V-47 LE Tube Microphone Kit
The V-47 LE is a tube microphone kit based on the 6072 vaccuum tube and our famous RK-47 capsule.
The circuit is a single-triode design, developed for our V-251 kit. This circuit was revised and upgraded in December, 2021.
The V-47 LE includes two switches on the mic, for pad and high-pass filter, plus a 9-way polar pattern control on the power supply.
The V-47 LE uses a satin black painted brass mic body with an embossed brass "MP" logo badge.
Some of the photos on this page show the old metalwork with the engraved 'micparts' logo. That style has been discontinued in favor of the version with the logo badge.
What's in the kit?
We provide everything you'll need to build a a complete V-47 tube microphone:
- Complete metalwork. We provide the mic body, chassis, and grille. The brass body has a satin black finish. Switch markings are engraved for durability.
- Custom circuit boards. We designed these in-house and manufacture them for DIY assembly. We use high quality two-layer boards with clear silkscreen markings and reasonably sized solder pads.
- Fantastic components. The kit includes 100% of components needed to build the mic circuit. All these parts are selected from among the best available, including low-noise Dale metal film resistors, a polystyrene input cap from Reliable, an imported film and foil output cap that beat a dozen competitors in a shootout, high-grade electrolytics from Panasonic and Nichicon, a NOS styrene tone capacitor, high-grade film capacitors, and a US-made T/14 output transformer.
- Low-noise tube. The tube is a 6072a type, tested and selected in the US to conform to our specifications for noise and microphonics. We picked this 6072 over many other types because it has better distortion characteristics.
- Internal wiring. We've sourced pre-cut and tinned, color-coded, multistrand silver-plated OFC with Teflon insulation, made in the US specifically for this kit.
- Two HPF choices. We include two different capacitor values for the high-pass filter, so that you can choose at build time whether to build a "rumble" filter or a more traditional high-pass.
- Socketed HF EQ. Set the circuit's high-frequency rolloff via a socketed capacitor -- no soldering required for final tuning!
- Complete PSU with voltage mod parts. The V-47 LE kit includes a finished and tested power supply, plus a pair of diodes to be installed by the customer to adjust the supply's output voltage. (Alternatively, upgrade to our custom VPS1 PSU circuit.) We include an IEC power cord for US wall outlets.
- Unparalleled documentation. Each kit comes with a full color, step-by-step instruction manual. Our installation guides are known throughout the DIY audio community, and have been widely praised as the best available.
- Accessories. The V-47 LE kit includes an elastic shockmount (with spare elastics) and an aluminum flight case.
The kit does not include a soldering iron or other necessary tools; see our DIY audio tools listing for specific recommendations.
No premium-grade tube mic should be stuck using a cheap XLR cable -- which can cause up to a half-volt in loss to the critical tube heater supply. Upgrade to our Gotham GAC-7, custom terminated in the USA with authentic Gotham connectors.
The Chinese-made PSU that accompanies most inexpensive tube microphones works relatively well, although its output voltage can drift, leading to subtle changes in the harmonic structure of the sound. To get the most out of the V-47 LE, we recommend upgrading to our VPS1 supply, which provides tightly regulated voltage, superior filtering, and slow ramp-up power to extend the life of the tube. It allows B+ and heater voltages to be set independently via internal trimpots. The VPS is available as a fully built, tested, and warrantied unit, and as a circuit kit to upgrade an existing compatible power supply.
V-47 LE vs V-47
How does the V-47 LE differ from our V-47?
Both are premium DIY tube mic kits based on vintage models. Both use the 6072 tube (selected for low noise and low microphonics). Both deliver exceptional performance, far above what the price point would suggest. But they differ in component selection, topology, features, and specifications:
- The LE is a single triode, whereas the V-47 uses a dual triode/CCDA topology.
- The LE circuit has 6dB lower output.
- The LE circuit has up to 12dB higher second harmonic coloration, and therefore sounds more "vintage" / has more "vibe" or "tube sound."
- The LE kit is easier to build, primarily because we've eliminated nearly 50% of the wire joints.
- The LE circuit requires a higher-ratio transformer than does the V-47 circuit. We use a T-14 here rather than our BV8-style 6.5:1. Both transformers provide excellent performance, but they convey subtly different character to the sound.
- The LE provides a 10dB pad and a high-pass filter via external switches.
- The LE uses a film-and-foil output capacitor. We did not have room for such a capacitor in the V-47 kit; it uses a high-grade metallized output capacitor.
In practice, both circuits offer performance rivaling commercial mics priced above $2000. The LE is easier to build, has additional features, and has more "tube sound" (even-order harmonic coloration). The V-47 circuit has higher output, and therefore requires 6dB less preamp gain on quiet sources.
Which of these circuits best suits your needs depends on what you record, and what features you need. That is, neither is objectively "better." These two models sound different and excel at different things.
International power cords
This kit includes an IEC power cord for US wall outlets. We can ship this kit anywhere in the world; the PSU (both models) has a 115V/230V switch. Non-US customers will have to source their own IEC power cord.