Telefunken Elektroakustik has introduced the Alchemy series with four new large diaphragm tube condenser microphones. The TF29, TF39, TF47 and TF51 certainly have a very classy look to them. But according to Telefunken, these models are not clones of vintage mics, instead offering “a distinctively original sonic fingerprint”. Do they have what it takes to become modern classics?
The new Alchemy series microphones are made in the USA. While they do contain elements of proven vintage mics, Telefunken says that they have a distinctive, modern sound and state-of-the-art reliability.
Many important components, such as the vacuum tubes and transformers, are sourced from the USA and Europe, the company says on its website. Telefunken also reminds us of its high level of quality control, which includes capsule frequency sweeps, tube burn-in and noise grading. The company says that this ensures tight tolerances from one mic to another. All mics ship in a protective case and include two mount options, a dust cover, a 7-meter cable, and a power supply.
Let’s taker a closer look at each of the four new models.
This model is the evolution of the CU-29 and designed to deliver a natural, not overly hyped sound. With a cardioid polar pattern, it is meant to be a workhorse microphone for vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, drums, and many other sound sources. The circuitry is based on a new old stock 5654W tube, a brass K67-style capsule and a Lundahl output transformer.
TF39 Copperhead Deluxe
The TF39 is similar to the TF29, but features three selectable polar patterns: Cardioid, omni, and figure-8. While offering the same sonic characteristics as the TF29, this makes the TF39 more flexible and provides more options in the studio.
As the name implies, the TF47 draws inspiration from the U47 and M49 classics. It features a brass K47-style capsule, a new old stock 5840W vacuum tube and a custom-made BV8 transformer. Telefunken claims that the result is a warm and punchy sound with a forward midrange and a detailed top end. They recommend this mic for R&B, rap and soul vocals, upright bass, trombone, cello and percussion, among others.
Designed to deliver an “Austrian” sound, the TF51 is inspired by the ELA M 251E and C12. It is based on an edge-terminated style capsule and a 6072A vacuum tube. In the output stage, it employs a custom transformer by Haufe, whose name is closely associated with historic Telefunken mics. With a smooth midrange and airy top end, the TF51 seems to be a good choice for vocals, acoustic instruments, and percussion.
The Telefunken Alchemy series microphones will arrive in the shops around the end of March 2019. The TF29 and TF39 list for US $1295 and $1495, respectively. The TF47 and TF51 each cost around $1895.