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I need a U87 style of mic at a decent price range, help!
Old 8th March 2009 | Show parent
  #241
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I agree about the brick versus the only other cheap tube preamp which is the art mpa gold as far as build quality goes, but think the mpa is worth mentioning too just for completeness (and because I prefer it's sound). I love the mpa gold and prefer it's sound to the brick (the art brings vocals to the front slightly and softens the harshness of rough vocals just as well and also offers 70db of clean gain with decent plate voltage, and it's two channels).

what I agree with is build quality - the brick blows the art away in this department. there have been a handful of bad mpa golds out there with hum problems. I've used probably 6 of them now and every one has sounded perfect and been a great tool. the distributors you buy from should stand behind them too so no issues there (L&M in canada which actually represents and/or owns art, I don't recall which).

so yes you might get somewhat less solid build quality (but it's honestly pretty good build quality compared to other cheap gear i've opened from some pretty big name mass product manufacturers). but the art sounds great, imho slightly better especially for vocals, and it has two channels.

so there's another idea for a cheap but good tube preamp. if you don't own one and use it seriously for a while then you don't understand how great these preamps truly are. like anything chinese you're taking your chances in the build quality, for me it's worth it since they really do sound better imho than anything else under twice their price range (they cost like $300-$400 I think).

if you want hand wound parts and more sluttiness, go for the brick without thinking twice. great device too. slightly different sound from the mpa, I would use the brick happily too, but I prefer to own mpa golds and I've used them in some pretty nice studios too that I've worked in over the past couple of years.

Cheers,
Don
Old 8th March 2009 | Show parent
  #242
I think the ART Digital MPA and MPA Gold should get the "best low budget preamp after switching tubes" award.
Old 8th March 2009 | Show parent
  #243
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I gave an ART Gold - a chance once. Many people say they like them. I thought mine was reasonable. After 5 hours of running time , one side quit working , and the meter went wack. It scared me out of returning it for a new one. I just returned it. I kept the LA-610. And ,it's always nice to buy everything made in USA too . Though it's damn impossible. Made In China. <-- ever see that before?

There is nothing worse than having your gear quit working in the middle of a session. Then box it up , send it back , wait for ?? , and hope it's under warranty.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #244
Quote:
Originally Posted by getarzan ➑️
I gave an ART Gold - a chance once. Many people say they like them. I thought mine was reasonable. After 5 hours of running time , one side quit working , and the meter went wack. It scared me out of returning it for a new one. I just returned it. I kept the LA-610. And ,it's always nice to buy everything made in USA too . Though it's damn impossible. Made In China. <-- ever see that before?

There is nothing worse than having your gear quit working in the middle of a session. Then box it up , send it back , wait for ?? , and hope it's under warranty.
I'm happy it never happened to me yet!
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #245
Lives for gear
 
Enginearing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
hey chris -
Can't shoot out against an U87, but considering what you say you're chasing in a mic,
Run up a Beta 57 at your local proshop... awesome warmth in the low mids, crisp top end. The new ones are pretty good, if you can find an old one (slotted grille) in good nik you won't be disappointed.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enginearing ➑️
hey chris -
Can't shoot out against an U87, but considering what you say you're chasing in a mic,
Run up a Beta 57 at your local proshop... awesome warmth in the low mids, crisp top end. The new ones are pretty good, if you can find an old one (slotted grille) in good nik you won't be disappointed.
The beta 57 is ok... for live stuff. I would not use it in the studio really. My brother knows someone at shure and he told me tonight that he would call to get an Sm7b for little to nothing, since the guy is a good friend of his. Let's see if I can snatch one up.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #247
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonewall40 ➑️
The absolute best bang for buck microphones are made by AudioTechnica.

forget the Chinese... go Japanese.

AT4050 - enuf said.
+1 !

Just checked the shootouts on the Gauge website... Holy cow. Rather than convincing us of how good the mic sounds, those samples actually emphasize how far away that Gauge mic is from the U87, 414 and TLM-103. They actually make themselves look bad. The mic has that typical cheap Chinese high end harshness that simply annoys the crap out of anyone listening to it. Unusable on vocals, if you ask me. Sounds identical to a Studio Projects C1, in my ears.
I stay away from hyped and overpriced gear, but nothing touches the U87. It's simply a classic and worth every penny. However, running it through an ART Studio MP (Gauge website) is simply a crime. This pre actually made the U87, 414 and TLM-103 sound somewhat harsh and gritty. Not to mention the mp3 samples were 128 kbps, which messes with the top end tremendously.

