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U67 v clones - shootout Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd January 2017
  #31
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
Both are great mics and that's an understatement.
I wouldn't call the M269 (-c) a more versatile singer's mic than a . Maybe a slightly more versatile instrument mic?

M269/269b and U67 are very close. Yes, different tubes. But both are fixed bias microphones. They have that vintage meat.
M269c (most M269 are -c) is a self bias mic. It's a little brighter, but also leaner.
Treble can easily be added. Adding that kind of meat is trickier.

For all, I'll repeat that there's no condenser mic that takes EQ so well as a stock U67; particularly a high shelf. So don't go by the basic sound alone. It's a studio tool and an exceptional one at that.

BTW, mid focused is more what a U47 and family are, I'd say. The frequency plots of the stock U67 aren't mid heavy, nor dark.
But plots don't tell the whole story, of course. They don't show the magic in the mids, nor do they show the dynamic smoothing of s***** transients that makes the U67 unique (and sets them apart from all clones that don't use the original circuit).

Thanks Legato! Good info here. I always wondered about the differences aside from the tube. I like the u67 sound on vocals but I prefer the m269 on vocals just a tad more. Not even sure why. There is just something special going on especially when you get a jazzy crooner type on that mic. Would you say they fair equally well on instruments?

Would love to find a good condition one someday without refinancing my home, lol or even a clone that can get me in the ballpark so I'm watching this thread with interest.

I have a close friend who scored a mint u67 and a mint u47 at an estate sale a little over 10 years ago. He paid pennies on the dollar for them both. The wife just wanted all her late husbands stuff gone.




P.S. When you said the u67 takes EQ like no other (paraphrasing your quote of course) does that statement include the m269?

Last edited by Funny Cat; 22nd January 2017 at 05:12 PM..
Old 22nd January 2017
  #32
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Quote:
P.S. When you said the u67 takes EQ like no other (paraphrasing your quote of course) does that statement include the m269?
Basically, the M269 (particularly the non-c version) is a U67.
It (or the -c) may have a little less negative feedback. I'd have to look into that again. Or we can wait for someone like Klaus to chime in.


Quote:
I like the u67 sound on vocals but I prefer the m269 on vocals just a tad more. Not even sure why. There is just something special going on especially when you get a jazzy crooner type on that mic.
I'm not blaming you!
Just make shure you've made that decision after EQ-ing.


Quote:
Would love to find a good condition one someday without refinancing my home, lol or even a clone that can get me in the ballpark so I'm watching this thread with interest.
Have someone build this one for you:
Vintagemicrophonepcbkit.com
Old 22nd January 2017
  #33
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
Basically, the M269 (particularly the non-c version) is a U67.
It (or the -c) may have a little less negative feedback. I'd have to look into that again. Or we can wait for someone like Klaus to chime in.




I'm not blaming you!
Just make shure you've made that decision after EQ-ing.




Have someone build this one for you:
Vintagemicrophonepcbkit.com

You ain't kiddin about the EQ. I've never heard a mic that's as sculptable as this MaxMod 67. I'm in love with the thing. Stick it in front of anything and it gives big grins. I want a second.
Old 22nd January 2017
  #34
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Told ya.

(Well, I think I did.)
Old 22nd January 2017
  #35
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
You ain't kiddin about the EQ. I've never heard a mic that's as sculptable as this MaxMod 67. I'm in love with the thing. Stick it in front of anything and it gives big grins. I want a second.
Can I buy the Maxmod already modded or do I have to order the unmodded tlm 67 first and send it in?
Old 22nd January 2017
  #36
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blotto View Post
Can I buy the Maxmod already modded or do I have to order the unmodded tlm 67 first and send it in?
Well, neither. The mod is a kit that you drop in with a few screws. It's the whole U67 circuit (the TLM67 already having the correct body/headbasket/capsule). So you buy the kit, built, from Max and drop it in your TLM67 or U87ai.
Old 22nd January 2017
  #37
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Since no one has mentioned it, what is the downer in a stock tlm67 sound compared to any u67 one may have around? The tlm has the hi freq characteristics correct, right? Tube or no tube, and considering there's no real consensus on this thread towards the clones... what keeps you away from the tlm67? Did Neumann blow it on this one? And I'm not microscoping schematics. Just curious what keeps you all away from the sound of the tlm67 when one is looking for a 67 replacement.
Old 22nd January 2017
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Since no one has mentioned it, what is the downer in a stock tlm67 sound compared to any u67 one may have around? The tlm has the hi freq characteristics correct, right? Tube or no tube, and considering there's no real consensus on this thread towards the clones... what keeps you away from the tlm67? Did Neumann blow it on this one? And I'm not microscoping schematics. Just curious what keeps you all away from the sound of the tlm67 when one is looking for a 67 replacement.
The TLM67 has ICs and it tries to sort of mimic the U67 tone colour. It fails to do that IMO. To me it just sounds darkish (by modern standards) and fuzzy.
And, more importantly, it doesn't (dynamically) behave the same way at all.
It misses the whole point of a U67. Most clones do that, too, but Neumann should have known better (well, I guess they do).

