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A 251 style mic, for under $800?


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Warm Audio strikes again.

 

 

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Estimated shipping date, sometime in February 2019.

 

 

To be honest, the body physically looks more like it's the size of a C12 rather than the slightly larger diameter of a 251, and the head basket lacks a 251's flat top (again, this looks more like the aftermarket C12 style replacement head baskets that you can get to replace the stock one on mics like the Apex 460, which share a similar, if not identical body size), and they're using remote / power supply pattern switching rather than a switch on the mic just below the head basket, but they did stick with the ELA M 251 E's 12AY7 / 6072 style tube, they're using Cinemag iron, and they went with a CK12 style capsule - all of which seems promising... The paint looks more cream than the slightly greener paint of an original 251, but as always, the sound is what matters...

 

I'm one of the lucky few who has had the privilege of owning original 251's (actually, a pair of 'em... :o ) and I also have an excellent David Bock-built Soundelux ELUX 251, which is based on the originals and is my favorite go-to vocal mic of all time for many singers, so I have plenty of experience with them, and plenty to compare it to when the review unit gets here - which should be in a few days.

 

So how well did they do on this one? Does it sound more like a 251, or more like a C12, or something else entirely? Stay tuned for the HC review for the answers to those questions... :snax:

 

 

For more pics and the complete press release, check out this link in HC News:

 

https://www.harmonycentral.com/news/warm-audio-announces-new-wa-251-tube-condenser-microphone

 

 

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Educate me... When i see a mic with a box like that' date=' is the box a pre-amp for the mic? Is that so you just go line-in to the board instead of using the board's mic pre?[/quote']

 

 

It's a tube mic - there's a small 6072 / 12AY7 tube (the same size and basic configuration as a 12AX7, but with a much lower gain factor; ~45 instead of 100) built into the body of the mic...

 

 

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Tubes, when used traditionally (as opposed to in a low-voltage, starved plate design) require a lot of voltage - 200V or more - which is way too much for phantom powering, so tube mics nearly always require a separate power supply "brick" that provides power to the mic's onboard electronics.

 

Since it's a condenser (capacitor, for our European friends) mic, the electronics onboard the mic do amplify the signal somewhat and handle impedance conversion (the output from a condenser capsule is very low level and very high impedance) but while tube mics tend to have hotter outputs than your typical moving-coil dynamic mic, it's usually not quite hot enough to eschew the use of a mic preamp, although there are some exceptions out there to that...

 

The mic connects to the power supply with a multi-pin (in this case, seven) cable, and the power supply plugs into the wall AC outlet and provides power to the mic. Audio from the mic goes out over the same multi-pin cable back to the power supply, and an XLR output on the power supply is routed to your board or outboard mic preamp using a normal XLR mic cable, where it's amplified as usual and sent to tape, your audio interface, etc.

 

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A littel; background would bee super cool for some , well, for moi. I scoured the i-net for the mic you listed, and didnt get too much on the original vinatge Mics you listed except that its a AKG? MY studio ( not "mine") has vintage Neumans and RCAs.

 

OMG!..those RCA broadcast mics have gotto be the best ever! The ones they recorded all the old brodcasts with.

Edited by Balthazar Munoz
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To be honest, the body physically looks more like it's the size of a C12 rather than the slightly larger diameter of a 251, and the head basket lacks a 251's flat top (again, this looks more like the aftermarket C12 style replacement head baskets that you can get to replace the stock one on mics like the Apex 460, which share a similar, if not identical body size), and they're using remote / power supply pattern switching rather than a switch on the mic just below the head basket, but they did stick with the ELA M 251 E's 12AY7 / 6072 style tube, they're using Cinemag iron, and they went with a CK12 style capsule - all of which seems promising... The paint looks more cream than the slightly greener paint of an original 251, but as always, the sound is what matters...

 

I'm one of the lucky few who has had the privilege of owning original 251's (actually, a pair of 'em... :o ) and I also have an excellent David Bock-built Soundelux ELUX 251, which is based on the originals and is my favorite go-to vocal mic of all time for many singers, so I have plenty of experience with them, and plenty to compare it to when the review unit gets here - which should be in a few days.

