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Vintage U87, BU87, Serrano 87, MicRehab TLM 103, and Mystery FET
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Vintage U87, BU87, Serrano 87, MicRehab TLM 103, and Mystery FET

Aloha, So I tried my best with this. I tried to match the levels and spacing. Used my Audient ID22 and itʻs preamps. I have a new appreciation with the preamps on these things. I never use them, as I use my Ma5 for everything. They are so capable... The microphones are recorded side by side, equal spacing and matched levels. Two mics at a time, each mic going at the same time with the U87. The Vintage U87 is my palʻs, and is the one that I used on the video below. The TLM is my buddies. It had a blown diaphragm a few years back, so he sent it to MicRehab for repair. They fixed it up and did an electronics modification. We donʻt know what was done electronically, except Shannon called it, "The Works..." The backing vocals on the video were all tracked with the TLM. The mystery mic... When I grabbed the Vintage U87 from my pal, I explained what I was going to do... He said to add this mic to that shoot out. Itʻs not a U87 clone, but you will like it. Itʻs a 20 years old Fet, multi pattern and goes on ebay for anywhere from $100-$200... I will say that itʻs quite a steal. I am going buy a few on ebay before I post the name of that Mic... Please donʻt ask. The Serrano... All I can say, is that in my opinion, it is a high quality microphone. I really like it. Has more presence than the U87, but I can live with that. It sounds good. As for the Beesneez BU87... I think that they hit it out of the park. Itʻs so close to the vintage. There was another shootout using the Gunter Wagner Restored Vintage U87, and the BU87 sounded similar but different in that shootout. Leaves me to wonder how and what was restored in that mic, because it sounded like the AI. New Capsule??? In this test, the U87 and the BU87 are just about interchangeable in my DAW. The U87 still has something more magic about it though??? The tracks of the BU87 and the U87 comparison are a few dbs less than the others. Sorry, itʻs a mistake. Okay, Peace and God bless
A. Serrano vs. U87
B. TLM 103 vs. U87
C. BU87 vs. U87
D. El Cheapo vs. U87
Vintage U87 on Lead Vocals, Mic Rehab Modified TLM103 on backing vocals

Last edited by Bradahman; 1 week ago at 08:43 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Here for the gear
 

the Serrano is nice but has a little to much presence for my taste. The bu87 has this compressed and even tonality that’s ridiculous for the price. The mystery mic sounds better than the TLM in my opinion
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Progger's Avatar
Thanks for doing this! I'm looking forward to checking this out properly.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger View Post
Thanks for doing this! I'm looking forward to checking this out properly.
No problem 👍
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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I notice that there are an uneven number of views within letters... My takes are not consistent, so I would not take too much of comparing unlike letters. Just to be clear, I sang it 4 times. Each time, a different mic was being recorded simultaneously with the Vintage U87. With these takes, a little turn of the head can make a difference.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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My first conclusion to this shootout is that you have a great voice that will sound great on anything.

My second conclusion is that you like brighter mics better on your voice. And they may be the better choice for you for your future recordings because in that music video (I think) I can clearly hear the HF boost they applied to the u87 on your solo parts. But it may have been too dark for you and going with something naturally brighter could work better. I'm kind of having second thoughts on the Serrano, I'm a little bit concerned that with some processing all that extra brightness can turn into thin harshness quickly.

Which brings me to my third conclusion that all the mics except for the BN in this contest stray too far from the u87 sound. Kind of comparing apples to oranges really. Which is still fun.

How all of them would sit in the mix is the whole different story though. We all know that u87 never impresses dry in isolation but shines in the mix.

So as far as the u87 sound goes, the BN wins, as far as the best mic for your voice, I'd probably say the Serrano (with caution). TLM is ok but a bit unbalanced. The Unnamed Hero Mic is ok, nicely balanced, but it's missing something, a little bit of everything actually. It's a fantastic value for under $200 but it's not something I'd want to have as my main mic if I had voice like yours.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
My first conclusion to this shootout is that you have a great voice that will sound great on anything.

My second conclusion is that you like brighter mics better on your voice. And they may be the better choice for you for your future recordings because in that music video (I think) I can clearly hear the HF boost they applied to the u87 on your solo parts. But it may have been too dark for you and going with something naturally brighter could work better. I'm kind of having second thoughts on the Serrano, I'm a little bit concerned that with some processing all that extra brightness can turn into thin harshness quickly.

