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U 87 Ai vs ???
Old 19th October 2020 | Show parent
  #61
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus ➡️
As I have posted many times in the past: Neumann does not cross-reference serial numbers and manufacturing dates, but serial numbers and delivery dates (to the respective distributor). Even in-house, that fact is no longer made clear by the personell that answers inquiries.

If you want to zoom in on the manufacturing date of any U87/A, you need to find the date codes of components, like capsule, electrolytic capacitors, etc. Or study circuit revisions, plastic color/materials used, layout of components, printing styles, etc. etc.

Without that information, my estimate: your mic was built in the late 1990s.
Thank you Mr. Klaus. Your information is enough for me at the moment. I really like how this mic sounds(big, lush, meaty..). I don't want to remove grill and look at the capsule, because there is still original Neumann stamp over one of the screws. It seems it was never opened and looks it is in all original, factory condition. So, again, thank you for your answer.
Old 29th December 2021
  #62
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countrymetalguy's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I sold my U87ai after direct comparisons to the Miktek C7. It killed it over all. We had a 74 model U87i there as well and it hung with the vintage one no problem. I sold the U87ai i had and never looked back. IMHO the new(er) U87ai mics sre not that impressive for there cost. My .002 cents
Old 28th February 2022
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by erwinor ➡️
What mic do you think could contend a U 87 AI for vocals?

Yiannis
Depends how well it is sung and all that. Even an sm57 can have a vocal sounding outstanding. I say that like it's incredible, but I suppose it's not. Point being, a lot of mics will sound good when good things are sung into them. The old story. Never changes...I'd rather be recording Frank Sinatra singing into a $100 mic than some nut who murders a vocal into a million dollar 47 thing. etc etc

To answer your question...an sm57 or a Sterling st170 or a CADm177
Old 1st March 2022 | Show parent
  #64
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
AT 4050 works great for me instead of the U87. I have both and usually prefer the 4050. Both are good general purpose Mics.
Old 1st March 2022
  #65
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Well, this is an old thread but seems to have some recent activity. I have a U87ai and a Sanken CU-44X MK II and almost every time I do a shootout the clients prefer the Sanken. It's an incredible mic. It's definitely not as versatile as the U87ai as it doesn't have any switches to change the pickup pattern, or reduce the input, but for vocals, I don't think it's needed. As with any great microphone, you better put a good singer in front of it, or it will expose their flaws, but the off-axis pickup is incredible. This allows less experience singers who don't know how to work a mic to still sound great.
I'd say it's a little fuller than the 87ai and because of the dual capsule design the highs are just smooth and not shrill. Just my opinion though. (and that of most artist that have done the shootout with it)
Old 4th March 2022 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Come on. There has to be a limit here. Many of you are suggesting that after paying $3600 for a Neumann U87 microphone, that it should be sent off for a $2000 mod?
Waste your money on whatever you want, I suppose. If you don’t like the sound of a U87ai choose a different microphone. The Neumann U87 is the flagship mic from the world’s premiere microphone manufacturer. Every condenser or capacitor microphone made today is based on their designs. It has been used on more stellar recordings than any other mic except for maybe an SM57. And I dare say, the vast majority of these U87s have not been modified.
Old 4th March 2022 | Show parent
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by htieksppircs ➡️
Come on. There has to be a limit here. Many of you are suggesting that after paying $3600 for a Neumann U87 microphone, that it should be sent off for a $2000 mod?
Waste your money on whatever you want, I suppose. If you don’t like the sound of a U87ai choose a different microphone. The Neumann U87 is the flagship mic from the world’s premiere microphone manufacturer. Every condenser or capacitor microphone made today is based on their designs. It has been used on more stellar recordings than any other mic except for maybe an SM57. And I dare say, the vast majority of these U87s have not been modified.
Everybody wants to mod. Most of the gear I have, when you look into it, especially around here, is garbage and needs modding. I can't take a trick with the stuff I buy. Oh you bought the Shure sm81...wait...you got the new version??? Bad move chump...they SUCK.

Having said that, there is one mod I'd go for...the mod that makes the attack on the LA 610mkii compressor faster.
Old 15th July 2022 | Show parent
  #68
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GRiFF's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If you really want a U87, I would strongly urge you to save that bit longer and just get one. You'll spend all your time tracking with anything else wondering if it might simply be better with an 87. Once you've owned one, you can decide first hand how close something else gets to it and if any compromises are worth it for the savings.

