U47 "ish" mics

CoolCat

Well-known member
U47 "ish" rabbit hole time again.

With the MXL Revel2 returned I still had a interest in a U47- "ish" mic.
Things Ive learned is to not get a LDC thats 28mv aka real sensitive in my room or I pickup the attic fan and the neighbors cat down the street. Mics around 8mv to 15mv can be a nice fit for my room and interface preamps too letting me leave the gain at 50% to 60%. (vs full on with a SM7b). But I still want a solid preamp in the test drive, so the ISA One will be the preamp.

Tubes and FET's are a trade off, the tube mics having more Self Noise in general, and the FETS can be really quiet in the Self Noise numbers.
WA47 jr 9db, very nice Self Noise number. The WARM AUDIO WA-47 JR looked great and has about 9 of 10 good reviews. I got one for Easter deals at $269 shipped. Brand new this time. A little cheaper than the B-stock MXL REVII in the last test drive.

With the K47 capsule as the main draw I considered it in this quest of 47 mics, it was an FET with multi-pattern that won it over another 47FET ( I might try later). I want to get two fig 8 for the vocal & acoustic null thing which Ive never tried. Its shaped like a tube U47, but its a FET and the transformer is not there (better self noise) so its not really a U47 FET hardcore-clone at all.

To give these U47 mics a good preamp, I grabbed a ISA One.
After trying a pile of preamps over the past few years the ISA ONE won my vote for "pro quality" and "Neutral" sound. Not colored too much and also not super sterile...hence Neutral slang. This should be a solid preamp to run a few U47 "ish" mics through.
*as usual the standard is the SM7b and SM58 I compare to in this small HR room.

Seems WARM really got into making a 47 ish mic, but with some cool design changes.

Specs:
1617631556846.png
 

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CoolCat

Well-known member
the AA C47fet...looks decent priced.
The CM47fet also features passive "true" cardiod operation like the original U47/U48, U47fet and the original U87 made before 1988.
Thats an interesting comment.

why does the 47fet keep getting mentioned as a Kick drum mic? lol..high spl?
 

Gtoboy

Active member
I am a big fan of FET mics. To my ears they are not as colored as tube mics that retail for under 1K yet seem smooth and full bodied.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I’ve never heard the sonic advantages of FET spoken about like this. In the 70s Neumann were selling their FET mics as the latest wonderful thing and the magazines back then were not at all convinced. Pretty much the tube vs solid state arguments started then. Some liking clean, some coloured. The FET then was never considered for sound, but for reliability and power supply. However, their performance was very variable and failure rate high. When working properly they were great but at the BBC you’d see quite a few with labels saying noisy!
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
Those must have been a evolutional time when the Tube gear market had the transistors coming...
The Tube vs Solid State chapter.

Just looking at the WARMAUDIO tube 47 vs FET 47 its a huge cost difference, $900 to $300....
while they seemed to try to keep to some "Neumann copy" goal on the Tube version, ....the WA FET 47 is just a different mic all together than the Neumann FET47.

WA47jr from body style, to removing the transformer, adding the MultiPattern, and tuning changes etc... improved self noise (transformer less) and of course with no power supply box needed, theres not much 47 about it but the capsule 47.
The UT 47FET went all in on copying the Neumann FET47.

Tube and FET
Sylvia Massey has a youtube mentioning the WA47 tube is close enough to the original tube, its in the ballpark, close enough to not spend on the stratosphere pricing of a smithsonian museum collectible with aging parts.
She has the room and skills to know; while being aware there could be PAYOLLA Marketing incentives too. hmmm?
I might have to test drive the WA47 tube....but for $800 the expectations triple. The Advanced Audio CM47 tube looks good at $695 and has a lot of gearhead obsession-passion put into the parts (but it has a K67 capsule?)

I dont get the capsule thing, a 67 is a U67 isnt it? Why make a U47 copy and put in a K67 capsule?
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
the AA C47fet...looks decent priced.
The CM47fet also features passive "true" cardiod operation like the original U47/U48, U47fet and the original U87 made before 1988.
Thats an interesting comment.

why does the 47fet keep getting mentioned as a Kick drum mic? lol..high spl?
Roswell makes a Mini K47 and also a Mini K47KD, the latter designed for high SPLs, more headroom and better bass. I’m guessing putting the EQ and pad switches/electronics in a single “Mini” body was not possible. They look interesting but I’ve got enough LDCs, possibly even too many with 3, right now....
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
LDC's....as someone said "theres oceans of them now". The WARM 47 JR showed up and a MXL V67G HE, and oddly they are close in diameter so much the metal mesh pop filter of the MXL and Spider Shock Mount fits the WARM 47 JR. Both are <$300, $129 and $260.