Get an Audio Technica mic. I love my AT3035. Smooth highs, tight bottom, and it can take high SPL's like it's nobody's business. An AT4050 set to omi is one of my favorites, too (omni on the AT4050 sounds more smooth than cardioid, somehow).

d.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #248
Lives for gear
 
Enginearing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
heh he even rekons the thread was about his mic...

he also doesn't say that the multi platinum engineers think they sound good, they just check them by ear... yep i can hear it, off to market it goes...

BTW i own a platinum series twintrak... if i buy another unit from the same series (unlikely) does that make me a multi-platinum engineer?
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #249
You guys can say all you want about the mic, but it was still used on a Grammy nominated Cd (Mary Mary- The Sound) and I'm pretty sure they won.

So get back to the drawing board and shhh.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #250
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
yea, definitely a great engineer with fantastic musicians can make amazing music with crap tools.

is the 3035 really that good of a lead vocal recording mic? I'm just curious - they're being blown out at a local store for $200 or something canadian (probably equivalent of $160 or so US?? off the top of my head).

I've been curious about grabbing one. I don't really need one, but if it sounds slightly different from anything I have and is GOOD sounding at the same time then it would be worth it for the price. you know, like if I were to choose it over something else (irrelevant of price) because it just sounds better on that voice/song/style.

I can excuse that sort of cash outlay for an experiment. In my home studio I don't have any budget at all and these days I tend to rent great lead vocal mics when needed for a big paying project (I do session work and production so even though my home studio is low budget I get calls for serious work out of it). But you know, $200 for something very useful would be nice.

speaking of great inexpensive mics - the cad m179 is amazing. but not the presence peak of your typical lead vocal mic, although you can dial it in a bit by playing with the variable pattern control if you know the mic well (or just use your ears properly).

And I love my heil dynamic mics for lead vocals, the pr20 or pr22 (or classic or any of the other cool looking retro mics that have the pr20's element in them) are amazing vocal mics, as is the pr40.

all of those are cheap mics that sound amazing. but not an authentic original model 87 clone at all.

figure since everyone's listing their fav mics for lead vocals, I'll do it too. do'nt know how appropriate my suggestions are though.

everything sounds great through the ward beck pres I'm using right now for my main lead instrument tracking though :-)
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #251
Apparently the SE z5600a gives the U87 a run for it's money.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #252
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley ➑️
yea, definitely a great engineer with fantastic musicians can make amazing music with crap tools.

is the 3035 really that good of a lead vocal recording mic? I'm just curious - they're being blown out at a local store for $200 or something canadian (probably equivalent of $160 or so US?? off the top of my head).

I've been curious about grabbing one. I don't really need one, but if it sounds slightly different from anything I have and is GOOD sounding at the same time then it would be worth it for the price. you know, like if I were to choose it over something else (irrelevant of price) because it just sounds better on that voice/song/style.

I can excuse that sort of cash outlay for an experiment. In my home studio I don't have any budget at all and these days I tend to rent great lead vocal mics when needed for a big paying project (I do session work and production so even though my home studio is low budget I get calls for serious work out of it). But you know, $200 for something very useful would be nice.
You won't regret it. It doesn't sound cheap (as in - doesn't have the typical Chinese buzz at the top), sounds smooth, has tight and full bottom and can take high SPL's (great in front of a guitar cab and also on toms).
I've used it on acoustic guitar many times and it works great. But vocals are where I like it best. If you can pull it through a nice tube pre, you have an absolute winner. $160 at a local store is an "ok" deal, but they go for just over $100 on eBay (new).

d.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #253
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago
Apparently the SE z5600a gives the U87 a run for it's money.

SE Z5600A - Didn't really enjoy that mic on my vox, although it sounded good on acoustic gtr.

The general tonality was bright (but smooth) and scooped with loads of bottom end- just didn't do it for me.

U87 has such solid mids and great detail - can't beat 'em for many apps!

needless to say they are not similar at all!
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #254
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Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
You guys can say all you want about the mic, but it was still used on a Grammy nominated Cd (Mary Mary- The Sound) and I'm pretty sure they won.

