R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
 1 
 on: Today at 10:24:59 pm 
Started by klaus - Last post by klaus
Excellent questions, and each one responded to in brief, for now.

Quote
How did the vintage originals sound when they were born, and are they still "originals", do they still sound the same after parts have aged, and being serviced probably several times during their 60-70 years life span?
As the Americans would say: this is an old canard, often used to counter criticism of some of the dreck out there today pretending to be "like the original". Though my career I have encountered enough like new, unopened, never used vintage mics, spare capsules, spare transformers, etc. perfectly preserved and stored through time. If you listen to enough of them, you get a baseline, a range of sound which, surprise, is very close, often identical to well-preserved (not modified!) examples you find today. There is one exception: the M7 capsule is dead and gone, and I have not heard a fully-functioning one in years now.

Quote
Did the service from high-skilled people maybe even improve their sound over the time?
Yes, it can, but that's not the subject of this discussion which is: any of the stock Big Five blow any of their copies to pieces.

Quote
If I read how you work on a microphone to bring it to its best, I think that is far more effort than what was spend into it when it was produced.
What you miss in that comparison is the cumulative effort that went into the components powering vintage mics. Neumann started on the M7 in 1928, and by about 1950 had it perfected. that's...22 years. The same can be said about tube development:  it took 30+ years from the feeble beginnings at the beginning of the last century until a miniature triode or pentode has been perfected. What followed was de-evolution since.  Read my review of the U67 Reissue.

Quote
Isn't it high time to concentrate and bundle the knowledge and skills of the few specialists left, to preserve some things that will be lost soon?
Isn't it high time for you and some others to build real clones of the vintage gems?

I've been doing that behind the scene for years, am aware fo the tenacious effort it takes, and sense the constant risk that my collaborators may succumb to the "good enough"
syndrome any time, at which point I start from scratch...


 2 
 on: Today at 05:18:13 pm 
Started by klaus - Last post by Kai
Questions, maybe a little philosophical, arise when I read this.

How did the vintage originals sound when they were born, and are they still "originals", do they still sound the same after parts have aged, and being serviced probably several times during their 60-70 years life span?

Did the service from high-skilled people maybe even improve their sound over the time?
If I read how you work on a microphone to bring it to it's best, I think that is far more effort than what was spend into it when it was produced.

Isn't it high time to concentrate and bundle the knowledge and skills of the few specialists left, to preserve some things that will be lost soon?
Isn't it high time for you and some others to build real clones of the vintage gems?
And document thoroughly, exactly what you did, to preserve the knowledge for later generations.

It must be possible today, because it was possible then, and technical engineering by no means has become worse since.

 3 
 on: Yesterday at 05:01:32 pm 
Started by klaus - Last post by klaus
Why don’t cheap copy microphones, or 'clones' as they are often mislabeled*, ever sound as good as the expensive originals?
The simplest answer: market forces and engineering know how.

Imagine you could recreate an original Telefunken ELA M 251 so perfectly that the copy not only looks but also performs exactly like “the real thing”.

Let’s further assume that the average price of that ELA M 251 made in 1963 is around $30k in excellent condition. Now let’s pretend that a company has succeeded in copying that mic so well in the year 2015 that its performance and looks perfectly match the original- the same magic all the way through.
Let’s assume the new company, in order to get a foothold in the top-level condenser market, sells the copy at an attractive $4500 street price (and likely at a considerable loss).

In our dream scenario, three things would immediately happen, as soon as the word got out:

1. Enough people will hear and compare the copy to the original and spread the word

2. Every sample would be sold in a short amount of time, due to the high quality and attractive price

3. Taking advantage of the exceedingly high demand and low supply, the manufacturer will increase production, price, and making the copy profitable

In theory and practice, the price would keep ratcheting up until it would end up very close to that of the original (say: $25k, allowing for an initial difference between the higher collectible value of the vintage version vs. the newcomer. That differential would eventually disappear once the copy’s reputation grows so much that it in itself becomes a highly desirable collectible).


Let’s return to the real world and what actually happens to the value and utility of copy mics, down here on earth:

1. They usually loose between 20% and 40% or more of their original street price as soon as they become available on the used market, and rarely if ever rise in value over time

2. The price differential between original and copy will remain very large (in most cases it will remain probably greater than 3:1), because the manufacturer does not get to raise prices, as demand for the copy product will remain limited to semi-pro buyers on a tight budget.

Once the law of demand, supply, and pricing is understood, how could copy mics escape it?

It’s been endlessly repeated: if you cut corners, don’t spend the time, money and energy it takes to properly develop or source at least the core components that are responsible for the sound of the originals, you end up with something less satisfying to the buyer, thus limiting your clientele: If one characteristic defines all copies, it’s mediocrity. Closing the performance gap between original and copy takes a disproportional amount of investment in smarts, tenacity, time, money. For reasons ripe for another post that’s just not ever done by copy mic makers..

