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Thread: Character of the Elux251

  1. #1
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    Character of the Elux251

    I've been eyeing this mic for a while and never thought I'd be able to afford one. I found one used from a studio for a price that, though still at the very very top of my budget, is at least tangible. Before plopping down the cash I'm wondering if people who are familiar with its sound and use could offer any specific characteristics? I'd be using if primarily for my voice and acoustic guitar and it would be (for a while my only mic beside a C1 and an sm58).

    My voice is on the quiet airy side. I've been told it is small but sweet. It gets reedy in the high register. My guitar is a taylor 514ce. Nice and articulate and warm for fingerstyle but thin and a little weak for strumming.

    Style is an eclectic mix of mellow soft folk to straight ahead pop. My original thinking was to get something that would make my voice and guitar full and warm (maybe even on the dark end of the spectrum). Most people like clean, uncolored, pristine sound for acoustic based music, but I like acoustic records I've heard that have intentional color and that vintage warmth but modern in your face vibe. At the same time a softer voice needs detail and presence to get its point across. Too dark and it can suck some of the life out of it.

    So where would you say this mic stands? Can I not go wrong with it? Am I headed in a totally bad direction? What's the resale on these things if I don't like it?

    thanks very much,

    JPM

  2. #2
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    I have one. I imagine you will be singing very close to the mic. It will likely need a de-esser as it can really excentuate s's. It sounds great though and I've found that it very easily lets the vocals sit on top of the mix. Even when you bring in other instruments, it's presence still remains. I haven't had mine too long, but I really like it. I used to use a U87Ai. They are very very very different. At mix time, I'm glad I chose the elux. However, I don't have too much experience with the other big name vocal mics out there. Just a little with the C12.

    Do you have a nice compressor? You might be better off spending less on the mic and getting a good compressor. I guess that's George Massenburg's recommendation...along with the AT tube mic.

    If you don't like it, I'm sure you'll be able to sell it for a good amount. Check out ebay present and past auctions to help get an idea.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tom - yeah I have somewhat of an "essy" voice. I currently have no compressor and for whatever reason wasn't even considering one as it's my goal to just get a top quality vocal and guitar sound and let the big boys add effects and mix etc.

    It's a difficult call. Though I'm picky about tone and finding something good for my voice I'm first concerned with quality (which I take to mean: depth, detail, full sounding, etc). People rave about certain cheaper mics (read: Chinese) but even it they're really darn good for the money I'm not convinced it will satisfy me as we're all so used to that big label sound. Many mics sound good or very good, but I'm looking for something that leaves little if anything ot be desired. Maybe my preconcieved notion of cheap gear is inaccurate - i don't know? I guess when I think of cheaper mics I think of small and thin - clear, yes, but not full and deep.

    So, anyway, maybe I should be looking at something lower down the ladder from the soundelux line.

    Any comments on how the Elux sounds different than the U87? My other choice was the ifet7 (which I hear is similar).

    JPM

  4. #4
    Sal Vito is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Originally posted by JPM:
    <STRONG>I've been eyeing this mic for a while and never thought I'd be able to afford one. I found one used from a studio for a price that, though still at the very very top of my budget, is at least tangible. Before plopping down the cash I'm wondering if people who are familiar with its sound and use could offer any specific characteristics? I'd be using if primarily for my voice and acoustic guitar and it would be (for a while my only mic beside a C1 and an sm58).

    My voice is on the quiet airy side. I've been told it is small but sweet. It gets reedy in the high register. My guitar is a taylor 514ce. Nice and articulate and warm for fingerstyle but thin and a little weak for strumming.

    Style is an eclectic mix of mellow soft folk to straight ahead pop. My original thinking was to get something that would make my voice and guitar full and warm (maybe even on the dark end of the spectrum). Most people like clean, uncolored, pristine sound for acoustic based music, but I like acoustic records I've heard that have intentional color and that vintage warmth but modern in your face vibe. At the same time a softer voice needs detail and presence to get its point across. Too dark and it can suck some of the life out of it.

    So where would you say this mic stands? Can I not go wrong with it? Am I headed in a totally bad direction? What's the resale on these things if I don't like it?

    thanks very much,

    JPM</STRONG>
    Hey... I don't know anything about this mic, but one thing I'd tell you is not to completely discount your intuition.

    If you are getting a good feeling about this mic... I think you owe it to yourself to hear it on your voice Maybe it IS the mic you are looking for and you'll kick yourself for years if you don't get it...

    Is the studio that's selling the mic local? If so could you go there and try it on your voice? Might be worth an hour of studio time to make it less of a "blind date"

    If not... Are there any studios near you that might have one? You could call them up and ask if they have that particular piece... never hurts to ask... OR you could google the mic type and your city and see if anyone local pops up.. just a thought...

    OR... would it be possible to arrange with the seller to give you say... a 3 day evaluation period?

    Or.. would it be possible for you to rent one for the day ala dreamhire or someone like that? www.dreamhire.com

    Anyway... us giving you a recomendation about a mic without hearing you is a bit of a shot in the dark...

