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Flea

Slovakian custom-made microphone manufacturer Flea supplies both hand-assembled microphones, mechanical kits, and spare parts for vintage microphones. Everything is natively produced — other than the German connectors used in some models, while the microphone capsules themselves are skinned by German microphone repair specialist (and former Georg Neumann and Microfontechnik Gefell development engineer) Siegfried Thiersch.

A highlight of the so-called FLEA Vintage range is the flagship FLEA 47, billed as being an exact replica of the famed Neumann U47, the first commercially available switchable-pattern cardioid/omni capacitor microphone, built around the coveted M7 capsule paired with a VF14 valve in the amplifier/impedance-convertor stage. As such, FLEA 47 comes complete with the F7 capsule, a replica of the M7, a replica of the BV8 transformer and Telefunken EF14, UF14, or VF14 tubes. Other options include a modern or vintage-style PSU, while the FLEA 47 Magnum edition is fitted with the F47/49 capsule to more sensitively handle the top end. Either way, this microphone can be used for almost anything — although positioning it several centimetres away from the kick drum of a heavy metal drummer is not recommended!

Fans of the sound of the Neumann M49 multi-pattern tube condenser microphone, but not necessarily seeking the original look, might consider turning to the FLEA 49 Next from the so-called FLEA Next range — identical in sound with the same wiring and components as the FLEX 49 replica, but housed in a modern-looking casing — complete with a standard kit, lined wooden box, power supply, cable, and shock mount.

Those preferring a more hands-on approach could always assemble one of several replica microphones using one of the company’s mechanical kits and parts.

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