innerTUBE Audio Vacuum Tube Up-Grade kit for Neumann u-87
waldie wave
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#1
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
innerTUBE Audio Vacuum Tube Up-Grade kit for Neumann u-87

What is the verdict on this kit? Anyone using it? If so, how satisfactory do you find it? Is the price justified? What are the alternatives?
#2
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
  #2
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Fletcher's Avatar
 

Its freakin' amazing!! Adds about 16 ft. of depth to any U-87 while remaining very clear, and VERY fast!!
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#3
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
  #3
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dubrichie's Avatar
I have a matched pair of them in a matched pair of u87's.

I LOVE THEM. They sound incredible. Totally worth the money. I will never sell them.
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#4
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
  #4
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Also, you have not heard the mic unless it has a tele pcc88 tube. A close second is an amperex bugle boy. World class mic for sure.
#5
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
How similar would people say this sounds to a 67?
#6
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #6
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubrichie View Post
I have a matched pair of them in a matched pair of u87's.

I LOVE THEM. They sound incredible. Totally worth the money. I will never sell them.
How did you resolve your headroom issues?

To the OP.......I've been using them for probably a decade and they are glorious.
#7
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #7
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drBill's Avatar
 

Here's a question for the innertube owners/users n: are the equally glorious on newer vs older rev 87's?
#8
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #8
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
How similar would people say this sounds to a 67?
Not particularly similar at all.

It sounds open and has a sheen to it, without the thickness or mid forwardness of a U67. If anything, I'd say more like a 251, in general terms.
#9
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #9
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Here's a question for the innertube owners/users n: are the equally glorious on newer vs older rev 87's?
Honestly Bill, I don't know. Mine are old 87's.
#10
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #10
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I have not heard them side by side, however the circuit is the same. The only differences would be in the sound of the capsules.
#11
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill
Here's a question for the innertube owners/users n: are the equally glorious on newer vs older rev 87's?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
I have not heard them side by side, however the circuit is the same. The only differences would be in the sound of the capsules.
From the Neumann site.

Electrical features
The letter A in the name indicates a more recent generation, as compared to the U 87 i microphones that were built from 1967 to 1986. Modifications apply to the electronic components of the microphone only; the capsule remained unchanged.

The present-day circuitry increases the operational headroom of the U 87 Ai by supplying the bias voltages for the capsule through a reduced resistance. The result is a higher sensitivity of 10 dB for identical sound pressure levels, and an improved S/N ratio of 3 dB.
#12
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #12
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
Are there any sound examples of u87ai before and after innertube audio mod?
#13
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #13
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matt thomas's Avatar
 

I haven't used them, but I have considered them, when I was researching I found a few people saying they were quite noisy, but sounded great.

Are they noisy?

matt
#14
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #14
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

#15
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #15
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

how do you wreck a U87?
add an innertube downgrade.

and yes it will make your quite u87 noisy
Sorry Stayne stick to the Atomic Squeezbox
#16
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
From the Neumann site.

Electrical features
The letter A in the name indicates a more recent generation, as compared to the U 87 i microphones that were built from 1967 to 1986. Modifications apply to the electronic components of the microphone only; the capsule remained unchanged.

The present-day circuitry increases the operational headroom of the U 87 Ai by supplying the bias voltages for the capsule through a reduced resistance. The result is a higher sensitivity of 10 dB for identical sound pressure levels, and an improved S/N ratio of 3 dB.

To be clear I was referring to individual capsules. If your capsule sounds good, it will sound great through the tube insert. If it is a dog,.... I dont know.

Also if you use a high quality tube, it is not noisy. Akin to a vintage 414, maybe a touch noisier.
#17
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #17
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popmann's Avatar
Capsule makes a diff...AIs are less consistent so YMMV. Mine has.

Noise? it outputs almost line level...but, I never got any noise that bugged me...?

Not a 67. Neither a 251. It's more linear than either. It's like an 87 with the LPF removed...upper mids "tamed" without removing the Neumann middle...huge low mids pulled back to fairly linear...

I've used two...the old 87i Blackbird has with the mod is my fave mic on my voice. I told them to let me know if John wants to sell it. The AI they have? Ehh...improvement over stock, but not magic.
#18
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #18
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dubrichie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
How did you resolve your headroom issues?

To the OP.......I've been using them for probably a decade and they are glorious.
The problem I was having with headroom was because I was not using them properly, because I did not receive the instruction leaflet when I purchased them.

Mine are the newer ai version and with these mics you have to set the pattern selection switch on the mic body to Figure-8 for the IT mod to function properly. I was completely unaware of this and as such had left these switches on Cardiod, so the IT circuit was compromised.

Once i flipped the switches, all my troubles were over.
#19
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #19
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubrichie View Post
The problem I was having with headroom was because I was not using them properly, because I did not receive the instruction leaflet when I purchased them.

