FET version of the classic U47 tube mic. Price includes Premium VK servicing - an $800 value!
A great utility mic for just about anything. Exceptional on kick, guitars, lead vocal - especially when you need a tight cardioid for tracking keeper vocals on a live session, but want to prevent bleed.
The great success of the U47 tube condenser came to an end when Telefunken ceased the manufacture of the famous VF 14 tube. Neumann responded by developing the U 67, the large diaphragm tube microphone meant to be the successor of the U 47. As the 1960s progressed, solid state technology became increasingly popular, and the Field Effect Transistor, or FET, became an important part of microphone technology. Neumann capitalized on its special properties to develop not only the U 87 - a FET version of the tube U 67 - but also the U 47 FET, a microphone that was a solid state revival of the venerable U 47.
The new 47 used the same head grille design of the old 47, which was an important element in the sound of the microphone. It also used the same K47 capsule, a dual diaphragm design. Since this new mic was to be a fixed super cardioid, only one side of the capsule was necessary, so all K47s that were not up to spec for use in the M49 (which required both sides to match in order to reproduce an omnidirectional pattern) ended up being used for the 47 FET.
Although revered today, the mic did not catch on at first, with many engineers comparing it unfavorable with the tube 47. But when it was realized that this mic could handle very high sound pressure levels, it eventually became a 'go to' mic for the kick drums and loud guitar cabs that were becoming popular with the growth of heavy rock and roll. From 1969 to 1986, the marriage of loud rock and 47 FET was like a match made in heaven.
From the original Neumann owner's manual:
"The U 47 fet i Condenser Microphone is a versatile studio microphone of the fet 80 series. It continues the tradition of the venerable, world renowned U 47, and combines its acoustic properties with the most up-to-date amplifier technology. The microphone capsule is elastically mounted within a metal wire mesh grill housing and is substantially protected from wind, pop and mechanical shock interference. The axis of maximum sensitivity is from the side, at right angles to the axis of the microphone body, and is marked with the NEUMANN insignia.
The capsule is a pressure gradient transducer with a super-cardioid characteristic. it consequently has a greater directivity index than a cardioid, which brings advantages as a result of greater attenuation of sounds impinging from the sides. Aside from this it is also the directional pattern which provides the least sensitivity of the rear hemisphere. When properly set up, the U 47 fet i provides optimum protection against positive feedback as, for instance, in sound reinforcement systems.
The specially designed impedance converter (not a gain stage) provides highest output capability, while maintaing low current consumption, making the recording of loud instruments at close range (trumpet, for example) possible with low distortion. The dynamic range of the U 47 fet i, is 112 dB (boundary SPL of 137 dB). By switching the amplifier feedback to the "-10 dB" position, this boundary SPL may be raised to 147 dB.
A second switch compensates the low frequencies inherent in all pressure gradient microphones at close proximity to sound sources. This switch also permits undesirable low frequencies below 200 Hz to be suppressed, while linearizing the low frequency response for source-to-microphone distance of about 20 cm or 6 inches. A further switch reduces the output level by 6 dB.
Several design features render this microphone largely immune not only to parasitic alternating currents in the cable shield, so called ac-induced hum, but also to interference caused by radio and TV transmitters as well as radar equipment."