At a glance
- High End, no compromise components and build quality
- Hand made in small series, 50 units at a time, in a boutique style microphone workshop
- Capsules selected with very tight tolerances
- New Old Stock Phillip 5840W super low noise pentode tube connected in triode mode
- All soldering points made with Mudorf Msolder Supreme Silver Gold solder
- Solid wood microphone box, sturdy metal flight case
The Golden Age Premier GA-251 MkII is a tube large-diaphragm condenser microphone inspired by the renowned Telefunken ELA M 250/251, which AKG manufactured after Neumann discontinued producing the Telefunken U-47. Designed to emulate the qualities of a vintage unit in perfect condition, the GA-251 MkII offers exceptional performance at an affordable price point.
The Golden Age Premier GA-251 MkII boasts several notable improvements. It features a new CNC-produced brass base plate, providing enhanced stability. The grille has been improved for more even sound distribution. The inner design incorporates an expensive Rogers circuit board with point-to-point wiring, producing refined sound quality. Additionally, it comes with a new metal flight case and a black cardboard box for added protection.
The mic body is brass, while the grille is iron, similar to the ELA M 251. The critical component that influences the sound character, the grille, maintains the same quality as its predecessor.
The GA-251 MkII employs a 34 mm K251-style capsule that offers cardioid and omni polar patterns. To ensure consistency, approximately 200 capsules are evaluated for each production run of 50 units, with only those meeting tight tolerances being selected. The sensitivity of the front and back sides of the capsule varies by no more than 0.3 dB, while the sensitivity among different capsules does not differ by more than 0.5 dB. This meticulous manufacturing process ensures excellent consistency between GA-251 MkII units.
The specially designed capsule complements the electronic circuit of the GA-251 MkII, resulting in a balanced frequency response curve with warm lows and airy highs, similar to the ELA M 251.
Utilising a NOS Phillips 5840W super low noise pentode tube in triode mode, the GA-251 MkII minimises noise while delivering a balanced and warm sound character. The tube offers a long lifespan and is complemented by a proprietary amplifier circuit designed around the NOS 5840W tube.
The GA-251 MkII features a custom-designed AMI-style dual bobbin transformer made from Permalloy steel sheet from the USA and enamelled wire from Germany. This transformer contributes to the microphone's excellent sound reproduction, providing high resolution and balanced frequency response across the low, mid, and high frequencies.
High-quality components are used throughout the microphone. The coupling capacitor is a highly balanced film capacitor from Solen (France) made of MKP material with oxygen-free copper connections, offering delicate and balanced sound. The capsule capacitor uses an antique-grade polystyrene NOS Siemens capacitor to reduce loss. The tube cathode bypass capacitor incorporates an ELNA OFC Cerafine capacitor from Japan with oxygen-free copper connections, providing a sweet and delicate character, particularly for vocals. Other capacitors are of the low-loss polystyrene type.
The resistor for setting the capsule voltage is a high-quality DALE 1% metal film resistor, ensuring stable and consistent operating levels and improving consistency between different GA-251 MkII units. The plate resistor employs an IRC Audio (United States) non-inductive resistor with pure copper connections, delivering a rich, full-bodied sound.
The GA-251 MkII's electronic circuit features point-to-point wiring, with all soldering points made using Mudorf Msolder Supreme silver-gold solder. Pure silver wire is used for all internal connections to minimize transmission loss and ensure transparent sound quality. Electrical ground connections are made to the ground plane on the circuit board, while other component connections utilize point-to-point wiring, resulting in negligible loss and crosstalk.
The vintage-style power supply PSU incorporates a high-power R-style transformer with minimal stray field and low noise levels. Dual-stage filtering is employed for both filament and high voltage, providing precise filtering and stabilization using an ON semiconductor zener diode. The power supply houses the polar pattern switch, allowing for remote switching between cardioid and omni patterns. A ground lift switch helps resolve mains power-related noise issues that may arise.
The mic cable is specially crafted using 99.99% pure oxygen-free copper, Teflon insulation, tin foil, and 98% kit mesh—a cable shield with high braided density. This combination ensures an open and smooth sound. The mic connector is an aviation-style plug, delivering solid connections and exceptional durability.