Apex 460 and Telefunken M16. The Same mic?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Randyman..., May 17, 2005.

  1. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I saw this over at another forum I frequent. Check it out. Identical parts, etc. The Tele is a $1399 mic, and the Apex is a $229 mic.

    PS - Dan Richards does not sell these Apex OR Tele mics at his store (I tried to get the Apex from him).

    I'm gonna try one for kicks and grins. Any input on this?

  2. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    i what one.

    just think about it a litle solder new tube, caps a wooden box and a new cable and you could have youe self a nice litle mic.
  3. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    I'm sorry there not the same mics. As soon as you here the aphex you'll know about the difference. the aphex sounds like harsh unpolished $*^t, gritty sounds like a 200 dollar mic. As far as the long thread (6 pages) on gearslutz people love to bash something, but out of all the post only one person actaully heard the 460, and comented it sounded tike crap, 2D. And as far as the the page Dan set up the dissmantlingh and ultimatelly the rumor, please hurry up and post small clips in wav format than everyone canreturn there bulk bought Aphex 460's. For a well respected site I'm suprized that much BS got posted, OK you guys are pissed its "overpriced" but your just missinforming poeple that just because parts are similar it sounds, reacts, feels the same, have you ever bought an octava, there build is so bad almost all of there mics sound very different, same parts same factory. Yes quality and craftmanship does meen something. Don't buy the rumor mills, test listen use your ears.
  4. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    they did keep saying its over priced. i dont think so. think about it as you can see from the pics in the links the phisical components are all difrant (ressitors caps and tube) if you have that kind of wirk done thats almost 500 dollars. and i doubt the capule is the same aphex comes from china (most likly) and telefunken comes from europe. already in parts and labor you talking a total price of about 900, then add a wooden box and a litle plastic peace that says telefunken on it.
  5. delio

    delio Guest

    Are some of you brain-dead? Did you even take the time to READ the posts at Gearslutz? Telefunken themselves admitted that the differences are minor (i.e; wooden box, Tele logo, different caps, resis.). Are you so dense that you believe a few different caps cost over a $1000? Alicia Keys recommends it so you're buying? Hey, I've got an old '85 Chevy truck with high miles. I'm gonna slap a Corvette logo on it and sell it to you guys so get your checkbooks ready. Hey Anusmissile, are you a Tele rep or what's your deal? Nobody could possibly be so naive.
  6. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    you cannot get(or it is hard to find) a desent dual diaphram capsule for less then 200 to get the one that they got is probably closer to 350 to 400 and a complete recap job done by qualified techs would cost you a preaty penny mabey close to 150-200 then the tube probably 60-120 if not more. and remember the cost of the aphex is 250 so
    1010 consevitive
    1170 relistic

    and thats not counting the wooden box, paint polish and litle plascit square. i mean come on thouse decals are really hard to put on with out ripping. :)
  7. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    I didn't coment on the price, I'm taking about two mics that are similar, with almost the same parts, one sounding like $*^t the other from what poeple are comenting on sounds great, not one person said the M 16 sounds like $*^t, I for one have heard the 460 which sounds like $*^t. Whatever comments get sprung I stand with what I say. Your options are a 200 mic that sounds like crap or a 1200 mic that several people have said sounds great. No I don't work for telefunken, but I do own and run my personal studio, I don't buy $*^t equipment, nor do I like fizzly harsh mics. I earn and buy good equipment. My ears don't lie, hey i live close to tele usa I think I'm going to take a trip down. And if build doesn't matter why does the 460 sound like $*^t?Did you read the gearslutz post, the 460 is 200-300 the mod is around 400, tle has a diff. pwr supply and cabling, so you'll be paying about 700 for a mic thats still a toss up, and even after the mod it might not sound as good as the tele. Delio are you a troll? Delio do you work for GC or MXL or something; are you so dense your ears don't work? One question to wrap it up, delio the troll; are you so fuckin dense you don't relize why i posted? cost of parts don't always dictate the price point of a mic, how it sounds, reacts, and ultimately works for you dictates that.
  8. kats

    kats Guest

    Just a note. Any mic you buy is a rip off if your just adding up how much the components cost. Your not paying for that.

    What you pay for is research and most importantly skill and experience. I'd like to give you an analogy:

    In fine dining, the prep cook chops the onions makes the broth and puts together a decent sauce. The chef walks buy, sticks his finger in it and says "Add another pinch of salt and a splash of wine" and walks away.

