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Neumann U87 vs Rode NT1-A Comparison
Old 22nd August 2016
  #61
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Vesta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by funzo View Post
Sorry but that's a pretty blasé way to stereotype "all the great engineers preferring the Neumann"
Thank you for pointing that out. I no longer stand by that statement. I should have said "many of the great engineers preferring the Neumann."
Old 22nd August 2016
  #62
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przemak's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
I hate having to repeat it, my friend, but there was a thread here not long ago where nobody could hear the distortion you're talking about in a blind test (myself included) and people mistakenly believed a cheaper $300 mic (as bright as the Rode when stock) was the u87, presumably because its treble peak was reduced by a very simple eq dip. Nobody said "Mic B has too much distortion to be the u87."
If so, this test was useless. Of course, it's difficult (or rather impossible) to hear this kind of artefacts listening to clean unprocessed signal, but such signal is not the end of recording, but just the point of start. In the real world one needs compression, eq, limiting, saturation, overdrive, mp3 decoding and much more. After processing all drawbacks of cheap microphone become obvious. When I test microphone (and I do it often) I always record myself with as many sibilants and pops as I can imagine into two microphones in the same time and then make both tracks "radio ready VO" - differences are very audible, and it is not the frequency curve that can spoil the sound.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #63
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VO Guy's Avatar
 

If I honestly believed I could get the same quality from a Rode NT1 that I get from my U87ai, I would gladly sell the 87, pocket the $2500 and be the richer for it. But I have tried the wannabees, many of them. They can get the job done, but for me, they don't provide that extra whatever it is that the high-end Neumanns provide. And the aforementioned Neumanns do it with an elegance, style and consistency that IME has been hard to duplicate with mics like the Rode NT1. Even if it's all in my head, the confidence that I derive standing in front of a high-end Neumann definitely makes a worthwhile difference.

If a person gets good results from other mics that are more affordable, that's great and their search is over. I'm just opining from my own experience.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Could that be a well-reasoned statement based on an honest evaluation of this blind test?
I had th NT1-A and 4033 in my studio for many years and have heard them in multiple shoot outs. I got rid of the NT1-A because one of my other mics always sounded better.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by takaka View Post
when i buy a mic i never listen to singing samples. i listen to spoken word samples where they are very dynamic in how they are talking. ive owned 3 rode nt1a and 1 nt1000. they are by far some of the crappiest voice over mics ive ever used in my life. rode is a trash company. audio techncia 40 series is lightyears better. im sorry but only a moron would think a nt1a is good.





im someone who listens to my own voice and records it for hours a day. the rode mics are virtually unusable for voice over. that doesnt stop a ton of people from using the nt1a tho. they are all fools who dont know any better to be quite honest. i know of many people who own studios and do gigs and dont know crap about sound quality so it doesnt surprise me crappy mics slip under the radar and are regularly used. with that said, using a nt1a for singing with effects and eq can work. i literally forgot how to eq and had depression episodes when dealing with rode mics.

im guilty of coming on to this forum and recommending rode mics in the past. i was a fool. dont be a fool.
I'm a fool. I like their ribbon quite a bit... And I have a bunch of other ribbons to compare it to.

As for the LDCs, they wouldn't be my first choice... But I can name a few very well known artists that have used them.
Old 29th September 2016
  #66
Here for the gear
 

U87ai vs NT1

A couple years ago I bought a Rode NT1 after reading numerous reviews/claims that it was "just as good as those expensive mics". I struggled with it to achieve the sound I wanted. With my limited experience, I really didn't know any better.

I went back through the forums here on gearslutz and found more reviews from certain members who challenged those claims that a cheap could be great and the expensive ones were simply expensive due to hype. I am so glad I listened to them.

I recently got a u87ai. Immediately knocked my socks off. Its like day&night better. I'm not going to lie, it pisses me off a little to have read so many claims that the $300 Rode could be compared to the $3k Neumann. On the bright side, if I'd jumped straight to the Neumann, I wouldn't appreciate it as much.

