Pictured in Dweezil Zappa’s Utility Muffin Research Kitchen (L-R) Telefunken president Joe Sanborn, Dweezil Zappa and Telefunken CEO Toni Fishman.
Photo: David Goggin
Recording artist Dweezil Zappa has chosen a new Telefunken NA U47 for the recording of his solo album, which also includes music penned and previously recorded by Frank Zappa. The U47 is one of a new line of line of microphones, which re-creates the legendary vintage Telefunken sound. Detailed reverse engineering has resulted in meticulous reissues of the classic Telefunken microphones.
In addition to acquiring the new version of the classic U47, Zappa met with the company’s founder, Toni Fishman, and president, Joe Sanborn, to examine and evaluate Frank Zappa’s collection of vintage microphones, some of which have been unused since the early 1990s.
Fishman explained, “Frank Zappa had assembled a very original and complete collection of extremely rare and valuable German and Austrian microphones. We dismantled and carefully evaluated the condition of the mics, performed numerous minor repairs, replaced some of the tubes with NOS (New Old Stock) tubes and then worked on mic systems integration by matching up the correct power supplies and cables. In total, we went through three Telefunken U47s, four Neumann M49s and a beautiful matched pair of Neumann M50s, circa 1950 and four AKG C24s, circa 1960. We also worked on an AKG C-12A that was missing a cable and power supply and rebuilt a custom Telefunken Ela M251 using the existing capsule. It was an impressive collection, but if microphones are unused they tend to deteriorate, so we’ve given them a renewed life and got them up and running for Dweezil’s upcoming projects.”
Zappa added, “It’s amazing how same-model microphones have very distinct characteristics, because of the subtleties of the capsules and the choice and condition of the tubes. The new U47 is a very finely crafted mic, which fits beautifully into the collection that Frank put together.”
The new Dweezil Zappa album, Go With What You Know, is on the Sumthing Records label.
For more information, please visit www.telefunkenusa.com.