The recording hacks shows U47 at 240mm x 63mm diameter. The WA47JR 210mm52dia mm. Which seems fairly close, but it was surprising I expected a big large thing.
160mm and 63mm for the U47 FET ....very strange, imo.187mm..47dia mm for the V67G. The UT 47FET is 210mm 63mm dia. ....254mm and 60 diamm for the WA 47 Tube.
seems odd, but for a never built a mic in my life guy, the Body dimensions seems to me, would be the easiest to match perfectly?
 

Gtoboy

Active member
LDC's....as someone said "theres oceans of them now". The WARM 47 JR showed up and a MXL V67G HE, and oddly they are close in diameter so much the metal mesh pop filter of the MXL and Spider Shock Mount fits the WARM 47 JR. Both are <$300, $129 and $260.

The recording hacks shows U47 at 240mm x 63mm diameter. The WA47JR 210mm52dia mm. Which seems fairly close, but it was surprising I expected a big large thing.
160mm and 63mm for the U47 FET ....very strange, imo.187mm..47dia mm for the V67G. The UT 47FET is 210mm 63mm dia. ....254mm and 60 diamm for the WA 47 Tube.
seems odd, but for a never built a mic in my life guy, the Body dimensions seems to me, would be the easiest to match perfectly?
Kinda got to watch out with diameter specs since they aren't regulated. Some mfg spec is only the diaphragm itself and others measure the entire assembly.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
well its been about a week. I really like the WA 47 jr.

1) its really quiet, no self noise
2) FET offers less clutter with the tube box which is nice in a small place.
3) Patterns worked well and are noticeable, the FIGURE 8 can really tune out a acoustic guitar when the mic is pointed at the singer and the null-of the 8 is aimed at the guitar..nice tool.


Ive not owned many LDC I can recall, a MXL 890, huge thing, a RODE NTV, all the SHure KSM's.....this month the MXL V67G and the WA47 jr.

The V67G needs more distance and seemed to kind of "muffle blurr" when I got too close, but finding a sweet spot wasnt a big deal and its so so cheap and amazing deal. I did not hear any mythchineese capsule issues....the V67G has a transformer maybe that smooths the SSsss's a bit.

The WA47 jr was heavier in weight, all the top line parts are inside and the capsule a pride of Warm in their 47 tube. The mic sounded really good to me. It handled various positions better with getting up close or further away. The headbasket is waaay more metal and tough than the other, its very solid and well built probably adding to the weight. The WA47jr feels like a more expensive mic due to the weight and better headbasket, in addition to the components listed. The capsule took my Ssss's well too. I did have the MXL metal pop filter on. The WA47 had a shock and a standard holder, and the MXL metal popfilter worked on it too. There is no doubt a lot of extra build quality in the Warm mic over that MXL, for the extra $100.

Like Keith mentioned I cant justify a mic locker these days, so I dont need more the same. Its hard though the MXL HE V67G is so cheap and just for the metal pop filter and shockmount and case, its worth the $100....add in the mic? its amazing deal. Maybe I can gift it.....?

the WA47jr is probably the best deal and best mic due to the Multi-Pattern and well built capsule, extra mic stand was a great touch. I dont hear a lot of difference from my old "tube mic" tracks to this FET either. I think the 10mv/pa WA47jr FET is perfect for the small room too, getting into 18mv to 28mv sensitive, my HR space is too noisy and those sensitve mics pickup too much next door.

I was very impressed with how quiet the WA47 jr Fet was and its excellent pickup patterns really work. Its a lot of mic and extras for $260, with EASTER discounts and free shipping and no tax from Front End Audio. They have a WA47 Tube and the UT 47 FET(cardiod only).
I get turned off when the 47Fet is aimed at kick drums...I think the 47jr was more of a original design offering multi patterns, so I dont know.

I got a quote of $5,000 to paint my house ...so I did it myself for $150 and hours, in my world that gives me some cash to spend on mics.
 

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CoolCat

Well-known member
Ive been reading a lot about the mics. The U47 history and the painstaking clone work like scientists that go into it.
But like someone posted "there never will be a true clone" due to the V14 obsolete which is why Neumann stopped their own U47.
The U47 FET didnt seem to satisfy all the old pro's though..like Geoff Emerick etc..
I guess it was like George Harrison saying "there wont be a Beatles reunion as long as Johns dead".

but the U47 capsuie design is , as some of the mic experts say, "the most important" part of the mic. Capsule reigns over components,headbasket weaves and pop filters and transformers too. So 47 capsules remain and those have been copied closely, painstakingly.with little holes and the microns of gold etc... but openning up to the 47 Capsule comparisons is too enourmous a selection isnt it? Too much for me...maybe Sweetwater or Vintage King can do a U47 competition clone wars or something...

