, 24 October 2008 02:08

We know exactly what a fantastic U47 sounds like in the most important context of all...on the music we love that it was used to record.

But other than that, I think your post is very relevant.


OTOH, without knowing the processing involved on those vocal tracks, it would be difficult to determine what the mic alone should or did sound like raw.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: DarinK on October 24, 2008, 04:49:21 pm
kats wrote on Fri, 24 October 2008 13:09

danickstr wrote on Fri, 24 October 2008 02:08

We know exactly what a fantastic U47 sounds like in the most important context of all...on the music we love that it was used to record.

But other than that, I think your post is very relevant.


OTOH, without knowing the processing involved on those vocal tracks, it would be difficult to determine what the mic alone should or did sound like raw.



Even harder to know without having heard the sources live in the room at the time before they even got to the mic.  I've only worked with really great folks a couple of times, but it's always amazing how "well-produced" the voices sound a capella.

But I've never heard a good U47 make anything sound worse.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: danickstr on October 24, 2008, 06:18:37 pm
kats wrote on Fri, 24 October 2008 16:09

danickstr wrote on Fri, 24 October 2008 02:08

We know exactly what a fantastic U47 sounds like in the most important context of all...on the music we love that it was used to record.

But other than that, I think your post is very relevant.


OTOH, without knowing the processing involved on those vocal tracks, it would be difficult to determine what the mic alone should or did sound like raw.




This is a great purist point.  Not sure what it has to do with making music, but it is a great purist point.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: kats on October 24, 2008, 06:29:35 pm
Well this whole thread has nothing to do with making music - it has been about the sonic characteristics & components of the u47 and how copies fare against it. No argument from me that you don't need a 47 to make music.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: danickstr on October 24, 2008, 09:13:15 pm
Out of curiosity, if it sounds exactly like a U47 to experienced ears (in a double blind, to prevent visual tainting), is it a U47?  I guess that becomes the real question.

Sounds like many folks feel they got it down.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on October 28, 2008, 01:00:34 pm
I want to point out that any U47 with an original M7 does not sound as a U47 should sound.  Those capsules are HIGHLY unstable, and any 30 to 50 year old M7 is not going to have the response that it was intended to.  Some of them ripen into a beautiful sound capsule, and some wind up shitty, but they do not sound as intended.  They change drastically, and I can't emphasize that more strongly.  

I'm not sold on any current production M7s, at the moment.  I have a Berlin M7 here that was reskinnned by MTG, and I'm completely underwhelmed.  

I think the only way to tell what a U47 SHOULD sound like is with a K47.  But that's just my opinion.  
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: kats on October 28, 2008, 08:18:34 pm
Do you think an original M7 would get brighter as the PVC dries? That's my uneducated opinion. Our original was quite bright (while still retaining *that* sound". I love it. I'm more than pleased that I was able to match that capsule regardless of it's "originality".

I can actually be more specific and say it was about 2-3 dB hotter at 5K & 10k than our first "clone capsule".
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on October 28, 2008, 09:52:59 pm
Tony, I am finding that some indeed get brighter in a very magical way.  Almost all lose bass, though.  Some just turn to shit, though.  And it would seem that some get nice on just one side, and the other side can be crap. Either way, you are unlikely to get true omni with an old M7, as the tensions almost never seem to change uniformly on both sides.
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: Jørn Bonne on November 26, 2008, 08:02:25 am
"I guess you've used your refurbed U47 on a few things now, JJ. How has it turned out? Did you get a marked improvement changing out the caps and resistors?"

Any news on this yet?

JB
Title: Re: T-USA U47M (Modified by J.J. Blair)
Post by: J.J. Blair on November 26, 2008, 01:42:14 pm
JB, from what was in there, yes.  I'd have to say that I do.  I'm very happy with it.