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Author Topic: U47: Three Myths  (Read 2318 times)


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U47: Three Myths
« on: March 12, 2016, 03:37:09 PM »

I often get the same U47 questions asked. Here are three, from an email I received:

1. Do you believe the vintage long body U47 microphones to be truly worth their usual asking price? I know that many people tend to covet them, but I have never personally used one to know whether their value is justified.

Functionally, long and short body U47 are identical, aside the fact that very early long-bodies (up to 1954) and late short-bodies (after 1959) had different transformers, but otherwise both versions will function and sound the same, as long as (in theory) the same capsule is installed. Still, Long Bodies can be more valuable on the collector's market, because they are rarer, and some of them had chrome (actually nickel) head baskets, which are perceived to look more beautiful.

2. I know that many people make clones of the U47. Do you think that any of these clones are worthy of being compared to an original?

None of the copy mics sound identical to an authentic, Neumann-made U47, and I have not heard that claim made even by those who manufacture the copies. (I do not like or use the term 'clone' because it implies a 100% identical build, and, with it, a 100% identical performance, compared to the original, which is absurd, no matter what criteria you use.) The magic, the 'sex appeal' is missing in all of them, and it would take a whole dissertation to explain all the build features of a U47 which are responsible for that.

3. I am quite interested in the CMV563, do you have an opinion of these, compared to the U47?

Aside of a similar but not identical M7 PVC capsule, the two models are unrelated. CMV563 is a poorly-made 1950's East German attempt at creating the best possible mic under adverse (Communist Block) manufacturing conditions. CMV563 can sound quite good, in their own way, but are often unreliable, noisy, and suffer from spotty parts support from the successor company, Microtech Gefel. Their fairly low resale value, compared to that or a Neumann U47, tells the rest of the story.
Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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