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Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone Reviews

4.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Neumann M 147 Tube Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone?

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  • Michael
    from Atlanta, GA February 6, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, composer

    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.

  • Jekyll
    from Midwest May 19, 2017

    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you vintage guys should wake up to the reality that there is an abundance of great microphones that meet or beat your outdated toys which at some point will no longer be useful.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.

  • Hans Christian
    from Sturgeon Bay, WI November 23, 2010Music Background:
    Producer, engineer, pro musician

    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.

  • Dee Roc
    from Boston, MA February 16, 2009Music Background:
    Project studio.

    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.

  • Matt
    from USA June 24, 2012Music Background:
    Recording, Engineer

    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.

  • Dennis Newberg
    from Monticello, New York December 20, 2009Music Background:
    pro musician

    Review of the Neumann M-147

    I own this mic and will give a basic review of its pros and cons. This mic is a bit like owning a vintage car. Its a classic based on the legendary neumanns the Beatles used. Its got a tube for that warm sound and the mic is beautifull with a gorgeous case with classic shockmount. It comes with a power supply. Tube mics require periodic maintenance which can be expensive. To get the most from this mic if used for vocals, you will need a high quality preamp which is a big added expence. When you factor in these items you might want to reconsider going with a tube mic if you are on a budget.

  • Peter
    from Vahon Island October 26, 2008

    Your Mileage May Vary

    There are a lot of nice mics available on the market in this price range or even cheaper (much cheaper) that might better help you achieve the sound you are looking for. This is a loud, bright, crisp sounding mic. In fact, the mic has such high gain that you might want to pair it with a nice dark preamp with a pad. On the positive side, this microphone is dead quiet. It has really low noise floor specs. I have had good results with this mic on violin and shakuhachi. It is not my first choice for vocals, and mine rarely gets used at all. As always YMMV

  • Tom Guignette
    from Lagrange Oh January 1, 2004


    An affordable tube microphone based on the legendary U47. The mic uses the same dual-membrane K 47 capsule as the classic U 47 fet and U 47 microphones. Its transformerless tube electronics, are much like those found in the current M 149 tube microphone. The M 147 offers a fixed supercardioid pickup pattern, with no pad or low-cut switches on the mic body or power supply. The microphone offers a high SPL figure of 130 dB, making a pad almost unnecessary. These switches would have been nice, but invariably would have raised the cost of the mic. Self-noise is low at 12 dBA, making the M 147 one on par with the U87. I first tried the M147 on vocals. I noticed a understated top end and thick low-mid response. The M 147 doesn’t produce a airy type vocal without a dash of high end shelving, it had more of a vintage sound. Next was an acoustic guitar (Taylor 714ce). I positioned the mic 2 ft back pointing were the neck meets the body. I was fairly happy with the results i got. It was warm and full but not the pop acoustic sound i was looking for, a tad bit to muddy for my taste. A km-184 served this purpose better. Next was an electric guitar.... I set the mic about 15 inches back from a Marshall cab aimed at the center of the cone. This time the warm midrange was an asset to what i was looking for. It made my Shure 57 sound thin and buzzy in comparison. It sounded great on clean guitars as well. For jazz guitar it`s probably one of the best mics you could get, accept for maybe a Coles or Royer ribbon mic. The M 147 compares nicely to the other Neumann microphones. Up against the TLM 103, the M 147 was thicker, warmer and darker sounding with a touch more character. A nice mic to round out your cabinet, but a U47 it isn`t.


  • 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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