I was just looking for something close to a 47....or a 67....or a 87 and it seems this stuff is all over the place. Now Im selling some gear to get into a bit more cash. But the tube 47 is the one it seems, not the 47 FET which is great on a kick drum...I read 100 times....

Maybe the WA-47 Tube...Sylvia Massey has the original and the WA-47 and say its close enough and to me...its about $15,000 cheaper. lol

Warm seemed to painstakingly make their capsule design or copy, and the internal components are as good as most get today. The headbasket and grill even.

Anyone have any WA 47 Tube unbiased opinions....no pun intended.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
I still never understood the whole concept of copying any fabled pice of equipment, mic, pre, pedal, whatever, and saying it sounds like the original, but with 'improvements'. To me, whatever they're 'improving' usually ends up having something to do with the original's sound quality, so that it's not really just quite exactly 'there'.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
the SM7b has gone through many preamps, recently in this thread the most "neutral" and confident preamp I thought would be a ISA One.
The SM7b dissatisfied? today it might be said as "requires some eq", is all......
the SM7b/SM58 are my standards and really the noise floor is great, the pattern is great, they are the ones to compare to.

.....but theres that LDC "thing" missing and GAS. Was just reading an engineer recorded Tyler/Aerosmith album lead vocal with a SM57....lol its funny , considering its a $99 mic. BeachBoys SM520 etc...

the whole 47-ish thing is just possibly the biggest "myth-folklore-unobtainable" Beatle mic curiosity of what do they really soundlike? pursuit. I could go rent and lay down some tracks and compare, but for now its just rabbit hole stuff... reading the 47 seems to be some obsession.
The U87 and U67 dont have the "magic" probably because they are still in production.

of course while 47 capsule, mic seeking... one can get side-tracked on noise floors and selling some small pieces of gear, and reading...lol

Im also reading a lot and the power supplies in the cheaper tube mics seem to burn out, a weak point, more posts relating to this issue. Just in general I get the impression Tube stuff is more maintenance and care.
That MXL Revelation I think had some power supply issue.... maybe why it was Bstock. I had a RODE NTV that was the first for me.

WARM and the WA47 tube $800 seems to really have tried to get to the sound, I dont know about AA 47's and others. $800-$1200.

Also wonder about the FET 47, that UT 47FET is really made to spec. $800.
Metallica, ACDC, some R&B singers seemed to like the FET47... less hassle than tube but seems the consensus is it doesnt have the "creamy, warm, glue, magic, butter, harmonics, smoothness" as the folklore goes.

really?
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
....

Also wonder about the FET 47, that UT 47FET is really made to spec. $800.
Metallica, ACDC, some R&B singers seemed to like the FET47... less hassle than tube but seems the consensus is it doesnt have the "creamy, warm, glue, magic, butter, harmonics, smoothness" as the folklore goes.

really?
In the 2nd/recent last Roswell video, he basically says the tube amplification gives some gentle compression, which is probably the "magic" people hear, along with the inherent noise, of course. It's becoming clear that a lot of what studios bring is the gentle compression going in, whether in a tube mic or inline compressors, along with mic selection from a bigger "locker" and a set of ears that has (or should have!) the experience to quickly hear which mic will get the best track.

As home recorders, we spend a fair amount of time trying mics, usually to see if we can get the best track just for our own input, and often can't afford (or justify) keeping every mic we buy and reject. And, we don't often get the experience of trying a mic on dozens of different voices and instruments to find a place to put it in our heads that says "try that Acme Ω99..." you bought a few years back, to realize it's just perfect on the pi-pa...

I might consider a hardware compressor before I get any more mics, actually.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
... less hassle than tube but seems the consensus is it doesnt have the "creamy, warm, glue, magic, butter, harmonics, smoothness" as the folklore goes.

really?
I always loved the flowery language that some people use when describing their favorite audio. One of my favorites that always showed up in the audiophile mags was "lifted the veils". After 5 or 10 years of veil lifting, surely the emperor had no clothes!

In another thread, a fellow was concerned because he though his rendered file didn't sound the same as what he was hearing from his DAW. After he did a null test, he commented that maybe his ears were deceiving him. Part of my reply to him was:

Your comment about your ears deceiving you is perfectly valid,,, its one reason that I always take comments on gear with a grain of salt. Perception bias is very real. I always say that if I know the answer, I will get it right a lot more often! I get a chuckle when I come across to the comparisons that are put up by SoundPure. They do most of their comparisons blind. You have to email them to get the actual answers. People go ballistic in the comment section with how they waste everyone's time because they don't tell you what you're listening to. The key is which sounds better to you... NOT which one is closest to Mic A or Preamp B.

