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Inner Tube Audio U87 Tube Kit Condenser Microphones
Old 24th February 2006
  #1
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Inner Tube Audio U87 Tube Kit

I ordered one from Stayne and just got it yesterday. I must comment that this thing was packed as if he was shipping his own child. (Maybe in some small way, he was ) Outstanding. Unfortunatly, despite the perfect packing, Fed Ex managed to bump it around enough that it was not working. Stayne was immediatly responsive and talked me through checking power supply voltages. Turns out the tube was bad. So he overnighted a new one. GREAT customer service
Making the change over does in fact take only 1 minute - easy. I've only had an opportunity to record my own voice so far, but all indications are that this mic is better in every way - other than noise floor. Sibilence is GONE - it is harder to pop (I thought that was a function of the capsule, but evidently not) and I don't think I'll be reaching for EQ as much. More detailed report on the sound after some narration recording next week. . . .
Old 24th February 2006
  #2
Baz
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This mod is reversible, right?

I heard about it awhile back and am interested in it.

Also, can you provide a link?

Thx

EDIT: Found them. Looks cool.
Old 24th February 2006
  #3
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Like changing a light bulb. I was a little concerned about that as well - for resale value, would it still be considered "vintage". But no issue at all.
Will report back with sonic comments next week.
Old 24th February 2006
  #4
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I bought mods for my pair of 87's about 5 years ago. Easy, physically to reverse the mod. Doubtful you'll ever want to. I hardly ever used my 87's before the mod but now they are first choice for so many things I wish I had a dozen of them. No joke.
Old 24th February 2006
  #5
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popmann's Avatar
Wonderful mic. My favorite ever for vocals.
Old 25th February 2006
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
How much is the kit?
Old 25th February 2006
  #7
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$1500

...he's proud of it.

Figure a 87+the mod is a $3500 mic...which puts it up with most of the Soundelux tube line...Korby's fixed head mics...

I'm not sure why he charges so much...but...I keep hoping I'll come across a "broken" 87 for cheap...just yank the broken guts and put the INnertube mod in it. Save me on rental fees.
Old 25th February 2006
  #8
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I've only had an opportunity to record my own voice so far, but all indications are t

the BIGGEST reason that the innerTUBE 87 retrofit sounds better than the stock 87 electronics is the increased headroom.
the phantom power at 48 Volts can't compare with the high voltage tube supply.
the sibilance and popping in the stock 87's are artifacts of the 48 volt power scheme folding under load just when you need power the most.

phantom powering was a bad idea and is still a bad idea for mics.
Old 25th February 2006
  #9
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Cool - good to know about the pop issue - thanks again!
Really looking forward to recording next week.........
Old 25th February 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Figure a 87+the mod is a $3500 mic...which puts it up with most of the Soundelux tube line...Korby's fixed head mics...
None of which have the Neumann capsules. No comparison IMO.
Old 26th February 2006
  #11
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stayne
phantom powering was a bad idea and is still a bad idea for mics.

Aint that the truth!






Innertube's mics FKING ROCK! As do all their products. I am not only a client, I am the muthafunkn self appointed president of the fan club! heh
Old 26th February 2006
  #12
84K
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One thing I must add... The Mag Mic. It beats out original E Lam 251s on a regular basis. Not always, but somewhere around 40-60% of the time. No joke. The effin thing is that spectacular.
Old 26th February 2006
  #13
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Having U87ai, I am thinking what would be better way to go towards the world class full vocal sound: Inner Tube or Klaus Heyne mod ? Not that it would sound bad as it is now ...
Old 26th February 2006
  #14
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek
Having U87ai, I am thinking what would be better way to go towards the world class full vocal sound: Inner Tube or Klaus Heyne mod ? Not that it would sound bad as it is now ...

