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The Recording Studio Consultant - 87 Mic Shootout - against Gunter Wagner Restored 70's Neumann U87i
Old 2 weeks ago
  #31
Lives for gear
Did some more listening, here's my notes:

-male voice-
Vintage - smooth, soft sibilance, hefty but clear, rich, buttery midrange

A - similar but not quite as much magic realism, solid choice though

B - retains up frontness and heft, not as smooth high end, not as tight in the lows

D - slightly more upper mid bite, doesn’t quite have that magic buttery smoothness

E - not as thick, still retains a certain vibe to the original

F - thinner and brighter, modern sound, not suitable for this singer

G - close to vintage

Favorites: A or G, D close behind

-female voice-
Vintage - intimate

A - similar to vintage, less high end sparkle, not as 3D
B - less clarity and upfront ness, mushier low mids
D - more upper mids, similar amount of low mids but mushier, not as relaxed/inspiring
E - leaner, clears the mud while still retaining the qualities of the vintage
F: more top end, modern sound, still retaining some of that relaxed upper mids, harder sibilance/consonants, not as weighty, more of a whispery intamacy
G - similar to vintage, more upper mid push, not quite as relaxed, similar weight

Most similar to vintage: A, G
Most modern: F
Mix ready: E

-Acoustic-
A - nice pick sound, slightly muddy in the low mids, natural/woody tone
B - more scoped than A
C - honky, nice up top, though
D - more upper mid presence
E - less mud, presence boost, mix ready
F - biggest high end lift
G - similar to C

Favorites: A or E

-Piano-
A: natural, balanced sound, nothing sticks out
B: a little thicker, less mids than A
C: very nice, softer, less midrange bark, warm
D: similar to A
E: leaner
F: brightest, not harsh, though
G: similar to C

Favorite: C

-Electric guitar-
A: midrange push
B: more scooped
C: natural, unexciting
D: more bottom, high mids
E: thinnest, nice cut
F: similar to E, more bottom, nice upper mid bite
G: more bottom, with some bite

Favorites: F or G

-Snare-
A: natural, woody tone, nice snap
B: less snap, more snare wire sound, metallic
C: compact, right and controlled
D: low mid mud, buildup
E: too thin
F: most top end sparkle
G: unnatural mid range poke

Favorites: A and C

I think overall, A and G did a good job of capturing a lot of qualities of the original, with A doing a little bit better on the instruments (although the things I didn't like about G on the instruments I also didn't like about the u87i), and both being quite close to the vintage on vocals. There's some intimate quality to the u87i that I don't think any quite got all the way right, in regards to vocal capture.

B didn't particularly inspire me, for whatever reasons. D could be quite close on some sources, but I don't think was as close to the original as A or G. To my ears, E was mostly a leaner sound, but still retained a lot of the same qualities as the u87i. I actually liked how it cut some of the fat, would probably require less EQ in a mix than some of the other mics. When F worked it really worked (like on female vocals), but could also sound pretty different than the vintage u87. More of a modern tonality.

Hard to pick a fav. For vocals I think the original u87i was top of the heap. For working best on a range of sources I think I'd probably pick A, actually. For most similar to the u87i I think I'd go with A or G.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
Does this mean mic C is always the u87i?

Also, I know absolutely nothing about mic building, but I’m curious as to how mics that are all considered clones can look so different on the inside?
Correct. Mic C is the U87i.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
Lives for gear
 

Only listened to the male vocals. I like "A"
Old 1 week ago
  #34
Company Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesc View Post
What Capsule is in your current mk3 version of the SA87 Josh ?
The MK3 has a Italian BG 87 capsule, a Ludahl Output transformer (BV13 replica from Sweden) and some adjusted values.

I am super down with sending Angus one next week if he can repeat a test at least with his 87 or a review

Would be awesome.

Unfortunately the SA87 on this test is an old transition version. We had no other choice right then while finding another capsule. It's still a good mic, just a bit too dark for my taste compared to the final version which is what I am making now
Old 1 week ago
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuanaconda View Post
The MK3 has a Italian BG 87 capsule, a Ludahl Output transformer (BV13 replica from Sweden) and some adjusted values.

I am super down with sending Angus one next week if he can repeat a test at least with his 87 or a review

Would be awesome.

Unfortunately the SA87 on this test is an old transition version. We had no other choice right then while finding another capsule. It's still a good mic, just a bit too dark for my taste compared to the final version which is what I am making now
Thanks Josh
I would like to hear your new version for sure.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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sirthought's Avatar
I'm still confused about what I'm hearing with the files marked VS.

Anyhow, I guess the mic I decided amongst all the examples that I'd least choose is A.

