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Manley Ref C or U87ai
Old 2nd December 2010
  #1
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madehumble's Avatar
Manley Ref C or U87ai

I'm looking for a new mic for my studio, I was using a Blue Kiwi, but I have it for sale now. I know the U87 is a studio standard, but when I heard the ai version it sounded sorta of like the KIWI, so lately I have been looking at the Manley Ref C, I heard it is in the C800G family but NOT EXACTLY. So I'm not saying its a Sony, I want that modern airy sound, It will be used on Hip Hop and some pop vocals. My preamp is the Blue Robbie. Which do you think is better on vocals.
Old 2nd December 2010
  #2
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Eldhrimnir's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by madehumble View Post
I'm looking for a new mic for my studio, I was using a Blue Kiwi, but I have it for sale now. I know the U87 is a studio standard, but when I heard the ai version it sounded sorta of like the KIWI, so lately I have been looking at the Manley Ref C, I heard it is in the C800G family but NOT EXACTLY. So I'm not saying its a Sony, I want that modern airy sound, It will be used on Hip Hop and some pop vocals. My preamp is the Blue Robbie. Which do you think is better on vocals.
The Ref C is more pre-dependent than the U87. U87 is generally a more versatile mic. I am personally not a fan of the Ref C. It can sit nicely with the right voice and the right pre, but for a bread 'n butter go to mic, I'd choose the U87. BUT, with that said; I'd go with the Gefell UM92 anyday before buying any of those other mics. FWIW.

/Daniel
Old 2nd December 2010
  #3
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Consider the newer Telefunken AR-51. Very modern sounding and very versatile microphone for sure.
Old 2nd December 2010
  #4
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madehumble's Avatar
I will research both mics guys, anyone else has opinons on the Manley or U87 also.
Old 2nd December 2010
  #5
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shelterr's Avatar
 

The Manley Refc rules for me on almost every vocal. It is not a great on many things other than vocals, but on Vocals...for me it is unbeatable. I have used it side by side with a Telefunken 251 (original and reissue) and a Korby U47, and i prefer the Manley hands down. The Telefunken is a much better mic for drums and acoustic, but the Refc does that modern airy thing you are talking about.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #6
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madehumble's Avatar
Manley Ref C or U87ai

Is it an in your face type sound to the manley or is it more of a in the track type sound.


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Old 3rd December 2010
  #7
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
The Manley Refc rules for me on almost every vocal. It is not a great on many things other than vocals, but on Vocals...for me it is unbeatable. I have used it side by side with a Telefunken 251 (original and reissue) and a Korby U47, and i prefer the Manley hands down. The Telefunken is a much better mic for drums and acoustic, but the Refc does that modern airy thing you are talking about.
Hi
I would like to know what type of preamp you are using with the Ref C.
I am in the same boat as the op, but here is the thing. I have a Sony C800G, which is brilliant on pop vocals. My chain is Neve 1073DPA/TubeTech Cl1B.
However, I want to have another pop microphone in my locker. With this in mind, I went on a research and now tried out the Ref C. With my chain, its fairly bright and a little thinner than the Sony. It certainly has some of the color that Sony has. I have not A/Bd a U87 vs the others, but I am confused with the idea of having something that sounds a little too close to Sony for myself, but want to know that if I go U87, I will still have a fairly versatile mic for pop. Hence, I am in the same boat as the Op.... Else, I may just save up and for something like a Bock 251 which has the warmth of Elam but is a little on the brighter side.
Thanks.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #8
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The Kiwi is a great microphone for all-around use and good on many voices. I like the Kiwi better than the U87ai, that's for sure. Personally I wouldn't buy a U87ai, to me they sound harsh in comparison to the mics with which I have become familiar.

You said you want that "modern airy sound." You're using a Kiwi into a Robbie, and you're not getting a modern airy sound? You should be able to get $$$ tracks with them. My advice would be to save money and work on your studio chops. If you want a more aggressive sound, save some money, keep the Kiwi and get a Blueberry. You can get huge vox with a Blueberry, you can eat it like an sm57 and scream right down it's throat. It has a big output transformer that really shows itself when you work the mic close like this. Very modern and up-front. Really shines in the mix.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #9
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Manley Ref C or U87ai

I found U87ai is a mic that highly relied on a good mic pre. U87ai has a potential to sound amazing if with a great mic pre. Without one would also tune down quite much. Reference sounded amazing big and shine. It remind me alot of Akg c12. Great for rock vox especially for female.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #10
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smutbasket View Post
The Kiwi is a great microphone for all-around use and good on many voices. I like the Kiwi better than the U87ai, that's for sure. Personally I wouldn't buy a U87ai, to me they sound harsh in comparison to the mics with which I have become familiar.

