Neumann.Berlin has announced a reissue of the M 49 studio microphone according to original specifications and design documents from the company’s archive, using the same circuitry as the last historical revision but with a lower-noise, hand-selected subminiature tube. It’s designated as the M 49 V.
“In our field tests, even renowned microphone experts could not detect any difference in sound,” states portfolio manager Sebastian Schmitz. “In timbre and dynamic behavior, the M 49 V is identical to a historic M 49 in top condition. The circuitry and acoustic design have been adopted from the M 49 c. And the most important component, the classic K 49 large-diaphragm capsule, has been manufactured by Neumann with no changes since the 1950s – what company could claim anything like that?”
Detail improvements have been made to the pattern control unit, which now automatically adapts to the mains voltage and is also compatible with old M 49 microphones. Instead of the previous bayonet connector, the M 49 V uses the RF-tight connector of the historic broadcast version M 249. In addition, the M 49 V can be configured via internal switches either as a made-to-order option or post-sales by Neumann Service.
The infrasonic filter, which protects the BV11 output transformer from unwanted distortion, can be lowered from 30 Hz to 12 Hz, resulting in the frequency response of the early M 49 (without suffix) up to 1957. Like the historical M 49 b model variant, the M 49 V can be set to fixed cardioid pickup pattern, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio by about 3 dB. This option is useful if the M 49 V is to be used exclusively in cardioid mode; for example, for vocals and speech.
“The M 49 is a very special microphone not only for a large number of our customers, but also for me personally. It is an icon of recording technology and is inextricably linked to some of the most extraordinary voices and instrumentalists of the last 70 years. Its physical presence alone, and even more so its incomparable sound, lend that magic and authority for which the Neumann name has become synonymous,” explains Ralf Oehl, CEO of Georg Neumann GmbH. “That gleam in the eyes of our mostly Grammy-awarded testers, after they sang or played into a new M 49 V for the first time, cannot be put into words. But it touched me incredibly every time. That’s exactly what we work for so passionately.”
Regarding availability, Ralf Oehl states: “Less than 48 hours after the official sales launch, we already have more than 200 orders. That’s overwhelming. Especially when you consider that we can only hand manufacture about 25 pieces per month with three specially trained employees. We must therefore hope for your patience. I promise … it will be worth the wait.”
The M 49 V comes as a set with remote pattern control unit, microphone cable, and the classic “yoke” swivel mount delivered in a handcrafted case. List price is €8,495/$8,499. Go here for more specifics.