The others were fine mostly, but I think I preferred the last three in most cases. They seemed to have the mid push I think of with an 87. I guess if C is the vintage 87i, maybe that push isn't a far as I would have thought.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
Lives for gear
 
baslotto's Avatar
Sorry for the stupid question, but just to confirm, are mics A,B,D etc always the same mic or depending on the test mic A could be a mic in one test and another in another test? Obviously Angus answered that C is always the vintage 87.

Thank you!!
Old 1 week ago
  #38
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
I'm still confused about what I'm hearing with the files marked VS.

Anyhow, I guess the mic I decided amongst all the examples that I'd least choose is A.

The others were fine mostly, but I think I preferred the last three in most cases. They seemed to have the mid push I think of with an 87. I guess if C is the vintage 87i, maybe that push isn't a far as I would have thought.
For the vocals there were six takes done. Each take was recorded with the u87i and one of the clones. There are six audio files that have u87i vs mic _ in the title. Those are all the u87i clips. The audio file that says “vs mic a” you would compare to the other audio file that says “mic a”.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
Lives for gear
 

I'm away from my studio, and I wanted to wait until I get to my monitors/headphones, but lost temper, so resorting to some half decent computer speakers for now. Can't judge low end just overall clarity/smoothness as much as my speakers let me.

On female vocals:

A,B,D - too dull/dark/uninspiring. Since the vintage 87 is already darker than AI, I feel like makers of these missed the target. Shouldn't make their clone any darker than already dark Vintage. It's ok to be in between vintage and AI, imo. Just not brighter than AI or darker than vintage. You make it darker and it starts sounding cheap. Again, imo.

F - the take itself was brighter than the rest. But the clone F got too sharp/sibilant and was poking at my ears. Maybe it'd work best in the mix? Who knows. But as is, my least favorite.

G - sounds a bit closer

E - probably my fav (but very close to G).

To my ears none of the mics quite matched the clarity and openness of the original but if I were to pick two right now it'd be E and G. Getting more and more tempted actually.

I wonder if makers of clones develop and test the prototypes on own (male, limited spectrum) voices, and can't judge/match high end properly? Which is why most clones tend to be on a darker/muffled side.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
I'm away from my studio, and I wanted to wait until I get to my monitors/headphones, but lost temper, so resorting to some half decent computer speakers for now. Can't judge low end just overall clarity/smoothness as much as my speakers let me.

On female vocals:

A,B,D - too dull/dark/uninspiring. Since the vintage 87 is already darker than AI, I feel like makers of these missed the target. Shouldn't make their clone any darker than already dark Vintage. It's ok to be in between vintage and AI, imo. Just not brighter than AI or darker than vintage. You make it darker and it starts sounding cheap. Again, imo.

F - the take itself was brighter than the rest. But the clone F got too sharp/sibilant and was poking at my ears. Maybe it'd work best in the mix? Who knows. But as is, my least favorite.

G - sounds a bit closer

E - probably my fav (but very close to G).

To my ears none of the mics quite matched the clarity and openness of the original but if I were to pick two right now it'd be E and G. Getting more and more tempted actually.

I wonder if makers of clones develop and test the prototypes on own (male, limited spectrum) voices, and can't judge/match high end properly? Which is why most clones tend to be on a darker/muffled side.
I had similar feelings about E and G. You’ll have to judge for yourself when you can, but I found E to be quite a bit leaner in the low/low mids, which I think would probably work great in a mix. Whereas I could see having to cut a bit of the fat off some of the others (depending on the project).
Old 1 week ago
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by baslotto View Post
Sorry for the stupid question, but just to confirm, are mics A,B,D etc always the same mic or depending on the test mic A could be a mic in one test and another in another test? Obviously Angus answered that C is always the vintage 87.

Thank you!!
yes
correct
Old 1 week ago
  #42
A bit of fun...
Here's a lead vocal I did on the BeesNeez BU87iC with a Giles Audio VMP2C tube pre today.
Totally raw - no eq, no processing.
Antelope audio Orion 32 HD converters, PT 2020.5 Ultimate.

Perhaps this will help you pick between the mics.
I had to give back all the mics except the BeesNeez.
I'm hoping to have the latest Stam here soon (thanks Josh)
Attached Files

Chris BeesNeez BU87iC Giles VMP2C.mp3 (12.40 MB, 1227 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #43
Lives for gear
 
baslotto's Avatar
Talking

Angus I’m afraid to listen because the money is tight right now :D


EDIT: Damn it I gotta hit up Ben again...

EDIT #2 : please be F!!
Old 1 week ago
  #44
Lives for gear
 

If your Peluso ever arrives, if STAM sends you their new mic, and if you could also get the Advance Audio 87 maybe you'd be willing to do a Take 2 (just on vocals, these are vocal mics anyways).