You said you want that "modern airy sound." You're using a Kiwi into a Robbie, and you're not getting a modern airy sound? You should be able to get $$$ tracks with them. My advice would be to save money and work on your studio chops. If you want a more aggressive sound, save some money, keep the Kiwi and get a Blueberry. You can get huge vox with a Blueberry, you can eat it like an sm57 and scream right down it's throat. It has a big output transformer that really shows itself when you work the mic close like this. Very modern and up-front. Really shines in the mix.

Well I was getting great sound with the Kiwi, the thing is that it is not in your face, its more of a neutral mic and I'm looking for something that will cut through the mix more. Thanks
Old 3rd December 2010
  #11
I see that you sold the Kiwi, good stuff! How long would it take you to save 4500 for a c800g? Would that even be possible to achieve or is it too much money to invest in 1 mic? I just have the feeling that you might buy a Manley Ref C and then sell it later on to get a c800g.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #12
Love my Ref C .. but i wouldn't mind have 10 or 20 more high end mics.

I think u get more "air" from the Ref Gold.. but u get more aggressive "cut" with the Ref C

I don't think the 87ai and Ref C are worlds apart at all.. but definitely different of course. Perhaps 87 is more mid forward (more solid bite) and Ref C is a little more scooped (with a bit of sparkle on the top)

You mention air.. I am looking for a mic that gives more "air" to soft female vocals, and falsetto type stuff etc.. probably go in the C12 direction.

I think you want "sheen" .. which is not the same as air.

You can't have it all.. because each component exists -- but we only recognize them in (apparent) absence of the other..
Old 3rd December 2010
  #13
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
I see that you sold the Kiwi, good stuff! How long would it take you to save 4500 for a c800g? Would that even be possible to achieve or is it too much money to invest in 1 mic? I just have the feeling that you might buy a Manley Ref C and then sell it later on to get a c800g.
Yeah, Chris that is the plan, but I have a budget of 2.5k and its a long way to a C800G, so I'm thinking the Manley is the next best thing. The U87 is the a studio standard, but doesn't have that wow factor. The Peluso line has that modern sound, but won't touch it because of some of the clips I heard, and I don't like top end of those mis, no offense to Peluso owners.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #14
Gear Addict
I own a Manley Ref C and I love it on vocals. Works nice with my API and AVEDIS MA5.
It has a very forward sounding but doesnt sound harsh. Lots of air also!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by madehumble View Post
Yeah, Chris that is the plan, but I have a budget of 2.5k and its a long way to a C800G, so I'm thinking the Manley is the next best thing. The U87 is the a studio standard, but doesn't have that wow factor. The Peluso line has that modern sound, but won't touch it because of some of the clips I heard, and I don't like top end of those mis, no offense to Peluso owners.
If you're unsure, I suggest that you sleep on it for a couple of months and decide what you really want to do. I would just hate to see you buy something and wonder what could have been with a different mic. Maybe you can save up some more, wait another 6 months and see if you can get the $$$ required for a c800g.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #16
ref c - got two of 'em
good drum overhead
usually, but not always, too sibilant on vocals
there's a lot of confusion here that hyped top end = opentutt
like a lot on acoustic guitar unless the player can't control their sliding around
excellent on sax in a pop music track
good on a jazz guitar
summary - it's got a character and it's character is bright

u87 - got one, used hundreds
a far more utilitarian mic
takes a vocal and sits it in a track nicely, especially if it's the right mic for the vocalist
love it on woodwinds
love it on toms
this mic will rarely be characterized as brittle
used a pair with Bill Frisell... easiest electric guitar sound ever!
like as overhead
all in all its a great starter high end mic!
Old 3rd December 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by madehumble View Post
The U87 is the a studio standard, but doesn't have that wow factor.
As a freelance engineer, I'd much rather walk into a studio with a u87 than a studio with a ref-c. I like both mics too, as explained in my previous post...
Old 3rd December 2010
  #18
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

I love the manley ref c. had to sell it due to financial reasons at the time, and still regret it.

was my main vocal mic. a former poster suggested maybe a little mid scoop with some air on top... kind of how I remember it. I liked the highs, very hi-fi/modern sounding. it was always an easy mic to place in the mix, just kind of found its sweet spot on its own with little to no eq.

once in a blue moon it didn't work on some male singers.. in particular one who has this major honk thing going on. in fact I can't seem to find a mic that works 100% well with him.

