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The Golden Age Premier ELA M251E is a faithful recreation one of the most iconic vintage tube microphones - the Telefunken ELA M 251E, considered by many to be the most beautiful sounding microphone ever produced.
In 1958, Telefunken announced to George Neumann that it was discontinuing the production of its VF14 steel tube, the heart of the Neumann U 47 and U 48 condenser mics. In exchange for the tube, Telefunken had gotten the distribution rights for Neumann microphones. But this deal ended when the VF14 was stopped. Neumann began to develop a new microphone, while Telefunken went looking for a new manufacturer to partner with, and found them in Austria. The result was one of the finest microphones (or family of microphones) ever created, the ELA-M 250 and 251.
In Vienna, AKG had been building its highly successful large diaphragm condenser mic, the C12, since 1953. Telefunken contracted with AKG to make a modified version of this mic with significant improvements, and a pair of microphones were born; the model 250 with Cardioid and Omni patterns (like the U 47), and the model 251 with an additional figure-eight pattern (like the U 48).
These two microphones used three of the four key elements that made the AKG C12 so desirable. They included a Haufe T-14/1 output transformer, a socketed 6072 tube and a CK12 capsule. The fourth element was the head grille, and for this, the new mic had a larger cavity with an extra inner mesh, that contributed significantly to the frequency response.
The Ela-M has become a Holy Grail microphone due to its incredible tone, and has been used on countless great recordings over the last 50+ years. It is also one of the most-copied microphones in history, a testament to its enduring status as a piece of immortal gear.
The ELA M251E features a reverse-engineered polar pattern switch mechanism which is implemented with a very complex mechanical structure and that can only be assembled by hand. This process demanded the design of several sets of complex and hard to make plastic molds and the mechanism uses silver-plated rivets, silver-plated spring pieces, precision steel balls, springs with a suitable elasticity, finely machined pure copper positioning pins, finely machined slotted nuts, etc., all just to restore the original non-destructive polar pattern switch mechanism with the right operating feel.
Golden Age reverse engineered the insulating plastic substrate for the internal point to point soldering and made the new mould for it and did the same for the copper silver-plated wiring lugs, copper silver-plated terminals, copper silver-plated contact springs, etc. The result of these efforts is that the amplifier circuit can work at close to zero loss from external factors, allowing it to perform at its theoretical peak level. This in turn translates into a most sublime, full bodied and extremely musical sound quality and a refined and well controlled delicacy from the lowest bass up to the high end frequency range.
Golden Age remade the rubber cores for the plugs, and all silver-plated connectors of aviation connectors to minimize signal transmission loss. They also remade the original design of the different color for the front and rear mesh head, restored the assembly of all structures. All spare parts can actually be used on the original ELAM251E, including the power supply specifications, cable wiring definitions etc, all are perfectly compatible.
After three years of repeated comparison, debugging and continuous customization and improvement of the K251 capsule, Golden Age chose the most suitable parts to match the circuit. After all this work, it was with much joy and pride that they could verify that the sound quality and character of the GA ELA M251E was infinitely close to the first year of the Vintage ELA M251E in great condition, with a warm, gorgeous, delicate overall sound and an amazing top end performance.
|Condition||Demo / B-Stock|
|Unit Weight||1.2 lb|
|Tube or Solid State||Tube|
|Polar Pattern||Bi-Directional / Figure-Eight, Cardioid, Omni-Directional|
|Number of Microphones||Single Microphone|
|Impedance||200 Ohms (output)|
|Frequency Range||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Max. SPL||136 dB|
|Analog or Digital||Analog|
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