That'd be epic.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
Here for the gear
 

If there is a take 2, it would be excellent to hear a full drum set if possible. As much as an 87 is great on vocals, let's not forget drum room or overheads!
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Lives for gear
When will the results become available?
Old 1 week ago
  #47
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
When will the results become available?
He said he'd give it a couple of weeks.

Only been 4 days.

Long wait ahead of us. Maybe PM to those who answered would be more humane?
Old 1 week ago
  #48
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
He said he'd give it a couple of weeks.

Only been 4 days.

Long wait ahead of us. Maybe PM to those who answered would be more humane?
Thought it had been at least a week, time is moving slow these days!
Old 1 week ago
  #49
I have told no one the results yet
Not even Ben from BeesNeez
Or Josh from Stam.
I need more people to post their thoughts first.
Old 1 week ago
  #50
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I have told no one the results yet
Not even Ben from BeesNeez
Or Josh from Stam.
I need more people to post their thoughts first.
Can Ben or Josh post their thoughts, see if they can recognize their own babies?
Old 1 week ago
  #51
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sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I need more people to post their thoughts first.
Most of people who own the vintage gear care little about these shootouts. They have the gear and move forward.

The people who do care likely have much less experience with the vintage stuff, thus have a weak basis to guess what is what. It's sort of pointless to guess.

But it would be helpful to know which is which just for reference for those who have listened.
Old 1 week ago
  #52
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Most of people who own the vintage gear care little about these shootouts. They have the gear and move forward.

The people who do care likely have much less experience with the vintage stuff, thus have a weak basis to guess what is what. It's sort of pointless to guess.

But it would be helpful to know which is which just for reference for those who have listened.
Eh, you can still pick your favorites regardless of how much experience you have with the vintage units. Also, with this test there is a disclosure of the vintage u87 so you have a direct reference.

What tends to happen with these blind shootouts is once the mics are disclosed everyone comes out of the woodworks and picks what they wanted their favorite to be.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
Eh, you can still pick your favorites regardless of how much experience you have with the vintage units. Also, with this test there is a disclosure of the vintage u87 so you have a direct reference.

What tends to happen with these blind shootouts is once the mics are disclosed everyone comes out of the woodworks and picks what they wanted their favorite to be.
I'd like to see a shoot out of multiple U87i mics all Neumann. IIRC None of the U87s sounded exactly the same (back in the 70s Chuck Chapmans place KCMO).
Old 1 week ago
  #54
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sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by a.m. son View Post
Eh, you can still pick your favorites regardless of how much experience you have with the vintage units. Also, with this test there is a disclosure of the vintage u87 so you have a direct reference.

What tends to happen with these blind shootouts is once the mics are disclosed everyone comes out of the woodworks and picks what they wanted their favorite to be.
You certainly can pick your favorites and compare to the vintage unit…and it'd be quicker knowing what those are without a guessing game.

I think it's a great service to offer the compared tracks. I don't understand the waiting game in this case.
Old 1 week ago
  #55
Lives for gear
 

Any shootout you see, all files will get listened to 2500 times, all of them. So people care enough to listen to them all. Out of these 2500 listeners maybe 12 will bother to write impressions.

Why bother listening if you're not going to participate? Can you just be polite and write at least something?

People can be such arsheholes sometimes...
Old 1 week ago
  #56
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
Any shootout you see, all files will get listened to 2500 times, all of them. So people care enough to listen to them all. Out of these 2500 listeners maybe 12 will bother to write impressions.

Why bother listening if you're not going to participate? Can you just be polite and write at least something?

People can be such arsheholes sometimes...
Yeah. Something... They are all waiting on their hands and Beezneez, not knowing that Angus wonʻt reveal until thereʻs 100 opinions... Only 91 to go. At this pace, the Vaccine for Corona will get here first.

Last edited by Bradahman; 1 week ago at 09:02 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #57
Here for the gear
As far as I can tell he did spend alot of time on this so i think it's right to also respect the rules of the maker.

If you want the answers quicker, maybe you should share this around so more people will see, hear and comment.
Old 1 week ago
  #58
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by anguswoodhead View Post
I need more people to post their thoughts first.
Most of people who own the vintage gear care little about these shootouts. They have the gear and move forward.

The people who do care likely have much less experience with the vintage stuff, thus have a weak basis to guess what is what. It's sort of pointless to guess.

But it would be helpful to know which is which just for reference for those who have listened.
There are tons of views, I am sure there are vintage owners looking and waiting.......
Old 1 week ago
  #59
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Most of people who own the vintage gear care little about these shootouts. They have the gear and move forward.
I would think the opposite would be true. If I had an $18,000.00 vintage mic and I can get 99% there with a $2,000.00 mic, for most recordings, in a studio where all kinds of different people show up to record. I'd be most interested in using it, instead of taking the chance on damage to the vintage piece.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
I’ll reveal 1 mic....
Mic G is the modern Neumann U87Ai
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