    The way you hear yourself might be different than the way we'd hear you...

    That being said, you might consider listening to Lynn's mic cd... That may give you a direction or two.. and at least give you a ballpark idea of what's going on with a BUNCH of mics...

    Anyway... Good luck in your quest
    Sal Vito
    The Man of Sound
    salvito@hotmail.com
    312-409-0176

  5. #5
    Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios's Avatar
    Bill@WelcomeHomeStudios is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12
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    From your description of your voice, I'd suspect that you'd want to look in another direction. I don't know the Elux251, but I've used the Elam 251 and a Korby 251, and neither would be my first choice for the voice that you describe. I'd probably be looking for more body and richness, and from my mic locker I'd probably be looking at a 67, 47, or a Coles ribbon.

    Just my point of view, and all bets are off when the material being recorded comes into play. Could change my whole perspective.

    Bill
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  6. #6
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    I appreciate the replies so far. And I'm certainly not looking for a definitive "do" or "don't" buy it answer. The prominent studios around here don't have it (though I should check out more). I like the idea of renting - i'll check out the link.

    Bill, that's my thinking too as I'm hearing and reading more about the Elux's character. From a review I read the Gefell 92.1s is described as a mic with no sibilence good for filling out a thin voice.

    I'm going to sleep on it for a few days. Any more thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    JPM

  7. #7
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    If you can, try the E47 or E49 soundelux mic. That seems like it might be more for you. Although i've never heard them.

    To me, the U87Ai is a bit boomy when singing close for proximity effect. The elux has a very crisp clear high end, with a full low end without boom when close to the mic. I think it is a better vocal mic, but at the same time, I don't think it beefs up the vocals as much as the U87Ai when singing within an inch or so from the mic. But I think that's what helps the elux help vocals get above the mix because the boomy-ness of the proximity effect on the U87Ai doesn't let the vocal stand out so well over the rest of the music. I've gotten great results with the U87Ai though (with a good tube pre favored), but it varied depending on the singer...and the singer I got best results had a very powerful, but slightly shrill male voice when hitting the high notes.

    Whatever you get though is probably gonna be a huge leap over what you have. What kind of preamp are you using?

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by TomM:
    <STRONG>If you can, try the E47 or E49 soundelux mic. That seems like it might be more for you.

    To me, the U87Ai is a bit boomy when singing close for proximity effect. The elux has a very crisp clear high end, with a full low end without boom when close to the mic. I think it is a better vocal mic, but at the same time, I don't think it beefs up the vocals as much as the U87Ai when singing within an inch or so from the mic. But I think that's what helps the elux help vocals get above the mix because the boomy-ness of the proximity effect on the U87Ai doesn't let the vocal stand out so well over the rest of the music. I've gotten great results with the U87Ai though (with a good tube pre favored), but it varied depending on the singer...and the singer I got best results had a very powerful, but slightly shrill male voice when hitting the high notes.

    Whatever you get though is probably gonna be a huge leap over what you have. What kind of preamp are you using?</STRONG>
    Yeah, the more I'm reading the more I'm thinking the same as far as the e47 goes. I found a couple used ones but used scares me a bit.

    Tom, would you say that the boominess of the 87 could in some cases be percieved as buttery (which I would describe as a loser low end)? I typically sing 4-6 inches from the mic and the music I do is fairly stripped down so cutting through a loud or dense mix isn't usually necessary.

    I keep coming back to the ifet7 as the most cost effective alternative. Not because it claims to sound like an 251, but I'm starting to think neutral is safer and will potentially sit in a mix better anyway.

    My pres are the stock 001s. Yippee. However, I've narrowed the pre choice down to a Phoenix Audio DRS-2 or possibly a UA 610 (saw one used from the same studio for a good price).

    JPM

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't say buttery. Not sure how i'd describe it. I think you can find a really great mic without spending too much. I think the U87Ai is over-priced too (brand new). I kinda like the blue mouse and think that is a pretty safe mic too and fairly priced. (not that I'm saying the U87Ai is a bad mic, I actually miss mine for acoustic guitar. I got a lot of use out of it, I just wanted something I liked more on vocals).

    Another thing to consider might be a ribbon mic. They can sound really nice and "buttery"..i think i'd call it that. I've heard the AEA R84 sound incredible on vocals...always needs EQ, but takes it so well. They aren't real expensive either. $1000. You'd definately have to try it first though.

    I'd still recommend a compressor, I love tracking vocals with a compressor. I think it makes singing a little easier because you can hear yourself better with less dynamics in the headphones. As long as you don't over do it. I think it helps the performance. (if you got money left over!)

    I haven't heard the Ifet7.

    As far as preamps, my personal opinion is to stay away from the 610. I don't like it at all.

  10. #10
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    Have you heard Lynn's mic comparison CD? I found it really interesting in that there wasn't a direct relationship between price and my taste. My favorite on the CD was an expensive mic, but the runner ups were much cheaper than some others I didn't like at all!

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