Common name: Neumann KM 53
Production Status: Discontinued / Vintage
Related Mics:KM 54 Neumann KM53a Neumann KM 56 Neumann KM 254 Neumann KM 254c Neumann KM 256 Neumann KM 256c
KM is the acronym for “kleinmikrophon” meaning “little microphone”. In 1953 Georg Neumann GmbH started the “KM” family with the KM 53, a miniaturized professional pressure (omnidirectional) condenser microphone. The professional market request was for microphones offering the same quality of the U 47, M 49 and M50 with a very small size. These microphones were aimed at television broadcast and similar applications. At the time the smaller capsule available was the 21 mm metal film (aluminium) developed for the M 50. The target was to engineer a tubular small microphone not greater than 21 mm diameter. It was designed around the Telefunken AC 701 k tube. The output transformer and all the necessary components were housed inside a very thin cylinder achieving a high grade of miniaturization for the times. The aluminium diaphragm was able to withstand the high heat coming from TV lamps better than a standard synthetic film membrane (e.g. PVC). The circuit received improvements during the time resulting in a KM 53, KM 53a and KM 53c exactly as it happened for the 54 and KM 56. The special “RF-proof” series are denominated KM 253, KM 253a and KM 253c. These feature a larger RF shielded Tuchel connector and so are easy recognizable. Many accessories were available for KM’s such as different length capsule probes, in line pad modules (Z 29) as well as standard, rack mount and battery operated power supplies. The KM 53 microphone was used extensively for orchestra recordings and TV productions.