Telefunken M-50

Telefunken M-50

Classic Tube Microphone Daily Rate: $150

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The M 50b is a pressure-type microphone with non-directional characteristics. It is made up of a tightly stretched metal diaphragm mounted in a lucite ball. Its response rises slightly and it becomes increasingly more directional at higher frequencies when exposed to direct sound, but it remains flat in a diffused sound field.



“Anecdotal information is that fewer than a thousand M 50s were made, and since they are often used in sets of three or five, there just aren’t that many sets around. Neumann went through several materials for the diaphragm, starting with PVC which quickly became too brittle, then went to aluminum which was difficult to tension given the metallurgy of the period. After that, I’m told they went to nickel which was used in several of their mics, e.g. the KM 56, and finally Mylar, as in the KM 83.”


Because there was also a demand for a microphone that would compensate for the loss in high-frequency response incurred by long distances, the M50 was born. High frequencies roll off as the square of the reciprocal of the distance from the sound source due to frictional effects. This means that the viscosity of the air is sufficient to dissipate sound energy in the form of heat, and as there is less power in the treble range, it suffers the most from this effect. Therefore, when a mic is hung high above an orchestra in the auditorium, a boost in the response above 5 kHz is desirable. Even today, these microphones still make some of the most wonderful orchestral recordings in the world


Decca recording studios (London) converted many of their Neumann M50 microphones to FET circuitry. Enabling the microphones to work on standard +48v phantom desks. It really goes without saying, these "Modified" microphones never sounded quite like the valve originals.


Decca sold off much of their "Old" equipment, throughout their working years. Therefore, there appears to be "quite a few" of these FET M50 microphones available on the second-hand market.


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