A microphone that is 70 years old might be legendary, but that doesn't mean that every remaining example is perfect. Setting a device as some type of absolute standard is pointless. You wouldn't consider a 1958 Corvette as the pinnacle of auto excellence. It might be a really cool car (I would love to have one). The same thing happens with '59 Les Pauls, and pre-CBS Strats. The fact that Sinatra used a U47, or that Clapton played a 59 LP doesn't prove anything except that they were very good items at that time.


There's no way the 99% of home recordists will ever pay $5-10,000 for a single microphone. The upkeep alone (tubes, etc) is more than something like the 47Jr. The fact that you can get a mic like the 47Jr for $300 is nothing short of amazing.

Can you imagine if the computer world held the same reverence for vintage gear? I'm sure my laptop woud never match the performance of a Univac II or even a vintage IBM 305 RAMDAC! All that tube warmth is incredible.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
I always loved the flowery language

yes, its up there with "and of course you can EQ it to your liking"...or it takes EQ real well (comment on a $4800 U47 copy).

I was thinking the whole idea of cash on the mic is its built well but also it sounds glorious and gooywarmbutter without eq?
I can EQ my $99 microphone too and keep the $4700?
Aside from the customer bling .... I get that, paying customers want some swag gear and even if you use the MXL on them you did it by choice not because the studio only has hello-kitty mics.

I spent a few hours reading on U47 and the 47-ish mics and like usual, like when I stumbled on the SM7b, it was articles from pro's that really have some clout when they mention good stuff they like and its not in a advertisement, but instead in some small comversation or something. The U47 mics are a different mic than a SM7b...can they be EQ'd to sound the same? I dont know. The difference is SM7b is $350 and the U47 tube stuff is often $3500...not including EQ.

Recording Hacks is outdated but lists a lot of 47 capsule mics...and mics with 47 in the name but using 67 capsules?

Anyone else been down this rabbit hole? of course....but please chip in. Im all ears.
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
the FLEA 47 $4k to $5k... gets a lot of praise but the SOS conclusion is so similar to so many other posts and conclusions..
its "unobtanium" .....lol its like no matter even at the top ten of copys, the "unobtanium" strikes again. So depending on which condition or specific shape a U47 might be...any LDC might kind of sound like a U47 of some form of condition depending on age, health, butter flavor...:eatpopcorn:

Conclusion

While this reborn 47 isn't a budget mic by any means, it fills the role of its Neumann ancestor in being an extremely able all‑rounder, as well as being a solid performer on vocals. It is, however, difficult to test the degree of authenticity of the sound, because even if you hire in a few old U47s, the chances are they'll all sound different due to the ageing of the components. When picking a mic to suit your own voice, it's always best to try a few mics to see what works best, but where you need a mic that can be massaged to suit many different singers, the Flea 47 fits the bill nicely, as its lack of obvious coloration makes it easier to shape using EQ. The Flea is also a very practical alternative to an original U47, as these may need a lot of expensive TLC to keep them going.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I think if you really want a 47-ish clone that gets close, IMHO, you have to get a tube mic. Yes, a good clone/version of the capsule will be close, but why imagine that a solid state version of what was originally a tube circuit is going to fill in the remaining 20% (or whatever it is)? That WA-47 is a lot more [coin] than the Jr, but it gets pretty consistent reviews, and I'd guess the WA engineers have had their hands on enough originals to probably get as close as anyone, certainly in that price range.

I mean, there's a point where it's all just navel gazing, and wondering "what-ifs" - if you don't have a good tube mic in the locker, you'll never have a tube mic capture. Of course, *you* personally may not need or benefit from it (or perhaps, be able to hear it), but I have been focusing on trying to pick good, affordable examples of a type. (Ribbon is still a likely next, but aging house stuff like roof leaks along with ancient body parts seem to keep knocking on the finance door...)
 

CoolCat

Well-known member
the more I read the draw might not hold my interest.
the money sinking into a mic, that my elder-ears might not hear anyway is a likely truth. thats cool....its been a fun read of the history and those who have far more obsession of the U47 than me (they actually build mics and such).

I agree many say the WA47 is close enough (Sylvia Massey) others say not at all close and most with the real one are actually making money with their mics, which I definitelyt am not. I could pull the trigger but I think I might 'rent' or something, or try some stores return open-box if they dont mind.

and as SOS mentions ...even the originals are all over the place, which kind of tossed cold water on this venture into the unobtanium mic.

Time travel seems to be the only answer to hear the new original U47, I would need fresh ears too.
 
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