So get back to the drawing board and shhh.
People continue to use this argument about the quality of cheap mics. Maybe that is all they had to use... maybe they were in a hurry... who knows. Let's see an interview why Mary Mary used it or Bruce Sweiden with the SM7 or the producer for the girl who used the Avant.

Let's get some real info before before we jump to conclusions and say that because the mic was used by so and so and won so and so... THEREFORE it must be as good as XXX or better than XXX or THEREFORE it must be a high quality tool. The argument just doesn't hold water.

Now, if we see the mic being used over and over and over by quality people, as in the case of the SM7, we start seeing a pattern and THAT will speak something that matters. A one-off situation is basically meaningless.


I would like to see you be guarded and fight for a quality piece of gear Chris. ;O)
You are so close to a renown mic but haven't bit the bullet yet. (SM7)


BTW, I love Mary Mary's "Shackles"... That is one hoppin' tune and an excellent West Coast Swing dance tune.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #255
Gear Head
 
teuron's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️

Yamaha NS-10 for monitoring, got them Used and they sound great.

shouldn't use the ns10s as your primary and/or only set of monitors.
they are good for secondary/aux (to see what your mix will sound like on a ****ty stereo) not to mention the harshness/fatigue
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #256
Quote:
Originally Posted by teuron ➑️
shouldn't use the ns10s as your primary and/or only set of monitors.
they are good for secondary/aux (to see what your mix will sound like on a ****ty stereo) not to mention the harshness/fatigue
Thanks, but I'm already thinking ahead of you man. And the NS-10 are good for your main mixing monitors by the way. Theyre so dull and midrangy, if you can make a mix sounds great on NS-10s, it means it'll translate perfectly on other stereo systems, trust me, I know by experience.

Im not saying the mic is great or bad, I'm saying that it was used for a grammy nominated album.
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #257
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
U87 Alternative...

Best thing out there for you is going to be to do your own mic mod. Are you any good with this kind of thing?

You should be able to find a used MXL 2001 for less than $70, and the Dave Royer mod kit you should be able to put together for about another $150 - okay, total is not exactly $100, but it is closer than $3000 !

If you want to know how this mic sounds, then search for comments on the Mojave 200 - pretty much the same thing ready built. That is in essence what this is, a cheap but HIGHLY recommended alternative to an 87, using a Chinese clone 87 capsule.

P
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #258
Quote:
Originally Posted by philbone ➑️
Best thing out there for you is going to be to do your own mic mod. Are you any good with this kind of thing?

You should be able to find a used MXL 2001 for less than $70, and the Dave Royer mod kit you should be able to put together for about another $150 - okay, total is not exactly $100, but it is closer than $3000 !

If you want to know how this mic sounds, then search for comments on the Mojave 200 - pretty much the same thing ready built. That is in essence what this is, a cheap but HIGHLY recommended alternative to an 87, using a Chinese clone 87 capsule.

P
Any samples between the Mojave and the MXL Modded?
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #259
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
Any samples between the Mojave and the MXL Modded?
...they are not exactly the same...the Royer DIY version was the original modded MXL 2001 with a 6 micron capsule...then came the first official MA-200 incarnation which utilized a silver ADK body/grill (similar to the original Hamburg/Vienna models) and a special 5 micron capsule made for Royer by Larry at ADK...that was followed by the first version of the mass-produced black MA-200 (tapered body) which used a 3 micron capsule, now revised with a straight cylinder body while maintaining the 3 micron capsule...I own a couple of these versions, and have used all the variations and they all sound a bit different (except the 2 black MA-200 most current versions which are most similar)...all good, but more refined with each variation...good capsule, simple clean circuit, quality transformer (Jensen) and clean power supplies...less is more, for sure...

...more Royer mod info here:
ProSoundWeb | One Tube Microphone from Berlin and One from Barstow
Tape Op Message Board :: View topic - the NEW MXL Royer mod thread...
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #260
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I stand corrected, I would still look at the mod to a 2001 for this person's inquiry though.

I own a Mojave 201 and I love it for certain things, but it is not as comparable to an 87 as the Mojave 200 is. My friend owns both and we have AB'd them.

I want to build a 2001 mod for myself if only to have one for very little money!

