I have done a few reviews on Stam Audio products at this point, but in case you haven’t seen them, Stam Audio are a company known for their high-quality clones of famous and sought-after vintage recording gear. In the past, I checked out their 1073 preamp and SSL 4000 bus compressor clones, and have come away from them both times very impressed! This is the first microphone from them that I am checking out, but based on my past experience with their products, the bar is set very high!
For those of you who might not know, the original vintage Neumann U47 FET microphone was created as a cheaper, more readily available version of the Neumann U47 Tube microphone. The idea was that Neumann wanted to make a microphone that was as similar as possible to the original U47, but using a FET solid-state design instead of a tube to significantly cut down the cost of the microphone, giving people looking for something at a lower price point a quality microphone to choose from. Now, while the original FET is very similar to the original tube version, it differs in one or two major ways. The biggest difference being that because it’s a FET design, it has much more headroom and faster transient response than the tube version. Meaning you could use it on things like kick drums and bass, not only vocals. In fact, many renowned recording engineers that I know to this day swear by using a U47 FET on a kick drum. The other major difference between the FET and the tube is the sound signature is just a little different. The tube version has more sparkle in its high end and a little more depth to it, making things like vocals sound a little more up front. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing, it depends on what you are going for, but it is a notable difference between the two.
As I expected based on my previous experience with Stam Audio, the look and feel of the U47 FET is great! It feels solid and sturdy, and visually it very much evokes the look of a vintage Neumann microphone. The mic comes in a nice flight case, leather bag, and a sweet shock mount.
The components Stam have used in the making of this microphone are to my knowledge the closest thing available on the market to offering what the real deal vintage Neumann U47 FET had. A Maiku K47 Capsule, Cinemag Output Transformer, Tantalum capacitors, and all put together strictly following the original U47FET solid-state schematic.
As you heard in the demo, it’s a warmer sounding microphone that’s good at picking up subtle details of the voice. It handles large dynamic shifts well without really losing any of the detail.
All in all a wonderful microphone for anyone looking for a taste of the sweet vintage Neumann sound at an affordable price point. At $700 for pre-order, I can’t really think of a similar microphone out there that gives you the sound of a vintage Neumann U47 FET. Hopefully, I will get a chance to check out the rest of Stam Audio’s selection of microphones to give you guys a better look at the differences between them all and what they have to offer. Until next time, I’ll catch you guys later!