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The Neumann U47/48 and the VF14 tube
Old 31st December 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The Neumann U47/48 and the VF14 tube

There might be more to the story of the mic and the (flawed) tube....and there's more than a tinge of sadness and fatefulness about the finite supply of the latter...than we're given here:

https://londonjazzcollector.wordpres...47-microphone/

....but it's a gripping story nonetheless (plus you get the U47/48 owner's manual into the bargain). Sinatra aside, Neumann just moved onto their next big things....the M49/50 (fated to have a similar tube relationship with the 701) and the U67.

The world moves on....except that nowadays there'd be a Chinese or East European plant revving up production of consistently performing VF14 and AC701 units....especially with the hunger for U47/48 so ravenous (or is it ?)

Happy New Year Remotesters
Old 31st December 2019
  #2
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for posting this! I like the London Jazz Collector blog, it was very helpful for me on my quest to learn how Miles Davis' bands were recorded at CBS 30th Street Studios. I'll have to check out more of this blog!
Old 31st December 2019
  #3
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
There might be more to the story of the mic and the (flawed) tube....and there's more than a tinge of sadness and fatefulness about the finite supply of the latter... The world moves on....except that nowadays there'd be a Chinese or East European plant revving up production of consistently performing VF14 and AC701 units....especially with the hunger for U47/48 so ravenous (or is it ?)

Happy New Year Remotesters
Actually, there is a direct replacement for the VF14 available in the UK!
http://www.saturn-sound.com/products...nt%20valve.htm
(I have no affiliation with Saturn Sound but the website is a great resource for early Neumann and AKG background info)
Happy New Year to all you Slutz too!
Old 1st January 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Great find Jim ! Saturn also have a great selection of vintage mics for sale: http://www.saturn-sound.com/selling/list.htm
It's obviously a successful product line for them to maintain...I wonder how many working U47/48 units there are worldwide ?
Old 1st January 2020
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Roger Waters is and Chris Cornell was an owner of a U47. Fred Durst punched one during a vocal take back in the day and destroyed it from what I remember reading.
Old 1st January 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
https://www.historyofrecording.com/Rick_Nelson.html

An interesting diversion into the role of the U47 in a typical early Elvis or Rick Nelson session, with a tip of the hat to Messrs. Fletcher and Munsen
Old 31st March 2020
  #7
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
So what IS it? Clearly it's an adaptor to put an "ML1955" tube in place of the original VF14....but what the hell is an "ML1955" anyway?
The website shows two different tubes in place: http://www.saturn-sound.com/products...nstruction.htm and I could make some guesses about what they look like they are but I won't since it's not clear that either one of them became the final "ML1955" product.

That said... there's no reason you can't put a different tube in place of the VF14 in those microphones. The microphones will sound different, but I always liked the FET and nuvistor versions of the U47 more than the original anyway. Some people disagree with me.
Old 31st March 2020 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
So what IS it? Clearly it's an adaptor to put an "ML1955" tube in place of the original VF14....but what the hell is an "ML1955" anyway?
The website shows two different tubes in place: http://www.saturn-sound.com/products...nstruction.htm and I could make some guesses about what they look like they are but I won't since it's not clear that either one of them became the final "ML1955" product.

That said... there's no reason you can't put a different tube in place of the VF14 in those microphones. The microphones will sound different, but I always liked the FET and nuvistor versions of the U47 more than the original anyway. Some people disagree with me.
Wow when did you join GS? Nice to see you here.
Old 31st March 2020 | Show parent
  #9
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
So what IS it? Clearly it's an adaptor to put an "ML1955" tube in place of the original VF14....but what the hell is an "ML1955" anyway?
According to Asley C. Styles of Saturn Sound, it is a custom designed and manufactured valve...(or maybe a 'tweak' of an existing miniature tube?) Probably manufactured in China, as there are manufacturers there who can do that to a price point - £ 260.00 GBP retail.

"For obvious reasons, I wanted to keep the sound and electrical qualities of the Telefunken VF14. The only way to do this, would require a custom made valve being manufactured. To justify the large financial outlay of such a project, the valve would also be used in other "Missing Link" designs and modifications. Therefore, it was decided that the valve should be designed, cosmetically, around that of a smaller format type. Then being fitted into a suitable housing, with VF14 pin-out, for use in U47/U48 microphones. Of course, the physical size of the valve proper would be determined by that of the internal make-up of the original VF14. Fortunately, the final design for the custom valve, is much shorter than that of the majority of conventional low-power "Pentode" type valves."
Old 31st March 2020
  #10
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Ashley Styles has sadly passed on.
Old 1st April 2020 | Show parent
  #11
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
Ashley Styles has sadly passed on.
I am sorry to hear that. I did not know the man but I have found his Saturn Sound website very informative (including the articles by the late Mike Skeet). RIP.
Old 1st April 2020 | Show parent
  #12
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
According to Asley C. Styles of Saturn Sound, it is a custom designed and manufactured valve...(or maybe a 'tweak' of an existing miniature tube?) Probably manufactured in China, as there are manufacturers there who can do that to a price point - £ 260.00 GBP retail.
I am very skeptical about this.... but if the poor fellow is not around any longer it is academic anyway.
--scott
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
Ashley Styles has sadly passed on.
Well, that's odd since I met him on Monday this week: he drove over to my house to deliver a mic that I was buying from him. There seemed nothing ethereal about him (it was broad daylight), and it would seem to be a peculiarly mundane thing for a spectral visit: and surely ghosts don't provide an invoice?

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Glad to hear that my info was erroneous. He lives, which is good news.

Last edited by Plush; 4 weeks ago at 06:58 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
Glad to hear that my info was erroneous. He lives which is good news.
Well, it's good advice to never publish someone's death unless absolutely certain! Ashley seems hale and hearty, just retired from Leicestershire back to Norfolk. Not sure how many of his amazing mics on his for sale list are still available, but he had what I wanted (AKG 394). And, though effectively retired, he has a workshop at the new house: he wasn't convinced by the capsule in the mic in terms of noise, so replaced it with one he had in stock.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #16
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 ➡️
Well, it's good advice to never publish someone's death unless absolutely certain! Ashley seems hale and hearty, just retired from Leicestershire back to Norfolk. Not sure how many of his amazing mics on his for sale list are still available, but he had what I wanted (AKG 394). And, though effectively retired, he has a workshop at the new house: he wasn't convinced by the capsule in the mic in terms of noise, so replaced it with one he had in stock.

Cheers,

Roland
I am glad that Asley is alive and well and, especially, that his valuable Saturn Sound website is too.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanBarley ➡️
Wow when did you join GS? Nice to see you here.
Thank you! My wife tells me if I am actually trying to sell products I need to be on GS so... I usually do what my wife says.
--scott
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