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Gefell M990  From Gefell

Large diaphragm, Cardioid Vacuum Tube Microphone

Microtech Gefell


Retail:  $3,600.00

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Manufacturer's Description from Gefell

The Gefell M990 is a large diaphragm condenser tube microphone that employs the Gefell M9 gold evaporated capsule. This pressure gradient transducer is combined with the latest tube amplifier circuit design for exceptionally low self-noise and added sensitivity. The result is a studio microphone that has all of the character and feel of a vintage tube mic with the added benefit of lower noise, wider bandwidth and stunning detail.


Design Features

Since the dawn of the large diaphragm condenser, Gefell has led the way. The Neumann-Gefell UM57 was the first multi-pattern large diaphragm microphone and today, the UM92.1S follows the same tradition. The M990 takes another step forward with the M9 capsule, a full-size 1-inch (25mm), 24 karat gold evaporated diaphragm.

The M9 capsule is housed on a "triangulated" pedestal that deflects unwanted sound refractions away from the capsule reducing phase cancellation and comb-filtering. This results in exceptional uniformity throughout the audio bandwidth while assuring an ultra-smooth transition from on-axis to the all important off-axis response. The impressive cardioid pattern provides excellent rear-rejection to discard unwanted noise, making the M990 particularly good for high noise environments.

The vacuum tube preamplifier is unique in that it employs a pentode tube, working as a triode to achieve the M990's outstanding sonic characteristics. These are housed in a slim-line tubular body with a distinctive dark bronze finish. The M990's dark color is specifically designed to reduce visibility on stage and during television broadcast.


Using the M990

For maximum rejection against vibration borne noise, the M990 is supplied with the EA92 deluxe elastic suspension. This is fixed to the body via the machined housing, providing secure retention of the mic, no matter what position. An optional swivel mount and swivel mount cable is also available. A 7-pin Tuchel connector and cable assembly connects the mic to the power supply, which then feeds the XLR output. The M990 utilizes the AES standard with pin-2 hot and the unique circuit design allows one to drive cables to 50 meters (150feet). This distance may be extended by increasing the heater voltage inside the M920.1 power supply with a simple service shop adjustment. Furthermore, switching the supply from 110V to 220V operation is a simple matter of rotating the fuse housing.

The M990 is characterized with an extended response with a slight presence rise. This allows the engineer to take full advantage of the proximity build for added body to a voice, while rendering more air and harmonic detail. This makes the M990 ideal for voice and solo instruments, while being equally impressive for orchestra and ensembles.



The Gefell M990's Large gold diaphragm and state-of-the art capsule amplifier result in the highest sensitivity and maximum spectral response at all frequencies. This, combined with outstanding signal-to-noise performance, works to the benefit of the most demanding 24bit/96kHz digital recording.

The M990 is ideally suited for both voice and instrument and is particularly impressive in difficult acoustic environments. It comes complete with power supply, interconnect cable, and deluxe shock mount, and its own hand crafted dovetailed wood storage case.


Microtech Gefell

About Manufacturer

Since its founding by Georg Neumann in 1928, the company has produced high quality, condenser microphones for broadcasting and recording. Many models have used the M7 capsule originally designed by Mr. Neumann in 1949 for the CMV563a. The M7 was responsible for the legendary sound of the Berlin manufactured U47, U48 and M49 microphones. Today, under the technical supervision of Mr. Kuehnast's son, the Company still produces the M7 capsule in exactly the same way Mr. Neumann taught the elder Kuehnast in the 1940's. Hand drilling each hole in the backplate, making the PVC membrane, and even gluing it together by hand is done just as Mr. Neumann specified. The M7 is currently used in the UM 92.1S, UMT800, UMT70S and MT71S Gefell manufactured microphones.

Some of the production equipment which Microtech Gefell GmbH uses for capsule production capitalizes on advanced technology developed by the Soviets before Perestroika. One of the more recently developed microphones, the M300, uses a capsule made of ceramic material molded under high pressure and plated with chromium. This technology was developed in Moscow using advanced computer modeling and simulation techniques. Gefell perfected a capsule manufacturing process unlike any employed in making Western microphones.

The SMS70 series of microphones designed in the early 1970's used a hybrid amplifier with an fet stage. Hybrid technology was not adopted by manufacturers of Western microphones until the late 1980's. Microtech's newest amplifier for the UMT70S series microphones uses surface mount device (SMD) technology.

The company also manufactures a complete line of measurement microphones equivalent to those of Bruel & Kjaer, the Danish manufacturer. These microphones are tested to the highest standards currently used in the West. The manufacturing methods for the nickel membranes and backplate assemblies are highly advanced. Testing each microphone takes a minimum of three months to guarantee performance and stability when it leaves the factory.

Before the Reunification of Germany the company manufactured their studio and broadcast microphones for RFT, a state agency that distributed them to customers in the Eastern Bloc. Most of the microphones went into the broadcast system. Some microphones, like the PM 860, went into public address systems. Virtually every town hall and auditorium in the former Soviet Union has one. About 1985, the Company began developing high powered (30 to 100 Watt) industrial lasers. They still use a laser engraving machine to put the name and serial numbers onto microphones and other finished metal products. During this period, the East German government poured 60 Million Ost Mark into the company allowing them to buy sophisticated equipment and construct a new building.



Response:40Hz ~ 18kHz

Sensitivity:28mV / Pa

Self noise:13dB-A

Signal to noise:81dB-A

Maximum SPL:119dB w/10dB pad

Dynamic Range:106dB