8 years ago, Toni Fishman, owner and CEO of TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, had a brilliant idea. After speaking with numerous industry professionals about their historic TELEFUNKEN ELA M 250 and 251 microphones, he discovered that their polar pattern selector switch was notoriously fragile and often broke, leaving the mics unusable. As there were no available replacements, owners resorted to attempting to fix them on their own. Toni decided it was time that he did something about all these broken switches, so he set out to recreate it. However, it quickly became apparent to him that not only did he want to reverse engineer the switch, he wanted to recreate the whole thing. For the next two years, he was on a mission. He didn’t just want to recreate the sound of the microphone; he wanted to recreate the look of the mic, the feel of the mic, the soul of the mic. He wanted to breath new life into a microphone that had been forgotten by a generation of recording engineers; bring it back from the dead. He located as many of the original blueprints as he could find. What was not available was re-drawn precisely from a multitude of pristine samples. What resulted from all this hard work and dedication was our flagship microphone, our proverbial phoenix: The ELA M 251E.
So, what makes our ELA M 250 and 251 so special? The heart of these microphones, the CK-12 capsule, is hand built in our lab, constructed in the same manner it was more than 50 years ago. The output transformer is custom built for us by the original manufacturer (Haufe) and is wound to the original specifications. The tube is a New Old Stock GE 6072a, just like the original. We’ve even recreated all of the original plastics, the body tube, head grille, switch housing, capsule mount, side-straps… well, you get it. Every detail is there, meticulously reproduced, right down to the screws that hold the capsule together.
In use, the ELA M 250 and 251 are silky and smooth, open, airy, and incredibly detailed, with a sound that falls somewhere in between that of a U-47 and a C-12. Yet, it has it’s own identity, it’s own sonic fingerprint. It allows vocals to fit beautifully and effortlessly into a mix, conveys the natural sound of a drum kit when used on overheads, captures the tone and body of a steel string acoustic guitar with plenty of detail and clarity.
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