There are certain microphones that stand iconic in the pantheon of great gear. Some are so good that even competitors try to emulate them. One of those is the AKG C12, which has been a favorite of engineers everywhere for decades. Telefunken makes some wonderful microphones itself, with a long history of excellent originals and clones, and it’s latest TF11 FET is an homage to the Austrian favorite.
While the large diaphragm condenser TF11 is voiced similar to the famous C12, there are some departures from the original. First of all its solid state, using a JFET design based on the Telefunken’s M60 FET amplifier in stead of a tube. Secondly, its cardioid only, instead of the multi-pickup pattern available from the legendary C12.
While that’s enough to show you that the TF11 is not a straight-up clone, there are other features that provide a unique combination of circuit elements shared with other Telefunken designs. For instance, the CK12-style edge terminated capsule is a single membrane version of the capsule featured in Telefunken’s TF51, which itself was a take on the original C12 but with a tube design. The amplifier is coupled with a custom large format nickel-iron core transformer made in the UK by OEP/Carnhill, and other premium components include UK-made polystyrene film capacitors and Nichicon Fine Gold electrolytic capacitors like in other Telefunken designs.
You won’t find a pad or high-pass filter on the microphone, but Telefunken claims that the TF11 can handle up to 135dB SPL, which should be plenty to use on drums.
Every TF11 FET microphone system comes with a MC11 Microphone Case, M 703 Shock Mount, M 782 Stand Mount, and Microphone Sleeve. Best of all, the microphone retails for just $895 and is available as a single or a matched pair. That’s a great price for a microphone of this caliber (especially from Telefunken). It’s also manufactured and assembled in the U.S.
You can find out more here, or check out the video below.