Legendary ‘251 Sound with Modern Sensibility
The ELA M 251 occupies a coveted spot in the hearts of vintage microphone enthusiasts. However, finding, restoring, and keeping an original ELA M 251 in working condition isn’t possible for most recordists. Luckily, the Golden Age Project created the GA-251 MKII to re-produce the original’s smooth, open sound. In its second incarnation, the GA-251 MKII carries multiple upgrades, including a newly designed brass bass plate, improved grille design, and refined internal wiring via a Rogers circuit board and point-to-point wiring. The Golden Age GA-251 MKII is handcrafted to the tightest tolerances using top-drawer materials, which results in a warm bottom end and sprightly treble response. The GA-251 MKII ships to you in a padded microphone box inside an updated metal flight case.
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The build quality of the GA-251 MKII is impressive. Its machined brass body is capped off by an iron grille — a critical component that affects a mic’s sonic character. Its 34mm K251-style capsule is dual-sided to provide the GA-251 MKII with both cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, supplying you with tremendous latitude in your recording techniques. And for the utmost consistency from mic to mic, the Golden Age Project only uses capsules that can pass their incredibly tight tolerance specifications. They tell us that out of every 200 capsules they test, only 50 are good enough to be installed in the GA-251 MKII.
Vintage-spec tube and transformer
The GA-251 MKII employs a NOS Phillip 5480W super-low-noise pentode tube connected in triode mode in order to decrease noise and distortion. The GA-251’s amplifier boasts a new proprietary circuit designed around the NOS 5840W tube. The GA-251’s custom-designed 10:1 AMI-style dual-bobbin transformer is made from permalloy steel sheet from the USA and enameled wire from Germany. You’ll appreciate the superior quality of this transformer — it delivers a high-resolution sound with excellent sonic balance.
Capacitors and resistors
The French-made Solen coupling capacitor in the Golden Age GA-251 MKII was selected for its delicate and balanced sound and boasts MKP material with pure oxygen-free copper connections. Its NOS Siemens antique-grade polystyrene capsule capacitor was selected for its very low loss. The GA-251’s tube cathode bypass capacitor uses an ELNA OFC Cerafine high-end hi-fi capacitor from Japan, along with oxygen-free copper connections that produce a sweet and delicate character that’s especially flattering on vocals. The other capacitors specified are low-loss polystyrene types. The GA-251 MKII employs a high-quality DALE 1% metal film resistor for capsule voltage and a United States IRC plate resistor with pure copper connections. The result is a rich, full-bodied sound.
The best of vintage and modern
We all agree that vintage gear sounds awesome, but the reality is that manufacturing materials and precision back then were not up to today’s standards. With the design of the GA-251, Golden Age takes a “best of vintage and modern” approach. The internals of the mic are assembled according to this approach. The GA-251 MKII’s tidier internal wiring is thanks to a premium Rogers circuit board and point-to-point wiring to the most critical components.
Vintage sound, without the headaches
Golden Age GA-251 MKII delivers the sonic essence of this classic mic, along with reliable, high-quality components, state-of-the-art performance, and a warranty — all at a price that won’t decimate your studio equipment budget.
The Golden Age Project
The Golden Age Project was founded in 2005 on the belief that vintage gear sounds best and the desire to pass on this sonic legacy to a new generation of musicians, engineers, and producers. All discrete, Class A signal paths with no integrated circuits and the use of transformers, stepped controls, and military-grade build quality are the cornerstones of the legendary British equipment deployed in world-class recording and broadcast studios in the 1970s — the Golden Age of Analog. Fat, warm, punchy, and authoritative — this is the sound heard on countless hits. Locating, purchasing, restoring, and maintaining vintage gear is time consuming and costly. Fortunately, this small family-owned Swedish company makes gear the same way it was made back in the day — at an amazingly gentle price.
A distributor of high-end studio equipment for many years, Golden Age Project founder Bo Medin wanted to be able to offer products with much of the same exclusive sound in a price range that made them available to a larger audience. Inspired by original designs, Golden Age uses modern technology to re-create that lush, opulent sound, making it surprisingly affordable. They use some modern ingenuity to add new functionality to superb classic designs and produce them in a cost-effective way, which allows them to be both optimized and affordable. From outboard equipment to condenser, dynamic, and ribbon mics, you can outfit your entire studio with vintage-inspired Golden Age gear without exceeding your budget.
Golden Age Project GA-251 MKII Tube Condenser Microphone Features:
- No-compromise, high-end components deliver an authentic vintage sound
- Handcrafted in small production runs of 50 units to ensure world-class build quality
- Simplified internal wiring increases reliability and long-term sonic stability
- Specially designed capsule and gold-coated membrane capture clear recordings each time
- Selectable cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns give you plenty of recording options
- All soldering points made with Mundorf Msolder Supreme SilverGold solder
- Tight manufacturing tolerances for excellent unit-to-unit consistency
- The sensitivity of the front and back side of the capsule do not differ more than 0.3dB
- Includes an external PSU and connecting cable, shockmount, microphone box, and metal flight case