Soundelux mics, or more specifically, a U97?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tapeup, May 25, 2008.

  1. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Soundelux mics, specifically a U97, anyone know anything about them/it?

    Hey fellow gear heads,

    I don't know anything about this company's mics, and was hoping someone could give me some info. I saw a Soundelux U97 microphone in a pawn shop a couple days ago, and it looked like a nice older mic, maybe a knock-off or replica of an expensive Neumann or something like that? It was in the original brown wooden case, and besides having U97 on it, had #323 on it, which I guess is the serial number, and said Hollywood, CA. I am more of a musician than a recording engineer, so my knowledge in recording equipment is not super vast, yet I do my own recording at home for songwriting purposes etc. before going to real studios, and wouldn't mind picking up this mic if it is good, and worth the money. I was hoping someone could tell me whether or not this is a good mic, or more about this company, and what a good price would be for this U97? Much thanks!
     
  2. elambo

    elambo Member

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    They haven't made those mics for a long time. They were decent, but not as good as the mics Soundelux produced AFTER the U97, some of which were/are incredible. Their 251 in particular is wonderful. The 97 wasn't thought of as anything too great. There are new mics available today that would be less money and much better.
     
  3. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks elambo for the information, I definitely appreciate it!! So for $250, I should pass on the U97 then?
     
  4. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a killer deal.
     
  5. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    You think so Bassomatic?...even after elambo's thoughts on the U97 being just decent? I don't know what a good price is, or if this mic, even though just being decent, is better than what I currently have for vocal mics, etc.?
     
  6. elambo

    elambo Member

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    You didn't mentioned the price before. $250 isn't a whole lot of cash for a Soundelux mic. For that kind of cash it would be tempting, unless it's not functioning properly.
     
  7. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I know this particular pawn shop permits returns on elecrical items that you can't test in the store, for a period of 24 or 48 hours I think (maybe 7 days, I can't remember).

    So for $250, even for a U97, it's worth considering? Are there other mics for $250 that I could get better results out of? If I'd have to spend considerably more than $250 to get a mic of this caliber, then I may as well pick the Soundelux up.
     
  8. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    I own the Elux 251 but I think the real standout in the Soundelux line is the E-47. I have many of the big vintage tube mics but I find myself reaching for the E-47 more than any mic in the studio. The U97 uses a Chinese capsule which is not up to the quality of the rest of the Soundelux line. No doubt why it was dropped. I think they were only around $500. Although the U97 carries the Soundelux name, it is not at all representative of what most associate with the brand name and was never on par with the rest of the line. I've heard that the U97 was also problematic and that Soundelux ( now Bock Audio)no longer has parts to service the mic. Even at $250, it might not be a good deal at all.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't doubt that there's something to this, but meaning no disrespect, have you heard/used one? I have not, and while I'm sure that it's bad rep is deserved to some extent, I'm just thinking how sometimes products take a lot of **** on the internet for where their parts are made, often from people who have never heard or used them.

    Considering the rep Soundelux has earned for their best mics, how bad can "not on par" be for $250? Some prosumer mag has a feature article this month on LDC mics for under $100... $250 for the worst mic Soundelux ever made strikes me as a tough price to walk away from; it's gotta be good for something.
     
  10. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    $250-$300 is about right for that mic. If it's in good condition, I don't think you'll get hurt @ $250, if it doesn't work for you. You won't triple your money either, just for saying Soundelux on the side (they used Chinese parts).
     
  11. elambo

    elambo Member

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    My jaw would drop if a mic built by David Bock, even if an early experiment, wasn't worth $250.

    Considering the fact that the shop will let you return it, I'd say buy it, record something, post it here and we could help you decide if it's running up to spec and worth $250.
     
  12. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    David Bock is among the absolute finest builders in the world. Yes, I've heard the U97 and it is not consistent with the other mics in his line. It was dropped years ago for this very reason and also has considerable reliability issues that CANNOT be repaired by the service department. I am a huge fan of his mics and own several. I would take time to write service dept and hear for yourself. I know for a fact they themselves advise to quote, "stay away from this mic". I don't what else one would need to hear. I wouldn't waste my money.
     
  13. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    The OP asked " I was hoping someone could tell me whether or not this is a good mic, or more about this company...."

    I've been an avid Soundelux user for years and have a lot of first hand experience with several models. These are world class, hi-end mics that would be at home in any pro studio. This is an excellent company (now Bock Audio), David Bock is highly respected as one of the best in his profession. I've had numerous experiences with customer service, all minor issues, all related to parts that were not built in house by Soundelux. No electronic issues, just things like shock mounts and other accessories. I recommend anything with the Soundelux name on it except the U97.

    I just took a moment to send a quick e-mail to the studio products specialist at the Bock Audio website. I received a reply within minutes.

    Hi,. would the old U97 be a good, low price utility mic? Thanks in advance.

    reply:

    The U97 has quite a service issue. I would stay away from it.
    J
     
  14. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you all for taking the time to give me your experience and results and opinions on this mic and the Soundelux company, as well as on David Bock and Bock Audio. I fully appreciate all of the great information I have received regarding this microphone, making it much easier for me to make a sound decision on whether or not to purchase this old U97. Much thanks! :AOK
     
  15. elambo

    elambo Member

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    That's good info to have. It means that the odds that the mic has an issue of some sort if higher than normal. And the fact that it's at a pawn shop might mean that the prior owner knew this and couldn't sell it elsewhere.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Well, that pretty well clinches that.
     
  17. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah I think it pretty much does too...unless it sits there for a very long time and they drop the price to under a hundred dollars, it might be cool to use for an odd vocal or effect or something? Then again maybe not...Thanks again for all the info guys, and for taking the time to drop the specialists at Bock Audio an email regarding this mic Ulysses! Much appreciated!
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Wait till it's $50, then store it away. In 50 years, because so few exist, a collector of rare vintage mics will pay you or your kids $50k for it... which will buy a tank of gas.
     
  19. elambo

    elambo Member

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    In Chicago it's shaping up to be more like 5 years. :mad:
     
  20. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Speaking of which, somebody stole several gallons of gas out of one of our work trucks Sunday night, it had a locking gas cap too, so I guess where there's a will there's a way. The gas cap was sitting on top of the truck and a plastic nozzle from a gas can was laying on the ground beside the truck. Wow, nothing's safe anymore it seems!...and now if someone steals even just 5 gallons of gas that's like stealing at least twenty bucks depending on where you live and what you're gas price is at these days.
    Lame! :mob
     

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