View Full Version : Valve Mics

Enrico Donner
11-29-1999, 03:13 AM
For what kind of micking should they be considered a "must"?
Suggestions on some models?


11-29-1999, 03:20 AM
Vocals for sure + anything else you get a harshness problem with. like: acc gtr, drum overheads.

Oli P
11-29-1999, 07:56 AM
I am really happy with my Neumann M149 .

Great "all purpose" microphone for a home setup.

Didier de Roos
11-29-1999, 09:29 AM
I have an AKG C12VR. Very expensive, but equally amazing on vocals, saxes and string instruments. Worth every penny spent.


11-29-1999, 03:42 PM
Have heard good things on Solidtube for vox and also Lawson for vox.


11-29-1999, 11:26 PM
I have owned an AKG C-12 for 10 years and as far as vocals are concerned, it has made my mixing life easy. Even though I have heard that no two C-12's sound alike, you get a natural sounding boost in the upper range that stops me from bothering with EQ'ing up there. When I was able to add a neve mic pre (I've used 1073, Amek 9098, red focusrite) they add a density to the mic I love, and again, make mixing easier. Soon I will be in a position to compare other C-12's to the one I used for years and I may have other insights. My present C-12 is a bit edgy for certain female vocalists. I have heard that C-12's seem to be more stable over time than their vintage Neuman cousins. Like Piano hammers, the Neuman diaphrams change over time. Someone told me the last stage of a Neuman diaphram, before it may need repair, is really big beautiful and bright. But I have no first hand knowledge. I own the Solidtube as well. I get that nice "girl solo singer" piano sound with it, which I like. There will be a female vocalist just right for it, but that session hasn't happen yet. I have a feeling it might be good on sax, again I haven't tried it yet. A big time engineer told me an unoffical rule he follows: Only one tube in the chain. He doesn't use a tube pre or tube compressor on a tube mic. I'm going to experiment with that in the near future. The C-12 is my vote for best male vocal mic.


Enrico Donner
11-30-1999, 01:18 AM
I have got an interesting offer on a Rode NTV and a Rode Classic (the first version).
Any comments on these Mics?

11-30-1999, 10:51 PM
Check out the Soundeluxe U95. Compares very favorably to some of the classics for about $2000.00. I'd also recommend not spending less that about $1800.oo for a tube mic. That being said, tube mics (the good ones) are great but they aren't a "must" for anything.
Every sound source you record is different and what works on one singer/instrument won't necessarily work on another. I've recorded singers who sounded better on a 57 than on an expensive tube mic.

12-03-1999, 01:10 AM
I had said earlier, in previous post, that I have heard about the Lawson tube(mp) mic but have not actually heard it. Has anyone used these? How do they sound? I would absolutely love to have the c12 as well.


12-03-1999, 05:50 AM
I wanted a C24 (stereo c12) but couldn't find one FS in Europe, When I saw a special offer on 2 x Neumann 149's and read that they have the lowest noise spec I was interested (I use a lot of compression and know old valve mic's can be noisy) So I figured I didn't want to mess with a pair of noisey, hit & miss second hand 60's or 70's mic's and went with the 2 new Neumanns.
An important factor in vocal mic selection for me is "wow" factor. If your studio is private, just you, get anything you want & shop around, if it is attended by clients you will get oo's and aahh's of aproval with a fat Neumann (147 or 149) more than any other brand. You can shop till your blue in the face for lawson, Sonelux, Rhodes, solidtube whatever, but you cant't beat a Neumann for client confidence.
Everyone loves these mic's, and as a bonus they don't sound too bad either!



Jonny Atack
12-03-1999, 10:44 AM
Julian, that's true, the clients never have anything but good things to say when they see a U87 waiting for them. I often propose them a C414 ULS as an alternative choice but, engineers excepted (who like to put up both), clients always pick the U87.

The question is, which Neumann to get? I've heard comments that a 149 is not as good generally as the U87 (w/ valve pre) not to mention well-maintained U47s / U47 FETs / U67s. I've worked with all of those mics except the 149 and would be curious to know where the 149 fits in. Your opinion?

12-03-1999, 11:26 AM
I have TLMs 103 and M147. Sound is great and "wow" factor as well, the only disadvantage is that 147 is smaller than 149 http://www.digidesign.com/ubb/images/icons/wink.gif
If it comes to sound, sometimes I find 103 sounds better on some voices than 147 (not mention my old and great M-70 from Gefell), so it all depends on source. M147 is cheaper than 87, but when client can see that power supply lying on the floor, there are no comments. Besides, there are many 87 around and not much 149 and 147, so people are just curious... and I say that it is VALVE NEUMANN! Who wants more?

12-03-1999, 07:31 PM
149 = v good, better than 89 or 414 IMHO. When I plugged it in at home, I live near a busy road, it picked up the sub sonic rumble of trafic! and "lip smacking" and clothes rustling , wow, real sensitive!!!!!

12-04-1999, 12:57 AM
Perhaps it was an age (of the mic) issue, but I was at a studio for awhile with an 87, and I could never get a good sound on vocalists that I really liked. To my ears, the 147 I have now is much nicer. There could be other factors, but....

The Lawsons are slick and I've never heard them sound really bad, but I haven't A-B'd them much. The guy whose Lawson's I have used now puts them up first on everything just to see how they do, and he uses them alot...

Final note, I have found in lots of mic/pre shootouts here with some sung vocals and mostly dialog that two tubes in the path does in fact get overly "tubey" for our apps. For a rock horn section, though...