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Microphone (2K to 3K budget) recommendation
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
Microphone (2K to 3K budget) recommendation

Hi All,

I have a home recording studio in a well prepared room and my setup today is: vintage U87 -> ISA One pre -> RME Fireface UCX interface

I use this to record my own heavy/extreme metal male vocals and male rock vocals.

My U87 was bought from reverb.com and I learned, a couple of months later, that the capsule was heavily damaged because someone, along the years, did a terrible job cleaning it. My choice today is to sell it and get myself a new microphone.

My budget is between 2K-3K euro and I've got my eye set on these options but I'm open to other suggestions within the budget which I can stretch a bit:
Chandler Limited TG
Brauner Phanthera
Brauner Phanthera V
Brauner Valvet X
Telefunken AR-51
Telefunken AK-47 MkII
Telefunken TF51
Manley Reference Cardioid

I'd like a warm sound that's well present, sits good in a mix (I won't be mixing), large in presence, smooth top-end and has a bit of that "classic" sound. I'm leaning towards the Chandler since the reviews are wonderful, the Telefunken AR-51 comes second.

I prefer to stay away from a U87 ai. If I'm buying another U87 then I prefer it to be the vintage but I would like a chance.

Could you kindly advise me?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wch View Post
Hi All, Could you kindly advise me?
Why not have your current vintage U87 rebuilt.

Should run around $700 or so depending on what the issue really is.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
Why not have your current vintage U87 rebuilt.

Should run around $700 or so depending on what the issue really is.
Thanks for replying David!

I prefer not to have it rebuilt because the capsule needs to be changed. An authentic Neumann K87 costs around USD950 for the capsule itself, shipping and the engineer's labor would bring it up to USD1050 and most importantly it won't be a vintage U87 anymore from what I've read on this forum by various posters.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wch View Post
Thanks for replying David!

I prefer not to have it rebuilt because the capsule needs to be changed. An authentic Neumann K87 costs around USD950 for the capsule itself, shipping and the engineer's labor would bring it up to USD1050 and most importantly it won't be a vintage U87 anymore from what I've read on this forum by various posters.
I'd suggest you to send the U87 to Andreas Grosser, he will take care of that and install a new original capsule, should cost less than that.

Anyway since you're doing some heavy stuff, I'd suggest a good old SM7 into neve preamp (like an Avedis MA5 or a BAE).
The U87's sometimes suffer (and even break) under very high spl when placed close to the source.

If you want another condenser you might want to check out some new Audio Technica, the 5047.
Or maybe a new Austrian Audio OC818, if an "akg" CK12 type of capsule/sound into a FET mic is for you. (think akg 414)



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 3 weeks ago at 08:09 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Chandler TG and with the $pare change, a Beyer M88TG. (the other TG!)
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
If you send that 87 to Klaus I think you'll get back a surprisingly beautiful microphone.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
I think many of the mics on your list (Brauners & various 251 clones) probably have too much top end for you. The Manley Reference Cardioid could work. AK 47 is a cheaper option, though I've never used one personally. Have you considered the Blue Kiwi? It may be bright, but there's some real attitude there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
A used BLUE Bottle with B7. Or a Manley Reference Silver is an excellent choice too. Good luck
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Nathan, I love how the C37-ish Manley Silver sounds, since I'm primarily a crooner.

But... Isn't that a bit "mellow" toned for Heavy Metal style vocals?
Just asking to learn BTW.

Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wch View Post
Thanks for replying David!

I prefer not to have it rebuilt because the capsule needs to be changed. An authentic Neumann K87 costs around USD950 for the capsule itself, shipping and the engineer's labor would bring it up to USD1050 and most importantly it won't be a vintage U87 anymore from what I've read on this forum by various posters.
My suggestion was based on my experience having 18 different vintage mics restored and or repaired. You would be surprised how many times the capsule does not really need to be replaced.

I don't know what you have read, but a vintage 44 year old mic is still a vintage 44 year old mic, even cleaned up, rebuilt, with an original replacement capsule.

But hey, it's your mic and your money
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
I'd get the Neumann fixed.

IF you bought another mic, you're still going to have a broken U87 lying around. What does one do with a broken U87? You could sell is as broken (I'll give you $800 for it).....or you can sell it on reverb and scam someone else (which is what a bad person would do).

As far as your list....The only mic there I have experience with is the telefunken AK 51. I bought one, tried for a month to find something it sounded good on. I hated it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Nathan, I love how the C37-ish Manley Silver sounds, since I'm primarily a crooner.

But... Isn't that a bit "mellow" toned for Heavy Metal style vocals?
Just asking to learn BTW.

