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any mic compare to u87?
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acdctom92
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23rd April 2008
Old 23rd April 2008
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any mic compare to u87?

I'm on the search for a nice LDC, and I want that rich u87 sound, but not for 3,000$'s. Has anyone found budget mics to sound like that?
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23rd April 2008
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Blue Kiwi
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23rd April 2008
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I have a u87ai and the other mic i go to is a pearlman TM1.Half the price.
I paid about 1750 with a german tube in it.Big,fat and warm sounding.
Check out the threads on the mic and see what you think.Most people like it a lot.Have yet to see any bad reviews!

DP
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23rd April 2008
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Although not exactly like a U87, the Neumann TLM103 is a very affordable alternative... has that awesomely detailed "pro" sound you undoubtably seek. These typically go used for around $600-$700 on eBay.

Another more affordable, fairly decent sounding mic with a bit of a "U87 vibe" is the Studio Projects C-1 (original version), and these can be had for much less than $300

YMMV
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23rd April 2008
Old 23rd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acdctom92 View Post
I'm on the search for a nice LDC, and I want that rich u87 sound, but not for 3,000$'s. Has anyone found budget mics to sound like that?
Buy a used U87 and you will have what you want and save money as well.
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23rd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordZilla View Post
Although not exactly like a U87, the Neumann TLM103 is a very affordable alternative... has that awesomely detailed "pro" sound you undoubtably seek. These typically go used for around $600-$700 on eBay.

Another more affordable, fairly decent sounding mic with a bit of a "U87 vibe" is the Studio Projects C-1 (original version), and these can be had for much less than $300

YMMV
was looking at TLM103, and was debating it.
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23rd April 2008
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Some of the original Rode mics they imported into the US were frighteningly close to a 87 on SOME sources. On other sources they weren't. Kinda weird, but a buddy had a couple and we compared and it kind of bummed me out. Overall though, the 87 sounds at least "good" on almost everything.
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23rd April 2008
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Not necessarily a budget mic but the Gefell UMT70 sounds pretty U87-ish. It sounds good to great on pretty much anything.

Craig.
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23rd April 2008
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you know, i did a mic comparison a while back with several mics on a grand piano(a U87ai included), and the audio-technica 4033a was freakishly close to the U87 in terms of both sound and output. the U87 was a tad bit brighter and seemed a little thicker on the low low end, but other than that they were really close, at least close enough for being over $2000 cheaper.

the other mics, a rode NT-2A and C414-ULS, were a lot darker sounding, and had a much lower output
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24th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newnes View Post
Not necessarily a budget mic but the Gefell UMT70 sounds pretty U87-ish. It sounds good to great on pretty much anything.

Craig.

Closer still is a vintage (nonTransformerless - ie: transformered) UM70 or if you only need cardiod, I actually prefer the M71S. Absolutely killer mics and if I had to give up either my UM70 or U87, it would be a sleepless night.....
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24th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironklad Audio View Post
you know, i did a mic comparison a while back with several mics on a grand piano(a U87ai included), and the audio-technica 4033a was freakishly close to the U87 in terms of both sound and output. the U87 was a tad bit brighter and seemed a little thicker on the low low end, but other than that they were really close, at least close enough for being over $2000 cheaper.

the other mics, a rode NT-2A and C414-ULS, were a lot darker sounding, and had a much lower output
I always find the 4033 very bright and spitty. But I know a lot of people like it. Do you find the U87 bright? I don't, but I don't use a it a super lot.
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24th April 2008
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Got a tip from a Geffel UM71s owner on how to make it match a U87.
Boost the lows from 800 on down, then notch out a little 100.
I think the highs on the UM71s are a little sweeter than U87, but I don't have a Nuemann to compare to.
(The guy I got my UM71s from replaced it with a Pearlman.)
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25th April 2008
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As someone who a U87i has always worked on my voice, I'll be glad to narrow your search.

Nothing sounds just like it.That in mind...in the ballpark:

-Gefell Um70s...transformer version. the new one is so expensive and not as good as an 87, I can't imagine recommending it. But, there are deals to be had on the old ones-beware expensive repair bills, though--it's an M7 cap.

-AT 4060...ignore that it has a tube. Doesn't sound like it does. Sounds like an 87i with the low mids "pre EQd" out. Has the same signature brightness up to a point (say 11k?) then falls quickly. Very quickly.

-ADK Hamburg...Really a damn fine mic for the what $250? Yes, it's Chinese. Yes, it has that sizzle. It definately doesn't carry the low mid girth of an 87, but has a similar middle/mid high, IMO.

-Shure KSM44...they are one of the only ones that got the low mid growl of an 87. It's married to a more modern sounding, clean mid/top, though. Useful mic in the same "all around" sense.

-Shure Sm7b...I know I put it everywhere. But, if the nice, dynamic midrange is what your voice loves about the 87, this will fit the bill.

Now...if you've not used an 87 on your voice and are thinking it has some certain sound...I'd advise you try one before wondering aloud which would give you that "rich sound".
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26th April 2008
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I would go with the suggestion of the SM7B before I would recommend the TLM103 as a vocal mic. The SM7B is a great mic. I don't like the 103 on male vocals at all (boring, sibilant).

You might also want to check out the Red Mic system (Type A or B). I preferred the Type A with a B6 (or R6) a bit more on male vocals over my U87ai. You can also get different capsules, which gives you a lot of options.

Best thing is try before you buy if you can.
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26th April 2008
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get a used U-87. you can find them for $1600-$2000.
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironklad Audio View Post
you know, i did a mic comparison a while back with several mics on a grand piano(a U87ai included), and the audio-technica 4033a was freakishly close to the U87 in terms of both sound and output. the U87 was a tad bit brighter and seemed a little thicker on the low low end, but other than that they were really close, at least close enough for being over $2000 cheaper.

the other mics, a rode NT-2A and C414-ULS, were a lot darker sounding, and had a much lower output
I've never A/Bd on a piano, but I'm with mr gold on this one - the at's nothing like an 87 on vox. Far brighter, spitty, and none of the same sound. Not to say it's not a useful sound, just it's not anywhere near the sound of an 87. We've got an 87 and a 4033 here at our mix room, so I've compared them several times here.
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26th April 2008
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Just my pluses and minuses...

+1 for the Blue Kiwi. This does a great job and sounds 87ish.
-1 for TLM. This does not sound like an 87 at all... more like a 414, but even more ambient.
And as for the ADK Hamburg, I had one once, and it definitely sounds better than a $250 mic.

Whatever works best overall is what you should get. I dig my Kiwi.

Peace - B
#18
26th April 2008
Old 26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineMusic View Post
Blue Kiwi
Wow, since you let on that the Kiwi is a budget mic, I just went out and bought six of them.
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterTrax View Post
Wow, since you let on that the Kiwi is a budget mic, I just went out and bought six of them.
well first off you didnt list a budget, but i aint gonna argue wit someone on a forum...
Now that that's out the way...
vs some mics, yes the kiwi is budget..a good 47 is gonna run you $6-8000...
a kiwi is a great mic and and if you charge it on a credit card or get a sweetwater card pay if down if you dont have all $2000 at 1 time....

if thats TOO FAR outta BUDGET for you...
the only mic around IMO thats under $1000 that has similar characteristics and sound of an 87 just a little cleaner at times cuz the slight hiend boost.........Shure KSM44. you can get them new as low as $700.. used under that...
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26th April 2008
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A friend of mine (engineer/performer) was at a studio laying down some background vocals for some other person's cd. He hadn't looked around the pop filter at the mic he was singing into but it sounded like a U87 to him and assumed it was. A short time later noticed a U87 sitting on a table nearby. He then peeked around at the mic and not recognizing it, asked the engineer what it was. It was a Studio Projects C3. The mic blew him away and when he got home he ordered two of them for himself.

Has anyone here ever used a SP C3? I haven't; I'm just repeating what I was told but I'm wondering if any others have been impressed by it.
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterTrax View Post
Wow, since you let on that the Kiwi is a budget mic, I just went out and bought six of them.
About a month ago, I traded my Avalon M5 for a Blue Kiwi. I think I did okay on that deal.
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
I always find the 4033 very bright and spitty. But I know a lot of people like it. Do you find the U87 bright? I don't, but I don't use a it a super lot.
the U87 was really bright, as much as so as 4033

it could've been because it was the newer ai version, or because the mics were a couple of inches apart, but they were both much brighter than the other mics
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironklad Audio View Post
the U87 was really bright, as much as so as 4033
I'm not saying they're not both relatively bright, nor that they didn't sound similar in your test.

But the 4033 definitely doesn't have the warmth of the 87 - and doesn't take EQ in anything like the same way. I'm making the assumption that the OP is considering using the 87-alike as a vocal mike too (a fair assumption since he's not looking into pairs) and in this situation, the 2 don't sound remotely similar.

As far as budget mics go, I don't have too many suggestions...I like the Oktavas, maybe look into one of their LDCs (esp with the mod options) but I've not AB'd my one with an 87 to see if it compares - only that it sounds much nicer than my previous cheap LDC (an AKG).
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26th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineMusic View Post
Blue Kiwi
+1

What do you want to spend and what can you spend?
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27th April 2008
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Whaddya want to use it for? Is cardioid OK, or do you need multiple patterns?

If it must be a Neumann, you get the 87's brilliance on the TLM103, you get the broad bottom on the TLM49. Both have their fans and detractors. I haven't heard the TLM193, and I don't know anyone else who has either. Try searching for info.

If it doesn't have to be a Neumann, you've got a better range of choices now than anytime in recording history. The Gefell MT71S has the Neumann sound, but is narrower, particularly in the bass. Recommended for everything except "larger-than-life."

3rd&4thT
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27th April 2008
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When Studio Projects first introduced their mics, they had an isolated room at either NAMM or NAB, and had their C3 and a U87 rigged up in an A-B comparison setup and invited anyone to see if they could pick the '87 out of live recordings done right on the spot.

A bunch of "golden ears" decided to take the challenge on, convinced it would be childsplay to pick the '87 out. Nearly all of then chose the C3 as the '87.

Food for thought.
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27th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videoracer View Post
When Studio Projects first introduced their mics, they had an isolated room at either NAMM or NAB, and had their C3 and a U87 rigged up in an A-B comparison setup and invited anyone to see if they could pick the '87 out of live recordings done right on the spot.

A bunch of "golden ears" decided to take the challenge on, convinced it would be childsplay to pick the '87 out. Nearly all of then chose the C3 as the '87.

Food for thought.
Thats pretty interesting.
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27th April 2008
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i thought it was the studio projects c-1 mic. i got caught up in the hype back then and got one. way too bright for me . i dont think there is a cheap way out. get a used 87. you could always re sell it for what you paid for itthumbsup if its not your cup of tea.
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27th April 2008
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the C3 does remind quite a few ppl of an 87 6-10inches away...
the right engineer can fool a lot of ppl... it is brighter with more of a presence boost also, but for the price it "SOUNDS" like an expensive mic... though i like the T3 much more
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27th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yrlk View Post
-1 for TLM. This does not sound like an 87 at all... more like a 414, but even more ambient.
Spot on!

Look into the Gefell mics, they have some great models like the M71s, M930 and the outstanding M92 (more like U47 though..)
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