I don't need a "blind test". It was apparent the first instant of using it that the u87 is f***ing awesome and puts the NT1 in the grave.

Buy what you can afford obviously, but don't be fooled. A Kia is not a BMW. Sometimes, you have to drive the Kia before you can truly appreciate the BMW.

I'll forever be grateful for the posts I read on gearslutz that convinced me to get the Neumann. The Rode will be for sale this weekend lol.
Old 1st October 2016
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by misskah View Post
This is a pure blind test over the renowned Neumann U87 vs the Rode NT1-A.
Both microphones were plugged with equal cables to the pres of a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. All setting were the same and the performance was captured simultaneously.
Katie Quinton beautifully sang "My Way" on her own way over Rui Santos piano version of the song played in "B".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpU6...be&app=desktop
hard to tell apart. both sound great. good job
Old 1st October 2016
  #68
Gear Addict
I posted this on this forum, but didn't gain much traction, so never posted the 2nd round of tests, which are here: Mic measurements

There are quite obvious differences between mics that can, so far as I've found, be measured. A Beta 58a has a 6dB bump at 9-10kHz, and an sE2200a has a big treble rise (flattened off, it sounds pretty nice).

There wasn't much difference (in the grand scheme of things) between the mics in the video, with that particular vocalist. The best we can say there is that, at the frequencies she's working at (both fundamentals and harmonics), the on-axis response of those mics is probably within a couple of dB.
Her voice wasn't particularly low, so we don't know how they compare below, say, 150Hz, nor how they do above, say, 12kHz. Running it through a spectrum analyser, there's very little going on between 400 and 600Hz, so we don't have much idea how the mics compare there either. Its a narrow range, sure, but it proves the point.

Since it was an acoustically treated room, we're pretty much only getting direct sound into the mic, so we don't know what the off-axis responses look like. I'd be willing to bet the more expensive mic just gets quieter as you move off-axis, whereas the cheaper one brings in some colouration as you move.

Check out the purple trace (that's at 180 degrees) on the AKG C3000 in hypercardiod mode - ragged and peaky mid-high range for anything behind the mic, and its actually a figure-of-8 pickup pattern at low-frequencies!

Now, I haven't worked with these top-end Neumanns. I probably never will, since most of my work is live music. I see a lot of people rave about them, so if anyone's around Sheffield (UK) or the surrounding area, I'd be very interested in doing some measurements to see how they do.
Its easy to argue what constitutes accurate treble and what's distorted when you're only listening, but if the graph shows a distortion rise, there's a distortion rise.

Chris
Old 2nd October 2016
  #69
Gear Maniac
 

As I'm considering a higher end microphone purchase I do appreciate these threads. Fully expect both side of the argument to show up as ever.

I think the car and handbag analogies are reasonable. The KIA and BMW serve the purpose of transportation but yes there is a difference. My wife has a Luis Vutton handbag and a Chinese knock off in the same style and yes there is a difference in build quality.

The thing is though, as technology and expectations, market pressures evolve, the gap closes each year. Asian cars are really challenging German cars these days.

I have a **** load of guitars, some over 5k, many around $1500, and some in the low range at $500. I can say in my opinion, the 5k (custom Gibsons) do not in any way sound better, or are built better, than the $1500 ones, and are marginally better than the cheap ones. 20 years ago the difference was huge, now it is close.

At a certain point, you just can't improve much on microphone technology. Eventually the companies making the cheaper mics catch up.

I do not believe Gibson guitars warrant the price for the performance (resale is another topic) and I would not be surprised to come to the same conclusion when I get around to demoing some high and mid range mics.
Old 2nd October 2016
  #70
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshman View Post
A couple years ago I bought a Rode NT1 after reading numerous reviews/claims that it was "just as good as those expensive mics". I struggled with it to achieve the sound I wanted. With my limited experience, I really didn't know any better.

