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Someone's selling something very interesting...

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by took-the-red-pill, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I have no interest in this person, or the items they are selling, have never met or contacted them, so I am not posting this to promote their craigslist ad.

    I just thought y'all might be interested in the very first item they're selling.

    Line forms to the left, folks.


    Attached Files:

  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing .. some interesting stuff indeed!
    But I go through the list and I'm wondering, does the word vintage really allow for selling at more or equal price of a new unit ??
    Some are fairly priced but SM 58 vintage 100$ US Come ON !!! ;)
    Sean G likes this.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Another one bites the dust.
    I just finished selling about 70 of my mics. It was a painful experience, not one I ever thought I would do. But I am coming back more focused on vocals and solo artists.

    This was a really good studio, sad to see it close.
    Looks like some good deals.
    pcrecord likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Ya, that ad has been making the rounds of all the recording forums. Apparently another nice room has shut the lights off. It's a pity. Blue Wave now joins the ranks of Le Studio in Quebec, Trident in London, and The Record Plant in L.A.

    These places were parts of recording history - Olympic, which once recorded and mixed Queen's Night At The Opera, Queen, and Sheer Heart Attack is now a small, one room studio in the basement of the original facility, focusing on midi based film scoring; The Hit Factory in NYC
    ( John Lennon's last session was there) is now luxury townhouse apartments; Le Studio in Canada recorded David Bowie, Rush, Chicago, The Police, The Bee Gees, Nazareth, Jeff Healey, Sarah McLachlan, Queensryche and Keith Richards... and it's a dilapidated empty shell now with broken windows.

    "Vintage" is one of those descriptive terms that has two meanings. In the case of the Neumann U-47 mic; there aren't that many original models left, and the one for sale apparently also has the original VF Tubes, so in my opinion, that's something that would truly be considered as being "Vintage". The other side of that coin is that just because you have an old, used SM58, doesn't classify it as being vintage. Sometimes vintage is used to describe something that in reality is just old and used.
    Same thing with the D112 they have for sale - I can pick up one of those one-trick-ponies on eBay for as little as $80, and in perfect working condition, too. I can't see the justification in pricing a used SM58 or D112 at or near the cost of brand new models. Nothing has changed about them. It's the exact same mic as was originally sold, and with the D112, in my opinion, just as worthless, too. LOL
    pcrecord likes this.
  5. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

  6. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Yeah, the rest of the list is actually quite humourous. A vintage SM58 probably stirs drinks better than a new one, imparting a "smokey vintage vibe" to the taste. Though I would argue the best use for a 58 is as a door stop, and an old one probably wouldn't do that any better than new.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Have you heard my SM57 story? True story... about seven posts down from the top ... LOL
  8. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    That's a hoot. Do you have pics of the lawnmower damage?
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... no... this was many years ago, before everyone had ultra-high pixel cameras in their pockets.

    As a side note, I always preferred 57's over 58's on my own voice. Don't even know why that is, exactly ... they just sound "better" to me... at least on my voice.
    It may be a "presence" thing ?... I know that the diaphragm on the 57 is located closer to the grill than on the 58, and that there's a slightly hotter bump above 4k or so on the 57.
    Over the years, I can't count the number of times that guys have asked me "why are you using an instrument mic on your voice.... every singer prefers a 58 over a 57..." And I know that's generally true.
    But, for whatever reason, I like the 57 better.

    Truth be told, the only real damage was to the lawnmower. It left a gouge in one of the blades. The mic was fine... with the exception of a few scratches, and a little dent in the screen over the diaphragm.

    And it's still fine - at least it was as of 11 p.m. yesterday evening, anyway - I used it for my vocal mic at a gig just last night. It worked great, just like always.

    No foolin'. :)
  10. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I too prefer the sound of (insert the name of any microphone ever made) over a 58. I did sound at a church for a few years, and I got sick of having to dial out everything below 150HZ on anyone over the age of 10. When nobody was looking I grabbed a few Sennheisers from the back and...ta daa...Problem solved. People would ask me why I was able to make the vocalists stand out better than the other sound guys and I told them, yet everybody went with the legend and followed the pack instead of their ears.