Mine are the newer ai version and with these mics you have to set the pattern selection switch on the mic body to Figure-8 for the IT mod to function properly. I was completely unaware of this and as such had left these switches on Cardiod, so the IT circuit was compromised.

Once i flipped the switches, all my troubles were over.
Fantastic! Glad you got it sorted out.
#20
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #20
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RFZ DUDE's Avatar
love the innertube mod, would love to get a couple more 87s and use them exclusively with the IT mod - so bad that i only have a pair (Ai´s) and love them sooo much as they are.(yes the Ai).
actually didnt care too much for the 5 or 6 "vintage" 87s that i have had.those Ai´s are just the ticket for me.
#21
22nd May 2012
Old 22nd May 2012
  #21
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dubrichie's Avatar
I almost NEVER switch back to the original solid state electronics in my pair of ai's. Only for something like VO or spoken word or whatever, if I really have to, for the lower noise floor.

Or I could just use another mic, but, ya know, if they wanna see the 87, well give them the damn 87, valvefied or not.
#22
24th June 2012
Old 24th June 2012
  #22
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jtea's Avatar
I just got my InnerTube mod kit and thought I'd document my comparison. The following is a down and dirty comparison of my 1971 U87 recorded as stock, with the InnerTube mod, and with the mod and a NOS Telefunken E88CC tube replacing the NOS CCCP tube that came with the kit.

This is a small piece of voiceover copy used for example only. I read it 3 times as closely as possible with each setup. The segment is short enough so that you can clearly hear the difference between the 3. I ran through a Shadow Hills GAMA preamp (Iron tranny), straight into an Avid MBox Pro.

The mic had the -10dB pad engaged on all 3 takes and the preamp was padded as well so I could crank up the pre, because that's how I like to use it. I tried to match the levels by ear, didn't really spend more than 10 seconds on it.
I found the results quite illuminating.

1) 1971 Neumann U87 (Stock)
2) Same U87 - InnerTube mod installed - NOS CCCP 6H23N (supplied w kit)
3) Same U87 - InnerTube mod installed - NOS Telefunken E88CC
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 U87 COMPARISON.mp3 (1.10 MB, 446 views)

Last edited by jtea; 24th June 2012 at 04:11 PM.. Reason: added more tech info on recording
#23
24th June 2012
Old 24th June 2012
  #23
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Denny C's Avatar
Nice a b c.
#24
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #24
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
 

I just got Stayne's Innertube Audio U87 tube upgrade kit and Fletcher is correct, it's freakin' amazing. I put it in one of my 1970's U87's and it blew me away. It's really open sounding, alive, but also warm and the sound has a sort of tube complexity to it which is really nice. If you already own a U87, this is the cheapest and easiest way to get yourself a world class tube mic. I have the stock tube in mine and it's NOT noisy. Whatever tiny increase in the noise level you might get is more than offset by the woinderful tone that you get out of the tube 87. As someone else pointed out, the tube U87 does not sound like a U67, with it's network of filter circuits, but is great in its own way. The extended top and bottom reminds of a U77 but with a tube sounding mid range. I don't know why you would ever want to put the solid state electronics back in the mic, but it's great to have that option. I plan on buying a 2nd one for my other U87.
Baz
#25
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #25
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtea View Post

The mic had the -10dB pad engaged on all 3 takes and the preamp was padded as well so I could crank up the pre, because that's how I like to use it.
I rarely use the -10db pad on my 76' U87. It really kills the detail and size of the mic I find. I can't explain it but mic Maestro, Klaus Heine, has made many references as to why it's pretty much a fail.
#26
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #26
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz View Post
I rarely use the -10db pad on my 76' U87. It really kills the detail and size of the mic I find. I can't explain it but mic Maestro, Klaus Heine, has made many references as to why it's pretty much a fail.

I have to agree with this. When I have used the pad it killed the beauty of the mic to my ears.

Mine is an old one too. It had the Gotham pads when I got it which have now been bypassed and 50 Ohm strapping which were changed to 200.

I would love to try the Innertube.
#27
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #27
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T_R_S's Avatar
Trumpets and other horn instruments will overload a U87 unless you use the 10dB pad - I tried the IT mod and it was not my cup of tea.
#28
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #28
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Elof's Avatar
 

The k870/67 capsule sounds great without any filtering.
If I had an 87, I would definitely do this. The original is a bit honky to me.
However I´m happy with an sm69 fet, which also consist of the same capsules on an unfiltered circuit, doesn´t have the "tube glue" tho.
#29
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #29
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
Trumpets and other horn instruments will overload a U87 unless you use the 10dB pad - I tried the IT mod and it was not my cup of tea.
Good point, I should have stressed that using the pad on vocals is not as nice as without to my ears.
#30
12th July 2012
Old 12th July 2012
  #30
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Rob Ellis's Avatar
the sound samples sound great, but to my ear it definitely sounds like the noise floor rises noticeably with the InnerTube samples.
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