I went back through the forums here on gearslutz and found more reviews from certain members who challenged those claims that a cheap could be great and the expensive ones were simply expensive due to hype. I am so glad I listened to them.

I recently got a u87ai. Immediately knocked my socks off. Its like day&night better. I'm not going to lie, it pisses me off a little to have read so many claims that the $300 Rode could be compared to the $3k Neumann. On the bright side, if I'd jumped straight to the Neumann, I wouldn't appreciate it as much.

I don't need a "blind test". It was apparent the first instant of using it that the u87 is f***ing awesome and puts the NT1 in the grave.

Buy what you can afford obviously, but don't be fooled. A Kia is not a BMW. Sometimes, you have to drive the Kia before you can truly appreciate the BMW.

I'll forever be grateful for the posts I read on gearslutz that convinced me to get the Neumann. The Rode will be for sale this weekend lol.
Soooo close...now come on and take the last step. Whenever you hear "as good as"...run.

Whenever you think "as good as"...stop.

Spending even a nickle on "as good as" is as good as throwing it in the toilet.

"As good as" only has two outcomes.

Sorry...no. Close but no cigar.

And ....maybe...after a whole lot of heartache and hassle.

Your problem wasn't the NT1a and it wasn't a U87, your problem was letting "as good as" into your studio...into your mind...and into your purchasing decisions.

If you need X....buy X. If you can't afford X, use something else.

I want you to get this because...you may be about to hurt yourself again.

The NT1a is phenomenal at what it does. Every bit as phenomenal as the U87. The NT1a does what it does WAY BETTER than the U87 does NT1a. They do different things, and for the $100 you'll get out of dumping the NT1a...I think you're better off keeping it but only you can make that call.

I have both and if you lived here, I'd add your NT1a to my collection in a heartbeat. I use them all the time. Shipping...out of state communication...counterfiets...etc...not gonna mess with it when I can get one here after hearing it for the same price you'd charge, but I will add more of them to my locker because NO OTHER mic is as good as an NT1a...at NT1a.

This mic, that mic, that pre, those comps...none of them are the problem.

The problem is "as good as."
Old 14th June 2017
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
If you set a Rolex next to a Timex and they are both set correctly, it will be 12 Noon on both watches. Therefore, a Rolex is no better than a Timex.

TH
Brilliant quote. A microphone is usually not limited to one task. Take both these mics and record an instrument or singer from five feet and see what happens. Not to mention durability. (I'm not saying I favour one over the other. Simply, as Oceantracks stated quite brilliantly that one snapshot of one condition does not define a mic's value in the studio.)
Old 16th June 2017
  #72
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew montreal View Post
Brilliant quote. A microphone is usually not limited to one task. Take both these mics and record an instrument or singer from five feet and see what happens. Not to mention durability. (I'm not saying I favour one over the other. Simply, as Oceantracks stated quite brilliantly that one snapshot of one condition does not define a mic's value in the studio.)
Agreed.

Although this thread dates back a little, I found it quite amusing (in a black humour kinda way) to read back over it because I owned and used a couple of Rode mics (NT-2s) for a bit at the end of the 1990s, and I eventually retired them for pretty much all the reasons that are painfully laid out on this thread. EQ masked some of the issues, but did not eliminate them (and meanwhile added some issues of its own).

Not sure, had I read a thread like this 20 years ago, if it would have changed anything - but it didn't seem to have much impact on several of the participants. For some of us, these lessons are learned the long hard way, if at all, I guess.
Old 17th June 2017
  #73
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VO Guy's Avatar
 

In a one-off comparison they may sound similar...the differences become apparent when you use them day in, day out...and IMO the U87ai is the clear winner...and I have owned both.

Nothing wrong with the Rode but it's no U87.
Old 17th June 2017
  #74
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stack it in the mix....see what happens
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