There are many fans of Telefunken mics, with its U47 and ELA M Series leading the pack. However, Telefunken never built mics, instead outsourcing manufacturing to Neumann and AKG, which made models that bore the Telefunken name.
In the late ’50s, Neumann established its own U.S. distribution and stopped supplying U47s to Telefunken. Seeking a high-quality studio replacement, Telefunken asked AKG to create a multipattern tube condenser that had its pattern control switching on the mic body and the result was the ELA M 251 and ELA M 250. The latter was an omni/cardioid design, while the three-pattern 251 added a figure-8 pickup. All used the proven CK12 capsule employed in AKG’s famed C-12.
Nearly a half-century after its introduction, hundreds of vintage Telefunken ELA M 251/250s are in use worldwide and still prized by engineers for their smooth vocal reproduction and sparkling high-end response. But credit should be given to AKG for designing this timeless, enduring classic.