Quantcast
Rode NT2 vs Neumann U87? Anyone got both? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Rode NT2 vs Neumann U87? Anyone got both?
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Rode NT2 vs Neumann U87? Anyone got both?

Hey Guys,
I‘ve been hanging around in this forum for a long time, but I never had the need to get an account. So here it goes cause I think some of you could really help me with their experience…

I came across a threat about the Rode NT2 being a now forbidden copy of the Neumann U87. So I decided to buy one on eBay for about 250€/320$. I never had a chance to use a mic from Neumann or any other high-end stuff (can’t really afford a 2.5k mic, all my stuff is very low end…) so with this long introduction, here comes the question:

Has anybody actually compared the Rode NT2 and the Neumann U87? I searched the forum and some seem to use it, but those are mostly people who can’t afford a Neumann (like me ;-)). So are there similarities or is the Rode way below the U87 when you compare the sound quality? Or are they on the same level with a few differences…?
All I know is that Rode lost the lawsuit and stopped producing the NT2. So there must be some similarities besides the Frame. Of course I could be wrong … got this information off the Internet;-). So as you see, I really don’t know what to think of this mic compared to the pro-league, I think it sounds awesome but if you don’t have any pro-mics to compare with, that’s an uneducated statement…

This is all very non-sciency because I don’t even know if I’d like a U87 for my use, but with this big hype around this classic - I assume it must be good ;-)

Thanks and greetings from Germany
Alex
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
...to the best of my knowledge, the lawsuit pertained primarily to trademark/patent infringement of the NT2's headbasket/grill design, and Rode was forbidden to continue producing that version...other than the circuit, designed by GS member Jim Williams (based upon an earlier Schoeps design) the NT2 was manufactured by 797Audio in China...when Rode moved production of their mics to Australia, Behringer purchased remaining stock of the NT2 metalwork (with a revised headbasket and Chinese circuit) to be marketed as their B2 LDC mic...

...the NT2 utilizes very good quality components including WIMA capacitors...there are a number of recommended modifications, by both Jim Williams, and other modders such as John Bonnell here in the US, that tame the NT2's tendancy towards a somewhat overly bright top-end...a search here on GS will reveal some of those modification options...beyond the cosmetic similarity, I'd be hesitant to suggest that sonic similarlities to a well maintained vintage U87 exist between the 2 mics...
Old 12th September 2012
  #3
Gear Head
 
beadbrain99's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I used a Røde NT2 for about ten years, mainly for vocals and acoustic guitar and was quite happy with it. However, last year I splurged on a new U87, and the difference on vocals was like chalk and cheese... Despite the severe damage to my credit card I am happy to have such a beautiful and clear sounding microphone to work with.

I hope this is helpful.
Old 12th September 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Malcolm Boyce's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Re: Legal issue.

That was all about the trademark headbasket and nothing more.

Although there are fans of the original NT2, it is not a U87 in any way sonically.
Old 12th September 2012
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey, thanks for the replies!
This is very helpful.

I also use the NT2 on vocals and acoustic guitars in combination with the ISA One or the TL Audio 5051. Well for now I'm happy with the sound but I guess I have to upgrade my equipment in time...would have been too much of a fairytale to have a U87 sounding mic for 320$;-) In hindsight also a stupid question...sorry. But thanks anyways!

The modification sounds great, I have to get more information about that, but I guess with all the shipping costs to the US and back, which would be 150$, plus the modification costs...hmm... I think I'll better save some bugs for a real pro-mic...and I really have to find a way to test some high-quality mics and pres to see where I'm at compared to the pro-level...

Thanks you guys...
Cheers
Alex
Old 12th September 2012
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
The Rhode NT2 was my first "quality" mic and sounded much better than the AKG c3000, which was my first condensor mic I owned. I recorded on a tascam cassette 4 track in those days and the spitty sound of that mic was probably OK for the poor high frequency reproduction of that recorder.
After going digital I got rid of the NT2 pretty soon. A good working U87 is a totally different sounding microphone, and really that much better. The quality components in the circuit of the rhode do not help at all, the capsule is simply not very good.
Old 13th September 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
shrimpbait's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have an old NT2 that I got cheap on eBay .... I also owned a U87ai at the time. From my own personal experience the NT2 sounds better on my voice than U87ai did and eventually sold the U87ai.

