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Telefunken Ela-M 251 question
Old 8th February 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Telefunken Ela-M 251 question

what's the difference between a telefunken USA ela m 251 E and 251 F ? the specs are identical as far as i can tell. also, if you could tell me the difference between their u47 ae and u47 m, i'd appreciate it.
Old 8th February 2009
  #2
Moderator
 
Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
their website explains it. One is (allegedly) completely historically correct (inc psu etc), the other has modern psu etc.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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James Lugo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That's it exactly, more detail to make it look original on the inside. They do a groove around the piece that holds the capsule because the way use to make the capsules they snapped into a backet or something, they also use gold screws etc... And the power supply is a modern one with the 'F'. I think they sound vertually the same. I've used booth countless times, not at the same time, they are booth great.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rimskidog ➑️
their website explains it. One is (allegedly) completely historically correct (inc psu etc), the other has modern psu etc.
It seems that their version named V(for original vintage parts) + AC (original *701k tube) is practically identical or historically correct, but at appropriatelly higher price. I think that all versions are indeed great, with VAC being a bit closer to 'that ELAM magic'.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Volodia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair ➑️
James, everything you mentioned was incorrect. The F uses a PSU that I believe is made in China, but sounds fine, and you don't get the fancy case. Nothing about the mics themselves is any different.
.
Well apparently the capsule is different . On the F it's named TK12 and CK12 on the E .

They say the TK12 is the same sound but different construction . How "equal" are those capsules ?

Did you have a chance to check them , cause I remembered you saying they had made changes on the new series of mikes .
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
everyone is too obsessed with things being "historically accurate." not everything is always necessarily better if it's 50 years old; some new technology is very advanced and excellent. don't get me wrong, i love vintage gear and own more of it than i do new stuff, but i'd never NOT buy something just because it's not vintage; if it sounds good to you, that's all that matters. i've known people who are so materialistic and shallow that they'll actually eschew superior sound for the "ooohs" and "aaaahs" they get from their equally vacuous friends. at that point it's not gear; it's jewelry.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volodia ➑️
Well apparently the capsule is different . On the F it's named TK12 and CK12 on the E .

They say the TK12 is the same sound but different construction . How "equal" are those capsules ?

Did you have a chance to check them , cause I remembered you saying they had made changes on the new series of mikes .
one thing i know for sure is that my vintage ones use a ck12 capsule and 6072a tube, as most of them did. apparently, the ac701 tube was added briefly as an alternative to meet certain broadcasting standards. i don't think one is necessarily better than the other; they're just for different applications. the t-usa website seems to give the same blurb for every mic variation in the 251 series, which is ridiculous and unprofessional considering their high prices. when charging nearly $10,000 for a mic, the company should at least make the info as clear as possible, indicating any and all differences between models. the site is pretty thorough otherwise and they seem like a fine company that cares about their work. anyway, judging by what i've found so far, i think the t-usa 251 E uses all vintage parts, while the F swaps the old capsule for a new one (plus power supply and case differences). i guess the 251-AC model is exactly the same as the 251-E model, but with the ac701 tube. i don't even see a 251-V model on the site, can anyone provide a link?
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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James Lugo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair ➑️
James, everything you mentioned was incorrect. The F uses a PSU that I believe is made in China, but sounds fine, and you don't get the fancy case. Nothing about the mics themselves is any different.

.
What I wrote is what Alan from TelefunkenUSA told me. He said the F powersupply was a modern PSU and they put grooves around the plastic that circles the capsule like the original and the cost increase is that a lot of them break while doing it and there's a waste factor. He also said they use gold screws on the E's like the originals and that the screws they use on the F's are actually better.

That's what the manufacturer told me to my face.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
okay, i finally got a chance to speak with a company rep over the phone and he told me that the one and only internal difference between E and F is the capsule (former uses ck12, latter uses tk12 - he said they're exactly the same, sonically). he didn't mention anything about gold screws and plastic circles, but that doesn't mean it isn't true - perhaps he thought it too insignificant... which would mean he was lying to me, which would really piss me off. then again, maybe they just changed the design.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you do a search of GS using telefunken and member mjdice (or is it jjdice) he has taken them apart and compared them and says there are other odds and sods like differing caps and the like - worth a read just for his rant actually ;-)

Edit: aha, jjblair I meant but I see he's entered the fray already!
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo ➑️
What I wrote is what Alan from TelefunkenUSA told me. He said the F powersupply was a modern PSU and they put grooves around the plastic that circles the capsule like the original and the cost increase is that a lot of them break while doing it and there's a waste factor. He also said they use gold screws on the E's like the originals and that the screws they use on the F's are actually better.

That's what the manufacturer told me to my face.
James, OK. Then I completely misunderstood Alan, because I was under the impression that they no longer made the TK12, which was their original try at the CK12 type. From my discussions, I was under the impression that there were more differences than the grooves, but I could be wrong. Maybe Alan or Ian can clear that up?