Which brings me to my third conclusion that all the mics except for the BN in this contest stray too far from the u87 sound. Kind of comparing apples to oranges really. Which is still fun.

How all of them would sit in the mix is the whole different story though. We all know that u87 never impresses dry in isolation but shines in the mix.

So as far as the u87 sound goes, the BN wins, as far as the best mic for your voice, I'd probably say the Serrano (with caution). TLM is ok but a bit unbalanced. The Unnamed Hero Mic is ok, nicely balanced, but it's missing something, a little bit of everything actually. It's a fantastic value for under $200 but it's not something I'd want to have as my main mic if I had voice like yours.
Thank you for your help with this. Really appreciate your aloha. It was supposed to only be the U87 and the clones. I actually added the TLM because you asked to hear it when we last messaged. I added the mystery mic just because we were adding the TLM anyways, so why not? The TLM kind of sounds similar to the Serrano. A little. That mystery mic, I actually want to grab it for drum room mics, or something that I don't mind banging around. $100. If I can get it at near that. Okay thank you

Oh yeah. And that's not me singing on the video. That's my brother. I'm just the roadie and song writer. Really appreciate your compliments. Thank you
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
Thank you for your help with this. Really appreciate your aloha. It was supposed to only be the U87 and the clones. I actually added the TLM because you asked to hear it when we last messaged. I added the mystery mic just because we were adding the TLM anyways, so why not? The TLM kind of sounds similar to the Serrano. A little. That mystery mic, I actually want to grab it for drum room mics, or something that I don't mind banging around. $100. If I can get it at near that. Okay thank you

Oh yeah. And that's not me singing on the video. That's my brother. I'm just the roadie and song writer. Really appreciate your compliments. Thank you
For some reason I always thought it was you singing in all these clips (even though I'm pretty sure you said it many times it was your brother, I keep forgetting that).

Thank you for including all of the mics and doing all the work, turned out to be a fantastic comparo.

For BGV the TLM103 is killing it... The Serrano would probably do even better.

For lead... I don't know. Gotta hear them all in the mix. I got a feeling the BN may actually beat the Serrano for that

One thing that surprised and confused me, is that the BN sounds darker than the u87. In Anguses comparison it was on par with the brighter u87ai, and yours sounds darker than the vintage u87. I wonder if there are significant tolerances when it comes to final frequency responses with BN mics.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
For some reason I always thought it was you singing in all these clips (even though I'm pretty sure you said it many times it was your brother, I keep forgetting that).

Thank you for including all of the mics and doing all the work, turned out to be a fantastic comparo.

For BGV the TLM103 is killing it... The Serrano would probably do even better.

For lead... I don't know. Gotta hear them all in the mix. I got a feeling the BN may actually beat the Serrano for that

One thing that surprised and confused me, is that the BN sounds darker than the u87. In Anguses comparison it was on par with the brighter u87ai, and yours sounds darker than the vintage u87. I wonder if there are significant tolerances when it comes to final frequency responses with BN mics.
Aloha, Iʻm singing on these clips with the U87s. My eldest brother is singing lead on the Video. 4 brothers. I donʻt sing on any of our real tracks. I just roll up the wires when they are done. I was actually thinking the same thing about Angusʻs clips as well. His BN seemed higher. Ben was initially offering two different transformers with his BU87s. I wonder if we have two different ones???
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
No problem 👍
To my ears, your BU87 sounds fantastic.
In direct comparison, it certainly has a character of it's own yet still does what it says on the tin.
Great sounding vocal mic.
If transformer choices were available, I'd pick yours in all honestly.
The Serrano really appeals to me, it's brightness doesn't concern me like others, I think it will be a great utility catch all kind of mic that just looks stunning and will mix nicely.
Not as much character as the BU, but it also does what it says on the tin in really classy design. It's the overall winner for me. Taste has to count for something here too..
The BU contradiction between it's sound and just how ugly the tiny bugger is mind numbing but a huge put off.

Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
To my ears, your BU87 sounds fantastic.
In direct comparison, it certainly has a character of it's own yet still does what it says on the tin.
Great sounding vocal mic.
If transformer choices were available, I'd pick yours in all honestly.
The Serrano really appeals to me, it's brightness doesn't concern me like others, I think it will be a great utility catch all kind of mic that just looks stunning and will mix nicely.
Not as much character as the BU, but it also does what it says on the tin in really classy design. It's the overall winner for me. Taste has to count for something here too..
The BU contradiction between it's sound and just how ugly the tiny bugger is mind numbing but a huge put off.

Really appreciate your help. As always, Aloha.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Bradahman, thank you putting up these sound tests! I really love your voice!

It may be helpful for others to know that when adjusting the top end of the Serrano 87, I used 3 different vintage U87s as comparisons. To my surprise one of them was brighter and one was very dark. I opted to go with something brighter than the darkest of them but not by too much. Not all capsules can handle top end in a non-harsh way like the Serrano 87 can. With that said, I am able to reduce the top end to be darker if a customer prefers. Inside the U87 circuit there is a capacitor that is there to specifically attenuate the top end. It will still retain everything else you're hearing in the Serrano 87, but the highest frequencies will be a little lessened.

Feel free to email me with any questions or requests. [email protected]

Happy Recording to all of you!

Carlos Serrano

Last edited by cserrano; 1 week ago at 04:24 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cserrano View Post
Bradahman, thank you putting up these sound tests! I really love your voice!

It may be helpful for others to know that when adjusting the top end of the Serrano 87, I used 3 different vintage U87s as comparisons. To my surprise one of them was brighter and one was very dark. I opted to go with something brighter than the darkest of them but not by too much. Not all capsules can handle top end in a non-harsh way like the Serrano 87 can. With that said, I am able to reduce the top end to be darker if a customer prefers. Inside the U87 circuit there is a capacitor that is there to specifically attenuate the top end. It still still retain everything else you're hearing in the Serrano 87, but the highest frequencies will be lessened.

Feel free to email me with any questions or requests. [email protected]

Happy Recording to all of you!

Carlos Serrano
Congratulations on this creation Carlos, it's a fantastic sounding mic with looks to kill..I can't wait to try the Serrano for myself.
I'll need to stop buying guitars for a few weeks and get on this
...really a job well done man


Old 1 week ago
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Popping over from another forum. Sorry for the newbie account.

Aggregate frequency response differences. Bounds 20hz to 20khz., +-12dB. Ignore everything below signal, it's noise. The yellow line is the difference between the other mic and the U87.

Serrano:

This looks like a a miscalibrated feedback circuit, or maybe even no feedback circuit at all. This circuit looks almost linear.

BU87:

Absolutely perfect. Holy **** Ben. Your pedigree is showing. Perfect capsule, transformer and impeccably calibrated feedback circuit.

TLM103:

It's a TLM103. More extended top-end, no HF EQ circuit. Tremendously smooth top end shelf.

El Cheapo:

This looks really similar to the modern NT1, but it's too old to be that. Smooth, even FR, small high end lift, extended treble over the U87. It's crazy neutral, but it's kind of unflattering.

Last edited by soliloqueen; 1 week ago at 10:42 PM.. Reason: images
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soliloqueen View Post
Popping over from another forum. Sorry for the newbie account.

Aggregate frequency response differences. Bounds 20hz to 20khz., +-12dB. Ignore everything below signal, it's noise.

Serrano:
https://i.imgur.com/hvfCyZ8.png
This looks like a a miscalibrated feedback circuit, or maybe even no feedback circuit at all. This circuit looks almost linear.

BU87:
https://i.imgur.com/4a7BYSw.png
Absolutely perfect. Holy **** Ben. Your pedigree is showing. Perfect capsule, transformer and impeccably calibrated feedback circuit.

TLM103:
https://i.imgur.com/Hf86UJQ.png
It's a TLM103. More extended top-end, no HF EQ circuit. Tremendously smooth top end shelf.

El Cheapo:
https://i.imgur.com/GBBqp2B.png
This looks relaly similar to the modern NT1, but it's too old to be that. Smooth, even FR, small high end lift, extended treble over the U87. It's crazy neutral, but it's kind of unflattering.

Thank you for your input.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soliloqueen View Post
Popping over from another forum. Sorry for the newbie account.