Best

Phil
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #261
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3rd&4thT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Violet Designs Globe Standard

Bock Audio 195

Cheers,
3rd&4thT
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #262
Lives for gear
 
diamondjim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by philbone ➑️
Best thing out there for you is going to be to do your own mic mod. Are you any good with this kind of thing?

You should be able to find a used MXL 2001 for less than $70, and the Dave Royer mod kit you should be able to put together for about another $150 - okay, total is not exactly $100, but it is closer than $3000 !

If you want to know how this mic sounds, then search for comments on the Mojave 200 - pretty much the same thing ready built. That is in essence what this is, a cheap but HIGHLY recommended alternative to an 87, using a Chinese clone 87 capsule.

P

I have a 2001 and did not care much for it, but its not been modded.

Another MXL possibility is the V67g. Get that for $100 new and then have Michael Joly mod it for less than $200. That's what I am getting done soon. Can't say it will be anything like a U87, but it will be in the ballpark of a really nice higher end mic, if you can believe the reviews. For under $300, its worth the try. I trust Michael as he has done some other mods for me.

I am going to record some vocals with it before and after the mod, just to satisfy my curiosity. I don't own an U87 but did borrow one for a vocal track, and I have a good sense I think for what the vocal should sound like with this particular individual. Nice solid mids, no high end shrill.

I can't wait to try out the modded V67g.

Last edited by diamondjim; 18th March 2009 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #263
I'm getting the HM-2D next week, I'll post samples.
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #264
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Chris... Are you still gonna get a U87 style mic?

Like I said previously (in this thread?) In a particular session (rock) the U87ai beat the HM-2d comprehensively on my voice and my acoustic gtr. The midrange is so solid and robust. The top end works great in a mix.

Nevertheless I love my HM-2D
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
Hey Chris... Are you still gonna get a U87 style mic?

Like I said previously (in this thread?) In a particular session (rock) the U87ai beat the HM-2d comprehensively on my voice and my acoustic gtr. The midrange is so solid and robust. The top end works great in a mix.

Nevertheless I love my HM-2D
I think I'll be getting a Beezneez Jade, it kills the U87ai by a mile and it has more of a U47tube feel.
Old 18th March 2009 | Show parent
  #266
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JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
I think I'll be getting a Beezneez Jade, it kills the U87ai by a mile and it has more of a U47tube feel.
Can't wait to see what you think of it Chris. You already remind me of Edison and his 99% persperation requirement for genius
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #267
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM ➑️
Can't wait to see what you think of it Chris. You already remind me of Edison and his 99% persperation requirement for genius
Haha you're funny.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #268
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JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
Haha you're funny.
Yup, I'm a riot
Old 15th May 2009 | Show parent
  #269
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by getarzan ➑️
I gave an ART Gold - a chance once. Many people say they like them. I thought mine was reasonable. After 5 hours of running time , one side quit working , and the meter went wack. It scared me out of returning it for a new one. I just returned it. I kept the LA-610. And ,it's always nice to buy everything made in USA too . Though it's damn impossible. Made In China. <-- ever see that before?

There is nothing worse than having your gear quit working in the middle of a session. Then box it up , send it back , wait for ?? , and hope it's under warranty.
Jeez, what a nightmare...

Thats why I try to save some $$$ and buy the upper level gear. Been using two Avalon 737s for almost 10 years, they still rock. TLM103, AT4050, SM57.... my mic cabinet. Covers about everything. Granted I have the urge to buy more mics and pres from time to time but then I ask myself why? Lust? Don`t need it.

My advice to the OP is to test out as many mics as possible and if something is out of your range but you love it, save your money and get it. Thats goes for all your gear purchases.
Old 15th May 2009 | Show parent
  #270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley ➑️
Jeez, what a nightmare...

Thats why I try to save some $$$ and buy the upper level gear. Been using two Avalon 737s for almost 10 years, they still rock. TLM103, AT4050, SM57.... my mic cabinet. Covers about everything. Granted I have the urge to buy more mics and pres from time to time but then I ask myself why? Lust? Don`t need it.

My advice to the OP is to test out as many mics as possible and if something is out of your range but you love it, save your money and get it. Thats goes for all your gear purchases.
This is what I'm doing actually, I've been looking at the AKG c214, sounds great on my voice, but there is still an option to get a Rode K2, and I am getting a MXL V69me with a Nos Mullard Cv4024 tube. Let's see how this mic turns out. I could save some money and buy a used U87 too.
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