Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone

Large Diaphragm Cardioid Tube Condenser Microphone
Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
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Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone
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Top-of-the-Line Neumann Mic!

The Neumann M 147 tube condenser microphone is absolutely top-of-the-line, the ideal cardioid microphone for the fully professional recording studio. Its transformerless output, low self noise and high dynamic range are the result of proven Neumann components and modern construction.

Neumann M 147 Tube Condenser Microphone at a Glance:
  • Highly sensitive mic for capturing the "air" around instruments or vocals
  • Legendary K 47 capsule offers full frequency response
  • Tube-based impedance converter and transformerless output for low self noise

This cardioid mic captures the "air"
Part of the M 147's appeal comes from its extreme sensitivity - 20mV/Pa - that allows it to capture the ambience of a sound. It's spatial characteristics are so refined, you'll wonder if you hung a stereo mic by mistake! The M 147 can translate any sound's special qualities onto a recording, making it an excellent microphone for acoustic guitar or bass, horns and any kind of vocals. But don't stop there - you can put the M 147 up against an instrument amplifier and get outstanding results, too!

A classic capsule for the best sound reproduction
At the heart of the M 147 is the famous K 47 capsule, familiar to Neumann users from the popular U 47 and U 47 FET mics. The M 147 also features a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. Recognized by pros worldwide as one of the finest mics available, the M 147 is a must-have tool for vocalists and an extremely welcome addition to any sophisticated studio setup.

Tube design plus transformerless output
Following the M 147's capsule is a tube impedance converter. Then comes a Neumann-standard efficient, transformerless output circuit that guarantees an extremely low self-noise level. This innovative combination of current tube technology with the most advanced solid-state circuitry was recognized with a 1997 TEC Award to the M 147's sister M 149 mic.

The M 147 Tube can feed extremely long microphone cables without affecting the quality of the audio signal. Like all Neumann tube microphones, the M 147 Tube comes with an elegant satin nickel finish.

Neumann M 147 Tube Condenser Microphone Features:
  • No-compromise large-diaphragm condenser mic
  • Famous Neumann K 47 capsule with single polar pattern (cardioid)
  • Ideal for vocals and acoustic instruments
  • Signal/Noise ratio 82 dB (DIN/IEC 651)
  • Frequency response 20Hz - 20kHz
  • M 149 tube impedance converter
  • Transformerless output for low self noise and high dynamic range
  • High quality aluminum case, mic cable and compact universal power supply included
The Neumann M 147 Tube Condenser Microphone: Uncompromised quality!

Additional Media

Product Manual
Studio Microphone Buying Guide
Neumann M 147 Review

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Tube Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 134dB
Output Impedance 50 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 82dB (A weighted)
Self Noise 12dB (A weighted)
Color Nickel
Connector XLR
Weight 1 lb.
Included Accessories Power Supply, Stand Mount, Dust Cover, Case
Manufacturer Part Number 008434

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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Best "U-47 knockoff" mic I've used

Now, I'm not qualified to compare this mic to a vintage U-47 so I won't even try. However, I'm familiar with several "boutique" U-47 clones, a few of which I've owned, and I can tell you that this mic beats all of them hands down. I had owned the M-149 for years, didn't like it much and rarely used it. When I sold it I had no interest in the M-147, thinking they would probably be similar in character. Not so! This mic is a totally different animal, much easier on the ears. It has a rounded, solid, satisfying bass response that's perfect for many male vocals and a silky treble that's great on acoustic guitars. On electrics it's fantastic a few feet away from the cab at an angle, paired with a dynamic mic close-up on the grille. I've owned mine about 3 years and I use it all the time. I know I'll never sell it.
Music background: Musician, composer

Great Mic

It is to be expected of those who own (or paid lots of money to rent) a decent working U47; you need to justify your investment as well as protect it. However, I've recorded several sources with the M147 with superb results. All you vintage guys should wake up to the reality that there is an abundance of great microphones that meet or beat your outdated toys which at some point will no longer be useful. Enjoy your relics while you can. In the meantime I and other realists will get to enjoy modern technical wonders.