Having taken apart a V, I can tell you that there is no difference between the guts on that and the E. And from the picture they have of the guts of the F on their website, the guts are exactly the same. I believe they stopped using that custom metalized film cap, which I think is a very god thing. Rimski, so I don't know what dice was looking at, but I have an E right here at this moment, and the caps are the same as the one on the site, with the exception of that metalized film I mentioned, which I pray they discontinued using.

James, whether it's modern or not, I recall that the PSU is made in China, which is what keeps the costs down. I have one of those PSUs, and have been satisfied with it. the sound is good. Haven't run tests on it, but the RF rejection is fine, etc.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Moderator
 
James Lugo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alan told me that a few years back when I bought my E. But remember I'm not an expert at any of this design stuff so he could have just used more laymen terms with me.

p.s. Thanks for the nice email regarding my mom. Looks like she's gonna be ok.

James
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Gloves ➑️
one thing i know for sure is that my vintage ones use a ck12 capsule and 6072a tube, as most of them did. apparently, the ac701 tube was added briefly as an alternative to meet certain broadcasting standards. i don't think one is necessarily better than the other; they're just for different applications.
AC701k was initially introduced for ELAM251, it was designed as low noise preamp tube for microphones and certainly it met all requirements of German broadcasting standards.
6072a was added to 'E'xport version (pressumably to US) with 6072 as easy to find replacement. To my ears they are different, but not to degree to call 6072a equipped mic as inferior.
In case that one looks for great 251 sound IMO both 'E' and 'AC' version would do the trick.
To my ears CK12 (Austrian made original) has some edge over newer TK12, but they are in same ballpark, no reason to worry, too.
It's clear, that other parts are newly made per 'original specs', but in general with CK-12+right transformer+AC701k I find Tele USA ELAM251 to sound identically to one or two of the best vintage mics I could find for comparison and better than rest of orginal 251s that were either repaired or modified in less than stellar way.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
btw- the guy i spoke with today was ian. he said the capsule is the one and only internal difference between e and f. and again, the with the ac, the tube is just different, not better.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Gloves ➑️
btw- the guy i spoke with today was ian. he said the capsule is the one and only internal difference between e and f. and again, the with the ac, the tube is just different, not better.
Correct.
In current production Tele USA uses own CK12 or TK12 capsules.
Difference is per some users minimal or no at all.
Due to shortage of original AKG CK12 capsules they don't sell V series (for vintage) anymore, so only second hand market can provide some of them.
In direct comparisons between 'V' and 'non V' 251s should be mentioned that AKG made CK12 is 'original vintage part vs. remake' and being the most critical part of any microphone it contributes to 'V' series to be considered as practically identical mic to the best restored vintage originals.

From Tele USA original specs:







AKG CK12

Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➑️
Correct.
In current production Tele USA uses own CK12 or TK12 capsules.
Difference is per some users minimal or no at all.
Due to shortage of original AKG CK12 capsules they don't sell V series (for vintage) anymore, so only second hand market can provide some of them.
In direct comparisons between 'V' and 'non V' 251s should be mentioned that AKG made CK12 is 'original vintage part vs. remake' and being the most critical part of any microphone it contributes to 'V' series to be considered as practically identical mic to the best restored vintage originals.
GYang, a couple things. First, the CK12 you have pictured is not the correct one found in a 251. That one did not appear until later.

The V is not identical, to originals. Not saying it's not good. I'm just saying in many ways, it's not identical, from component values, to component types.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
T- Funk Ian's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello all,

We have added a page to the website that gives you a side-by-side breakdown specs of all of our mics.

TELEFUNKEN | USA β„’ - Compare TELEFUNKEN Microphones

I hope that helps.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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James Lugo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telefunken USA ➑️
Hello all,

We have added a page to the website that gives you a side-by-side breakdown specs of all of our mics.

TELEFUNKEN | USA β„’ - Compare TELEFUNKEN Microphones

I hope that helps.
Great idea!
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Your mics are awesome-stuff of gearslut dreams!...

FWIW my two faves are a toss up between the C12 and 251.

