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The Neumann U 47 FET Condenser Microphone

Pro Audio Hall of Fame / Neumann U 47 FET

The U47 Goes Transistor

In the four-plus decades since its original release, the Neumann U47 FET has become a legendary microphone that stands on its own from the U47. The microphone came to fruition as Neumann put an end to production of the U47 in the mid-1960s. Working to develop the same microphone using transistors. the final design of the U47 FET featured the original K47 capsule, but could better handle high sound pressure levels without affecting the resulting recording.

The Differences Between U47 FET and U47

Similar in shape, with a full-size head grille on a shorter body, attached to a swivel bracket, the U47 FET bore more than a passing resemblance to the granddaddy U47 tube condenser. However, inside was a complex labyrinthine of wire housing the newfangled Field Effect Transistor, or FET. In fact, the FET 47 is one among many in the "FET 80 Series" from Neumann, the most famous being the KM84.

The mic boasted an SPL handling of 137 dB, which could be boosted to 147 dB by employing the -10 dB pad switch, a huge advance for the time.