    Okay, to get back on track...supposedly the capsules and tubes from the original U47's are no longer available. Why can't they make more? Has the world run out of some basic material required in making them? Did the knowledge die with some grizzled old guy in a back room and cannot be resurrected? Does no one over at Telefunken have the ability to take an old one apart and reverse engineer the tubes and capsules? Can they not build themselves a production line out of 50's technology and hand build a batch? One would think that for a 10,000 mic they would at least try to get it exactly right.

    Please explain if y'all have any insights into that one.

  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I can only take a few guesses....

    Some of those older tubes had materials that were a little dicey to work with as a tube "roller' ( maker). While not all old tubes have elements like Barium, Mercury, and other stuff in them that can be some pretty nasty crap to have your hands on, some did.

    But mostly I think it's simply because of supply vs demand.

    Some of those old Telefunken tubes had their origins going back to the 30's, and were originally built for the German Navy, when communication devices on ships and subs were all tube, along with other military equipment being used. Some of those tubes made their way into the consumer electronics industry as well - like radios, power amps, and mics.

    As these now-vintage mics started to wane in popularity and production after the transistor appeared on the scene around '65 or so, the demand for tube gear went down for quite a while, with most people going for solid state electronic devices instead.
    SS was cheaper to make, didn't get as hot, was more compact, and didn't require as much maintenance. Transformers began to take the place of tubes in a lot of audio gear. It wasn't until digital recording became popular that there was a resurgence in the "tube sound", because so many felt that digital was "too clean", sterile, etc... And because vacuum tubes are hand -made, they are expensive to make, and, because there aren't thousands of original U-47's, 48's and 67's around anymore, the factories stopped making them, because the demand for those original tubes isn't nearly as high as it once was by as many people. Probably, a lot of those tubes were simply thrown out by the manufacturers because they figured they'd never sell them.
    And it's pretty much still that way today... there isn't a huge demand for them from the majority of consumers; these days, there are only but a handful of people who own those mics, and collectors who seek them.
    And because there aren't 200,000 original VFM tubes sitting on a shelf somewhere at Telefunken, AKG or Neumann anymore, they command very high prices. Quite often, owners of these rare mics won't even search the audio community for them - they instead turn to tube collectors - people who love collecting old vacuum tubes; and these collectors - many of whom have never even been in a studio - know how rare some of the tubes are, and charge accordingly.

    Also, many tubes have been mistakenly thrown-out over the years by people who just don't know certain things about tubes - for example, many tubes often had a mark on the inside, caused by the intentional burning of metal onto the glass; and a lot of people tossed those because they thought these were burn marks, suggesting that the tube was bad, when in reality, these marks were normal. These are known as "Getter Spots", and this mark is cause by the process of removing the last bit of air in a tube.
    So, many perfectly-functioning tubes were mistakenly tossed out through simple ignorance, making their availability even less.
    Here's a great explanation of the process, located Here : "Getter spots are caused by electrically burning a metallic element inside the tube in the factory to remove the last traces of air from the tube and making a hard vacuum. The vaporized metal sputters itself on the glass, and this silver spot of metal coating acts to trap any residual gas that may leak in over the years. It does this by combining with the gas molecule and oxidizing. Only if the getter spot is white do you have to worry.
    Some getters don't always stay in one spot, they will sometimes chimney inside the elements if a bottom getter is used, making one or two silver spots on top of the tube. Side getters will sometimes darken a clear top tube, and may show "shadows" of the elements that blocked their path to the glass. Some getters may be black, sometimes with a rainbow iridescence. This just means the getter was deposited at a higher temperature, and the metal oxides are more "mixed up" on the glass. It will work just as well as a silver getter. Folks, listen, I hate to rain on your parade, but the getter spot on the glass has NO EFFECT on the sound the tube will produce..."

    And, speaking of the "tube sound", let's not discount that some of this is pretty "subjective", too. One person may swear by the sound of an original VFM tube in a U48, while others might hear a more modern tube model/version in a newer reissue and say that it sounds just as good, and that any tube will have a similar sound when it gets hot and is pushed.

    Maybe a big part of the "original tube" attraction is simply that the mic is original and the owners want to keep things as original as possible. It's not really much different than an antique car collector who prefers everything to be "factory original", because the more original the parts are, the more collectible it is, and it ups the value. Most collectors prefer to see an AC/Delco AM radio in a vintage car over a CD player, ya know?

    IMHO of course.

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