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U87(ai) vs Flea47 next
Old 18th June 2015
  #1
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U87(ai) vs Flea47 next

Looking to get a new mic for vox. I have been using a Lawson 47 since the mid 90's as well as 414 and sm7. Find that my Lawson always gets crunchy with powerful rock singers. I've got both an Americana and a 80's inspired metal record coming up and wanted a new vox mic. The last time I worked with this "dio" type singer I used the Lawson. Felt like it collapsed too much. I know every vox is different etc... My Americana vocalist has a very nasal, in the mask midrange vox.

Usually I go 47 to 1073. But lately I've been going 414 to tube tech mp1.

Any input appreciated. And yes I'm familiar with the 87/87ai debate. Thanks,

Tim

Last edited by TML; 18th June 2015 at 02:47 PM..
Old 18th June 2015
  #2
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Very different mics - the FLEA 47 NEXT is basically a cardioid only clone of the U47 (and, IMHO, FLEA do make the best of the clones).

Personally I would try both and make your decision then.
Old 18th June 2015
  #3
Yep. Agree with John. Not much to say really. Do you want an apple or a pear?
Old 18th June 2015
  #4
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mbvoxx's Avatar
If you already have a 47 type mic then maybe another 47 type mic isn't the answer.
with a Lawson 47, 414, and SM7 in the locker I would be inclined to consider something different like a 251/12 type mic.
There are some good options out there in that category.
Old 19th June 2015
  #5
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at4033's Avatar
FWIW: I routinely track a very nasal singer. I've had luck with a Flea 47 Vintage, a Wunder CM67 and a Telefunken CU-29.
Old 19th June 2015
  #6
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Thanks for the ideas guys. I'm wondering if my lawson after 20 years needs to be tweaked. Do you think it may have lost some mojo? I sent it back 5 years ago and it was re-tubed. Anyone compare the L47 to the flea?
Tim
Old 5th September 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx View Post
If you already have a 47 type mic then maybe another 47 type mic isn't the answer.
with a Lawson 47, 414, and SM7 in the locker I would be inclined to consider something different like a 251/12 type mic.
There are some good options out there in that category.
Good point. Would you recommend any 251 clones?
Tim
Old 5th September 2015
  #8
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mbvoxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TML View Post
Good point. Would you recommend any 251 clones?
Tim
I highly recommend the Pearlman TM 250. it's card & omni and designed to
replicate the Telefunken 250 with Dave's excellent hand build including a Tim Campbell capsule. In case you don't already know, the diff between the 250 and 251 is the inclusion of a figure 8 pattern on the 251. So if you can live without figure 8, the 250 is a great option. The Pearlman is a wonderful mic and Dave is one of the best people you'll ever deal with, for any reason you may find to contact him.

Also, when Tab Funkenwerk finally gets around to selling the UM25C again that would make an excellent option. They are supposedly ramping up again, after Oliver's passing, to bring mics to the market again sometime soon. With the UM25C you get the full 251 compliment of patterns, plus the Tim Campbell capsule. I saw a UM25 (without the TC Cap) go on Ebay a couple of months ago for $1700 btw.

And there's the Peluso 22-251...another great option in the 251 family.
Like all Pelusos it's hand built, uses some outsourced parts, but is a really good mic for the money. In a home project scenario it would be an excellent choice.
Old 5th September 2015
  #9
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Klaus's Avatar
 

It surprises and amazes me how little of a role resale value plays in discussions what mic to buy. As if we are all millionaires, and how a mic will keep its value over time is irrelevant.

When I consult with customers about appropriate mic choices, I make sure they pay equal attention to a mic's financial value over time: If the new mic does not work out as a recording tool, how much of my initial investment will I get back if I have to sell? How much will I lose as a price for my mistake?

Unlike most consumer items, microphones, if well chosen, will lose little if any value over time.
I recommend to look at the (used) market price of the mic candidate in question, especially its used price, compared to what it would cost new. Completed eBay auctions is a good standard to gauge the real market value of a mic, rather than asking prices on eBay or mic dealers' price ideas.

There's a lot of information about the reputation and intrinsic, usable value of a mic in such new vs. used price comparison: A mic that drops 40% soon after it hits the used market obviously was unrealistically priced by the seller or manufacturer. Such loss of value points to too many unhappy sellers- the price quickly adjusts downward because of (higher) supply and (lower) demand.