Maybe I just got an NT2 that aged well or something?

Maybe you can demo or rent one for a day to see if it would be worth the price at some point?
Old 13th September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Funny Cat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
About 8 or 9 years ago (can't remember exactly) I worked at a studio which had both. On two separate occasions I threw up both mics for vocals. I preferred the Rode both times. I immediately went out and purchased one. It's still one of my favorite tenor sax and acoustic guitar mics. Mic placement is really important with this mic. I'm sure I would have picked the 87 on a different day, with a different singer etc. so YMMV.
Old 13th September 2012
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
After going digital I got rid of the NT2 pretty soon.
Well, I have to add to my post above, that the guy who bought my NT2 was pretty disappointed, because he bought mine (on Ebay) to add a second NT2 to the one he already owned to have a stereo pair.
But both NT2s sounded so different, he could not use them for that task.
So maybe the capsules were so inconsistent on those, that with a little luck you could have a great microphone, but mine definitly was not!
Old 26th September 2012
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I swapped out the stock capsule in my NT2 for a m7-style capsule from microphone-parts. Its nice simple to do mod that makes a world of difference - a very nice smooth sound, not really 87ish, smoother than that. Very impressive. $200 for the mic & $110 for the capsule + about 30 mins of work
Old 27th September 2012
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Mikeportnoyz's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
I too have an NT2 and i heard some U87 samples from the internet. I know my NT2 would never record anything like the U87 does, it's clear they sound different.
Dhmaya where did you get the capsule? I'm not sure i'd want to change the microphone after all the pain it was to find one and re-import it to italy
Old 29th May 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I have Really Done The Test Neumann vs. NT2

I can honestly say that there is a slight difference. I used a vocal chain of: Avalon-Shadowhills-192 I/O- Pro-tools. I had a U87 and borrowed the NT2 to try to achieve a "different" sound. I was truly impressed by the NT2. It had great clarity and decent depth. The main difference was the high end smoothness of the U87 vs. the NT2. The NT2 was a little shrill, BUT with minor high end tweeks( not even compressing), I was able to get a Supreme sound from the NT2. It was very similar to the Neumann but the mid range tone stood out quite well. I was astonished because I had never actually heard or used that mic. I didn't go out and immediately sell the Neumann, but the NT2 really stood up to the test. All in all, I think its a matter of preference. The NT2 is just one of those inexpensive mics that really sounds great. I'm not promoting either mic, just telling the truth about what I actually done and heard.

P.S- ( I tracked several vocal and acoustic guitar tracks with the NT2. No fall off from the neumann at all. Just saying?)

Hope this Helps.
Big Lukes Productions
Old 10th May 2015
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpbait ➡️
i have an old nt2 that i got cheap on ebay .... I also owned a u87ai at the time. From my own personal experience the nt2 sounds better on my voice than u87ai did and eventually sold the u87ai.

Maybe i just got an nt2 that aged well or something?

maybe you can demo or rent one for a day to see if it would be worth the price at some point?
this is true im bout to replace my u87 ai with the nt1 it sounds better on my voice i was frustrated after buying my u87 and i found the nt1 laying around and it sounds better to me......but i was out in la and my friend had a u87 and it sounds better than mine he said he got a tube replacement in it
Old 10th May 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Glenn Bucci's Avatar
 
