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Tube 87 vs. U87 AI soundfiles
Old 26th December 2006
  #1
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Tube 87 vs. U87 AI soundfiles

Promised these ages ago, but finally had time to post these today. No point in blind crap, the differences are pretty big.

The chain was Mic--->Helios type 69-->Tg1. No eq, just off the floor. I pulled the guitars right down so you can get inside the vocal.


Tube 87

U87 AI
Old 26th December 2006
  #2
k2m
Gear Head
 

yea, they are quite obvious. do you feel they are worth the cost?

(the sample is quite short)
Old 26th December 2006
  #3
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adamcal's Avatar
 

to me , it seems 30 seconds with a good eq would approximate the difference.
Old 26th December 2006
  #4
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matucha's Avatar
30s isn't too short for me

The mod is more drastic that I thought, the HF lift is quite big, but it sounds far from harsh.

However it would be nice to hear the voc more naked than this. It is way too wet for the comparison purposes IMO.
Old 26th December 2006
  #5
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john caldwell's Avatar
Nice performance and song mood. Who is this?

I too wonder about working the Ai track with a HF boost to get closer to the tube's sound. The reverb's character is playing a pretty big role here, as has been mentioned.

John-
Old 26th December 2006
  #6
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88fingerz's Avatar
 

I thought the 87 without the tube sounded better and handled "s's" better as well.
Old 26th December 2006
  #7
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popmann's Avatar
I'm not in a place to listen right now...will catch it later....but, what's the "tube 87"? Is it Innertube? Korby? Other?

My experience with the Innertube mod is that it sounds amazing on the old 87i cap...and it sounds much less amazing (but still improved) on the AI cap. But, I've only used one example of each...so, YMMV.
Old 26th December 2006
  #8
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InnerTube
Old 27th December 2006
  #9
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

The tube was soft but less detail, i wouid normally take the Tube but this time i pick the non tube, the reverb made no difference to me.

ps: i have a GT66 tube that blows away my u87 ai , and for far less $$
Old 27th December 2006
  #10
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Yoda117's Avatar
 

I'd have to listen to this a bit longer and I would also like to hear the vocals on their own first.

If I had to make a gut call, I kinda liked the regular U87 AI better from what little I've heard.
Old 27th December 2006
  #11
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popmann's Avatar
I preffered the stock AI...FWIW. Nicer middle. I do like the softness of the Tube, though. If someone could retian that nice middle and add the softness...well, it would sound more like a U67.
Old 27th December 2006
  #12
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popmann's Avatar
FWIW...there's a lot bigger difference in the two with a Hv3.
Old 27th December 2006
  #13
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Different strokes for different folks ehheh

To my ears, the tube kit is definately more detailed with a less veiled sound. I'm having a hard time hearing the AI as "more" detailed.

What we don't hear is that the bottom extends as well - it's much more noticeable when you use it in front of a kit for eg.

But the main thing about this kit is how the mic performs under pressure. In the above example the track was with a gentle vocal. The AI performs well in this application. When pressed, the tube kit does not become strident nor do the "S"s get harsh. For me this is when the AI becomes a PITA in this regard - when pressed.

Oh someone asked about the performer. His name is Illya Torres-Garner. The name of his group is "Walk Fast". We just finished his album and it should be coming out sometime in spring. It's a very cool disc, quite unusual musical sensability for a 25 year old.
Old 27th December 2006
  #14
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daaronhoffman's Avatar
I preferred the original 87 in this as well.
I felt the tube was a little "thin".
I didn't check volume levels so.. that might have given the impression of a thinner sound.

I own a older U87 that Neumann replaced the diaphram on. I'm still not thrilled with it...but it has it's purposes.
I have a Big Mic (www.bigmics.com) that has blown everything else I've tried out of the water. It's not that expensive either!

I've thought about having a KH mod done to the U87, but I think with the Big Mic and getting maybe a KAT4 system I should be set on "flavors".

Thanks for the post!

