Available by Feb 2019, the M49 (revB) replica represents a culmination of everything we've learned about microphone design. Considered the swiss army knife and perhaps most versatile of high end tube condensers, the M49 was the all time favorite microphone of one of our mentors, the late Oliver Archut (founder, AMI/Tab-Funkenwerk). Think of a U47 but more clean, balanced, flattering, and detailed. Read more below!
M49 Rev B Premium Reference Edition (SHIPPING FEB 2019!)
One of the true holy grails and swiss army knives of high end studio recording, the legendary M49 Rev B (manually biased version) is considered the best of the three classic versions of this large transformer coupled tube microphone. The Rev C is considered very stable over its lifespan and more tolerant to a variety of tubes, being self-biasing; however if one selects a really good tube (which we do) and has the patience and puts in the time to really put the microphone through a burn in process, dialing in and calibrating the microphone's bias and its power supply voltages (which we do also), the Rev B is something really beautiful where the delicacy of its fine tube circuitry can really shine, especially when bookended by the very finest of capsules and transformers. At the time, considered a worthy successor to the original U47 and U48; the M49 was a tremendous leap forward in both technology, stability, and audio fidelity. Sporting a more neutral and detailed sonic signature than its predecessor, as well as every pattern available from both the U47 and U48 under one roof; under the hood, the M49 also boasts a much more over-engineered and ambitious power supply design as well as mic circuit design. While the lineage of the original M49 carried one and continues to this day, most would agree that the original's large BV11 output transformer was a major contributor to the microphone's smooth character. It's removal along with other modernizations may save some manufacturers money and may make the microphone look good on paper; but most agree that the original (M49, Rev's A-C) were in a class unto themselves.
For this premium edition of the M49, we chose to use an historic M7 capsule replica along with a traditional capsule mount and 'ultra isolation' standoff by Dany Bouchard, and an historically correct BV11 output transformer by AMI Transformers. In both cases, we feel there is simply nothing better. We use a miliitary spec, military surplus 5840 subminiature valve as a preferred choice replacement for the long unobtainable Telefunken AC701K, as recommended by the late Oliver Archut (AMI). The tubes we have purchased for stock have been pre-tested for function and low noise performance by an experienced tube tester. We direct solder the valve's leads using the turret/wire wrap method for reliability, and use a custom set of tube damper rings by hi-fi expert Sandy Levy, made from high temp aerospace silicone. The two dampers are then in turn coupled to the PCB so that the tube is both acoustically dampened as well as captured in place to prevent movement. Couple that with the tube already being military grade and selected for low noise/low microphonics, you are simply not going to get unwanted artifacts out of this tube circuit. With the M49 as with any tube microphone we build, we are not satisfied until we approach what we consider to be modern and very good 'solid-state level' performance in terms of noise and microphonics. We spend time with each microphone during the burn-in and calibration phase, looking at wire positions and lengths, shielding, and other variables, tuning the performance to the best that it can be. That, in essence, is the best of both worlds.
For our premium M49 replica, we opted to commission Andriejus Aputis in Eastern Europe to manufacture our historically correct M49 microphone body, wood box, and PSU enclosure. The microphone bodies were then nickel plated in Germany by the same facility that plated the original German microphones, so of course the texture and finish is just spot-on.
We handcraft all three cables for this M49 right here in our shop in Baton Rouge: the 6ft Gotham shielded IEC power cable made with supreme quality shielded power cable stock and Japanese audiophile connectors, the 20ft premium Gotham tube microphone cable, and the 20ft premium Gotham XLR cable. Internal wiring is done mostly using teflon coated (ultra low capacitance dialectric) silver tinned OFC copper hookup wire and Cardas tri-eutectic silver solder.