V-251 Tube Mic Platinum Edition
The best-sounding mic in the studio is the V-251 Platinum, hands down.
- Paul Smith, Eight Days A Week Studios
The Platinum Edition V-251 Microphone is a recreation and reimagination of one of the most famous tube microphones in history, the Telefunken ElaM 251.
While our V-251 DIY kit and standard V-251 microphone both deliver superior performance when compared to so-called "clones" of the Telefunken ElaM 251, the Platinum edition takes the product to another level. We've reworked the entire circuit of both the mic and power supply, implementing upgrades with no concern for cost.
The Platinum edition is not available as a DIY kit, and will not be offered as a DIY kit. It has limited availability, due to the limited availability of the vintage parts we've chosen. These are built by hand in our Northern California shop, burned in and tested extensively. This is very much a boutique product, built to order.
Improvements to Vintage
The standard V-251 improves on the original design in the following ways:
- We use higher-value, audiophile-grade resistors to reduce the noise floor as compared to vintage European models -- without losing any tone or character.
- We include a pad switch on the mic, to enable recording higher-SPL sources.
- We include a high-pass filter switch on the mic, to enable control over proximity effect.
- We provide nine polar patterns (the original mic had three). The pattern control is on the power supply.
Partial List of Upgrades
The Platinum Edition mics include rare/vintage/NOS component upgrades that are not available in the DIY kits. A partial list of Platinum edition upgrades includes:
- A $130 input capacitor in the mic
- European T/14 transformer, wound specifically for this microphone
- Upgraded filter capacitors throughout the system
- Rare tantalum audio resistors in key locations of both mic and PSU
- Gold-plated, audiophile grade fuse and holder in the PSU
- Telefunken bridge rectifiers in the PSU
- Swiss-made, precision pattern control outfitted with 1% tolerance, US-made audio resistors
- Solid-core, high purity copper wires for audio output and ground circuit in the PSU
- Bundled GAC7 XLR cable ($109 value) and AudioQuest power cord ($129 value)
- One hand-built-in-California boutique tube microphone, using our proprietary upgrades to the vintage ElaM 251 circuit, acclaimed RK-12 edge-terminated capsule, and European T/14 output transformer.
- Spider-style elastic shockmount. This attaches to the mic with two thumbscrews to tighten felt-lined metal bands around the mic body.
- Hand-built, Platinum edition VPS1 power supply with vented, silver powdercoated housing. The VPS1 is compatible with, and tested for either 115VAC and 230VAC mains power (depending on customer location).
- Gotham GAC7 XLR cable.
- AudioQuest IEC power cord (for US/Canadian plugs).
- Aluminum flightcase.
Hear the mic
Charlie and Ernesto at Ultimate Studios recorded guitar (acoustic and electric), bass (miked cab), drums, tambourine, piano, organ (miked cab), and vocals, with just one Platinum V-251. Here is the resulting music video:
See excerpts from individual sessions in the "Songs from the Studio series," on Ultimate Studios' Youtube channel.