If you then decide to sell the 87, provided you've looked after it, you can more or less get what you paid originally. Think of it as a rental that you are getting a great deal on.

In terms of sonics, its rare for a clone to really nail the thing its cloning entirely - you will get a flavour perhaps, but its in the details that one is a Neumann 87 and one is a clone. That doesn't make the clone bad or anything, but the areas clones struggle with are what I might describe as the 'romantic' quality of the sound. The real Neumann will evoke performances you recognise from favourite records/singers etc, thats a fun vibe to worth with.

Cheaper 87 types, such as Warms 87, will do a decent impression, but there is a reason why one is £2.5K and the other less than £1K, and its not pure marketing, but years of refinement, experience and manufacturing expertise.

I have a U87 and it sounds fantastic - even if the mic is wrong for the vocalist...what do I mean? Well, it has all the quintisential qualities we want in a microphone - air, presence, clarity, extended high and can make any voice larger than life.
In my experience - it is sometimes this exact quality that can make a vocal difficult to listen to or sit right in a mix.
At such times, a less detailed condensor, or even a dynamic microphone can be preferable, but you will notice the change in quality - and you will wonder if the 87 is still the better choice regardless of it matching the audio source.

Many people dislike the U87 - I understand why to an extent, but equally to discount it or suggest its over rated is to be taken with a big pinch of salt. The U87 is as popular as it is for a reason - it is a fine microphone and somewhat epitomises 'that commercial' sound, we love.

I find if it suffers at all, it is that it can be a bit vanilla - it has the mid forward thing, but can sometimes be unexciting. Its not like the U47 or the U67 which can draw something out of the voice, or else manage the high frequencies in such a way that it pulls focus on the performance.

Its a great 'forever' microphone if you find it suits your voice or the person(s) you record. If it is a particularly good fit, I'm afraid your doomed to compare the perfomance of all microphones to Nuemann, or at least microphones in the £3K mark for the rest of your life!
Very few microphones will make you feel quite the same way.
Old 15th July 2022 | Show parent
  #69
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GRiFF's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by digibird ➡️
AT 4050 works great for me instead of the U87. I have both and usually prefer the 4050. Both are good general purpose Mics.
I have a u87 and recently got hold of an AT4047, they are priced similarly to your AT4050. I think the AT4047 is a great budget microphone, but as much as I like its tone, I can’t imagine preferring it over the 87. The 4047 is supposed to be a U47 fet, it’s definitely evocative of that, but where a u87 always wins is the richness and depth of sound, in contrast the 4047 can get a bit harsh or sit flat in the speakers.
On Monday, we are fortunate enough to be adding the Flea 47 vintage to our locker - the AT4047 was certainly good enough that we knew that it was the right mic type for this particular vocalist but we recognised that it lacked the sauce and finesse of a more sophisticated model.

I am very curious to hear what determines your preference, I think once the Flea arrives this AT47 will become completely redundant, but not sure I want sell it, so looking for reasons.

What makes you choose the 4050 over the 87? Are you recording a particular sort of vocal that the 87 is just too pretty for? Rock vocals?
Old 15th July 2022 | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiFF ➡️

What makes you choose the 4050 over the 87? Are you recording a particular sort of vocal that the 87 is just too pretty for? Rock vocals?
Nothing is too pretty for the U87. Karen Carpenter used a U87 and hers was one of the most beautiful voices ever recorded. Mic choice between the 4050 and the U87 for me is largely a frequency response preference and source dependent thing. Our ears are different, so often I don’t like the 1 - 3K presence range boost the U87 is famous for.

I like the 4050 on near room drums, all vocals, and guitar cabs combined with a ribbon, usually R84. I work on Crowded House - type pop rock projects and synth pop with live drums as well. I suppose It’s a “if it sounds good, it is good” Joe Meek type thing.

The 4047 I have used before as well, and I got a monster huge front of kit drum sound with that mic. The low end was massive. I certainly never found the 4047 to be harsh or flat in any way. Mic preference can be weird sometimes, and I have found should not be determined by price. For example, my current favorite drum overhead sound is a pair of KEL Audio HM-1that cost $99 each years ago. But, if you hear from the U87 something that only that Mic will give you, that’s exactly what you should use. It’s great to have so many excellent options available.
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