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Neumann M-149 vs Brauner valvet vs Soundelux U-99

Member for

21 years
Hi there,

I am looking for a good tube mic.
please give me your opinion about these mics (can i save money by buying a cheaper mic)
Neumann M-149,
Brauner valvet
Soundelux U-99

thanks & regard

Dinesh

Comments

Member for

17 years 7 months

cruisemates Tue, 05/04/2004 - 08:17
The M-149 is considered a cream of the crop tube mic, but I also fail to see why it should be so much more than other mics.

I have a U-67 and I often wonder why they are not as highly regarded as the 149 or U-47. They were developed as an alternative to the U-47 specifically for vocals because they have slightly less bass response -- down in the lowest frequencies. (when was the last time you boosted 50 Hz on your vocal track?)

I see them used in top studios all the time. I just rented the "Making of John Lennon's Imagine" DVD and it is the mic he is using all the time.

It looks like a U87 except the screw-on connector is fatter. So it is possible many people see it and do not realize what it is.

They are going for about $3500 now. I have seen them as much as $4000 and as little as $3100.

I wish I could say I have more experience with the newer tube mics, but I don't. I have heard a lot of vintage tube mics, however, especially Sonys. The Neumanns definitely have a distinct sound over those tube mics which I can only describe as "presence". The sony tube mics were "hot" but not "rich".

I picture it like this - you know the sound you get from a mic when your lips are as close to it as you can get - so you can hear every little smack of the lips and all frequencies equally? A Neumann tube sounds like that regardless of the distance you are from it (but without the proximity effect bass boost). Like I said, "presence."

I also just replaced the tube in mine with an authentic 1960s Telefunken factory "new" unit, What a difference!

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Sat, 05/15/2004 - 16:12
We just purchased the RODE NTK and are very happy with it. It is not in the same league as what you are asking about but it sounds GREAT!

Having used the Neumann M-149s for a number of years I can say that they are GREAT microphones but keeping them "alive" was a full time job. The ones we had (two of them) were always having some little problem that was easy to fix but there was always a question if they were going to behave when you turned them on. The person who purchased them later on loves them and has had them overhauled by someone on the East Coast and they seem to be problem free for him. The ones I used were "upgraded" from the M-50s so maybe the "upgrade" did not agree with the original power supply/microphone combination. Anyway if you can get them at a reasonable price they are worth the trouble. You may want to have them gone over BEFORE you buy them to make sure there are no surprises.....if you know what I mean....

-TOM-
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