When you lift the treble from a real U67, you get gold. In case of the TLM, you basically magnify artifacts.
Nice basket and capsule, though.

Last edited by legato; 22nd January 2017 at 11:38 PM..
Old 8th February 2017
  #39
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AlexK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Since no one has mentioned it, what is the downer in a stock tlm67 sound compared to any u67 one may have around? The tlm has the hi freq characteristics correct, right? Tube or no tube, and considering there's no real consensus on this thread towards the clones... what keeps you away from the tlm67? Did Neumann blow it on this one? And I'm not microscoping schematics. Just curious what keeps you all away from the sound of the tlm67 when one is looking for a 67 replacement.
The u67 has a negative feedback circuit fed by an extra winding of the output transformer which dynamically changes the amount of HF de-emphasis. I don't know of any clones which do this. Even if you added a circuit in to say a TLM67, you're missing the colour of the transformer and the valve amp...
Old 8th February 2017
  #40
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roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Since no one has mentioned it, what is the downer in a stock tlm67 sound compared to any u67 one may have around? The tlm has the hi freq characteristics correct, right? Tube or no tube, and considering there's no real consensus on this thread towards the clones... what keeps you away from the tlm67? Did Neumann blow it on this one? And I'm not microscoping schematics. Just curious what keeps you all away from the sound of the tlm67 when one is looking for a 67 replacement.
I felt my stock TLM67 was a bit like a plugin: it had a very narrow/finicky sweet spot where those IC's were happy - too close/loud or too roomy & it just didn't sound great in re to tonal response/behaviour. It also had rubbish reach. Max's U67 guts are an altogether different beast. I'm not gonna talk descriptively about it - it just sounds great!
Old 8th February 2017
  #41
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chet.d's Avatar
 

I've never compared directly to a 67 but I can say the Soyuz 017 I have here is lovely sounding choice, possibly in the 67-ish ballpark.
Old 8th February 2017
  #42
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
The u67 has a negative feedback circuit fed by an extra winding of the output transformer which dynamically changes the amount of HF de-emphasis. I don't know of any clones which do this. Even if you added a circuit in to say a TLM67, you're missing the colour of the transformer and the valve amp...
The MaxMod does it. It's a true 1:1 exact clone of the U67 circuit. Negative feedback and all.

Max winds the transformers himself.
Old 8th February 2017
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
I felt my stock TLM67 was a bit like a plugin: it had a very narrow/finicky sweet spot where those IC's were happy - too close/loud or too roomy & it just didn't sound great in re to tonal response/behaviour. It also had rubbish reach. Max's U67 guts are an altogether different beast. I'm not gonna talk descriptively about it - it just sounds great!
If you ever feel like brining it over I'd be happy to put up my original for a little shootout
Old 8th February 2017
  #44
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehrenebbage View Post

It bears repeating that the difference between two original mics might be greater than that between an original and a clone.
If they're working in spec, probably not.

Another Gearslutz myth that needs to be stopped in its tracks.
Old 8th February 2017
  #45
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
Basically, the M269 (particularly the non-c version) is a U67.
It (or the -c) may have a little less negative feedback. I'd have to look into that again. Or we can wait for someone like Klaus to chime in.




I'm not blaming you!
Just make shure you've made that decision after EQ-ing.




Have someone build this one for you:
Vintagemicrophonepcbkit.com
No, it's not a U67, that was just the starting point. It doesn't have the same tube, and it doesn't have quite the same circuit, it has continuously variable polar pattern, etc.

I guess it can be a matter of perspective and semantics though, no offense meant.
Old 8th February 2017
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
If they're working in spec, probably not.

Another Gearslutz myth that needs to be stopped in its tracks.
Well, sure. Two 67's in original, unmodified condition with no degradation of components whatsoever could sound like a matched pair. Are there many of those around?

Not sure what they were 45 years ago, but current Neumann factory tolerances are +/- 2db over the frequency range...it's entirely possible that two mics in equally pristine condition would sound noticeably different.
Old 8th February 2017
  #47
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Looking at the photo I don't think that is the ADK Z-Mod 67 which has multiple patterns and a much longer body. That looks like ADK's new 3rd line of mics which I cannot remember the name of, but they are short body tube mics with a single cardioid pattern that are kind of little brothers to the full on ZMod line, and according to Larry V do sound different, which bummed me out as I really want to own a Z-Mod 67 and was hoping the new short scale cardioid model would be a great way to save some money.

