The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Vintage u87 vs u67 Reissue
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Vintage u87 vs u67 Reissue

Hey guys!

Recently I bought a used vintage u87i. (2500$). Right now my vocal chain is u87- Ams 1073 reissue - 1176. I really like headroom of this mic compared to u87Ai, but it is quite noisy ( hiss noise) and the capsule is not in the best condition, there are a couple small spots without gold. Right now i reversed the capsule, because front side sounds dull and nasal. I consulted with Sennheiser/Neumann, and I can send them microphone for service and most likely the capsule will need to be replaced. Regarding noise, i guess the problem may be caused by Jfet, but I'm not sure. Service, new capsule and diagnostics can cost me at least 1100$. But the price may be higher if defective parts will be detected. It turns out this microphone will cost me more than 3600$.

I thought and asked myself - do i need this headache? Maybe it's better to sell it to a friend (he knows about condition of this mic) and invest money into a brand new u67 Reissue??
I really like tube microphones!!

The only thing that stops me is u67 Reissue headroom and low end vs vintage u87.
Max Spl 114 db vs 122 dB (without pad)
Regarding low end I listened quite a lot shootouts and it seems that u67 Ri is a bass shy in comparison with u87. (but I could be wrong because I never heard these comparisons in the real life)

I'm recording pretty loud male rock vocals / sometimes pop, and headroom, good low end is very important. I would be glad to hear the opinions of those folks who have both (u67 Reissue and vintage u87) microphones.

Should I sell u87i and go with u67 Ri for my tasks?
And one more thing! Despite the fact that u67 Ri has lower headroom, mic overload won't be so nasty because of tube design? Fet is very ugly when overloaded.



Cheers !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
The U67 doesn't have that U87 nasalness you mention.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

the notion that the u67 ri has a wimpy low end is just plain wrong, especially when taking proximity effect into account and the fact that one better uses a hpf an vocals anyway...

headroom? use the pad or back off the mic if you're into silly amounts of spl...

i'd take any version of the 67 including the tlm over a 87...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Klaus's Avatar
 

Here are Neumann's published headroom specs, all in dB:

U87 = 122/132
U87Ai = 117/127
U67/U67 Reissue = 114/124


A few comments.

1. Only the first numbers in each column are useful, as noise floor deterioration in all cases is audible when the -10dB pad (the second number) is engaged; plus, these mics don't sound very good in the padded position

2. Comparing these numbers is treacherous, for several reasons. For one, a 3% harmonic distortion on paper is almost imperceptible in a good tube mic like the U67, whereas the same level of distortion can be quite irritating in a single-FET mic (both U87 versions). Tube mics' 'soft knee' onset of distortion makes even a 6% or higher THD level palatable.

3. If your old U87 has a high level of noise, it is not the model. Remember: thousands of seminal records were made with this model though the decades, with no complaints about the mic's noise floor. Likely one of two things are the cause here: either your mic still has the very low U.S. output strapping (indicated by a red or blue dot after the serial number) or, as has been mentioned, something is wrong with the processor.

Comparing low end response of the three mics: All three mics use a variant of the same capsule with "nominally" the same low end response, and similar low end behavior of the respective processors.

As to "nominal" capsule specs: If you encounter large differences in low end in any of these mics, it would likely be caused by Neumann's somewhat erratic diaphragm tensioning since ca. 2000. A certain percentage of Neumann's LD capsules are delivered with high diaphragm tension which curtails low end response. Though I see and test a lot of new mics with K87/67 etc. capsules, it's unclear to me when and why some have perfect low end response and others don't.

Last edited by Klaus; 3 weeks ago at 08:22 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
The harmonic distortion in a tube mic is usually part of the secret sauce.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
It may seem strange, but probably for this reason I prefer sometimes my At4060 (tube) to u87. Rock vocals with tube harmonic distortion is so good!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The harmonic distortion in a tube mic is usually part of the secret sauce.


Useful information, thank you Klaus! Totally agree with you regarding -10dB pad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
here are Neumann's published headroom specs, all in dB:

U87 = 122/132
U87Ai = 117/127
U67/U67 Reissue = 114/24


A couple of comments.

1. only the first numbers in each column are useful, as noise floor deterioration in all cases is audible when the -10dB pad is engaged, plus, these mics don't sound very good in the padded position

2. Comparing these numbers is treacherous, for several reasons. For one, a 3% harmonic distortion on paper is almost imperceptible in a good tube mic like the U67, whereas the same level of distortion can be quite irritating in a single-FET mic like both versions of the U87. Another factor to consider:
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Bull's-eye! My u87i has red dot, but I already strapped the transformer to 200Ω and bypassed the outpud pads (each resistor). So this mic has the exact same output as European version, or is it lower even with 200Ω strapping and pad resistors bypassed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
3. If your old U87 has a high level of noise, it is not the model. Remember: thousands of seminal records were made with this model though the decades, with no complaints about the mic's noise floor. Likely one of two things are the cause here: either your mic still has the very low U.S. output strapping (indicated by a red or blue dot after the serial number) or, as has been mentioned, something is wrong with the processor.

Now it makes sense! Probably some samples were made with overtensioned capsules. Because some voices sounded very thin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
Comparing low end response of the three mics: All three mics use a variant of the same capsule with "nominally" the same low end response, and similar low end behavior of the respective processors.

As to "nominal" capsule specs: If you encounter large differences in low end in any of these mics, it would likely be caused by Neumann's somewhat erratic diaphragm tensioning since ca. 2000. A certain percentage of Neumann's LD capsules are delivered with high diaphragm tension which curtails low end response. Though I see and test a lot of new mics with K87/67 etc. capsules, it's unclear to me when and why some have perfect low end response and others don't.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump