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Neumann M 149 Tube Microphone  From Neumann

The universal high-end tube microphone with a unique sound and a comprehensive selection of settings, including 9 directional characteristics and a 7-level low-cut filter! The capsule is derived from that of the legendary U 47 and M 49.

Neumann USA

$5,000.00

Retail:  $6,250.00

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What We Think


The M149 marks an astonishing achievement for Neumann. Like many of the classic vintage Neumanns, this one is very multi-purpose. It is a remarkable tube microphone that sounds good on just about every application that you can place it. Like its vintage predecessors, for vocal applications, it can often benefit from some additional EQ'ing in the high frequency area. It isn't as "tuned" of a microphone as some other tube mics in its price range... of course, we're convinced that Neumann did this on purpose. Although certain tuned mics can sound amazing on certain applications, they can sound pretty pitiful on others. What's nice about this microphone is that it sounds great everywhere. Particularly neutral as tube mics tend to go these days, the M149 will sound great on grand piano, symphony orchestra, as a drum overhead, and certainly on vocals. Additionally, we have found it to be VERY EQ friendly. It can take quite a bit of EQ'ing, unlike some other highly tuned tube mics. A microphone’s tuning sometimes makes it very susceptible to exposing its own problems when under situations of significant EQ'ing. Not so, here! The microphone to microphone consistency on these is excellent for the purpose of stereo pairing, an element that is somewhat atypical in tube mics in general.

251 Style Vocal Mic Shootout: Telefunken 251E v. Bock 251 v. Upton 251 v. Neumann M149

In this video we present a 251 style vocal microphone shootout using the Telefunken 251E, the Bock 251, the Upton 251, and the Neumann M149. Can you tell which one's which? If you are interested in hearing the results and/or getting ahold of the audio files from this shootout, give us a shout, we'd love to hear from you!

Manufacturer's Description from Neumann

The M 149 Tube* is a variable dual-diaphragm microphone. The K 49 capsule – well-known from the legendary U 47 and M 49 microphones – is followed by a tube functioning as an impedance converter. In contrast to earlier concepts – utilizing a transformer – the tube is complemented with a transformerless output circuit design. The M 149 Tube can thus feed long microphone cables without any coloration.

Two slide switches are located below the large, acoustically very open headgrille. The switch at the front allows selection one of nine directional patterns. The slide switch at the rear operates a seven-step high pass filter. It allows a very fine adjustment of the cut-off frequency.

Applications

There are nine polar patterns to choose from, making this microphone an ideal choice for a wide range of recording situations.

As its ancestors, the M 149 Tube is a superb vocalist microphone, not only because of the capsule, but also due to its modern circuitry, characterized by extremely low noise level.

Acoustic features

The M 149 Tube is addressed from the front, marked with the Neumann logo. Also on the front is the switch for the selection of the polar patterns.

The capsule is mounted elastically inside the headgrille to eliminate structure borne noise. The surface below the capsule is shaped like a cone to disperse any reflected sound from the acoustic upper half space. This avoids any interference with the primary sound arriving at the capsule directly. 

A large headgrille surrounds the capsule. It is acoustically very open and therefore increases the sonic realism.

Polar patterns

The polar pattern switch selects one of nine directional patterns: omnidirectional, wide-angle-cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, figure-8, and one additional intermediate pattern between each major position.

Electrical features

The circuit of the M 149 Tube microphone has been developed to exceed traditional designs. We have selected a modern tube (triode) and combined its exceptional transmission characteristics with the advantages of our proven transformerless output circuit.

The aim was to provide a more controlled environment for the audio signal on its path from the capsule to the output section. 

The final stage is an integrated amplifier, especially designed for such applications. It features very low distortion (THD < 0.002 % at ± 10 V), very low self-noise, and high output current capability. 

As a result, the tube circuit is completely decoupled from the microphone output and its characteristic response curve will be unaffected by very high signal levels or varying load conditions. 

The lower output impedance and higher output current capability allow cable lengths up to 300 m (1000 feet) without any degradation of the audio signal.

The tube amplifier changes the high impedance of the capsule and adds 10 dB of gain to the audio signal, providing optimum operating specifications. The wide dynamic range is impressive, as peak output can be ±10 V, at 20 mA.

The ideal operating point of the tube is maintained throughout its entire life expectancy. Plate current and filament voltage are constantly regulated. A sensor circuit monitors and compensates for any voltage drop across the microphone cable. The tube is heated up slowly through inverse current limiting to guarantee long life. Optimum operating conditions are reached within a very short time.

Filter

A seven-position slide switch is located on the back of the microphone. It selects a high-pass filter, advancing in half-octave steps between 20 Hz and 160 Hz (-3dB). This filter is useful to suppress rumble from air-conditioning and in windy situations. 

In addition, the filter provides an effective tool to control the audio signal when the microphone is used at close distance and therefore proximity effect alters the program material.

Delivery Range

The specifically designed N 149 A power supply unit feeds the M 149 Tube through an 8-core cable. The output connector for the audio signal is a 3-pin XLR. The output signal is balanced. 

The microphone comes as a set in an attractive aluminium case, together with the 8-core microphone connecting cable, the N 149 A power supply with plug-in mains unit, the EA 170 full elastic microphone suspension and a dust cover.

*The design of the microphone is a registered design of the Georg Neumann GmbH in certain countries.

 

Switchable tube microphone

Transformerless circuitry

High output level

Pressure gradient transducer with the M 49 capsule

Acoustically very open wire mesh cage

Nine directional characteristics: omni, wide angle cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, figure 8, and one intermediate position each

7fold switchable low frequency roll-off

 

Neumann USA

About Manufacturer

Specializing in some of the finest microphones in the world, Neumann has develpoed a top name in the industry for consistency, reliability, and sonic excellence. With microphones suited for the entire range of studio recording (and more recently live application), Neumann microphones are often a first choice for uncompromised acoustic reproduction.

Specifications

Acoustical operating principle

Pressure gradient transducer

Directional pattern

Omnidirectional, wide angle cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, figure-8 plus one intermediate position each

Frequency range

20 Hz ... 20 kHz

Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm

34/47/62 mV/Pa1)

Rated impedance

50 ohms

Rated load impedance

1 kohms

Equivalent noise level, CCIR2)

28/25/23 dB1)

Equivalent noise level, A-weighted2)

16/13/11 dB-A1)

Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR2) (rel. 94 dB SPL)

66/69/71 dB1)

Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted2) (rel. 94 dB SPL)

78/81/83 dB1)

Typical SPL (tube characteristic)3)

K < 0,5 %: 120 dB, K < 5 %: 136 dB

Maximum output voltage

18 dBu

Dynamic range of the microphone amplifier (A-weighted) for < 0,5% THD (for < 5% THD)

101 (121) dB

Powering

Power supply N 149 A

Matching connectors

Microphone DIN8F, Power supply XLR3F

Weight

730 g

Diameter

70 mm

Length

201 mm

______________________________________________
1) Omnidirectional / cardioid / figure-8
2) according to IEC 60268-1; CCIR-weighting according to CCIR 468-3, quasi peak; A-weighting according to IEC 61672-1, RMS
3) measured as equivalent el. input signal

Downloads

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Name

Description

Manual (6/2010, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian)

Manual (9/2010, English, German)