Uher M517

The Uher M517 is one of many very similar looking reporter microphones for use with Uher tape recorders of the Report series, all of them equipped with different capsules made by AKG – it features a remote trigger switch to start and stop a Uher tape recorder, which is also the reason why it has an unbalanced connection, yet still ends in a 5-pole DIN screw thread plug (German: “Renkverschluss”) – the two additional leads (ports 4 and 5 on the DIN plug) are the signal path for the tape stop switch. Like many other reporter style microphones, it has an M/S switch for bass attenuation, which in most models brings up a little felt pad against the bass inlet on the backside of the microphone – a fully mechanical high-pass filter.

A Uher M517 and a nondescript AKG plastic handle microphone whose head and capsule do look a little like a D119, but which shares the Uher's plastic housing.

An Uher M517 (left) and an AKG RM800 reporter microphone whose head and capsule look like an D119, but which shares the Uher’s plastic housing and has the same capsule as the Uher M514.

It shares its sad anthracite plastic body not only with other Uher microphones like M516 and M518, but also with the Telefunken TD300 (and quite possibly some other plastic reporter mics built by AKG), and it also has a built-in windscreen / pop killer. The capsule is definitely made by AKG, though it remains unclear which capsule exactly it is – it looks like the one used in the AKG D190 or the D1000. Other models of this series, like the Uher M516 or the Telefunken TD-300 use the AKG “pill box” capsule that has also been used in some table microphones, as we’ve already covered here.

It’s not bad sounding in general, but the sound appears to suffer from the built-in port and the plastic housing; it does sound rather boomy and has a kind of boxy ring in the mid range that was probably intended to improve vocal intelligibility as well. In general, these Uher microphones are very common and cheap and make nice DIY build organ donors for capsule transplantations – we’ve more or less successfully frankenmic’d two of them.

Specs!

  • Frequency response: 50/80 – 15,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 650 Ω
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
Style: (3 / 5)
Sound: (3 / 5)
Uniqueness: (3 / 5)
Usefulness: (3 / 5)

Trash:Gold ratio 1:1

Docs!

Uher M517 manual in German, French and English, scanned by Christoph of Tonband.net

Fascinating extra information!

A brief list of lookalike mics that we know of:

  • AKG RM800
  • Norelco CTM-86
  • Telefunken TD-300
  • Uher M512
  • Uher M514
  • Uher M516
  • Uher M517
  • Uher M518

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