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thoughts on neumann U89
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shwin
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#1
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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thoughts on neumann U89

iam interested in what it sounds like if or how it compares to other neumann's what people usually use it on.
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21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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hard to describe

an ok mic on some things....
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21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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I have an old pair...I like them as drum overheads..
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22nd June 2007
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I think that the U89 is a good mic. Years ago, the first Neumann literature that I read about it implied that it was going to replace the U87. It seems people just weren't willing to let go of the U87 and its place couldn't simply be replaced. I find the U89 and U87 to be very differernt mics. I picked one up years ago when I was in a shop to buy a U87. I AB'd the U87 and the U89 and I walked out with the U89. It is my impression that the U89 is good for broadcasting???? I use mine for multipurpose-- everything from micing amps, vocals, to acoustic instruments.

If it matters to you the resale value of the U89 is no where near that of the U87, but the new cost is similar. I have seen some great deals on used U89s because they don't have the social charm that the U87s have. My U89 is a permanent player in my mic locker but it is certainly not my favorite. On the other hand I picked up an M149 for less than I paid for the U89 and the M149 is an awsome mic to my ear and one of my favorites.
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22nd June 2007
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U89 is fantastic

We have used the U89 for 20 years of more and it is an invaluable tool.

The U89 is a super high quality mic with a very neutral (flat freq. response) character. Some mistake this neutral character for dullness. They are wrong.

The capsule of the U89 is unique and this was the first mic to use it. It was deemed a success by Neumann and incorporated into the TLM 170 and TLM193. However, the U89 is different than these other mics in two ways:

U89 has a transformer
U89 has no chips or opamps in the signal path--old style Neumann design

We use the 89 on female vocals, soprano sections of choirs and anywhere that a true and unhyped sound is required.

It is a fantastic mic and is appearing for a reasonable price on ebay and in the used market.
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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One man's ceiling is another man's floor... I've found the U-89 to be kinda sterile and boring for my tastes... it just sounds a bit flat and lifeless to me. Yeah, what you put into it is pretty much what comes out of it... but I like microphones that bring a little something to the party and "help" with the process.

A competent tool the U-89... just not something I would want to use on a daily basis. As always, YMMV.
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#7
22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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Also not as sensitive as a U87. I had one for a while and I found that it lacked character - I was planning to use it as a main vocal mic and just couldn't get excited by its sound. It sounded good in front of a cello however where its neutrality was a distinct advantage. Sold it and bought an SE Gemini ...... maybe not the right move but works for me.
shwin
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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thanks too everyone for their input it has been much appreciated.
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23rd June 2007
Old 23rd June 2007
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It's one of their best efforts. The capsule is a bit smaller and lacks the center screw design so it has a much flatter response than any of the Neumann capsules with center screws. It uses a discrete opamp design similar to the U-47 FET.

I find it far more useful than an 87, the 89 lacks the nasal gravel one hears with the 87. It may not "add anything" but it does it's job very well, it's my personal favorite Neumann because it doesn't bring along anything extra to the party, because it's "invitation only".

The capsule is also used in the TLM170 and the TLM103, differences being the circuits.

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High Fidelity
#10
23rd June 2007
Old 23rd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's one of their best efforts. The capsule is a bit smaller and lacks the center screw design so it has a much flatter response than any of the Neumann capsules with center screws. It uses a discrete opamp design similar to the U-47 FET.

I find it far more useful than an 87, the 89 lacks the nasal gravel one hears with the 87. It may not "add anything" but it does it's job very well, it's my personal favorite Neumann because it doesn't bring along anything extra to the party, because it's "invitation only".

The capsule is also used in the TLM170 and the TLM103, differences being the circuits.

Jim Williams
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Jim,

You must probably mean . capsule is also used in the TLM170 and the TLM193.

Regards,
Laurent
#11
23rd June 2007
Old 23rd June 2007
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U-89's SUCK!!!!
#12
23rd June 2007
Old 23rd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's one of their best efforts. The capsule is a bit smaller and lacks the center screw design so it has a much flatter response than any of the Neumann capsules with center screws. It uses a discrete opamp design similar to the U-47 FET.

I find it far more useful than an 87, the 89 lacks the nasal gravel one hears with the 87. It may not "add anything" but it does it's job very well, it's my personal favorite Neumann because it doesn't bring along anything extra to the party, because it's "invitation only".

The capsule is also used in the TLM170 and the TLM103, differences being the circuits.

Jim Williams
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Just kidding

I basicly agree 100% with what Jim said.

This is a useful mic to have..... nice middle of the road mic.

" it doesn't bring along anything extra to the party, because it's "invitation only"." is a good way to discribe it.
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18th July 2010
Old 18th July 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
One man's ceiling is another man's floor... I've found the U-89 to be kinda sterile and boring for my tastes... it just sounds a bit flat and lifeless to me. Yeah, what you put into it is pretty much what comes out of it... but I like microphones that bring a little something to the party and "help" with the process.