 

So how well did they do on this one? Does it sound more like a 251, or more like a C12, or something else entirely? Stay tuned for the HC review for the answers to those questions... :snax:

 

 

For more pics and the complete press release, check out this link in HC News:

 

https://www.harmonycentral.com/news/...ser-microphone

 

 

 

 

Interesting. I need another vocal mic like I need a hole in my head, but this makes me curious. I'm also curious about the new SE Rupert Neve tube mic. But its mostly idle curiosity - I've got a U67 (serial #260), a matched pair of AKG 414 xl II, a matched pair of Pearlman TM 1s, an SM-7, a MikTek CV4 and an Avantone CV-12 :eek: :eek: :eek:

Edited by Red Ant
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Interesting. I need another vocal mic like I need a hole in my head, but this makes me curious. I'm also curious about the new SE Rupert Neve tube mic. But its mostly idle curiosity - I've got a U67 (serial #260), a matched pair of AKG 414 xl II, a matched pair of Pearlman TM 1s, an SM-7, a MikTek CV4 and an Avantone CV-12 :eek: :eek: :eek:

 

I'm really looking forward to trying it. I don't really need another mic myself either (I have several dozen) but if it's interesting and cool sounding enough, I'll be tempted to buy it anyway - I'm a certified mic fanatic / slut.

 

I wonder how different it is going to be from something like the Avantone - I know the capsules are different (center terminated on the CV-12), but there are some things that look like they might be somewhat similar about the two, but I won't know for sure until the WA-251 gets here and I can take a closed look. I don't own a CV-12, but I had one on loan for a few months and I liked it a lot more than I expected to, given the ~$500 price tag. I probably should have just bought that one too... :lol:

 

Shameless, I know... but I can't resist a decent mic.

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I'm really looking forward to trying it. I don't really need another mic myself either (I have several dozen) but if it's interesting and cool sounding enough, I'll be tempted to buy it anyway - I'm a certified mic fanatic / slut.

 

I wonder how different it is going to be from something like the Avantone - I know the capsules are different (center terminated on the CV-12), but there are some things that look like they might be somewhat similar about the two, but I won't know for sure until the WA-251 gets here and I can take a closed look. I don't own a CV-12, but I had one on loan for a few months and I liked it a lot more than I expected to, given the ~$500 price tag. I probably should have just bought that one too... :lol:

 

Shameless, I know... but I can't resist a decent mic.

 

I did a shootout with an CV-12 and the C-12VR and the Avantone CRUSHED the AKG reissue. silkier highs, warmer lows, depth... no contest. And the VR is $6K :lol: :lol:

 

 

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I did a shootout with an CV-12 and the C-12VR and the Avantone CRUSHED the AKG reissue. silkier highs, warmer lows, depth... no contest. And the VR is $6K :lol: :lol:

 

 

Yeah, the VR is really nothing like a good vintage C12. Heck, AKG doesn’t even know how to make the original CK-12 brass capsules anymore... which, to be fair, were the most complex condenser capsule design you could imagine, and reportedly a PITB to build.... which is why AKG went to the Teflon capsules in 1982 or so.

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A littel; background would bee super cool for some ' date=' well, for moi. I scoured the i-net for the mic you listed, and didnt get too much on the original vinatge Mics you listed except that its a AKG? MY studio ( not "mine") has vintage Neumans and RCAs.[/quote']

 

I've got a couple of RCA's and a couple of Neumann clones, but no actual Neumanns ATM.

 

Here's the story on the 251... Telefunken used to distribute the Neumann U47, which Neumann built and re-badged for them. When Neumann started doing their own distribution in the late 1950's, it left Telefunken without a large diaphragm studio mic in their product line, so they contracted with AKG to build them one. AKG's new mic had a wider body that was not quite as wide as a U47, but wider than a C12. The circuit is similar to the C12 too (same capsule, same tube [at least in the E version of the 251], etc.), but with some notable differences - the pattern selector is on the mic itself (like a U47) and not on the power supply, like on a C12, etc. The sound is somewhat close to a C12, but again, with some differences due to the different sized bodies, different head baskets, etc.

