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neumann um-57
Old 8th October 2002
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
neumann um-57

hi folks,
does anybod of you know anything about this mike,except charakteristics, or has somebody even used one ? help highly appreciated.zobel
Old 8th October 2002
  #2
I enjoyed it on a Vox AC30 once. Quite rare, not in the 'top ten' vintage mic's legends IMHO
.

Old 9th October 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Try Neumanns message board and mic history page. I'm pretty sure it uses an M7 capsule like the U47 but that's where the similarity stops from what I've heard. I've never had the chance to use one. Also, chances are that whichever one you found is in need of a major overhaul to be "right" again.
Old 9th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I own one. I got it and had it modified by Stephen Paul Audio with a 1.5 micron diaphragm, and a jensen transformer. I think Stephen told me it has the same capsule as the U47. Anyways, when it came back, it sounded furcking amazing. Absolute classic rich mellow smooth mids lows highs etc microphone. In good tube mics, I hear a sort of compression characteristic that makes a person's voice sound more intense than when listening directly. This mic had it.

Unfortunately, a few hours later the tube died. Fruck. Anyways, it's back in the SPA shop. Stephen is supposed to lathe out new parts to hold a more readily available tube. Appparantly, the type of tube in the UM57 is quite difficult to obtain.

I never had a chance to hear it unmodified. I bought it in non-functional condition.

The total cost of the mic and the mod will be way under the cost of a vintage U47 in decent shape (at least $1000). I'd say that the my modified UM57 is excellent competition for any classic mic.

If you can get a 57 for a decent price I'd strongly reccomend sending it to SPA if you have the budget. I'm having to wait for the new parts to be made- mine's the prototype for the new tube mod, but once Stephen figures it out he told me that he'd make a few for future quick turnaround.
Old 9th October 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Neumann UM57 uses a EC92 tube..

It's not that hard to get hold on..

Jakob Erland
gyraf Audio
Attached Thumbnails
neumann um-57-um57.gif  
Old 9th October 2002
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
thanks folks i really appreciate your help. i´ve bought it.
but could somebody tell me, how i can get the schematic gyraf posted, printed out ? greetings from zobel. i´ll keep you informed.
Old 9th October 2002
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
sorry guys. sometimes i´m quite dumb and then my mac thinks for me and by simply pressing apple/P my problems are solved. so long , zobel
i´ll let you know, if it´s in the major league. the mike.
Old 10th October 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
UM57's can sound quite good, however they also often sound pretty average. This is because (apart from the obvious considerations of how well a vintage mic has been cared for) the quality of east-Germany based Gefell's microphones varied considerably from one to the other. Geffel never had the kind of tight tolerances manufacturing and strict quality control that we take for granted from Neumann Berlin. Also, there were distinctly different versions made of the much hailed M7 capsule over the years. Geffell made only the pre-war era pvc-type one. They are known to dry out and change tonality considerably over time. This is why Neumann switched to Mylar for the next generation of the M7. This incarnation is the one that have achieved an almost mythical status as the one used in the legendary U47 from the 50's. It further evolved until it was replaced in the 60's by the kk47, as used in the fet47. Among U47 cognoscenti (those I know at least...), it is the earlier mylar version, as used in units bearing serials in the 500's, that is usually regarded as the most desirable one.

So this "same capsule as a tube 47" folklore is just not true!

That doesn't mean the UM57 can't be a good or even great microphone in his own right. But obviously, Faeflora's mic doesn't apply as the benchmark for the average UM57. Some excellent stock one's exist out there for sure. The only way to find them is to listen to as many as possible before settling for one. SP's mod sure seems like a good idea if you can find one for cheap.

Just some food for thoughts...
Old 11th October 2002
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by groundcontrol
SP's mod sure seems like a good idea if you can find one for cheap.
Yeah, but not only is it buying a pig in a poke (that is, you can't know how it will sound until you've already spent the money), butt eh mod itself is a couple of grand, I think. That's fairly pricey for a mic I only paid about $1000 for.
Old 11th October 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Dave, did you buy yours from Bill Bradley? I heard he used to have nice ones for sell...
Old 11th October 2002
  #11
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Nop, I bought mine from a guy in Germany. I did have Bill go through them after I got them, though. And I got a couple of his power supplies to replace the originals.
Old 11th October 2002
  #12
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool!
Old 20th October 2002
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
now i got this UM-57 working!!!! a new tube,somesome adjustment of the voltages, bypassing a transistor-preamp, that was hidden in the powersupply and here we go!!!! great mike.not overly sparkling but nice an smooth with just the right amount of mid range, that makes K´s an T´s fun to listen to.haven´t checked it on very loud signals, but stands up good against my voice.all´n all.: not as airy and clean as the VM1 but more intimate than the U87 and not too noisy.iluvita.zobel
Old 21st October 2002
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
Anyways, when it came back, it sounded furcking amazing.
I own one too and i totally agree with that !!!!!
Mine was in absolutly mint condition when I got it fom an east german guy.
It has three patterns, all remot-switchable fom the PSU, he N61V ( I think ). It really sounds sweet going into a Telefunken V76 and into an 1176. I always had great results with that.
i also heard that they can sound pretty different, and you also have to look out for hum problems. There`s some sort of grounding problem a guy from gefell once told me.

on the left side of the power plug on the psu, there a little screw which can be put into 2 postions. If anyone experience humming problems ( like I did ), try the other position and it should be fine.