A competent tool the U-89... just not something I would want to use on a daily basis. As always, YMMV.
The "doesnt add anything extra" is simply untrue.
Sometimes I feel that people seem to be listening to the high and low end only when looking for that "little extra".
The U89 does something in the lower midrange (betw 400 and 800hz) that no other mic in my locker does and can be a heaven sent - particularly on some girls with nice and innocent voices, that wont cut through the track, particularly in choruses.
Its also great on acoustic guitars., when they lack body.
It will never cram the low low mids too....
Besides its my mic of choice for BD out - I know this one sounds odd - until you try... (I also use it on piano bass strings)
My U87 cant live up to it on literally anything, my U47s on some, but not all...
I regard the U89 the best price / value mic on the used mic market - period, for the simple reason, that its not regarded a classic - and therefor goes way under its value.
Wouldnt swap mine for 2 U87s.. and thats that.
But then: Its all taste really, is it not?
arf
#14
18th July 2010
Old 18th July 2010
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One of the most versatile and useful mics ever made. It provides a signal of very high quality and accuracy which takes down-stream processing very well. The superb audio quality at the core of the signal is what makes the difference.
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#15
18th July 2010
Old 18th July 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Yeah, what you put into it is pretty much what comes out of it... .
Excellent definition for a great mic.
#16
18th July 2010
Old 18th July 2010
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Neumann u89 AAAA+++++

I own a vintage neumann u89 hands down one GREAT MIC. Not for vocals but everything else.
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18th July 2010
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Very good all-around mic on instruments. I've heard it blow away a 414 pair on piano and it's good on drum overheads and woodwinds.

It sounds downright bizarre to me on close-up studio vocals, though. Between the two, the 87 wins there without contest.

Compared to an 87, it's flatter (leaner) in the low end and has a little high-end lift. (To me personally.) The 87 is more of a smiley curve whereas the 89 is more of a flat line with a small high-end shelf. (In sound, once again, to me personally.)

It is not as flat as a 193 or TLM170; it does add a little sheen up top.

I disagree with the often-cited claim that it is almost identical in sound to a 193 or 170. Those two to me are neutral to dark and the 89 is neutral to bright.

All of them are neutral enough to get different sounds out of, though. You can get beef out of an 89 and nice high end out of one of the TLM's.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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How is the U89 in terms of DETAIL and DYNAMICS?

The TLM170, in my opinion, is very detailed and dynamic... and I love it.

But, having a transformer, I wonder if the U89 loses a bit of detail and/or dynamics by comparison? If so, how much?

Anyone know of any U89 sound examples / comparisons?

Being a TLM170 fan, I am intrigued by the concept of the U89 (a "170 with transformer"). But I'll mention that with some other mics I've used (the AKG 414 for instance), I much preferred the transformerless version and did not like the transformer version at all. But of course I cannot apply this specific AKG situation to a Neumann situation.

I'm still in a position where I could probably use another pair of 170s, but before I go that route, I'm trying to figure out if it would be wiser to go for a pair of U89s instead. Trying to determine if they are close enough to each other to be "interchangeable", but yet different enough (in a good way) to be worth getting for the sake of a little extra sonic variety.

But, if they are "lacking" too much in detail / dynamics, I probably won't like them regardless and thus would not wish to have them taking up space in my mic cabinet.

The transformer 414s (that everyone seems to love)... I found them dull, mushy, dirty, lacking detail and lacking dynamics... I'm exaggerating a little, they weren't "horrible", but not enough to my taste to warrant me keeping them. Maybe they'd be ok on vocals, but not much else, at least the way I like to hear things. I still have some transformerless 414s though that get used here and there.

I suppose for me, the "safe" thing is to pass on the U89s and stick with 170s. But, the gearslut in me keeps me thinking that maybe I'm missing out on something, maybe the 89s would really round out my kit nicely and make me extremely happy for certain sources etc.

Of course, all this babble here would be unnecessary if I had a pair of U89s to try first-hand, but since I do not have this opportunity at the moment, please entertain the babble and give me something to read or listen to in the meantime.... thank you.
#19
30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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Here are samples of the U89 and TLM170. They are pretty well-recorded but I'm not sure the conditions are sufficiently identical to make a good comparison.

mikrofon vergleich mikrofone im vergleich mikrofonvergleich hörvergleich

Zenproaudio's clipalator has the best recorded comparison samples I've yet heard, but while they include a 193, there's no u89. I hope they will expand their collection soon as I think this is a great resource.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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thoughts on neumann U89

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltiac Punch
I own a vintage neumann u89 hands down one GREAT MIC. Not for vocals but everything else.
Amen!

As Neumann originally promised it is a very refined hi-fidelity microphone that is a Godsend many times!
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30th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltiac Punch View Post
I own a vintage neumann u89 hands down one GREAT MIC. Not for vocals but everything else.
Not for vocals... interesting. If I were to pick up a U89 it would be with the thought of it actually being perhaps my most vocal friendly mic (since just about everything I own and use is transformerless, generally fast and transparent, I do mostly instrumental work).