I did an EP for an nyc indie band and used an AEA r84 in the front, with the manley ref c on top with the capsule angling down from above to the mouth area. it was awesome as the manley provided a lot of the high end that the r84 lacked, but combined just felt so damn real. I used the same setup with a few different artists as well and it seemed to work nice.

I liked it on acoustic guitar and as a mono room mic as well (though depending on the room you'll have to eq some of that high end).

try and demo them if you can. used a sony c800g as well...definitely has its own thing going on, so you might like the overall character of one vs. the other.

oto
Old 3rd December 2010
  #19
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuLio View Post
As a freelance engineer, I'd much rather walk into a studio with a u87 than a studio with a ref-c. I like both mics too, as explained in my previous post...
though I might agree with this in terms of an all around mic. I like them old u87s. very versatile, nice on vox and everything else.
Old 3rd December 2010
  #20
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T_R_S's Avatar
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Old 3rd December 2010
  #21
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madehumble's Avatar
Well guys, I did it, I just bought the Manley Ref C from Vintage King, Its a win win because I have 14 days to get a refund if I don't like it, which is great. So I can test drive it, and if I don't like I can get my money back, which is an option I never had, heck with GC, I'm shopping Vintage King from now on, I also bought another Blueberry, so I will use that til then. So Chris its cool if I don't like it, I can get a U87 or save up for a C800G. Just have to hear this Manley for myself. Maybe its that mic, u know.
Old 4th December 2010
  #22
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E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 

Don't wanna muddy up the situation but you should (if it's not too late) consider the Brauner Phanthera. Of the 2 you listed, I would use the Ref. C.
Old 4th December 2010
  #23
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.rOk.stA View Post
Don't wanna muddy up the situation but you should (if it's not too late) consider the Brauner Phanthera. Of the 2 you listed, I would use the Ref. C.
The Brauner sounds great, my friend had one. The Manley though has been on my list, so right now I'm just waiting on it.
Old 4th December 2010
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by madehumble View Post
The Brauner sounds great, my friend had one. The Manley though has been on my list, so right now I'm just waiting on it.
Congrats on your purchase, I'm sure you will love the Manley mic
Old 4th December 2010
  #25
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Congratulations!!!
You´ve got a very good mic from a very good store
Old 4th December 2010
  #26
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madehumble's Avatar
Thanks Chris and Dr Gris, that means alot.
Old 4th December 2010
  #27
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Originally Posted by E.rOk.stA View Post
Don't wanna muddy up the situation but you should (if it's not too late) consider the Brauner Phanthera. Of the 2 you listed, I would use the Ref. C.
I told him to get one..
Old 4th December 2010
  #28
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madehumble's Avatar
You did say that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by youngrob View Post
I told him to get one..
Old 4th December 2010
  #29
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Bubbakron's Avatar
 

Dude its the "tube" preamp that will never give you a good rap sound. Get a solid state preamp and that kiwi will do exactly what you want it to do. For what your trying to do, it sound like you want a sm7b and a solid state preamp, thats what Michael Jackson did on thriller. Tube preamps are designed to make sounds slow soft and sweet, solid state is reactionary and aggressively smooth!!!
Old 5th December 2010
  #30
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbakron View Post
Dude its the "tube" preamp that will never give you a good rap sound. Get a solid state preamp and that kiwi will do exactly what you want it to do. For what your trying to do, it sound like you want a sm7b and a solid state preamp, thats what Michael Jackson did on thriller. Tube preamps are designed to make sounds slow soft and sweet, solid state is reactionary and aggressively smooth!!!
Thanks, but you do know that Robbie is a hybrid design, a solid state preamp with a tube output, which is not like a regular tube preamp, hate or love the design, Robbie sounds like a stellar solid state preamp with a little tube warmth, with a larger than life sound. Check it out and you will see why guys like Bowie rave about it.
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