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Mods for the U 497

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OmnidirectionalCardioidBidirectionalNeumann U 497

Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

The U 497 was a limited edition FET condenser microphone commissioned by the French broadcasting network, ORTF.

It is a hybrid of existing Neumann parts and technologies, in that it incorporates the K47/K49 single-backplate capsule of the U47/U48/Fet47 microphones with the multipattern FET amplifier circuitry of the U89 into a U67 body.
U 497 Circuit

Martin Schneider, Neumann

Regarding the circuitry, the nearest models in the Neumann catalogue were the U47fet (single pattern, with K 47/49 capsule), and the U89 (multi-pattern).

Due to the broadcast company’s requirements, the U 497 is powered by 12V phantom power. The mic incorporates a DC-DC converter, presumably to generate sufficient voltage to polarize the capsule.

A switch on the front of the microphone allowed selection from among three polar patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Figure-of-8.

Two switches on the rear of the mic body enabled a -10dB pad and a high-pass filter (slope and frequency not specified).

U 497 with caseThe mic was manufactured in limited quantities from 1975–1985.

The circuit photos on this page were taken from an Ebay auction; they depict a mic modified for P48 by Peter Defahl. This circuit may therefore exhibit differences from stock U 497 microphones.

The Neumann U 497 is also known as: U497.

The mic was released in 1975.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (5.5 mV/Pa; 40 - 16,000 Hz)
Cardioid (7 mV/Pa; 40 - 16,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (8 mV/Pa; 40 - 16,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10dB (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 144 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
500g (17.64oz) 200mm (7.87'') n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 12v

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