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Elam 251 recreations

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by epicenter800, Sep 27, 2001.

  1. epicenter800

    epicenter800 Guest

    I haven't had a chance to see, hear, or touch an original. I had a chance to briefly hear a Lawson recreation of the 251 at a noisy convention floor. I have researched opinions and reviews on the Soundelux Elux 251. I was wondering if anyone who has had any experience with either of the two recreations could possibly help me make a decision. Despite the fact that the Lawson is almost half the cost of the Soundelux, I would still like to get the one that sounds the closest to the original. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    You haven't had a chance to use the original, but you're looking for the copy that is truest to something you've never experienced. I have to ask "why"?

    Is this for your voice in a private studio? Is this for a smaller commercial facility? Are you an independent engineer building a mic collection to travel around with? There has to be a reason why you want something similar to a '251'.

    Original 251's are an interesting mic. On their own, they sound OK, but aren't "god like" as a good C-12 or good U-47 is "god like". They seem to sit in the track and 'mix' better than alot of mics, though they aren't always the "right" mic for the job. It still depends on the singer, and the song.

    The reason original 251's go for so much money is because there aren't a whole lot of them around, but they have been percieved by a few folks to be rather 'special'. Now, the reason there aren't a whole lot around is because they didn't sell very well when they were new. They didn't sell very well because people didn't think they sounded as good as other mics on the market, in that price range, at the time.

    Granted, with the additional capabilities of a million and a half tracks, things have changed a bit from the original days of 'direct to mono' recording...but the fundemental principles are still in tact.

    I haven't heard the Lawson, I have heard the Soundelux, I've also owned and used a plethora of original Telefunken ELA M251's as well as Telefunken ELA M251 E's. The "E"s are what are most commonly found in the US. They used a 6072 tube like the C-12, while the "non-E" version used an AC 701/k tube.

    The AC 701/k tube is a bit 'airier' and more exciting sounding than the 6072 tube. There was also a high frequency rolloff in the originals, I don't know if the Lawson employs the same high frequency rolloff, but I know the Soundelux doesn't.

    I have found that by inserting a 16kHz 6db/octave filter in the audio path that I've gotten the Soundelux ELUX 251 to sound pretty damn close to my old Telefunken ELA M251 E which I sold to a local studio that I use on a regular basis (it's an excellent mic, but the wife wanted it sold, I wanted it close by...this was a "best of both worlds" solution).

    I've also found the top ELUX 251 to be almost as exciting as the top on the ELA M251 (non-E), yet still a bit more open sounding.

    There is a richness and a creamy sort of character to the upper mids of an original ELA M251 (E or non-E) that is really what makes the mic as special as it is. I found the ELUX 251 to be close in that 'richness', but not there. I've also found that when coupled with the right mic amp, like a Crane Song LTD. 'Flamingo', a 'Pendulum' MDP-1, the Groove Tube 'VIPRE', or an original A-Range module, I have actually prefered the ELUX 251 to the ELA M251 E on a lot of vocalists (but not all).

    I don't know if this answers your question in any way, but it's about as good as I can do at the moment. I have never had the opportunity to try Gene's version of the 251, so I can't give you my rendition of a 'compare and contrast' between the two.

    Best of luck with your search.
     
  3. epicenter800

    epicenter800 Guest

    Thanks Fletcher for the great info. My research on major label work that I admire and would like my recordings to sound like seem to use the 251 as the main vocal mic. I would like to use this mic in my project studio where most of my clients are either Pop/R&B singers (ie. Boyz II Men, Christina Aguilera styled vocalists). I'd be feeding this mic into a Buzz Audio MA 2.2 and CS Hedd 192 to a Pro Tools Rig. Thanks again.
     
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    You might want to call Stephen Paul and ask about his rebuilds of recent AKG's. I believe he's making the mediocre C-12 wannabe copies into the equivalent of a modded vintage C-12, and I'm sure he knows Elam's well enough to get you there, if that's what you want. Worth asking, at least.

    Bear
     
  5. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    You might want to try a Sony C800G. While not as rich as an Elam251, it will give you the "air" without EQ. By the way, I've worked with some of the artists on your list and that was one of the mics used. I would say right now in the pop/RnB world, it is the most popular vocal mic used.
     
  6. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    You might want to try a Sony C800G. While not as rich as an Elam251, it will give you the "air" without EQ. By the way, I've worked with some of the artists on your list and that was one of the mics used. I would say right now in the pop/RnB world, it is the most popular vocal mic used.
     
  7. epicenter800

    epicenter800 Guest

    Hey guys! Thanks for the info. I'll look into the Sony as well as the possible Stephen Paul mods.
     

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