Aggregate frequency response differences. Bounds 20hz to 20khz., +-12dB. Ignore everything below signal, it's noise. The yellow line is the difference between the other mic and the U87.

Serrano:
https://i.imgur.com/hvfCyZ8.png
This looks like a a miscalibrated feedback circuit, or maybe even no feedback circuit at all. This circuit looks almost linear.

BU87:
https://i.imgur.com/4a7BYSw.png
Absolutely perfect. Holy **** Ben. Your pedigree is showing. Perfect capsule, transformer and impeccably calibrated feedback circuit.

TLM103:
https://i.imgur.com/Hf86UJQ.png
It's a TLM103. More extended top-end, no HF EQ circuit. Tremendously smooth top end shelf.

El Cheapo:
https://i.imgur.com/GBBqp2B.png
This looks really similar to the modern NT1, but it's too old to be that. Smooth, even FR, small high end lift, extended treble over the U87. It's crazy neutral, but it's kind of unflattering.
To those of us who are not technical, what does it all mean?
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
To those of us who are not technical, what does it all mean?
Aloha, He was gracious enough to explain this in a DM.

"The line is the difference between the two spectrums, bounded to + and - 12dB. Basically, the less difference between the mic and the U87, the flatter the line. Tonal differences can be seen as differences in where the line is boosted or cut."
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
Aloha, He was gracious enough to explain this in a DM.

"The line is the difference between the two spectrums, bounded to + and - 12dB. Basically, the less difference between the mic and the U87, the flatter the line. Tonal differences can be seen as differences in where the line is boosted or cut."
To clarify, the BU87 being this close isn't all down to Beesneez's engineering, it's also a ridiculous coincidence. the U87 and this clone from 30 years later are, very improbably, a matched pair. Just by pure happenstance.

Edit: I was able to do more precise comparing and they are not perfectly matched, but they are matched within 2dB which is still very close (though audible.)
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soliloqueen View Post
To clarify, the BU87 being this close isn't all down to Beesneez's engineering, it's also a ridiculous coincidence. the U87 and this clone from 30 years later are, very improbably, a matched pair. Just by pure happenstance.

Edit: I was able to do more precise comparing and they are not perfectly matched, but they are matched within 2dB which is still very close (though audible.)
Unbelievably close... Amazing.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
Unbelievably close... Amazing.
I hope to hear some songs with both Serrano and BN from you guys.

In this shootout your BN sounds dark (as it should) but just like everyone says and what I experienced with my Warm, once you put it in the mix it's the whole different story.

I hope the next song will have BN for LV and Serrano for BGV.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
I hope to hear some songs with both Serrano and BN from you guys.

In this shootout your BN sounds dark (as it should) but just like everyone says and what I experienced with my Warm, once you put it in the mix it's the whole different story.

I hope the next song will have BN for LV and Serrano for BGV.
Thank you for your support. If the BU takes to eq like this 87 that we used for most of our last album, we should be okay. For our next single, we will be using this: TELEFUNKEN U47
MODIFIED BY BLUE IN 2001 - M-7 CAPSULE INSTALLED AND MIC SERVICED BY NEUMANN IN 2016 - NOS TELEFUNKEN EF86 DIAMOND "SILVER-CAGE" TUBE RED-TIP

Really huge sounding. Wish us luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradahman View Post
Thank you for your support. If the BU takes to eq like this 87 that we used for most of our last album, we should be okay. For our next single, we will be using this: TELEFUNKEN U47
MODIFIED BY BLUE IN 2001 - M-7 CAPSULE INSTALLED AND MIC SERVICED BY NEUMANN IN 2016 - NOS TELEFUNKEN EF86 DIAMOND "SILVER-CAGE" TUBE RED-TIP

Really huge sounding. Wish us luck.
That's quite a step up. Good luck, I'm sure it'll turn out great
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
That's quite a step up. Good luck, I'm sure it'll turn out great
Really appreciate your aloha. Will keep you updated. Aloha
Old 6 days ago
  #24
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by N1Greg View Post
I hope to hear some songs with both Serrano and BN from you guys.

In this shootout your BN sounds dark (as it should) but just like everyone says and what I experienced with my Warm, once you put it in the mix it's the whole different story.

I hope the next song will have BN for LV and Serrano for BGV.
excellent strategy mate
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