Neumann M50 Tube Microphone #034 (Vintage)
HistoryThe Neumann M50 is a pressure-type microphone with non-directional characteristics. After its introduction in 1950, the outstanding tonal quality and omnidirectional pattern of the Neumann M50 made it the gold standard for the recording of symphony orchestras, either with the single-microphone technique, a stereo pair, or the Decca Tree for three-track recordings. A pair of M50's were famously used on one of the very first commercially available stereo recordings: 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' by Richard Strauss, released by RCA in 1954. This stellar performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner is still available today, although instead of open-reel tape, modern audiophiles can hear the brilliance of the Neumann M50 microphone in SACD and other high-resolution formats.
The M50 gets its designation from 1950, the year it was jointly developed with the NWDR (Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk / Northwest German Radio). The M50 went through three significant changes during its production run from 1951 to 1971. Initially the mic used a Hiller MSC2 tube (like its cousin the M49 multi pattern mic), in conjunction with the small diaphragm K50 capsule, made of PVC. A unique perspex sphere held the capsule membrane mounted flush with the surface. This created a very unique polar pattern that was omni, but more directional at higher frequencies.
In 1954, the capsule was changed to the aluminum K53, which had been created the year before for the pencil condenser KM53 tube microphone. At this same time, the tube was switched to the legendary Telefunken AC701K. These changes were indicated by stamping the mics with the model number M50A. A small change in resistor values a couple years later resulted in the model M50B.
In 1961 a different tuchel connector was employed for broadcast work, and this model was designated the M250.
Finally, in 1965, the last version of the M50 utilized the mylar K83 capsule, the omnidirectional version of the classic capsule used in the KM84. This final version was the M50C; the broadcast version was the M250C.
|Condition||Used / Vintage|
|Package Contents||Microphone box (original), PSU (after-market), Yoke mount (after-market)|
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