41 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like the NT2-A better than the NT2. Much improved capsule and smoother top end
Old 10th May 2015 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ragan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by HONORABLECNOTE ➡️
my friend had a u87 and it sounds better than mine he said he got a tube replacement in it
The U87 isn't a tube mic so your friends was either heavily modified or it wasn't an 87.
Old 15th July 2015
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I have used and NT2 and U87 on several recordings. I don't know how they compare for use on instruments. I AB'd them and I love the sound of the NT2 with my voice. I think its good for those "soft singer" guys like me that don't have that natural crackle or "treble edge" in their voice. For people that naturally have that edge, this mic could be like chalk on a blackboard as one member had posted, so I understand the mixed reviews. Although the U87 was a bit warmer, I like the way the NT2 cuts through a mix with a more livelier sounding vocal bottom line. The U87 sounds more like a ribbon mic compared to the NT2 even though it does not sound like a ribbon mic. I would have both in my studio if you can afford it.
Old 16th July 2015 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by HONORABLECNOTE ➡️
this is true im bout to replace my u87 ai with the nt1 it sounds better on my voice i was frustrated after buying my u87 and i found the nt1 laying around and it sounds better to me......but i was out in la and my friend had a u87 and it sounds better than mine he said he got a tube replacement in it
U87(ai) may not dazzle you when you're tracking. In fact, other mics may initially impress you more (usually because of more high and low end presence, or "boom and sizzle" as I've heard it put.)

But when mixing and mastering time comes, that's when the U87 shows its value, and displays why it's been a standard for so many years.If you already have a U87, I would tread carefully before selling it and thinking that an NT1 (or any other clone) is going to satisfy you in the long run as a replacement. IMO at some point you will say to yourself "what was I thinking?"
Old 24th July 2015
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yes, don't sell the U87, but if you want to give your voice credit for something it doesn't deserve (which we would all like to do ) AND keep it out front of the mix, the NT2 can be magical. And $150. compared to $2500. is a bit magical too..
Old 24th July 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Not to offend by the NT2 and the other NT1 or whatever do sound good but they work great on people who never grew up with voice lessons etc etc etc. Or they just suck. The U87AI is a mic that picks up what it hears and it doesn't do anything to the sound to make it sound better. So if you suck at singing, guess what? That 3.6k microphone will really showcase how bad you are. But there are ways to colour it up to hide your horrible singing talents. I recently bought one and I wasn't intending to use my vocals on it but I did a test run. U87AI into old ART pre with tung sol upgrade into 1176D, and all in buttons into Focusrite line and onto reaper. Sounds fantastic.
Old 24th July 2015
  #20
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
On top of what costas14 said, if your room is far from acoustically decent, U87 will not work so well as it will pick up all of the imperfection of your room.
I believe many who claims U87 is terrible are comes from spending ton of money on U87 and use it at a far less desirable environment including gear and room.
Old 25th July 2015 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by VO Guy ➡️
U87(ai) may not dazzle you when you're tracking. In fact, other mics may initially impress you more (usually because of more high and low end presence, or "boom and sizzle" as I've heard it put.)

But when mixing and mastering time comes, that's when the U87 shows its value, and displays why it's been a standard for so many years.If you already have a U87, I would tread carefully before selling it and thinking that an NT1 (or any other clone) is going to satisfy you in the long run as a replacement. IMO at some point you will say to yourself "what was I thinking?"
Too many "newbies" lose sight of this fact. Sure a lot of mics sound good in a music store or in your home studio environment through some decent headphones, but start stacking tracks with the same mic and it start losing articulation pretty fast, and usually in a way that is difficult to "fix in the mix" with EQ, comp, panning, etc. The same can be said with a lot of other low-end or poorly made gear.
Old 25th July 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, to use a somewhat crass analogy that I have used before:

There are mics you flirt with and maybe even have a relationship with....but the U87 is the one you marry.

Last edited by VO Guy; 24th October 2015 at 12:11 AM..
Old 27th July 2015 | Show parent
  #23
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by VO Guy ➡️
U87(ai) may not dazzle you when you're tracking. In fact, other mics may initially impress you more (usually because of more high and low end presence, or "boom and sizzle" as I've heard it put.)

But when mixing and mastering time comes, that's when the U87 shows its value, and displays why it's been a standard for so many years.If you already have a U87, I would tread carefully before selling it and thinking that an NT1 (or any other clone) is going to satisfy you in the long run as a replacement. IMO at some point you will say to yourself "what was I thinking?"
I have an original Australian made NT2 which I've been using for quite a few years, and I just got an new NT1. If we're talking about Rode microphones that sound like Neumann's, from what I can tell, the new Rode NT1 sounds very close to to a U87. Check out the side by side comparison in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnrXFC5Pyhs