Aaron
Old 28th December 2006
  #15
Viking
 
Bruce Swedien's Avatar
 

I don't recall that Neumann ever made a "Tube U-87".

Gearslutzies.........

I don't recall that Neumann ever made a "Tube U-87". I have been buying Neumann microphones since 1953....

If the "Tube U-87' you are refering to is merely a moded up U-87. Wow, are you asking for trouble!!!

Bruce Swedien
Old 29th December 2006
  #16
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stayne's Avatar
 

tube 87

our dearly departed friend 'loudist' was trying for years to get me to post a listening test on the tube 87 vs the stock 87.

i told him,

'no way.........i wouldn't believe what i was hearing on a computer'.

????????????????????

you need to hear it in your own envionment to appreciate the difference.
Old 29th December 2006
  #17
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

At my joint the Innertubed 87's are used on just about everything. When the 87s were stock they just sat in the mic closet 'cause they really were bland sounding. To me stock is closed and boxy while the ITA gives me a 3D image and very open sounding. I keep track of my signal chains on all my projects and I'll go back years to see what chain I've used on an especially nice sound and it is surprising how many times the ITA 87s turn up.
Old 29th December 2006
  #18
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Lectra's Avatar
 

I much prefer the Innertube modded 87...
It's like night & day
No competition
Old 29th December 2006
  #19
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popmann's Avatar
Quote:
But the main thing about this kit is how the mic performs under pressure. In the above example the track was with a gentle vocal. The AI performs well in this application. When pressed, the tube kit does not become strident nor do the "S"s get harsh. For me this is when the AI becomes a PITA in this regard - when pressed.
Agreed. I was short above...my point was not that one mic was better. I know for a fact from having them all four here this year (U87i, IT87i, U87AI, IT87ai)...the innertube mod is a fine thing, and betters either version of the mic. There have been situations where I've prefered the 87i. This one would be the first thing I've ever heard where I preferred an AI.

I wish I could afford to keep that IT87i around here all the time.
Old 29th December 2006
  #20
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RawBeanZen's Avatar
 

Another big InnerTube 87 fan here. I've had mine for nearly a decade, and the thing never gets put away. A versatile, great mic.

So no doubt that makes me biased, but nevertheless the a/b was night and day to my ear as well. The tube 87 sounds more open, more characterful, more dimensional, and just plain yummier.....IMHO.
Old 29th December 2006
  #21
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Popman, I bet once you heard the song with the guitars up you'd change your preference.
Old 29th December 2006
  #22
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Based on these short samples, I cannot help - I liked the regular U87 ai better ... more clear and open. The innertube sounded a bit like under a blanket as if ...

(nice song ...)
Old 29th December 2006
  #23
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Quote:
Based on these short samples, I cannot help - I liked the regular U87 ai better ... more clear and open. The innertube sounded a bit like under a blanket as if ...
That's honestly impossible. heh Unless I'm completely fricken deaf and should get out of the racket - there's no way in hell the AI in this file sounds more open and clear - absolutely no way, period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a feeling your just dicking with me rightheh

The other fella said the AI handled the "S"s better and I listened back - there's one "S" HAHAHAHA and under his breath to boot........

I give up
Old 29th December 2006
  #24
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MadGuitrst's Avatar
The Tube version is much smoother and I like it a lot more.
I disagree with you kats in that with more music I think the AI would probably sound more present (therefore better) to many people.

Anyway, the stock U87 track has much nastiness of the U87 I don't like, essy, eshy, etc. The tube version might benefit from a tad more presence but I'd bet it would take EQ well and just a dab would do ya.

The thing with those tracks is that they are 'tweeners. That is, they are in-between solo vocals with no processing and vocals in a full mix.

I'd like to hear both vocals solo'd and dry.
Then maybe with the Ac but dry.
The verb adds too much of a metal-icky sound for the intended purpose IMO.