What then would you use for vocals instead? I recently used a U87 for vocals (borrowed), it surely has a "thing" to it, a color, that worked fairly well in the situation, but I also ran a Sennheiser MD441 dynamic above it and liked the 441 better. The 441 had a little bit less upper-end detail (that wasn't missed in this application), but was more robust, more dynamic, more alive. The 87 was a bit spitty, had a certain upper hi-frequency sizzle going on, also a bit compressed etc. I think if the 87 was a bit less compressed and had a more true upper end I'd like it better.... maybe the U89 is closer to this ideal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by student123 View Post
Here are samples of the U89 and TLM170. They are pretty well-recorded...
Cool! Thanks! Will check this out once back at the studio.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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89 is a 170 with better sound.
It is simply an incredible mic.

YOu will like it.

Nuff' said.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Not for vocals... interesting. If I were to pick up a U89 it would be with the thought of it actually being perhaps my most vocal friendly mic (since just about everything I own and use is transformerless, generally fast and transparent, I do mostly instrumental work).

What then would you use for vocals instead? I recently used a U87 for vocals (borrowed), it surely has a "thing" to it, a color, that worked fairly well in the situation, but I also ran a Sennheiser MD441 dynamic above it and liked the 441 better. The 441 had a little bit less upper-end detail (that wasn't missed in this application), but was more robust, more dynamic, more alive. The 87 was a bit spitty, had a certain upper hi-frequency sizzle going on, also a bit compressed etc. I think if the 87 was a bit less compressed and had a more true upper end I'd like it better.... maybe the U89 is closer to this ideal?
I'm loving my 89, specially on BGVS. My 87 is in its wooden box and never get used. I have it just to show to the clients: "Look I have an U87, this is a pro studio", and then it gets in the box of shame again.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnio View Post
I'm loving my 89, specially on BGVS. My 87 is in its wooden box and never get used. I have it just to show to the clients: "Look I have an U87, this is a pro studio", and then it gets in the box of shame again.
LOL . . .

I love my U89 also, but can always use another U87, if you no longer need that proof some day... just sayin'!
#25
30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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I've used mine with great success on sopranos (tames the high end in their voice).
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30th January 2011
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I would have to totally disagree with the comment that the U89 lacks detail. To my ear it is very detailed and suspect that for this reason some folks consider it to be lifeless. It does a great job on pretty acoustic instruments where you don't want the detail lathered with butter. I don't consider it to be lifeless. It sure won't bring back the dead or resuscitate a dying performance. Mojo in-- mojo out.

The great thing about the U89 is that the used value is a great deal less that the used cost of say a U87. But for me I like the U89 mic and use it often. (my locker includes U47, U67, 251, C12, G800, AEA, Coles, etc) so I have choices and the U89 has a permanent place. I think it is unfair to really compare it to a U87. They are just different animals. If you can get a great deal on a U89 go for it and if you don't like it flip for what you paid. On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend buying one brand new unless you really knew that you were going to put it to great use.

If you are looking to find people that will bash the U89 you will certainly find them on this forum. If you are looking for people that really like the U89 you will find them on this forum. Just leverage your self so you won't lose if you don't like the mic. Don't look for universal affirmation from the gearsluts before making the plunge. You are talking about your locker not ours.
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31st January 2011
Old 31st January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CubeCity View Post
I've used mine with great success on sopranos (tames the high end in their voice).
Interesting... it's one of my favorite, if not favorite, microphone on tenor and alto voices. I tend to go to the C12a for Sopranos, but one thing is for certain:
It is not (usually) a baritone vocal mic.

Kindest regards,

Ward
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31st January 2011
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I used one in conjunction with a Beyer 160 and EV635a to record various electric guitars/amps at the Bunker in Brooklyn. I was blending to tape and the U89 was often the bulk of the sound.
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#29
31st January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardpike View Post
LOL . . .

I love my U89 also, but can always use another U87, if you no longer need that proof some day... just sayin'!
..yeah right...
Seriously, I was about to send my 87 to be modified; but then this freaking economic crisis came and froze all my studio decisions.

No one has mentioned the U89 as a nice brass mic. Is very good on trumpet and trombone. Also, for every choir recording I make, I grab my KM84 pair and my 89. The stereo pair for close micing and the 89 for room.
It could be one of the best room mics out there. In My Humble Opinion.
#30
31st January 2011
Old 31st January 2011
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While not my favorite mic(s) for character or color, i do really love the U89 and the TLM 170. They both are very honest to what they pick up and are fabulous at capturing the presented sound. True they may be pretty flat, and pretty bland, but if you're trying to accurate capture a great room, or something you really want accurately portrayed, I've found them to work wonders. I also really seem to love them on acoustic guitar, more the 170, but both have worked great for me in the past. Just my opinion of course
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