The new (2014) black NT1 is a complete remake, and sounds much more flat than the old NT1s.
Old 27th July 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 
BillSimpkins's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I have both. The U87 is much smoother, more even and consistently "warmer". The NT2 can sound thin and bright comparatively. The U87 sounds pretty good on anything you put in front of it and the NT2 is picky. The U87 also takes EQ better.
Old 27th July 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 
JanZoo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I replaced the capsule of the NT2 for Peluso PK47. The mic was too sibilant before, but now is smooth sounds good on everything
Old 28th July 2015 | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSimpkins ➡️
I have both. The U87 is much smoother, more even and consistently "warmer". The NT2 can sound thin and bright comparatively. The U87 sounds pretty good on anything you put in front of it and the NT2 is picky. The U87 also takes EQ better.
Well said Bill. And that being said, there are times when you want that brighter sound without trying to get it out of the EQ. I don't think anyone is saying that the NT2 is a better mic than the U87, but many good engineers like different mics for different vocalists.
Old 23rd October 2015 | Show parent
  #27
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by uniphonic1 ➡️
I have an original Australian made NT2 which I've been using for quite a few years, and I just got an new NT1. If we're talking about Rode microphones that sound like Neumann's, from what I can tell, the new Rode NT1 sounds very close to to a U87. Check out the side by side comparison in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnrXFC5Pyhs

The new (2014) black NT1 is a complete remake, and sounds much more flat than the old NT1s.
Just curious: what serial No. on your original Australian NT2 and how old is it?
Old 23rd October 2015
  #28
Deleted 10089a2
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCoon ➡️
Hey Guys,
I‘ve been hanging around in this forum for a long time, but I never had the need to get an account. So here it goes cause I think some of you could really help me with their experience…

I came across a threat about the Rode NT2 being a now forbidden copy of the Neumann U87. So I decided to buy one on eBay for about 250€/320$. I never had a chance to use a mic from Neumann or any other high-end stuff (can’t really afford a 2.5k mic, all my stuff is very low end…) so with this long introduction, here comes the question:

Has anybody actually compared the Rode NT2 and the Neumann U87? I searched the forum and some seem to use it, but those are mostly people who can’t afford a Neumann (like me ;-)). So are there similarities or is the Rode way below the U87 when you compare the sound quality? Or are they on the same level with a few differences…?
All I know is that Rode lost the lawsuit and stopped producing the NT2. So there must be some similarities besides the Frame. Of course I could be wrong … got this information off the Internet;-). So as you see, I really don’t know what to think of this mic compared to the pro-league, I think it sounds awesome but if you don’t have any pro-mics to compare with, that’s an uneducated statement…

This is all very non-sciency because I don’t even know if I’d like a U87 for my use, but with this big hype around this classic - I assume it must be good ;-)

Thanks and greetings from Germany
Alex
yes I have ! Well I've been using the u 87 for a couple of years for voiceover and some instruments like harp. I got a rode nt2a today and tried it on voiceover. I preferred it to the neuman more "BBC" it's early days though I was very impressed! I'd get the nt2a before the NT2 unless you need to blag morons you have a neuman.
Old 23rd October 2015
  #29
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
...there's a new sheriff in town...if you're looking for vintage 70's U87 goodness at a price you can afford, consider the 3U Audio Warbler MKI (cardioid only) at $270 shipped, or the multi-patterned Warbler MKID at $349 shipped...both mics have a 3-way voicing switch which offers slightly more attenuated top-end response to warm up the mic's voicing...featuring proprietary 6-micron 34mm K67 capsule, proprietary T13-style dual-bobbin transformer, Dale resistors, WIMA capacitors and the same Fairchild FET as employed by Neumann...

...sold only direct from the designer/builder (send questions or order via email to: [email protected]), no retail middle-man markups...produced in small quantities with exceptional QC and build-quality...

Read more here:
Affordable LDC Microphone With Multiple Voicings
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 60 views: 19326
Avatar for dibravibra
dibravibra 19th October 2020
replies: 0 views: 2985
Avatar for irthwirm
irthwirm 6th June 2008
replies: 1178 views: 265011
Avatar for bill5
bill5 2 weeks ago
replies: 6381 views: 809395
Avatar for Wilks832
Wilks832 5 days ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump