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87 Mic Shootout - against Gunter Wagner Restored 70's Neumann U87i
Old 5th August 2020
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I’ll reveal 1 mic....
Mic G is the modern Neumann U87Ai
Nothin’ wrong with that one! For all the talk of the modern ai being different than vintage, I found it strikingly similar on many of the sources.
Old 5th August 2020
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I’ll reveal 1 mic....
Mic G is the modern Neumann U87Ai
The plot thickens... Thank you for doing this comparison. Depending on the results, I may very well be picking one these clones up...
Old 5th August 2020
  #63
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F is probably mic parts. Because DIY, cheap and hissy. I'm being judgemental here, will be happy to be proven wrong.

Stam and Warm are the duller sounding ones. I heard a few samples of Stam and it was dull. Some Warm I heard was pretty dull and some bright. So WA can be F but I doubt it.

So my guess E is either BN or OPR. I haven't heard either yet with female vocals. I have a hunch it's the OPR.
Old 6th August 2020
  #64
Gear Head
 

What a great shootout! Thank you for putting in so much work to do this.

I'm glad I didn't read past the first post before listening so I had no idea which mics were the 87i or Ai. I started with tracks in isolation, then with backing tracks, then in comparison with the 87i to try to avoid being biased towards something just because it sounds like a U87i, though it was interesting to make that comparison anyway. Here were my picks — in order — by instrument:
  • Acoustic Guitar: A, C. I really liked the brightness of A for this particular guitar, while C was warm and mellow. Depending on the song, I could go either way.
  • Male Vocals: E, A, B. E had a wonderful midrange and was fairly mellow overall, which sounded great both in isolation and in the context of this particular track. It also sounded closest to the U87i to me, though I left the comparison tracks for last and mostly considered it on its own / in the track. A again had some brightness that could cut through a track, but this track has more of a vintage vibe to me.
  • Female Vocals: D, G, A, E. I didn't pick E in isolation, but in the context of the track, it just worked. This was a hard one! Emma sounded great on almost all of the options. D seemed the closest to the U87i to me in this case, contradicting what I heard with the male vocals, so I'm clearly wrong.
  • Electric Guitar: F, A. These had the best frequency balance for me in terms of what I'm typically looking for from an electric guitar track in a mix. The actual U87i was too soft and muted for me here.
  • Snare Room: C, A, F. I feel validated on this one, haha! Even though I know I shouldn't care. Anyway, C had the right amount of detail without the added upper mids / high end of some of these other mics that seemed to overly emphasize the snare wires. A and F were a distant second / third for me in this case, but I could certainly live with them.
  • Piano: A, C, D. Liked the clarity of A and midrange of C and D. D and E also seemed closest to the U87i to me here.
Well, I am really curious to find out what A, D, and E are! I'm noticing that A made my picks in all cases, though it was only my top pick on acoustic. D and E were winners on female and male vocals, with both sounding close to the U87i. I can definitely imagine adding any of those three to my mic locker, especially if one or more of them are punching above their weight price-point-wise.

Thanks again for this wonderful shootout! Can't wait to find out the results.
Old 6th August 2020
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaleida View Post
What a great shootout! Thank you for putting in so much work to do this.

I'm glad I didn't read past the first post before listening so I had no idea which mics were the 87i or Ai. I started with tracks in isolation, then with backing tracks, then in comparison with the 87i to try to avoid being biased towards something just because it sounds like a U87i, though it was interesting to make that comparison anyway. Here were my picks — in order — by instrument:
  • Acoustic Guitar: A, C. I really liked the brightness of A for this particular guitar, while C was warm and mellow. Depending on the song, I could go either way.
  • Male Vocals: E, A, B. E had a wonderful midrange and was fairly mellow overall, which sounded great both in isolation and in the context of this particular track. It also sounded closest to the U87i to me, though I left the comparison tracks for last and mostly considered it on its own / in the track. A again had some brightness that could cut through a track, but this track has more of a vintage vibe to me.
  • Female Vocals: D, G, A, E. I didn't pick E in isolation, but in the context of the track, it just worked. This was a hard one! Emma sounded great on almost all of the options. D seemed the closest to the U87i to me in this case, contradicting what I heard with the male vocals, so I'm clearly wrong.
  • Electric Guitar: F, A. These had the best frequency balance for me in terms of what I'm typically looking for from an electric guitar track in a mix. The actual U87i was too soft and muted for me here.
  • Snare Room: C, A, F. I feel validated on this one, haha! Even though I know I shouldn't care. Anyway, C had the right amount of detail without the added upper mids / high end of some of these other mics that seemed to overly emphasize the snare wires. A and F were a distant second / third for me in this case, but I could certainly live with them.
  • Piano: A, C, D. Liked the clarity of A and midrange of C and D. D and E also seemed closest to the U87i to me here.
Well, I am really curious to find out what A, D, and E are! I'm noticing that A made my picks in all cases, though it was only my top pick on acoustic. D and E were winners on female and male vocals, with both sounding close to the U87i. I can definitely imagine adding any of those three to my mic locker, especially if one or more of them are punching above their weight price-point-wise.

Thanks again for this wonderful shootout! Can't wait to find out the results.
Interesting about E in the context of the track. I actually didn’t realize there was a track to put into context, but in solo I thought the tightness of E in the low and low mids could make it easiest to fit in a mix.

I go back and forth with A. I think in a lot of ways it comes close to the u87i, but I can’t help thinking it’s missing just a little bit of the “realism” of the vintage neumann, for lack of a better term. Kind of like it sounds like the singer is actually right next to you, whereas A doesn’t give me quite the same intimacy. But this could also be the bias of knowing which one is the u87i.

What did you think of G on vocals? On first listen that’s the one that really popped out to me as sharing similar characteristics of the u87i (especially on male vocals I had trouble noticing many differences at all). Knowing now that it is the u87ai I guess it makes sense that it should sound similar. I wonder if my ears are not as attuned to the high mid bump that the ai is supposed to have.
Old 6th August 2020
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
F is probably mic parts. Because DIY, cheap and hissy. I'm being judgemental here, will be happy to be proven wrong.

Stam and Warm are the duller sounding ones. I heard a few samples of Stam and it was dull. Some Warm I heard was pretty dull and some bright. So WA can be F but I doubt it.

So my guess E is either BN or OPR. I haven't heard either yet with female vocals. I have a hunch it's the OPR.
I think you might be right about F being the mic parts, thought it sounded harsh on vocals. But others seemed to like it, go figure.

Which mics do you think sounded dull? B and D maybe sounded darkest to me but not altogether dissimilar from the u87i. Less air and slightly mushier in the midrange, perhaps?
Old 6th August 2020
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
I think you might be right about F being the mic parts, thought it sounded harsh on vocals. But others seemed to like it, go figure.

Which mics do you think sounded dull? B and D maybe sounded darkest to me but not altogether dissimilar from the u87i. Less air and slightly mushier in the midrange, perhaps?
ABD. Lacking u87 life, gloss, sparkle sort of. Like a murky window. Kind of flat. I listened on small computer speakers though, I'll get back to my monitors in the next few days for a more definitive listen, maybe I'll reverse my opinion.

I also didnt know there were whole mix files, I'd like to listen to those when I get back to my computer.
Old 6th August 2020
  #68
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
Interesting about E in the context of the track. I actually didn’t realize there was a track to put into context, but in solo I thought the tightness of E in the low and low mids could make it easiest to fit in a mix.

I go back and forth with A. I think in a lot of ways it comes close to the u87i, but I can’t help thinking it’s missing just a little bit of the “realism” of the vintage neumann, for lack of a better term. Kind of like it sounds like the singer is actually right next to you, whereas A doesn’t give me quite the same intimacy. But this could also be the bias of knowing which one is the u87i.

What did you think of G on vocals? On first listen that’s the one that really popped out to me as sharing similar characteristics of the u87i (especially on male vocals I had trouble noticing many differences at all). Knowing now that it is the u87ai I guess it makes sense that it should sound similar. I wonder if my ears are not as attuned to the high mid bump that the ai is supposed to have.
I fully agree on A. Nice overall balance, but lacks the midrange magic of the 87i as well as D and E on vocals. It seems really versatile, like a good default that will always give you solid results no matter the task, but doesn’t seem to shine on vocals, which is generally what I’m looking for with a high end LDC.

I wasn’t a fan of G, which is unsurprising to me now that I know it’s the Ai. It’s never been a favorite of mine, not that it isn’t a great mic, but because I have at least a couple other mics I prefer on any given application. I occasionally need to add some 3k to vocals or guitars that lack presence, but I’d rather start flat-ish in that region because I weirdly find it easier to add than remove. With guitars, drums, etc., that bump tends towards harshness.

What got me interested in this shootout was that the 87i - and this is solely judging from the examples I’ve heard, not firsthand experience - is a bit flatter, duller and warmer while having similar midrange detail / “magic,” which for some uses is exactly what I want. Basically a solid state U67 without the massive price tag. I’ll be curious to find out the results and listen again knowing the price tags!
Old 8th August 2020
  #69
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Listened on my monitors finally. Again, female voice only. I found E to be a bit duller than I remember, but still better than the rest ecept for G (87ai) which is now my # 1 . Not sure how knowing what it is affected my opinion, but whatever.

I wonder if GW restores vintage 87 into 87ai basically. There's really no obvious difference.

So my conclusion to this shootout is that the holy grail of 87 is actually the 87ai.
Old 9th August 2020
  #70
Gear Head
I noticed with the male vocals vocals , all the U87i, plus the test track, increase in volume when played together, except F. The U87i, and the test mic clone, are out of phase, when all the others are not. I can't figure out why that would be.
Old 9th August 2020
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gharrison0054 View Post
I noticed with the male vocals vocals , all the U87i, plus the test track, increase in volume when played together, except F. The U87i, and the test mic clone, are out of phase, when all the others are not. I can't figure out why that would be.
Maybe the xlr pins are switched on mic F?
Old 10th August 2020
  #72
Gear Head
 

Any more hints on what’s what? I’m really curious to find out! Hankerin’ for a new addition to the mic locker.
Old 12th August 2020
  #73
Need more people to share their thoughts first please.
Old 12th August 2020
  #74
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alibling's Avatar
 

Acoustic Guitar: A
Male Singer: G
Femal Singer: A, G
Piano: A
E Guitar: B, G
Old 14th August 2020
  #75
I’m going to reveal another mic....

Mic A = Warm Audio WA-87
Old 14th August 2020
  #76
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alibling's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I’m going to reveal another mic....

Mic A = Warm Audio WA-87
for that price it sound very good..
Old 14th August 2020
  #77
Deleted 3ded3f0
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by alibling View Post
for that price it sound very good..
Some people myself included liked it on several of these takes regardless of price.

I did own this mic a couple of years ago (not the black one, is there a difference? ) . I was recording in a extremely bad room at the time, so that might have been the reason I did not like my results back then.
Old 14th August 2020
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baslotto View Post
Dude get off this forum you are bringing negative vibes to it. Please. It was fine until you mentioned death. Please mods take these comments away for decency.
Come on, don't be a girl. Save those stress hormones for when your immune system responds to coronavirus because you made like 10 posts in this thread and none of them what the OP actually asked for - guess the freaking mics.

If you want to be decent, post your mic guesses, not girly drama. Be a decent person, acknowelde OP's tremendous work. The dude spent days and days or work and money making this shootout, and you can't bother spend 20 seconds of your time to write some wild guesses? How decent is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by baslotto View Post
You wish death
Quote:
Originally Posted by baslotto View Post
until you mentioned death.
This guy ^^^^



Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I’m going to reveal another mic....

Mic A = Warm Audio WA-87
The dark/dull one, I'm not surprised. Consistent with demos of it I heard before.
Old 14th August 2020
  #79
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^^^ This is easily the nastiest, most disgusting post I've ever seen on GS. So sick.
Old 14th August 2020
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alibling View Post
for that price it sound very good..
Yeah, worth its price and then some...
Old 14th August 2020
  #81
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Cool that A is wa87! I was starting to have a feeling it was the warm, should have posted that guess because it doesn’t mean much now hah.
I stand by my original assessments that it really had a similar tonality to the vintage but was lacking in what I called magic realism, intimacy and high end sparkle. When I would go back and forth between it and the vintage there was something just a little more exciting about the u87i. I think it mostly comes down to a little
more air, a slightly more defined midrange, and a better dynamic response.

But all things said, for the price of the warm, I think it really performed quite well! I think I’d ultimately rank it 4th after the u87i, G and E.
Old 14th August 2020
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
Cool that A is wa87! I was starting to have a feeling it was the warm, should have posted that guess because it doesn’t mean much now hah.
I stand by my original assessments that it really had a similar tonality to the vintage but was lacking in what I called magic realism, intimacy and high end sparkle. When I would go back and forth between it and the vintage there was something just a little more exciting about the u87i. I think it mostly comes down to a little
more air, a slightly more defined midrange, and a better dynamic response.

But all things said, for the price of the warm, I think it really performed quite well! I think I’d ultimately rank it 4th after the u87i, G and E.
I agree. And a skilled mixing engineer could really do well with it.