 

The name of the mic doesn't say AKG on it - it's branded as a Telefunken (brand) ELA M 251 E (model). The E stands for Export. There is also the non-E version (which uses the AC-701 subminiature tube, which was a German broadcast standard at the time), as well as E and domestic (non-E) versions of the two-pattern ELA M 250, which is the same mic, but with one less polar pattern option on the switch. There was also the ultra-rare ELA M 270, which is a two capsule stereo version of the mic.

 

AKG built the mics from about 1959-1963 or so; as best as I've been able to determine, fewer than 2,000 of the originals were made. AKG no longer has any parts or molds for the originals, and doesn't make or service them anymore. A new company (originally called Telefunken USA, now Telefunken Elektroakustik) has obtained the right to use the name in the USA, and they specialize in making very accurate (although not always 100% dead-on) reproductions of vintage AKG (C12 / 251) and Neumann (U47 / U48) mics.

 

OMG!..those RCA broadcast mics have gotto be the best ever! The ones they recorded all the old brodcasts with.

 

You're probably thinking of the RCA 44, and maybe the 77DX. Both are ribbons, and were quite popular for stage, broadcast and studio use right before condensers like the U47 started taking over the industry by storm...

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On 1/3/2019 at 11:29 PM, Red Ant said:

 

I did a shootout with an CV-12 and the C-12VR and the Avantone CRUSHED the AKG reissue. silkier highs, warmer lows, depth... no contest. And the VR is $6K :lol: :lol:

 

 

Hey, how`d I end up here? Not surprised the CV sounds better. Even looking at the internals of a VR there is no way is going to be even close(having built one to spec) for them to pull off a decent single triode like that vs. even a MUCH less expensive one with the cathode follower like the CV. While not true to the original in that sense, I have had one(not a CV, one I did myself) and it was stunningly good. That will be my next project since I still have 1 power supply chassis left- a "c12" WITH the cathode follower.

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On 1/3/2019 at 4:05 PM, Phil O'Keefe said:

Warm Audio strikes again.

 

 

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Estimated shipping date, sometime in February 2019.

 

 

To be honest, the body physically looks more like it's the size of a C12 rather than the slightly larger diameter of a 251, and the head basket lacks a 251's flat top (again, this looks more like the aftermarket C12 style replacement head baskets that you can get to replace the stock one on mics like the Apex 460, which share a similar, if not identical body size), and they're using remote / power supply pattern switching rather than a switch on the mic just below the head basket, but they did stick with the ELA M 251 E's 12AY7 / 6072 style tube, they're using Cinemag iron, and they went with a CK12 style capsule - all of which seems promising... The paint looks more cream than the slightly greener paint of an original 251, but as always, the sound is what matters...

 

I'm one of the lucky few who has had the privilege of owning original 251's (actually, a pair of 'em... :o ) and I also have an excellent David Bock-built Soundelux ELUX 251, which is based on the originals and is my favorite go-to vocal mic of all time for many singers, so I have plenty of experience with them, and plenty to compare it to when the review unit gets here - which should be in a few days.

 

So how well did they do on this one? Does it sound more like a 251, or more like a C12, or something else entirely? Stay tuned for the HC review for the answers to those questions... :snax:

 

 

For more pics and the complete press release, check out this link in HC News:

 

https://www.harmonycentral.com/news/warm-audio-announces-new-wa-251-tube-condenser-microphone

 

 

Those bodies are easy to get and built like tanks. There are so many aftermarket windscreens for those. Telefunken uses a slightly shaved off version of the same body. They are everywhere. I have several of these capsules.https://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com/product/tk51d-capsule-ar-51 They are just "OK" and not sure what the rules are here, but I have a few laying around.😉

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