    And that my friends is the difference between good enough and great. And that is the difference between a $10.00/hour prep cook and a $100,000 per year Chef :)
  9. pegleg

    pegleg Guest

    If you read carefully through the thread on GS, including Telefunken USA's responses - you would have learned that the capsule IS INDEED the SAME! Telefunken 'chooses' the capsules (apparently a greater quality control), but they are the same Chinese capsules as the Apex 460.

    The tube, a few caps, a few resistors. That's the difference. Oh, and the paint job and badge.

    Dan's tests also pointed to the Tele being noisier.

    Someone else posted these:



    In the end, you have to use them and judge for yourself. I have an Apex 460 that arrived today, and a Tele USA coming tomorrow.

    But, it can't be denied that the whole thing is at least a bit shady... Not what you'd expect from a company who tried to create the public perception that Tele USA has tried to create over the last few years...
  10. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Philadelphia....home of brotherly shove
    The only BS is here, written by those justifying the Telefunken.
    Take a look at the mics. The capsules are certainly the same, the parts different because well, only the negligible parts. The PS are the same, same parts, same everything.

    Did you look at the graphs? The are almost identical, except the TF is noisier and has less low end.

    If TF was going to save money, they'd have made the internal here and had them assembled in China, where the labor is cheap.

    They are the same mic, perios. You wanna deny it, I couldn't care less. By all means, please go buy a few. In fact, you're probably someone who got ripped off and are now trying to defend your purchase.

    TF should have come clean. They ^#$%ed up and got caught. They will pay...they have devalued their product.

    No wonder they get away wuth selling mics like this, with such ingnorant denial flying around. Sorry, you guys are ^#$%ing idiots.....wait, no, I'm not sorry.

  11. kats

    kats Guest

    Hey mad, I don't own one so I have no bias. Just my humble opinion.

    I think it is pretty clear that the main issue against Chinese manafacturing is the quality control. I have alot of personal expereince with Apex mics (I'm Canadian) and those graphs you mention - if you get 1 out of 10 Apex mics to match those graphs I'd be surprised. My *guess* is that the TF mic will nail it alot more often.

    So if anything I'd rather have the parts made in China and have them assembled & tested here. OTOH if you have the opportunity to test a bunch of Apex mics I'm sure you can find a few nice sounding ones.

    It's like Fender guitars. The Mexican ones are hit and miss - but I've played some real good ones. In the end I buy the custom shop versions for 4 X the price because time in and time out they nearly all sound good, and they hold their value.

    Don't think that a Neumann (for eg) and I own a few of them present a better value in the parts per sale price catagory. They're just a bunch of German fellas thinking about getting laid after they finish work too ya know :)
  12. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    did you read the (now dead) gs thread? it said that the telefunken rep said that the capsules where from europe not china. they also said that the case and internal hardware is made overseas to be manufactured here. also reread my post "complete recap job done by qualified techs"

    what we should be upset agienst is aphex, and now carvin and nady for keeping us from the those litle wooden boxs, as i would expect that thouse are made in china. also i dont have a m16 or a 460, but that means nothing if i had bolth then i could tell you for sure, which one sounds better. so all i can say is the TECH matters almost more then anything else.

    give an old silvertone guitar to a master luthier and he will hand you back a masterpiece.
  13. MadGuitrst

    MadGuitrst Active Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Philadelphia....home of brotherly shove
    Kats and Frob:

    All of your points are valid, no doubt.
    But the thing is, look at the close ups on the mics.
    If anything, the Apex looks like it's been put togtether better.

    Also, the person who has compared much more closely than we will is basically letting you know they are about the same mic. Excpet for one thing: the Apex actually specs out better.

    Remember, he didn't hand pick either of the mics, just used the ones sent to him. And he didn't just take a quick peek, he looked very well and even had a spectal analysis done.

    A couple of things. The Chinese mics have gotten better since they were first introduced. Still, I know, QA must be done. Still, just how much of a coincidence would it be that two randomly picked mics spec'd out so closely? And actually, the Telefunken might have been selected and picked as one of their best, who knows?

    All of that being said, this is the mic equivalent to DNA evidence being ignored because the glove didn't fit OJ and certain members of the jury decided they weren't going to convict no matter what.

    In this case, there is microphone DNA evidence and if you are not biased, you just can't deny it.

    Again, not to dismiss you opinions on QC and techs, I agree.
    But it doesn't truly have anything to do with the facts at hand.
    using OJ again, it's like saying:
    OJ was a great football player.
    His wife wasn't
    Therefore he couldn't have killed her.
    The first two opinions are valid, but they have nothing to do with the questions at hand.

    Anyway, I don't really care about it all.....I'm just drawn to trainwrecks.
  14. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    "Apex actually specs out better"
    Explain your theory.
  15. pegleg

    pegleg Guest

    missil - the Apex spec-ing out better is on the

    Well, I bought an Apex 460, and got a Tele USA RFTm16, and used them in sessions today (and will tomorrow and Sunday). And, at first listen, there is very little if any difference. For those who are still unclear, re-read the Tele USA posts on Gearslutz - they ARE the same capsules (this was confirmed by them on the phone as well). They apparently choose them individually, but that's a QC thing. Only the tube and some caps and resisters are different (and supposedly the wiring).

    I can bear out Dan's measurements - the RFt M16 is noticeably noisier than the Apex. It's quite noticeable. Sonically, they have that Chinese mic harshness, a little scooped out in the low mids - pretty much what you'd expect from a $229 retail Chinese mic...
  16. kats

    kats Guest

    Well that pretty much ends this thread.

    So pegleg, IYO would you say the Apex is a good mic, or that the tele is an underperformer? (Forgetting about this price issue)
  17. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    I'm not pegleg, but I'll venture an answer for you:

    The APEX isn't a phenomenal mic, and the Tele isn't an underperformer. They are what they are (the same mic)...which is probably the best Shanghai/Feilo mic made today...which isn't necessarily saying much considering the sound of the capsule and ultra-crappy tranny.

  18. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    May 2, 2005
    Portland, OR
    how can you make a statment like that when they're basically the same mic and one costs $1400 while the other costs $200.

    obviously either one mic is over performing or one mic is under performing based on Price!

  19. shantymaster

    shantymaster Guest

    Both are kind of funky

    As I am the subject of peglegs mike testing and mostly just an untrained set of ears, I had these thoughts about these mikes. It was surprising to hear how close the two actually were to each other sound wise. Bringing up the mikes individually got some strange results as well because the apex was actually quieter (didn't say good).
    That being said, they both suffer from that brittle harshness, High endy with some weirdness in the mids as well, not very smooth, would expect that from a cheaper microphone but not really on a expensive one. Lots of people do, however, like that high end sound and may be better served to try a bunch of different microphones in their price range and let there own ears decide. It is easier than buying something just on someones advice or lack of. You may be better off saving a bit more and getting something that would maybe be a bit more versatile on a variety of different sources. Hope This helps a little.
  20. pegleg

    pegleg Guest

    As the other replies suggest, even IF the Apex is a good mic, you'd still have to say the Tele is an underperformer, since it's almost identical and $1150 more! But, price aside, if I WANTED to buy a harsh and brittle sounding mic, with that nice metallic Chinese high end, I'd buy the Apex. It has a lower noise floor - that's about the biggest difference I could mention. I also slightly prefer the matte finish to the bright chrome. (but the Tele badge is cooler).

    Tele USA told me that the Neu M147 was one of the mics they were 'gunning for'. I see no comparison. The M147 is richer, quieter, has none of the harshness or brittleness (brittality?), and IMO would sound better on a much wider variety of sources. If you had a vocalist who chews on socks while singing, and therefore needs lots of harsh high end to be intelligible - there you go!

    Shantymaster was one of two vocalists who I tried the mics on so far, and the other has a very different voice. The results were the same, though the Apex / Tele mics were more annoying on the other singer.

    I would say the Apex is a good deal for $229 - compared to things like the Rode NT2, the SE5600 (which I haven't compared side-by-side, but the Apex is 1/2 the price - the SE might be a little better sounding generally). I'm not sure I'd buy it over an AT mic in that range. The build quality isn't bad (other than the shock mount), the PSU is fine, so for $229 I can't say a whole lot of bad things.

    I will not wax eloquent that this mic "competes with expensive German microphones costing 10x the price". Or, yes, it competes and loses badly. But if you can't afford a 414 or similar...

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