TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik strives for perfection with all our products. Not only do we want them to perform and sound as best as possible, but also live up to the iconic TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik name and the history it represents. For over a decade, the lab team has continuously improved their craft to the highest production quality standards we could set forth. The tagline, "Built to a standard, not to a price," is far more than an advertising line; it is a company-wide mentality. Every step of production is performed to strict standards in both function and quality.
For our entire microphone line, each component has been selected for superior electronic properties and sonic quality and integrity. All film capacitors are polystyrene film, the premium choice for high fidelity audio circuits. They are custom-made and branded exclusively for TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik in the USA. The electrolytic capacitors were selected by extensive testing done with a wide variety of options to derive our component of choice. The Diamond Series features precision metal film resistors with a 0.1% tolerance, while R-F-T utilizes a still strict tolerance of 1%. All components have been chosen exclusively by sonic and electronic performance, never by price.
Prior to production, rigorous test procedures ensure the consistency and performance of each of the critical components in the microphone to our highest standard. The testing procedure includes the evaluation of every "new old stock" [NOS] vacuum tube for noise, gain, transconductance, and microphonics. Capsules are evaluated for proper frequency response and sensitivity, while transformers are tested for proper impedance, gain, and response. Once constructed, each complete system is tested for overall frequency response, voltage measurements, noise, gain, phase shift, and most importantly, sonic character.
To go even further, exhaustive quality control and cleaning is performed for product longevity, integrity, and optimal performance. New old stock [NOS] vacuum tubes are employed in all TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik condenser microphones, and often times the tube stock has collected debris from decades of storage. Each tube is burned in for a specific amount of time with our custom-made device to extend useful tube life and preemptively remove any failed tubes before installation. The tube pins and glass are carefully cleaned and sterilized to promote proper conductance. As you can see in the photo gallery, the differences are quite obvious! All high impedance components and traces are cleaned with isopropyl alcohol to ensure they are able to perform without interference from even the smallest bit of debris.
Few manufacturers can match the level of dedication and attention to detail given to the hand-built TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik products before they are ready to leave the building to our dedicated and growing allegiance of users.
For Diamond Series manufacturing, absolutely no detail is left unattended. These microphones are meticulously built to historic specifications with no expense spared. Diamond Series products are honest recreations of the increasingly rare microphones that have forged countless legendary recordings. With our Diamond Series products, you can acquire this exact sonic quality coupled with perfected assembly techniques and improved circuitry.
From capsule, to chassis, to screw, every part has been reverse engineered from the large collection of historic AKG, Neumann, and TELEFUNKEN blueprints we keep in our technical documentation library. On top of manufacturing accurate recreations of the most sought-after microphones in the industry, we also offer nearly any part for restoration of vintage models, providing a much-needed source for the vintage restoration market.
When we say hand-assembled, we mean it. Each microphone is individually wired point-to-point; no circuit boards to be found here. Every plastic is riveted by hand, and each assembly is tapped and screwed together by hand. Diamond Series microphones are produced in smaller production runs to achieve the finest attention to detail.
Over the last decade, TELEFUNKEN has perfected the art of CK12 production to a much tighter tolerance and higher success rate than AKG ever dreamt of. Our CK12 has been developed by reverse engineering several generations of original AKG CK12 back plate configurations and selecting what we found to have the best overall response and performance. The back plates are both precision machined then hand-sanded to extremely tight tolerances, and each membrane is tensioned and tuned by hand. Through ongoing development and extensive research, our capsule engineers have achieved a higher consistency than ever thought before, taking all the guesswork out of the previously backbreaking process of exact capsule matching.
Not only are all the microphone parts and CK12 accurately recreated, but our output transformers hold true as well. The ELA M 251 series and C12 both utilize the Swiss-made Haufe T14/1 transformer, the original manufacturer for TELEFUNKEN. The U47 and U48 feature a proprietary American-made BV8 transformer, built to the original blueprints and specifications.
To complete the package, Diamond Series cables and power supplies are all hand built by our technicians in our South Windsor, CT facility. Diamond Series cables feature original connectors and high quality tube microphone cable with superior RF rejection. We have revised original "brute force" power supply circuits to our own vastly improved designs with superior power regulation and meticulous build quality. Read more about our power supply upgrades here. We invite you to browse through our photo gallery to see some examples of different stages of production from subassemblies to completed products.
While the R-F-T Series of microphones are produced with exact same level of attention to quality and performance, we are able to utilize modern manufacturing cost-saving techniques to provide the TELEFUNKEN quality at a more affordable price range. We have taken advantage of standardized metalwork as opposed to the Diamond Series' faithful dedication to historic construction. But don't be mistaken; the R-F-T microphones are 100% hand assembled from the ground up in our South Windsor, CT facility. This is a far cry from the all too common rebranding of a product built overseas.
The R-F-T line features all new old stock vacuum tubes and the same premium transformer choices as the Diamond Series line. The AR-51 and AR-70 utilizes the same Swiss-made Haufe T14/1 output transformer as in the ELA M 251 series and C12, while the AK-47 MkII uses the same American-made BV8 output transformer as in the U47. The CU-29 features a proprietary output transformer built to our specifications. All the same component choices, testing procedures, and cleaning processes that are performed on the Diamond Series are also done with the R-F-T microphones.
R-F-T differentiates itself in its use of premium circuit boards for build efficiency; but these are no ordinary circuit boards. Instead of the modern day, mass produced boards with surface mount components and tiny traces, we have opted for hand plugging and soldering each board one at a time to ensure consistent quality. Our circuit boards are precisely laid out with careful attention paid on directness and length of traces (especially for high-impedance lines) and maximum trace width for optimal current flow. This in turn closely emulates point-to-point wiring. Please take some time checking out the full photo gallery for examples of different stages of production.