Review: Telefunken CU29 “Copperhead” Studio Microphone

This studio microphone offers great performance at a price that can appeal to both professional and serious home studios. 

Item: Telefunken CU29 “Copperhead” Studio Microphone

Price: $1295 (US), £1100 (UK)

Mic Rating: 4.5/5

At A Glance: The Telefunken CU29 is a cardioid tube microphone intended for studio applications; and particularly for lead vocal recording. Despite being one of Telefunken’s cheaper microphones, it still features premium features such as a NOS (New Old Stock) Telefunken 6AK5W vacuum tube and a Lundahl LL1935 output transformer. The CU-29 microphone comes with its own power supply, cable and shock mount, and wooden microphone box for storage when not in use.

High Notes: The mic provides a characterful sound that provides a warm and defined low end that is complemented by a smooth and present high end; that makes recordings sound large and upfront in a mix. It has a particular nice proximity effect, that when combined with the sound of the mics tubes, can really make a vocal sound rich and exciting. It also handles sibilance very well – meaning a de-esser is often not needed. As well as vocal recordings, the mics high maximum SPL of 130dB means can be used on a wide range of other sources including drums and electric guitar cabs.

Off Pitch: The microphone only has a cardioid polar pattern (although isn’t a problem for most vocal recordings). Also, the character of the microphone will work better for some voices and instruments than others – so if you do not already have a selection of other mics, you might want to look at a microphone that is a bit more neutral.

VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The CU29 is a classy sounding mic that is well suited for vocal recording. It may not be the cheapest mic on the market; however considering the quality on offer (and the price of most Telefunken mics), the CU29 offers great value, providing you do not need the versatility of a multi-pattern microphone. For alternatives, you might want to look at the Advanced Audio CM67SE, Rode K2, Peluso 22 251 or the Mojave MA200 – you also might want to check out Telefunken’s AR51 which uses the same capsule as the CU29, but has multiple polar patterns.

Other Reviews: MusicRadar | MusicTech | Sound On Sound | The Modern Vocalist World