After WWII, Neumann got split inot Neumann West located in ( West ) Berlin and in gefell, who got their name from that little town in the eastern part called .... Gefell.

So especialy in the beginning of the post war era, Gefell was still building on very high standards. Today Gefell again is making some very unique mics. For example they constructed the microphones in the german parlament.....
I personally made all the best experience with them : very friendly people ith a great customer support.

If your looking for that U47 sound, the UM57 will dissapiont you.
Rather go for an CMV563 with the M7 capsule with is way closer enigneered to an U47 than the UM57 is, and therefor sounds way closer to it. This is probably my favourite gefell mic.

Please contact me for further information, such as schematics, pinouts, old Gefell catalouges , etc....
Old 30th August 2003
  #15
Gear Head
 
Stephen Paul's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Yeah, but not only is it buying a pig in a poke (that is, you can't know how it will sound until you've already spent the money), butt eh mod itself is a couple of grand, I think. That's fairly pricey for a mic I only paid about $1000 for.
First of all, you've been listening to what we build on most of the records you hear. I don't think you're taking a terrible risk by using something that came from us. Certainly not a pig in a poke.

Secondly, as Alan Speers pointed out, we guarantee sound and will continue to work on any mod if you aren't KO'd at no extra fee, until you are popped outta your shoes with it.

I didn't earn my rep by taking money and giving back words.

If when Celine Dion steps in front of the 251 that Humberto paid $3500 for our best mod on, if it doesn't deliver, do you think you'd even know my name?

This isn't about money here.

It's about love.

We don't make any money.

PS It's not a question of 'can we get a tube...' If you know anything about tube mikes, you know that the tube must be a great one. We mod the header and replace that tube which is not a particularly good sounding one, let alone the amp, and replace the tube, install a Jensen xfrmr, and put in an amp I designed for it that can deal with today's S/N needs, and overall sound.

In addition, the tolerances we've measured on the Gefell capsules are every bit as good as the original Von Branmuhl and Weber specs on the Neumann Wests. (the pre-'95 ones).

That was 1 micron parallelism and flatness. We work at one tenth those specs. In addition, the circuit, as you can see above, is noisy, bad design, breaks every rule of mike circuit design, and has tons of feedback in the wrong place.

So not only does the tube and circuit suck for the most part, but once all that is straightened out, you have a mike that is very close to a 47. Whoever posted that nonsense about 'the cognoscenti'... I think I'm as cogniscent as anyone, and there were TWO and ONLY two versions of the 47 capsule.

And the reason the older one sounds a bit better has nothing to do with the membrane material. Like any other mike, it will sound better with a properly tuned thin film diaphragm.

But the big difference is the diameter and the method of attaching the PVC with glue right to the backplate, as opposed to the later versions where from 1960 onward, when mylar became available, and there is a ring with screws holding it to the backplate.

The smaller one has much better off-axis response, and the only other real difference, between a properly modded Gefell and the 47 is the GRILLE.

The 47 grille raises 10k by one dB and suppresses other frequencies like 7-9k.

So we've built 57s that you could barely tell from a 47, the only difference being the shape of the curve characteristic of that grille design.

That's the real info. The rest is mostly bunk except that PVC is 12 micron and the solvents volatilize out leaving cracks and stiffness behind.

As far as any of the other stuff like transistors in the supply, that will do nothing. If you want to improve this mike, it must be modded with a decent amp and a better diaphragm with an appropriately tuned backplate.
Old 31st August 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Frost's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I really like the UM 57 I have. It has a very pushed midrange, almost like what a compressor does to push a voice forward, but without any realy level compression going on (if that makes any sense). I consider it my male rock vocal standard. It isnt very u47ish tho. I agree with the above comment that the cmv563 with m7s capsule is the east german sickly thick u47 mic to get. I have 2 of them. I do like the bill bradley supply with them all far better than the originals. It seems to keep the thickness but add some clarity.
Frost
Old 31st August 2003
  #17
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
I've been using mine recently on a Leslie cabinet (with either a 421 or an @E-20 on the low rotor); very nice...
Old 7th November 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
andre tchmil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Zobel, It would be nice if you could open up your powersupply and tell us which transistors need to be bypassed. (I can't afford a pro mod.)
thanks
Old 7th November 2003
  #19
Gear Head
 
Stephen Paul's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You know I was going to say something here, but I think I'll just get one of those penis enlargers I keep getting SPAM for, even though I already scare the airline people who think I have a rifle in my pants.

That's what you need, and balls of steel in case, to be a luminary in audio.

It's one reason I quit.

Even leaving the hammer on an empty chamber just isn't safe enough. Ya gotta take the clip OUTTA the gun.
Old 8th November 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by andre tchmil
Zobel, It would be nice if you could open up your powersupply and tell us which transistors need to be bypassed. (I can't afford a pro mod.)
thanks
And, Zobel, do you mind If I just borrow the Mic you had to pay for, and pay to get modded, indefinately, for free? hell, just give me that too.

Andre, sorry pal, but that is a dumbass question to ask in the first place, and to ask it in an open forum where they guy you are stealing ideas from is posting is just plain rude..
Old 8th November 2003
  #21
Lives for gear
 
andre tchmil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry Steve and Steve.
I didn't mean it that way.

Old 27th August 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
word

Just found this post and I've gotta say what a great last post Stephen Paul R.I.P.
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