On the other hand, a mic which holds its value once it's used, gives a strong indication about its usefulness as a recording tool, simply by the fact that it does not drop in price despite its used condition (high demand + long ownership retention = low supply = high price).

Contrary to common belief, even a rare or vintage mic will not retain its value if its usefulness as a recording tool is not widely appreciated(AKG C61 anyone?).

Last edited by Klaus; 5th September 2015 at 06:34 PM..
Old 5th September 2015
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Well, yes, but the Flea mics lose about as much value as the 87ai and 47 fet.
Same with Bock, and other affordable alternatives to vintage classics.

It's a similar percentage with any useful recording tool still sold new today. Like Royer 121, Coles 4038, Beyer M160 or M88.

But these mics are not too hard to find "as new," so one can avoid eating the depreciation.

An 87i, 67 or KM84 not so much, because you can't buy them new, not simply because they are useful recording tools. Vintage 47 fets are now worth less than they were because of the reissue.


And while the Flea 47 doesn't quite have the smooth top of a vintage 47 (nor does the 87Ai have that of 87i, or the KM184 of 84), it's superior to 90% of LDCs including the 87ai and most of the Gefells and cheaper for those without studio budgets to match the vintage market.

At this point it's a proven and predictable recording tool, and a better value than other similar clones. So I don't see the problem.
Old 5th September 2015
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TML View Post
My Americana vocalist has a very nasal, in the mask midrange vox.
I recommend a Neumann TLM67.
Good price-performance ratio.
67 better than 87 for very nasal voices.

My humble opinion...

R.
Old 5th September 2015
  #12
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VO Guy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
It surprises and amazes me how little of a role resale value plays in discussions what mic to buy. As if we are all millionaires, and how a mic will keep its value over time is irrelevant.

When I consult with customers about appropriate mic choices, I make sure they pay equal attention to a mic's financial value over time: If the new mic does not work out as a recording tool, how much of my initial investment will I get back if I have to sell? How much will I lose as a price for my mistake?

Unlike most consumer items, microphones, if well chosen, will lose little if any value over time.
I recommend to look at the (used) market price of the mic candidate in question, especially its used price, compared to what it would cost new. Completed eBay auctions is a good standard to gauge the real market value of a mic, rather than asking prices on eBay or mic dealers' price ideas.

There's a lot of information about the reputation and intrinsic, usable value of a mic in such new vs. used price comparison: A mic that drops 40% soon after it hits the used market obviously was unrealistically priced by the seller or manufacturer. Such loss of value points to too many unhappy sellers- the price quickly adjusts downward because of (higher) supply and (lower) demand.

On the other hand, a mic which holds its value once it's used, gives a strong indication about its usefulness as a recording tool, simply by the fact that it does not drop in price despite its used condition (high demand + long ownership retention = low supply = high price).

Contrary to common belief, even a rare or vintage mic will not retain its value if its usefulness as a recording tool is not widely appreciated(AKG C61 anyone?).

I agree with Klaus. If you buy a good clean used 87ai by shopping carefully on ebay you will lose little or nothing should you decide to re-sell it. But you have to shop smart, buy smart and do your homework.
Old 6th September 2015
  #13
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Every Neumann I've used has something special. Detail.
Tim
Old 6th September 2015
  #14
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VO Guy's Avatar
 

When I step up to the Neumann(87ai) I don't ever worry about the results.

Can't say that about many mics that I have experienced. Which is one of the reasons why I'm married to the Neumann.
Old 6th September 2015
  #15
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I've never had a 47 collapse on me. Idk. I've always heard good things about Lawson. You have to be careful with your gain staging especially with and 87AI. They tend to have less leeway than the older battery compartment u87s

The tubetech mp1a is probably my favorite pre, you have some good stuff already. Honestly I'd play around with mic placement and gain staging before I'd run out and buy a new mic. Flea makes great Mics. I'm a big fan and own several. But the u87 is a studio standard and a classic. Either the 47 next or the 87 should provide a very rewarding experience but since you already have a Lawson 47 I'd probably lean towards an 87 for its versatility.
Old 8th September 2015
  #16
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
I'd probably lean towards an 87 for its versatility.
U87 has an unique sonic sound... it can not be compared with other mics and reduced to better or not better. It sounds very good or not good depending on the preamp and musician. Also a SM58 can be the right mic for some sources... and worse for other sources... you have to try and compare in every unique recording situation.
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