I only notice this as the Z-Mod 67 is my favorite mic that ADK makes and while I never had the pleasure of comparing it to a real U67, I can say it did not sound very U87'sh at all when I test drove it.
Old 8th February 2017
  #48
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roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If you ever feel like brining it over I'd be happy to put up my original for a little shootout
Trev! I've thought of that but you're a bit far from me to just pop over. HOWEVER, I could send my mic to you for a week or so if you promise to do some comparison files. I'll pay postage: I'd be that interested to see how close they are. My max has a tele EF86s, NOS WIMA caps & a 1uf Siemens MKL output cap in it so it's not quite stock "max" but I think it would be a cool shootout!
Old 8th February 2017
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
No, it's not a U67, that was just the starting point. It doesn't have the same tube, and it doesn't have quite the same circuit, it has continuously variable polar pattern, etc.

I guess it can be a matter of perspective and semantics though, no offense meant.
No offense taken.
And yup, perspective and semantics mostly.

Different tube of course and consequently different heater voltage and such.
But the -c versus -b (self bias versus fixed bias) likely makes more of a difference. I know a guy who built all three circuits (U67, M269b and M269c). The U67 and the M269b sounded very close, whereas the M269c sounded noticeably different.
Old 9th February 2017
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
The MaxMod does it. It's a true 1:1 exact clone of the U67 circuit. Negative feedback and all.

Max winds the transformers himself.
Interesting. I'd be keen to hear a comparison. The 67 is still IMO the most useful and flexible mic, and I haven't found any substitutes out there (unlike almost every other mic).
Old 9th February 2017
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
Trev! I've thought of that but you're a bit far from me to just pop over. HOWEVER, I could send my mic to you for a week or so if you promise to do some comparison files. I'll pay postage: I'd be that interested to see how close they are. My max has a tele EF86s, NOS WIMA caps & a 1uf Siemens MKL output cap in it so it's not quite stock "max" but I think it would be a cool shootout!
You going to MPG awards? Am in London for that next Thursday night/Friday until my hangover allows me to get up.
Old 9th February 2017
  #52
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roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You going to MPG awards? Am in London for that next Thursday night/Friday until my hangover allows me to get up.
Haha! Trev! I have a 2 & 4 year old daughter!
I am NOT going to the awards! I have an audio holiday booked through April - I'll send it to you. I will also have a prototype mic that is a bit 251'ish that I'd love you to shoot out against your T'funk. It's quite different but in the same vein. At the moment it's fondly being called 'The Colin' after AML's boss-man as a homage to the output tranny we are beta testing!
Old 30th January 2018
  #53
Well, I can tell you this, that is not the z67 here. That looks like the TC67, which I am sure is a great mic. The z67 is the flagship, though. I have one here. I haven't compared it to a u67, but some folks have used both and though the z67 is a different but similar sound, they claim it to be as good depending on the source or even better. I love mine. All moot even if I liked a u67 more as I'd never spend that on a mic or their reissue.

I love all the recordings I've heard of those great old records with a u67 on like *every* instrument but what's the point of knocking every other mic in existence against it? The 7k mic beat out many other mic's of half or even 1/10th the value. Big surprise. I bet there are times where my TLM 170s or z67 would be preferable the u67(Ryan Hewitt said as much when comparing his z67 to his u67). And I realize that the u67 does that velvety thing nothing else really can at least to that degree. It's an immaculate sound in many cases.

I think a test on just one vocalist is not enough to crown a king, but it is certainly no surprise that the finely made German mic's beat the mics of half or even 1/10th the value here...
Old 2nd February 2018
  #54
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by legato View Post
Both are great mics and that's an understatement.
I wouldn't call the M269 (-c) a more versatile singer's mic than a . Maybe a slightly more versatile instrument mic?

M269/269b and U67 are very close. Yes, different tubes. But both are fixed bias microphones. They have that vintage meat.
M269c (most M269 are -c) is a self bias mic. It's a little brighter, but also leaner.
Treble can easily be added. Adding that kind of meat is trickier.
This is the most important difference between "Most" of the 2 mics IMO

The U67 by design was always a fixed bias mic the M49b and c seem to exhibit very similar behaviour, it seems like the self biasing circuit scoop the mids ever so slightly and possibly extend the high end.

Also earlier in the thread you mentioned the de-emphesis of the U67, which was a large part done using the tertiary windings on the transformer, so by the very nature of the design if the transformer is not at least of a very similar design the de-emphesis will not function correctly
Old 2nd February 2018
  #55
Gear Nut
 

On a side note I wonder why it is that mics using AC701k's in that era ended up with the seperate selfbiasing/fixed bias models, Im guessing something to do with the tube itself
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