The irony: in the pursuit of the dollar, copy manufacturers don't mind at all to inflate their mediocre wares. They grab terms they have no right to appropriate in my opinion, had they any decency: “BV8”, “M7”, “VF14” and other famous letter and number sequences the legacy companies were negligent to copyright are shamelessly added. It would be more honest to rename these parts and mics to reflect what they are: copies. I see nothing wrong with calling your solid-state emulation of a VF14 tube a "solid-state emulation of the Telefunken VF14".

To sum up:
Trying to score a bargain when buying a copy microphone remains an illusion that contradicts how free markets work. With microphones, too, you always get exactly what you paid for.** No exceptions ever, no free lunch, no vintage performance without paying vintage prices.

The performance differential between original and copy remains palpable, even for the uninitiated, when listening in direct comparison. All the while prices for originals continue to increase, and those for copies continue to depreciate.


* I dislike terms that are sloppily imprecise, purposefully misleading, or self-delusional, but it seems an impossibly uphill fight to get rid of the misnomer. The classic definition of a clone is “a 100% perfect copy of the original”. Which U47 copy would possibly fit the bill?

** This law of the market applies not only to manufacturers of vintage copies, but original products made by “legacy” makers like Neumann or AKG, too (think M149 or C61): if the mic does not perform, it loses, not gains, value over time.

 4 
 on: July 25, 2020, 08:42:26 pm 
Started by Derek Reese Music - Last post by Derek Reese Music
What a tremendous difference right out of the box.
I just finished getting the poisoning correct and wow I am certainly impressed.
They sound amazing and I still have to set up the GLM kit especially because I don’t have the greatest room.
Would like to hear others that have them and what you think ?

 5 
 on: July 25, 2020, 12:58:09 pm 
Started by MSR74 - Last post by Kai
...I use "styled" because I personally have never used mics with actual Neumann or AKG parts, so I can only comment based upon my experience with "styled" caps, although I had UM 92.1S ...
There might be one mic that you can possibly afford, that is close to a true C12:

The AKG C414 TL II, or it's current version, the AKG C414 XL II.

The treble boost is a bit lower pitched and less pronounced than the original C12, bass and proximity effect a bit stronger, but might be worth to try.
Combined with a tube preamp and a bit more sparkle dialed in by EQ it's not too bad.

The AKG C12 VR - AKG's own reissue of the original tube powered C12 - missed to hit the spot, wouldn't recommend.

 6 
 on: July 24, 2020, 11:35:59 pm 
Started by Mannix - Last post by Mannix
Was there ever a time early on when V14 tubes were just not stamped with an M? Is it proven that non-M VF14 tubes are inferior?

 7 
 on: July 24, 2020, 10:15:31 pm 
Started by MSR74 - Last post by MSR74
This is a really ignorant question so please don't flame me.

Why do the K67 styled capsules sound different than a CK12 style capsule? I tend to prefer a 251 styled mic or even a C12 styled mic over a 67, 47. I mean, I know that fundamentally they are built differently, Acoustically, what makes them sound different? So I guess I tend to prefer the sound of a CK12 styled capsule vs a K67 and an M7 etc. Perhaps I prefer the Austrian sound to the German sound. I don't know...

K67 styled capsules sound a certain way while CK12's are different. I use "styled" because I personally have never used mics with actual Neumann or AKG parts, so I can only comment based upon my experience with "styled" caps, although I had UM 92.1S and didn't personally care too much for it on my voice. Maybe my voice just resonates better on CK12 (style) caps (and their circuits)? I knoww the mic is the sum of it's components.

Thanks.

 8 
 on: July 22, 2020, 06:21:05 am 
Started by afterlifestudios - Last post by Kai
Any recommendations on suitable wire for replacing my sm69 FET cable.  I have connectors but the existing cable is problematic.  (Crackles and noise when moving etc.)
Would like to replace.
If that crackling happens on one part only you might be able to cut it and remount the plug.

During this you can remove the sleeve of the cut away part and examine if the screen is brittle or maybe even in parts already.
This is what can happen with very old cables sometimes.

 9 
 on: July 18, 2020, 03:47:16 pm 
Started by afterlifestudios - Last post by afterlifestudios
Any recommendations on suitable wire for replacing my sm69 FET cable.  I have connectors but the existing cable is problematic.  (Crackles and noise when moving etc.)
Would like to replace.

 10 
 on: July 14, 2020, 11:10:25 am 
Started by T12 - Last post by T12
I addressed that symptom in my opening post: discrete components on the circuit board that are not secured can resonate when excited, and transmit the resonance into the audio of the mic.

The cure: After taking the housing tube off, hold the mic against your ear, ping the body with a finger of your other hand, or a plastic screwdriver, and identify the ringing sound. Now judiciously hold a finger from the hand that is holding the mic to your ear over components until the ringing stops.Identify and locate the component and secure it with a dab of Eclectic E6000.

Thank you very much Klaus for your suggestions.
Last weekend I was able to "glue" capacitors C1, C2, C9 with a few drops of  Eclectic E6000
Ater that problem solved !



Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10