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EQ tube mic

Member for

13 years 8 months

I'm in the process of searching for a workhorse, multipattern tube mic to fill a sonic hole in my mic cabinet. The "hole" is in the low mids to mostly quality low end. In my search I've been torn between the classic 251, 67 and 47 sound characteristics. The uses will be the full range of male/female vocals, acoustic instruments and room mic. Not asking much right?

In my search I'm finding the "clones" in the 2K-4K range either not having enough "warmth" and clarity in the bottom as well as clean,airy top end. Most do a good job, to my ear, of good middle forward push and clarity but either there is usually a lack in the bottom or the top. To my ear, the "modern" sounding tubes are a bit too crisp and simblant on the top with good push of the mids and missing the clean "warm" lows. Or adequate though a bit "muddy" bottom end, scooped mids and just low quality highs.

In doing some mic auditioning at a local college a while back, I understood the head of the program to say that I would run into less problems using make-up/shaping eq on the low end as opposed to the highs if shaping is needed. If my memory serves me correctly (which is always a question!) he said something about more potential phasing issues doing make-up/shaping of highs. I was comparing an old 67 against a Pearlman TM1 and a Telefunken m16. Considering price and sound, the Tele m16 was impressive but lacking that smooth and full bottom of the 47. I have yet to have the chance to do this comparison with the C12vr as we ran out of precious time. Hopefully this will happen in a couple of weeks. We used an API console with no compression etc. and run flat.

My rudimentary understanding of how eq works is that there is a use of phase manipulation/variation to achieve any desired changes. I could easily be wrong about this as well. Anyway, could this be a more potential problem trying to shape/boost/make-up for lacking high end in a tube mic signal than trying to push/shape the low end. I do understand that room, pres and compression will play a big role in the overall results but I really prefer to get enough of what I want initially from the mic itself.

Ideally I would find a tube mic that provides a more or less equal clarity and fullness across the full bandwidth, what I think a 251 with a 47 like bottom would sound like, in the 4K used price range. Maybe a used Wunder cm7s or the like. Unfortunately something like a Telefunken 251/47/67 starts around 9K new.

So to get back on topic, I would appreciate any discussion addressing issues related to eq'ing a quality tube mic high verses low end, if this is even a thing so to speak. The School Program Director is incredibly busy and difficult to reach at this time for clarification. As I said, I may have misheard or misunderstood hI'm from the start! My internet searches on this topic have not turned up any useful information so I'm reaching out to anyone here that might be able to set me straight.

Thanks as always!


Member for

13 years 8 months

vibrations1951 Thu, 11/18/2021 - 04:33

Thanks for asking Chris. I just love it! I compared it to the files I had of the brauner, c12vr, u67, school's m16 and live with a tele u47 I was loaned.

I'll try to be as descriptive as possible. I need to qualify that life events have gotten in the way as of late so since the mic has arrived I've had little to no time to put it through more paces than just my single vocals and acoustic guitar and a quick sweep through multiple patterns.

To my ear, like the school's m16, mine has more of the c12 or 251 style of low mids, mids and highs. Very accurate yet warm. Clean and open. Very low noise floor. Less of that creamy full bottom of the brauner, u67 or u47 and not quite the sheen of those either but:

This is not to say that it lacks those qualities, just not as profound if that makes sense. If it "lacks" anything I would say it's the low end reach I ultimately want. That said, wow what a bang for my buck! I think it will stand quite well in a jazz type mix as well as a more crowded rock or pop mix but have yet to test this. I think it's value is nearly than 3x's what I paid for it and if another came along, which they don't seem to very often, I'd be extremely tempted to grab it as well!.

I couldn't be more happy and I think I will keep my U87, this m16 and then, in the future,  round it out with a nice U47 type clone when funds permit, but not an FET for now. Rather than go used, though I am curious about the Telefunken R-F-T AK 47, I'm thinking strongly about new clones in the under 3K range. There are many out there for sure!The Cathedral Pipes Notre Dame is high on my list and I must admit being positively excited about it due to Dave's high praise of their mics. As I've said earlier, I've been very interested in Cathedral Pipes for a long time.

As I'm able to work with the m16 more I'll post my experiences. For now, I couldn't be much happier with this mic, which I found through research, to have an interesting origin and development at Telefunken. I'm really grateful to my new friend at The New England School Of Communications who turned me on to this "diamond in the rough" studio workhorse. Had I not grabbed this one he would have !LOL!