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TELEFUNKEN ELAM 251 - Anyone got a spare $7.5K???

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Sean G, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Telefunken ELAM 251 Microphone


    Item condition:
    --not specified
    Oct 30, 2015 , 4:25PM
    US $7,400.00
    Read item description or contact seller for shipping options.

  2. pcrecord

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

    I'd rather buy 75 x SM57/58 ! :ROFLMAO:
  3. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Thats a lot of drum mics Marco !
    pcrecord likes this.
  4. pcrecord

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

    I was just kidding ! ;)
    For most small and home studios 7.5k would be more than the entire mic locker value.
  5. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Its a little out of my price range....and I couldn't justify running it into a Presonus 1818...
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That's a very cheap price for that mic - it usually sells for quite a bit more than that; I've seen them sold for prices up to 13K.

    The nickname for the mic over the years has been affectionately pronounced as the "Elam", even though there's actually a space between "ELA" and "M", and with a number following the "M" to designate the model ... 250, 250-E, 251 and 251 E, depending on the particular model you have; the "E" series has the letter "E" printed on the mic underneath the pattern select switches. The difference between these models is mostly in the tubes that each uses - the 250/251 contained a Telefunken AC701 tube, while the 250E / 251E versions used a 6072A tube.
    There were also some changes implemented by AKG from the original C12 capsule design; the ELAM's used an AKG CK12 ( brass) capsule, and also included pattern-select switching on the mic itself, as opposed to earlier C12's, which used an external device for pattern-select ( cardioid, omni, and Fig 8 )..

    I've actually had the fortune to have used an original early 60's ELA-M 251 E ... Once.

    I was called in as a hired-gun engineer to work a recording session at a studio in Youngstown, Ohio a few years ago, ( Peppermint Recording - they'd been around for YEARS... I don't know if it's even there anymore, but when I was there it was like I was walking back into 1975 - yellow shag carpet, bean bag chairs, day-glo posters and all - LOL - it had definitely seen better days, though) and the owner of the studio had two ELAM's, both 251-E's.

    When I asked him how he got them, he told me that he had purchased them in the mid 70's from Capitol Records Recording Studios in L.A. - for next to nothing - he mentioned paying something ridiculous, like $800 for BOTH.
    ( So...how come I can't ever run across incredible deals like that??? ).

    With one of the mics, the mic itself worked fine, but the PS was fried, but the other one he had was fully operational with both the mic and the PS.

    The owner had a picture hanging in his control room of an early 1960's Frank Sinatra singing into an ELA-M. ( He told me that he had been told by one of the older engineers at Capitol that the mic in the photo was one of the ones he purchased... although there's no actual way to prove that...but I suppose it's possible).

    I can personally attest to the warmth and silkiness of those mics, there is most certainly a very special "mojo" to that particular mic, especially on vocals. It's kinda hard to describe, really, you have to hear it - there's a very pleasing "edge" to it, with ultra-smooth mids, warm but nicely tight lows, and a silky top end that I'd personally never heard from a microphone before - or since.

    We were recording a female singer, a kind of torchy-ballad style, ( think Billy Holiday ) and we didn't really even have to do much at all to the track afterwards in the mix. It just kind of immediately "worked". The room looked pretty dumpy but sounded really nice.
    Oh... I should mention - he was tracking through what looked like an ancient MOTU 16 bit A-D converter, into some Amiga-based recording platform that I'd never even seen before. If he had been using more modern conversion, I'm sure the mic would have sounded even better than it did, which was still great.

    (As a side note, the ELA-M used an original brass dual-backplate CK12 capsule, made by AKG, which has been replaced by a CK13 capsule on the reissues - and yours truly has the fortune of having two 1978 AKG 414EBs, both of which also have the
    dual back-plate CK12 brass capsule... they certainly aren't the same as an ELAM, ( The ELAM is a tube mic, the 414 is not) but they're still very nice-sounding mics.
    Having used almost all of the 414 series of mics, I can say that the
    414EB CK12 model is my hands-down favorite-sounding AKG 414 mic. It was the last 414 to use the CK12. In fact, half way through the run of the EB series, they switched the brass capsule to a Teflon capsule instead... those of us who own early-run 414EB's with the CK12 brass capsules consider ourselves to be very fortunate. ;) )

    As far as the Telefunken ELA-M, you can read more about those models, and about the history of the Telefunken ELA-M series HERE .



  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I almost scored one last year. :love:
    It's one of a few mics I will get before I die. I will settle for
    ELA M 251E :D
    pcrecord likes this.
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiosity, there is another Telefunken (I swear I love that name, most probably from the Zappa lyric where he mentions a Telefunken U-47) to the right in the picture of the open case...

    - What type is that???:unsure:
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    link removed
  10. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Ahhh... I see, its the bottom.... I thought it looked like another mic.
  11. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    -Thats FUNKEN insane....
    audiokid likes this.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sounds great, what stellar mid imaging. Great gear = mids that don't need EQing. I wonder what they used for an AD. Says Pro Tools. I do hear that upper freq tickle that sounds like the conversion is barking. I look forward to the day we never hear the ADC.
    What a mic though. Oh Sean you had to get me going on this again.
    Sean G likes this.
  14. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    When you posted that vid, I thought to myself....Iv'e created a monster, Audiokids' still thinking about that mic...:LOL:

    All jokes aside, it looks as good as it sounds...amazing.

    Ahhhh....you know what they say.....dreams are free....guess I'll keep dreaming:D
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Tel e Funken dealer how insane you is! I see some marketing in this!
  16. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    (looks dissapointingly across to his Rode NT-1)....
  17. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    There was a pair of AKG 414s' I was looking at last night as well in the vintage pro audio section....selling both in the one listing

    They were from 1977-78??? from memory...chocolate brown color....

    - Can't seem to find them amongst the 3500+ items listed now, either they have been sold or I didn't look hard enough.
  18. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I've never gotten to play with a real ELA M, but I've used a Peluso Elam which sounded quite nice.
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    If they were from 77-78, then they were EB's... half of the EB series run had the original CK12 brass capsule, and later in that series they changed to a Nylon capsule.
    I don't know about the "chocolate brown" part, though - EB's were entirely black with a silver screen on one side and a black screen on the other.


    LOL... you say that like you'd be compromising. ;)

    The biggest difference between the 250 and the 251E is the tubes in which they use.

    The 250/251 contained a Telefunken AC701 tube, while the 250E / 251E versions used a 6072A tube.

  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    This is perhaps the first thing that I noticed, the one opportunity I had to work with one (original early 60's E series) - the mids were unbelievably smooth, the lower frequencies were rich and warm - but nicely tight, too... and there was a silk on the top end that I'd never heard before on any other mic...and haven't heard again from any mic since, either. I've heard a few that have come close, but nothing quite like the top end on the ELAM. There wasn't a trace of unpleasant sibilance, either... and I was working with a female singer I had worked with before where excessive sibilance had been a bit of a problem in the past. As I said in my post above, we ( the producer and myself) didn't need to do much of anything to her voice afterwards in the mix - certainly no EQ, IIRC, we added some slight LA2 GR, but that was about it....her track just kind of instantly "worked" among the other tracks.

    And that was with using an "ancient" AD converter - and old MOTU 16 bit model. I'd have loved to have heard it through more modern conversion.

    It was one of those rare occasions where the "hype" surrounding something really did accurately describe the reality.

    There have only been a handful of occasions where that has happened to me.... the hype turning out to be valid...
    My experience with Johnny Walker Blue was another one of those times... ;) LOL

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