Item: Telefunken CU29 “Copperhead” Studio Microphone
Price: £1195 (UK), $1525 (US)
Quick Singer Assessment:
The Telefunken CU29 is an ideal vocal recording microphone with a high maximum dB SPL, which means it can be used for other instruments as well. Unfortunately, this mic only has one polar pattern.
At a Glance
The Telefunken CU29 is a cardioid tube microphone intended for studio applications; and particularly for lead vocal recording. Despite being one of Telefunken’s cheaper microphones, it still features premium features such as a NOS (New Old Stock) Telefunken 6AK5W vacuum tube and a Lundahl LL1935 output transformer. The CU-29 microphone comes with its own power supply, cable and shock mount, and wooden microphone box for storage when not in use.
The mic provides a characterful sound that provides a warm and defined low end that is complemented by a smooth and present high end; that makes recordings sound large and upfront in a mix. It has a particular nice proximity effect, that when combined with the sound of the mics tubes, can really make a vocal sound rich and exciting. It also handles sibilance very well – meaning a de-esser is often not needed. As well as vocal recordings, the mics high maximum SPL of 130dB means it can be used on a wide range of other sources including drums and electric guitar cabs.
The microphone only has a cardioid polar pattern (although this isn’t a problem for most vocal recordings). Also, the character of the microphone will work better for some voices and instruments than others – so if you do not already have a selection of other mics, you might want to look at a microphone that is a bit more neutral.
Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says…
The CU29 is a classy sounding mic that is well suited for vocal recording. It may not be the cheapest mic on the market; however considering the quality on offer (and the price of most Telefunken mics), the CU29 offers great value, providing you do not need the versatility of a multi-pattern microphone. For alternatives, you might want to look at the Advanced Audio CM67SE, Rode K2, Peluso 22 251 or the Mojave MA200 – you also might want to check out Telefunken’s AR51 which uses the same capsule as the CU29, but has multiple polar patterns. – Chris Kennedy
Manufacturer’s Website: https://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com/
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Chris Kennedy is a songwriter, producer multi-instrumentalist and freelance journalist from the UK. He has performed extensively over Europe and written and produced over a dozen albums. Chris also has a passion for music technology and was the principal product reviewer and tech expert of the original Voice Council magazine.