Chris

I find the Manley to be very balanced and an exceptional sounding mic. It doesn’t overemphasize bright frequencies. It’s not for metal, it’s a genre agnostic mic, I could see it equally at home on Americana, rock, a jazz crooner etc it just depends on the voice and what they want to hear come out of the speakers. It fits my voice very well, I’m influenced by Thom Yorke (middle range), Morrissey, Ian Curtis etc.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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On me, within my Top Ten LDC's
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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bicarbone's Avatar
Definitely worth fixing the U 87! I have a friend who got his vintage serviced by Grosser, and capsule needed to be reskinned by Thiersch who did a beautiful job. I remember he paid about € 500 all inlcuded (shipping, VAT). Even with the reskin the mic sounded and still sounds much better than an AI.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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ur mic situation

+1 for fixing the U87. Send it to Andreas because you’re in Europe. If you were in the states id say send it to The Mic Shop in Franklin, TN.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Thank you gents!
I will call Grosser today to discuss the options and assess. I’m leaning towards replacing it with an original capsule and perhaps modding if I see a suitable mod by them
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Manley Ref C!
I have two. I’ve recorded tons of singing vocals with them and they sound incredible. I have done a couple things with them for some screaming vocals and they handle it well. They have some of the highest SPL ratings of any condenser mic I’ve used.
Although I would probably reach for an sm7b or RE20 as my first choice for screaming vocals, if a band came in and said “we have to use a condenser mic for screams” I would only consider the Manley as that is the only condenser I’ve personally liked for screams!
It can have more brightness then you may want but I always find it way more please try sounding to tame brightness than to add it later.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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I'm probably older, so I'd prefer a 44, on screamers!
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGold View Post
Manley Ref C!
I have two. I’ve recorded tons of singing vocals with them and they sound incredible. I have done a couple things with them for some screaming vocals and they handle it well. They have some of the highest SPL ratings of any condenser mic I’ve used.
Although I would probably reach for an sm7b or RE20 as my first choice for screaming vocals, if a band came in and said “we have to use a condenser mic for screams” I would only consider the Manley as that is the only condenser I’ve personally liked for screams!
It can have more brightness then you may want but I always find it way more please try sounding to tame brightness than to add it later.
I had a C800 (Not-G version) that was fantastic for screams. It could take some serius SPL with no break ups. I often used it inside a kick drum.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wch View Post
Thank you gents!
I will call Grosser today to discuss the options and assess. I’m leaning towards replacing it with an original capsule and perhaps modding if I see a suitable mod by them
If you really do insist on using an ‘original’ capsule, it’ll need a service to bring it up to performance.

I know there are a lot of different opinions flying around on this forum, but personally I am not one of those who believes the old capsules have any kind of superiority over the newer ones.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
If you really do insist on using an ‘original’ capsule, it’ll need a service to bring it up to performance.

I know there are a lot of different opinions flying around on this forum, but personally I am not one of those who believes the old capsules have any kind of superiority over the newer ones.
I'd think a new k870 from neumann/sennheiser would be the safest bet, unless the capsule comes from a beautiful sounding old 87, in which case, why separate them?

I'd avoid anything that sounds like "reskin"
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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AlexK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
I'd think a new k870 from neumann/sennheiser would be the safest bet, unless the capsule comes from a beautiful sounding old 87, in which case, why separate them?

I'd avoid anything that sounds like "reskin"

I've used far more bad sounding old U87s than I've used good ones...

It's not that I think old capsules should be replaced, just firmly believe that they'll generally all benefit from attention from a good tech. If they need a re-skin then fine... so be it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
I've used far more bad sounding old U87s than I've used good ones...

It's not that I think old capsules should be replaced, just firmly believe that they'll generally all benefit from attention from a good tech. If they need a re-skin then fine... so be it.
Old capsules definitely show their wear. From my very limited experience, I've noticed a pattern of rolling off the high end on older capsules, but the sample size is too small to be anything but anecdotal.

I also agree that vintage microphones and capsules should always be checked by a reliable tech before purchase, unless perhaps their performance is just outstanding and exactly what you are looking for in which case carry on.

As for re-skin however. No. I disagree.
There is, for all intents and purposes, no such thing as a 're-skin'.

The "skin" in question, the diaphragm of the capsule is the delicate piece of film actually transducing the movement of air into electricity.. any modification of this element of the microphone by definition compromises it's sound. Does Neumann offer "re-skinning"? They don't. They replace capsules so badly damaged as to "need" a "reskin", because, it would seem, that Neumann do not believe that a capsule can be restored to its original performance by doing so. Why bother owning a Neumann U87 with a capsule that has been compromised, particularly when you can purchase a brand new neumann made capsule?

My point being, a quality microphone never needs a reskin, it needs a new capsule. Opinions may differ, but there should, in my humble opinion, be no compromise here.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Here for the gear
Without delving into the sell/repair debate, if you want a new mic, and like the sound of a 87, you could try a Gefell UM70/M71 (71 is cardoid only version). There are a few variations on them (transformer/voltage/etc), but they are very 87 ish and all sound great.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Rent, listen, decide, buy. Not the other way around.
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