Last edited by Bradahman; 14th August 2020 at 10:52 PM..
Old 15th August 2020
  #83
Here for the gear
Female Vocals:
A - Close, weighty, less magic
B - Lot's darker
D - Close! Neat, thick
E - Close, grainy, articulate
F - Bright
G - Closest, silky, weighty
Old 15th August 2020
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butter Music View Post
Female Vocals:
A - Close, weighty, less magic
B - Lot's darker
D - Close! Neat, thick
E - Close, grainy, articulate
F - Bright
G - Closest, silky, weighty
I did another quick listen today and D was closer on vocals than I remembered.
Old 15th August 2020
  #85
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
I did another quick listen today and D was closer on vocals than I remembered.
I waited to post my thoughts because my first, excited, listen felt a little different than my 3rd (today's) listen. Not a ton, but with a bit less 'expectation' and (this time) always 'in context' with the guitar, I felt more keyed in.
Old 15th August 2020
  #86
Here for the gear
Judging mainly off the Female Vocal (Male Vocal tested to a lesser extent) on my A7Xs:

A. I'm impressed by how close the WA87 sounds, every other shoot out I've heard the Warm mic is always too bright, kinda spitty. It is very pleasant sounding here. Maybe a touch thin, a hint of that "Zing" you get off many lower budget capsules, but absolutely usable.

B. Even with a Hi Pass applied it is slightly too thick sounding for my purposes. Would require more EQing due to its accentuated low-mids and top end roll off. I'm guessing this is the STAM SA-87.

D. Arguably my favorite, so much so that I can't tell if I might like it better than the U87i, I vacillate. It is not quite as thick in the low end, but I think it might cut through a mix a little better. No clue as to which model this could be, my wallet is hoping it's the Beesneez.

E. Something with the mids here that sound a little hollow. It has a texture to it I'm not totally in love with.

F. Very close, 2nd favorite of the lot. Really, it could just be the vocal take / distance from the capsule that is putting D slightly ahead of F.

G. Less flattering, grainy upper-mids. Honestly thought I would like the U87AI more.

Last edited by Mouerg; 15th August 2020 at 02:36 AM.. Reason: grammar
Old 15th August 2020
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouerg View Post
Judging mainly off the Female Vocal (Male Vocal tested to a lesser extent) on my A7Xs:

A. I'm impressed by how close the WA87 sounds, every other shoot out I've heard the Warm mic is always too bright, kinda spitty. It is very pleasant sounding here. Maybe a touch thin, a hint of that "Zing" you get off many lower budget capsules, but absolutely usable.

B. Even with a Hi Pass applied it is slightly too thick sounding for my purposes. Would require more EQing due to its accentuated low-mids and top end roll off. I'm guessing this is the STAM SA-87.

D. Arguably my favorite, so much so that I can't tell if I might like it better than the U87i, I vacillate. It is not quite as thick in the low end, but I think it might cut through a mix a little better. No clue as to which model this could be, my wallet is hoping it's the Beesneez.

E. Something with the mids here that sound a little hollow. It has a texture to it I'm not totally in love with.

F. Very close, 2nd favorite of the lot. Really, it could just be the vocal take / distance from the capsule that is putting D slightly ahead of F.

G. Less flattering, grainy upper-mids. Honestly thought I would like the U87AI more.
I think D might be the most consistent on both voices. Some I liked on male but not As much on female (B, E, G), others I liked on female but not as much on male (F) but D did really well on both voices.
Old 15th August 2020
  #88
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
I think D might be the most consistent on both voices. Some I liked on male but not As much on female (B, E, G), others I liked on female but not as much on male (F) but D did really well on both voices.
Deeper listen on the Male Vocal examples and I think you're absolutely right.

The loss of weight on Mic F is more readily apparent on the male vocal. I still like F and think it would probably work well in the context of a mix, but it's nice to have the extra heft when you want it.

D is the winner for me.
Old 15th August 2020
  #89
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All that praise for D made me give it another listen (female vocals).

I hear some unpleasant low mids (~100-200hz) bloom in it. I still think I like E a bit more, it's just smoother. Just like D it's also a bit duller than the 87 and not as defined, but it's not boomy like D.
Old 15th August 2020
  #90
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The Warm sounded good enough but... I could not wait for the reveal, so I just ordered the Beesneez with their original body. Really appreciate all of the hard work and time that you put into this.
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