Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by coldsnow, Dec 3, 2001.
Lawson's L47MP anyone tried it? How would you charactorize the sound?
I have one, and frankly I'm kinda underwhelmed. It seems pretty "dark" overall, for my taste... but then again, my hearing above 8K is fried from years of tracking thru Neumanns, with their requisite ultra-hyped high end. Besides, one man's "dark" is another man's "warm", so who knows???
Based on hearsay, I was really expecting to like the Lawson a lot more than I do. I guess it's modeled on the Neumann U47; having never A/B'ed the two, I can't speak to that. The thing that bums me out is that I bought the Lawson thinking it would turn into one of my primary vocal mics. To be fair, every once in awhile, it'll turn out to be the "right" choice for a particular voice... but 19 times out of 20, I'll reach for a Neumann.
But, as always,
(...are you ready for this?...)
Well, my mileage definitely varied! Back in the day when I was looking for a "go to" vocal mic, i had a huge jones for the M149, but at the time it was streeting for over $4 grand. The L47MP was the closest thing I could find that I really liked, at half the price. Since then I've had no regrets. It's very rare that whatever vocalist, male or female, that I've recorded doesn't love the results. Now admittedly I don't have the most extensive cabinet in the world (TLM 103, TLM 193, B.L.U.E. Mouse, Royer 121, AKG 414EB, Shure KSM32, Gefell UMT800, etc.) but out of what I've got, the L47 is the majority of time the clear winner. While I primarily use it for vocals, it's killer on bass amps, guitar amps, flutes, saxes, trombones, and piano. The infinitely variable pattern adjustment is often a nice and superior alternative to EQ, and the gold looks "da bomb".
Nowadays there are a lot more choices in tube mics in that price range. But it would take a hell of a mic (and NOT an M147!) to make me want to trade in my Lawson. Plus, Gene Lawson is just a fabulous guy to deal with - as owner of the company I've found he personally stands behind and cares about every customer and every sale.
I'm not questioning the validity of EJ's impressions of this mic, but no one who has ever used it in my studio has complained of it being too dark. Common descriptions: rich, detailed, unhyped, accurate, beautiful.
I suggest trying the mic if you are serious - Gene will fully refund your money after a reasonable period if you aren't satisfied. Also comes with a great (waterproof!) flight case. I only wish I had three or four more.
The Sondeluxe U47 copy was getting high praise at the AES.
sondeluxe U-47 copy
Are they giving out any pricing info on that mic yet?
I used an L47 on a local TV commercial. I think there were 3 vocal parts, all by the same person. It's a parody of 'Monster Mash." I liked the mic, it has a nice proximity effect. I was getting an RFI problem. I had to do a lot of muting on the mix, but it's only a 30-second spot so no big deal. I contrast to someone else's comment, I think the gold looks cheesy.
I've had an L47-MP since they first came out. It is without a doubt, my first call vocal mic. I use it primarily through a Requisite Audio tube mic pre. It has a very rich 3D sound and with the variable pickup pattern, you can adapt it to any kind of voice (think of the pattern adjuster as an EQ -- which is what it does).
I have found the Lawson to sound better than the Neumann M149, Blue Bottle w/ M7 capsule, and Soundelux U95S in direct comparisons. It has more "personality" than any of them (especially the M149). And it costs less!
Had the mic for 2 years. Sounds great on alot of stuff. Is a little chesty on some people. Overall the fidelity is great. I've gotten good vocals and kick drum sounds with it. I ordered the nickle plated finish. The gold didn't fit my personality.
Originally posted by littledog:
Are they giving out any pricing info on that mic yet?
The E47 is $3500 if I remember right. Should be shipping in January.
I've had my Lawson L47MP for about a year now and still love it. (actually I hate the gold finish, wish I got nickel)
I agree with the above about the 3D sound, etc...
Great on VOX, overhead, kick, acoustic gtrs, ROOM, etc...
LOVE the variable pattern.
I've had a vocal or two that I tried & tried to eq a little afterwords and it just sounded best untouched. OK, a little more compression never hurt anyone now did it. :roll:
We love the Lawson here.
I'v e done quite a bit of direct a/b comparison with our M149, as well...
(On lead vox)
The 47 seems to be a hair darker with a more pronounced midrange. The M149 has extended bottom and a bit more "air" at the top.
Interestingly, the mics sounded <very> similar in these direct comparisons. Overall, the pres made much more difference than the mics.
We almost always wind up choosing one or the other for a given vocal, but either mic usually works well for most vocal applications.
I liked the first one enough that I bought another this year. Ditto on working w/Gene...he and Gail are great folks to work with.
ps. I like the gold - impresses the heck out of the kids who are my mainstay business.
I, too, am a big Gene Lawson fan. He repaired my L47MP several years after the warranty had expired for no charge. The mic is my first choice for tenor and soprano sax, vocals, and sometimes acoustic bass. I just purchased the new L251 and am very impressed so far. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Lawson mics.
Originally posted by John Larson:
I just purchased the new L251 and am very impressed so far.
I'm extremely familiar with the L47MP. How does the L251 compare sonically? I think that one's next on my list.
I own a lot of great mics (including an original tube 47) and I love my Lawson 47. Sometimes it can be a bit dark, but it has a great sonic character and vibe.
Compared to most older tube 47s, it has a somewhat tighter bottom (we like this), a bit more air on top (we love this), and that wonderful 47-ish FOCUSED midrange.
FYI, you can do quite a bit of tonal shaping with the mic by playing with the continuously variable pickup pattern (see the manual).
And yes, Gene and Gail Lawson are really nice people.
For me, the jury is still out on the 251. In my direct comparisons, the Lawson was missing the air up top and had a bit of harshness between 3 and 6khz. Both of these are things that make the original 251 so wonderful.
Looks like I have been overwhelmingly outvoted on the L47! I guess I'll have to whip it out and, um, play with it a little bit more often.
Huh-huh, he said "whip it out"... huh-huh
Outta curiosity, which preamp(s) are you Lawson lovers finding to be a good match for the '47?
I run mine through an Amek 9098w/eq mostly, then try an Avalon 737sp, then a Manley tube pre. The 9098 with a Distressor inserted before the eq works VERY well most of the time (and is VERY versatile).
I never seem to need much eq, and I never seem to need to eq much in a mix.
For voice - if I need a lot of top end presence (in a cutting rock and roll kind of way) I will often use a Daking 52270. For fatter midrange I might go with an API 3124. But if i just want a slightly softer, rounder, stunningly gorgeous sound (like typical jazz or ballad vox - think Johnny Hartman) I head right for the Tube Tech MP-1A. Usually I also put a Millennia Media TCL-2 in the chain for a little transparent compression. If the client has the time and patience, I usually let them audition a whole bunch of different mics and preamp combinations. It's interesting how many times the L47/Tube Tech combo gets the nod.
The L47/Tube-tech combo is so fat amd rich. I'm really digging that combo on allot of stuff. I too us it with API 312's and a 1073. It rocks!
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