Put them up dry, without and/or with acoustic guitar, blind, and let's see who likes what or can even tell what is what....although I'd find it hard to believe the golden ears couldn't tell them apart.
Old 29th December 2006
  #25
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stayne's Avatar
 

tube 87

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
That's honestly impossible. heh Unless I'm completely fricken deaf and should get out of the racket - there's no way in hell the AI in this file sounds more open and clear - absolutely no way, period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a feeling your just dicking with me rightheh

The other fella said the AI handled the "S"s better and I listened back - there's one "S" HAHAHAHA and under his breath to boot........

I give up
like i said................. your computer is NO PLACE to evauluate ANY microphone. and for all you guys that think it is........... stick with the crappy sound of your stock mic and pretend you like it.
Old 29th December 2006
  #26
Viking
 
Bruce Swedien's Avatar
 

That is exactly what they are doing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stayne View Post
like i said................. your computer is NO PLACE to evauluate ANY microphone. and for all you guys that think it is........... stick with the crappy sound of your stock mic and pretend you like it.
I have a distinct feeling that that is exactly what they are doing!

Bruce


Old 29th December 2006
  #27
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stayne View Post
your computer is NO PLACE to evauluate ANY microphone.
no way.........i wouldn't believe what i was hearing on a computer'.
Leaving apart this particular comparison and any subjective differences in commenting (any) sound samples - I would really like to know how else could you listen to any recording than on "a computer" ?? (= some speakers connected to it or in rare cases connected to some tape machine).

Even if you have a microphone in your own hands - again, there is no other way to listen to a recorded sound than "on a computer" (= speakers). Microphone itself will not play any recorded sound at all.

Having a microphone in one´s own hands has an advantage of more flexible/multiple recordings. But if you do not have that option, by listening to recordings of others you hear nothing different from what they hear, so I think it is still quite valuable.
Old 29th December 2006
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
theflyest1's Avatar
 

Substantial Improvement IMO

I just received my InnerTube mod about a week ago, and after three years of using the stock 87ai, the improvement is beautiful to my ears (I work on R&B/Hip Hop). A lot more warmth and clarity...and contrary to what I had read previously, the increased noise floor is minimal.

Kudos to Stayne...the customer service and efficiency at Innertube were great as well!! thumbsup
Old 30th December 2006
  #29
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carival's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Leaving apart this particular comparison and any subjective differences in commenting (any) sound samples - I would really like to know how else could you listen to any recording than on "a computer" ?? (= some speakers connected to it or in rare cases connected to some tape machine).

Even if you have a microphone in your own hands - again, there is no other way to listen to a recorded sound than "on a computer" (= speakers). Microphone itself will not play any recorded sound at all.

Having a microphone in one´s own hands has an advantage of more flexible/multiple recordings. But if you do not have that option, by listening to recordings of others you hear nothing different from what they hear, so I think it is still quite valuable.
Hmmmm. No other way to listen to a sound? I suppose I understand your point, but I've been listening to "raw" recorded sounds most every day for almost 25 years and very little of it has been anywhere near a computer, until this past year. I always want these comparisons to be valuable, and as much as I appreciate others sharing stuff (sound clips, techniques, opinions, etc.), I am reminded with almost every new thread/post as to how differently we hear things, "process" what we hear, use the same tools to achieve very different results, and so forth. Pretty fascinating. More on topic, a stock 87ai does get nastier as it is pushed. I hope to some day have Innertube guts for some of my 87s and 87ais.
Old 30th December 2006
  #30
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redrue's Avatar
 

I was doing a comparison of a U47 and a Wunder CM7 one
day in the studio @ Wunder.... Mike (at Wunder) later posted
the samples of the different takes we did here on GS. Those
posted samples didn't sound even CLOSE to what I heard in
the studio that day. If it hadn't been my voice and I hadn't been there,
I wouldn't have believed those uploaded MP3s were sourced
from the originals.

Truth is I've never heard enough of a difference in ANY
shootout of uploaded files here on GS to mean much of
anything to me.

I, too, believe that if you base any decision to consider or
NOT consider gear based on these compressed files you
do so at your own peril.

good luck and....
Happy New Gear Year!
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