Neumann M147 delivers

I have owned this mic for close to 10 years now and it continues to be The mic in the vocal booth. Paired with an Avalon 737 preamp or sometimes a UA 610 MkII this mic will give you a great sound. BUT, as always, some singers require a darker mic because they sound harsh or raspy, and the M147 will show it abundantly. It is best suited for smooth vocals, male or female, with resonance and proper singing technique. I never use this mic on guitar, violin, or cello (my main instrument)- I prefer Neumann KM140s and AT 4081 (active ribbon) for those applications because a large tube diaphragm mic brings out qualities that don't need to be emphasized. Overall this is a great mic that delivers.
Music background: Producer, engineer, pro musician

Classic Neumann mojo, but not for everything.

No frills cardioid tube transformerless capacitor mic. Sounds like a Neumann, which is what you pay for. Vintage sweet high-mid detail and warmth. You need a nicer pre to pair with this mic, like a Grace or a Sytek, something clean and solid-state. I always need to lift up some 11-13k shelving to really bring out it's sheen, more or less depending on your choice of pre. This mic is not an overall swiss army type. It excels in some things, ok on most things, and downright blows on some things. The things I like it for: Kick (18"-24" outside front), sweet and soft female vocals, ride cymbal, bass cabinet (right up on the grill), Fender clean tone, and some acoustic guitars. It sucks on raspy, aggro, or screamo male vocalists, drum mono o.h.,guitar od/dist, tambourine, and Hammond. The best application? Banjo! Ukulele! Mandolin! 12 string acoustic! Really captures the transients like magic. The mic is built to last 100 years, but I feel it is a tad overpriced. Nonetheless, mine is a keeper.
Music background: Project studio.

Go for the U87

This is not a bad mic, but the mid range can be a bit harsh and honky. I recommend spending the extra thousand and picking up a U87, which sounds much better. If you are looking for the transformerless tube mic of your dreams, check out the M149. The M149 has a much higher sticker price, but is quite possibly the best LDC mic on the market and very smooth and natural compared to this mic.
Music background: Recording, Engineer

Sweetwater Advice

Art Hill

Are you missing that "vintage" tube microphone sound in your recording system? The Neumann M147 tube condenser microphone is a re-creation of a microphone legend: the U47. It's the perfect way to add some tube saturation to the front end of your DAW or hard-disk recording system, and it's equally good at getting clear, accurate tone from a variety of sound sources. For those who are familiar with the U47, the first noticeable difference in Neumann's re-creation is the scaled-down profile: the M147 is only slightly bigger than 2" wide and 5" tall! Of course size isn't everything. The M147 really stands tall in the complicated microphone market that exists today. Included with the microphone are a specially designed power supply, a mic holder (shock mount is optional), and an 8-pin cable to connect the mic to the power supply. You also get a very solid, professional case with a huge Neumann logo on the front. I tested the M147 on a solo cello with the mic slightly off-axis, several feet above and out from the cello pointing at the sound hole. After minimal adjustments with mic positioning, I was able to get a sound that was very pleasing. The low end of the cello was excellent sounding: thick and full but the proximity effect was not overbearing and boomy. The mid-range was smooth and the 3 dB boost above 2 kHz gave the cello a sort of crispness and energy that wasn't originally apparent in the room. For the guy who wants a vintage tube mic sound, this is it. The M147 contains the exact same capsule as the original U47 and U47 FET, so a lot of the sonic characteristics from those vintage Neumanns are still here. Combine that with modern electronics and you've got the best of both worlds: a tube microphone with greater reliability consistency, and all-around performance. Don't forget the name, too. Using Neumann products brings instant credibility to any studio and engineer because the name Neumann is easily recognizable and one of the most highly respected microphone manufacturers in recording history. For rock, pop, classical, jazz or just about any style of music under the sun, the M147 shines like no other! Give it a try with expressive vocalists, strings, piano, or even guitar amps for some shimmer and shine (Oh yeah, and it's less expensive than a U87!).
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See also: Condenser Mics, Neumann, Neumann Condenser Microphones