Can you emulate a classic valve microphone using solid‑state circuitry? Slovakian mic makers Flea certainly think so!
Flea Microphones were founded in 2002 in Slovakia. Initially they produced exact clones of revered vintage (and, at the time, not so often copied) Neumann and AKG microphones — namely the Neumann U47, U48, M49 and M50, and the AKG C12. Alongside this Flea Vintage series they developed Flea Next, a range in which they put a slight twist on the U47 and M49. The U47 Next is a fixed‑cardioid version rather than cardioid/omni, and the M49 differs from the stubby‑looking original in being housed in a long slender case which is rounded off by the connector. The latest additions to this range are the SuperFET 47 and 48 microphones, in which they set out to achieve sound qualities as similar as possible to the valve U47, but with the benefits of FET technology, ie. better signal‑to‑noise ratio, lower production costs and better reliability.
In the 1960s, as silicon...
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