Chris

P.S. Dan Alexander was super-helpful with great info when I was trying them at NAMM too.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair ➑️

The V is not identical, to originals.
Intention was to say 'identical sounding as originals', at least to my ears it is totally same ballpark, same magic, depth, low end and highs, within reasonable tolerance that anyway makes difference between two original, well serviced and kept in order ELAMs 251.
Here Tele USA differs to any other remake, clone or tribute to 251 I heard so far, so it would be fair to say that Tele USA mic (or at least this particular ELAM 251VAC) sounds same as indeed only very good original ELAM 251 sound, opposite to other cloner that are 'very close' in the best case.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
TanTan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have a 251 F and LOVE it ! it's a great microphone ! I've been told that the F power supply is made by Korby in the USA not in China, I've also been told by Tele USA that the E and F sounds 100% identical. so i ended up buying the F and very happy with it. the only thing i would recommend is replacing the stock ECC81 with a 6072a, you can ask for a 6072 from Tele USA if you buy a new mic, their service is great and they always very helpful and informative.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Meriphew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think it would be cool if someone (ahem .. JJ...) would do a cool article comparing/contrasting all the 251's out there (of course including originals). Maybe a round table of golden ears doing a 251 shoot out.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Meri, there's plenty of those already. The main question is who is making the most correct sounding CK12, and there's your answer. That's 90% of the battle.

I'll ask Alan about the PSU.

GYang, we're hearing different things, but I don't want to get into it. Apparently almost nobody hears the stuff I'm hearing, and I'm tired of talking about it.
Old 19th February 2009
  #24
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PdotDdot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Telefunken Ela-M 251 question

For anyone with a hefty bank account, there is a matched pair of vintage Telefunken ELAM 251's listed on Ebay for a mere $59,000. You've all probably seen the post but in case....
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
jlaber's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Does anyone know if the later GE 6072A tubes sound as smooth as the 5-star in a 251? I have one with green lettering that one web site suggests it is from the early 80s.

I only had an RCA 12AY7 to compare it to but the GE sounds a little harsh to me. The gray-plate RCA was smoother but a little mushy.

Photos attached
Attached Thumbnails
Telefunken Ela-M 251 question-dsc_0518.jpg   Telefunken Ela-M 251 question-dsc_0519.jpg  
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Addict
 
The Studio RI's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
so, let me get this right... TeleUSA now has TWO versions of the original CK12? The TK12, which is the older "remake" and the NEW CK12 which is the TeleUSA clone? Here is a quote from the Tele site:

"TELEFUNKEN | USA is proud to be the manufacturer of the ELA M 12, painstakingly built to the specifications of the original Austrian blueprints. Our new CK12 capsule is built to meet the original manufacturers technical specifications, and we utilize a custom built Haufe (the original manufacturer of the C12 transformer) output transformer, built to match the original."

I'm still boggled by the fact that it is so diffucult to make an exact replica of this capsule. I mean, really... with all the CAD programs and such manufacturing tools we have today, not only should we be able to build an exact replica, but we should be able to send the specs to china and mass produce the suckers! (and don't bore me with the QC argument... you can get great QC and still maintain low cost if you hire a reputable manufacturer).
Old 19th March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
T- Funk Ian's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Studio RI ➑️
so, let me get this right... TeleUSA now has TWO versions of the original CK12? The TK12, which is the older "remake" and the NEW CK12 which is the TeleUSA clone? Here is a quote from the Tele site:

"TELEFUNKEN | USA is proud to be the manufacturer of the ELA M 12, painstakingly built to the specifications of the original Austrian blueprints. Our new CK12 capsule is built to meet the original manufacturers technical specifications, and we utilize a custom built Haufe (the original manufacturer of the C12 transformer) output transformer, built to match the original."

I'm still boggled by the fact that it is so diffucult to make an exact replica of this capsule. I mean, really... with all the CAD programs and such manufacturing tools we have today, not only should we be able to build an exact replica, but we should be able to send the specs to china and mass produce the suckers! (and don't bore me with the QC argument... you can get great QC and still maintain low cost if you hire a reputable manufacturer).
That is correct. Actually, as far as I am aware, we have always called our capsule the CK12. The TK12 didn't come into the picture until the Professional or "F" series packages were introduced. The "older remake" was actually called the CK12, not the TK12.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I was always scared to pull the trigger on the F's because I was scared they were inferior capsules - that they were the CK-12 rejects. I have absolutely nothing to base that on, so pardon me if that's irresponsible to say. If that's wrong Ian, set me straight.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telefunken USA ➑️
That is correct. Actually, as far as I am aware, we have always called our capsule the CK12. The TK12 didn't come into the picture until the Professional or "F" series packages were introduced. The "older remake" was actually called the CK12, not the TK12.
Ian, check with Toni on that. I recall it being called the TK12 at its inception.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaber ➑️
Does anyone know if the later GE 6072A tubes sound as smooth as the 5-star in a 251? I have one with green lettering that one web site suggests it is from the early 80s.

I only had an RCA 12AY7 to compare it to but the GE sounds a little harsh to me. The gray-plate RCA was smoother but a little mushy.

Photos attached
The green GE 6072a tubes are considered the worst of the GE 6072 lot. Their rejection rate for microphone specs was very high, and the AKG engineers were very aware to steer clear of them. If you go though a bunch, you can find some good ones, but the five star, triple mica, square getter GE is pretty much considered the cream of the crop. Pretty much everybody knows to stay away from the green paint GEs for mics.
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