We are happy to finally be able to again offer a choice of capsules on your SAE Tube 47 mic. People have made it clear over the past couple years that they like choice, and we aim to please. While the OPR historic K47 capsule will remain our go-to, stock capsule, we are proud to finally be offering the Heiserman HK47 capsule and soon also the Heiserman HM7 (M7) capsule, each for a slightly higher price.
We have simplified our webstore to be slightly less confusing now, consolidating down the number of 47/48 microphones. Please note: the popular BASELINE EDITION 47 and 48 did not go away! Someone has already asked me that. Simply go to the page for the premium 47 or 48 and see the capsule drop-down menu. When you select the imported K47 capsule, it takes $550 off of the price, making it the Baseline Edition. There was no other difference besides the capsule.
I get asked a lot about the differences between the capsules. I'm going to try to 'encapsulate' my thoughts down into just a brief summary. Please note that it is somewhat subjective, and always we are 'splitting hairs' and talking about the last few percent of difference.
So, the stock OPR is warm but neutral. It is tuned lower than many capsules, to historic specs. it has a wider frequency response than some capsules, particuarly low end reach. It gets down into the rumble/subsonic region; but it is not by any means muddy or bassy, dark or bright. It's quite neutral, but just casts a wide net. I think for general music application, to include vocals, this capsule wins out by a hair, and also if you are trying to stay close to what the first K47-fitted U47's behaved like.
The Heiserman HK47 is a modern approach to the K47 design. New mechanical design (dual backplates). It delivers a more mid-forward, polished and 'finished' sound. Mids and upper bass seem more enhanced and brough forward. Extremely musical. Allows vocals to punch through a dense mix with clarity, without requiring huge amounts of gain. If vocals are going to be the primary duty of the mic, particularly pop, rock, or modern country, the HK47 capsule may the winner.
The Heiserman HM7 is not enormously different from the HK47; but has not quite as much mid emphasis and not quite as much top end, a slightly warmer, darker, and smoother capsule with a little bit more emphasis on lower end of the voice and a little bit of top end taper. The earliest U47 models as well as its predecessor, the CMV-3, shipped with an M7 variant; so if you are after a more vintage tone, then this capsule would be the winner. It's a matter of taste; but many people prefer the sound of a 47 with an M7 above any other capsule.
The imported custom K47 capsule is something I offer to allow people to get a great microphone at a significant discount, and still retain about 90% of the overal sonic quality. It is absolutely the best Asian K47 capsule made. There is no other capsule made in China that I know of that I would even consider. offering to my customers. Is it as good as a handcrafted capsule? No, its not; but it isn't bad. It has a natural and somwhat hi-fi sound with sufficient low and high end without being overly bright, sibilant, muddy, present, or harsh. Slightly warm, slightly scooped, and slightly 'hyped' sound; but overall fairly well balanced and pleasing. Also very versatile. If you are budget conscious or plan to upgrade the capsule later and still want an outstanding microphone; this is the winner.