If you like extremely bright mics, that is what I usually hear in Klaus Heyne's work. That is not a cut on him, sometimes that is just what the doc ordered. I personally prefer a more full and natural sound, i.e., Innertube. YMMV.
Old 26th February 2006
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
If you like extremely bright mics, that is what I usually hear in Klaus Heyne's work. That is not a cut on him, sometimes that is just what the doc ordered. I personally prefer a more full and natural sound, i.e., Innertube. YMMV.
My milage does vary quite a bit on this conclusion. I have two klaus U87ais. And bright is not something I could use to describe the sound. Now maybe an original brand new u87ai I would consider bright.

The sibilance is the first thing I noticed on the KH u87ai mod. It has the sweet almost tubish sound that really sounds beautiful. The bottom end is so much richer and tighter. It is almost a totally diifferent mic all together.
Old 26th February 2006
  #16
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The simbilance is the first thing I noticed on the KH u87ai mod......

the larger point i'm trying to make here is that solid state mics and phantom power
are BOTH compromises. that's 2 strikes against you before you even hit the record button.
Old 26th February 2006
  #17
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what did u end up paying for the kit? It says 1795 on the site.......thats ending up like 2000!
gees........

IM very intrested but damn thats alot of money.

where did 1500 come from?

Im just curious if thier willing to come off that price atleast a little.

Bryan

thank u
Old 26th February 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
One thing I must add... The Mag Mic. It beats out original E Lam 251s on a regular basis. Not always, but somewhere around 40-60% of the time. No joke. The effin thing is that spectacular.
Yep, got a pair of 'em. Has anyone seen Ray Davies "The World From My Window" on the Documentary channel? They've got Ray in the studio singing and playing acoustic, and the C12 he's using sounds really great. That is what a C12 is supposed to sound like!
Old 27th February 2006
  #19
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Just a quick question...the capsule doesn't have to be re-tuned once gutting the original electronics in place of the innertube mod? How does that work?
Old 27th February 2006
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
Just a quick question...the capsule doesn't have to be re-tuned once gutting the original electronics in place of the innertube mod? How does that work?
No, the capsule and head/grill assembly is removed intact and plugged into the new electronics. No mods are made to the original 87 so it can be put back to stock anytime in a matter of seconds.
Old 27th February 2006
  #21
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No, I understand that part...but if your changing the sound of the mic by swapping internal components, I would assume that the diaphragm would also need to be re tuned to as it was optomized for the original setup and not the new internal components.

I'm not saying this is true...only that I would assume it to be. So what's the deal?
Old 27th February 2006
  #22
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I would assume that the diaphragm would also need to be re tuned

i can assure you of one thing.........

capsule 'tuning' and fairy dust have a lot in common.

once the capsule is removed from the stretching jig it is what it is.
Old 27th February 2006
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
No, I understand that part...but if your changing the sound of the mic by swapping internal components, I would assume that the diaphragm would also need to be re tuned to as it was optomized for the original setup and not the new internal components.

I'm not saying this is true...only that I would assume it to be. So what's the deal?
Well, you can think of it as the capsule was always just fine but the stock electronics were less than stellar and by putting in new electronics you have gotten rid of the weak link. Stayne has taken the stock 87 capsule and tuned his electronics to it. No need to tune the capsule as it is a winner already.
Neumann has, at times, used great capsules with electronics that spec well but haven't been met with much joy in the recording world. Have you checked out the removal of transformers in the recent Neumann mics and the general dismay it has caused many engineers that love the sound of the Neumann classics? Neumann has a tendancy to let specs govern their electronics designs and many feel that this is to the detriment of the final sound of the mics. Specs don't automatically equal good sound. Also, it is much cheaper with modern electronics to get good specs while ultimately degrading the musicality of a microphone. The stock 87 is a good, workhorse mic. The Innertube modded 87 is a great, thoroughbred mic.
Old 27th February 2006
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

451 tube?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stayne
the larger point i'm trying to make here is that solid state mics and phantom power
are BOTH compromises. that's 2 strikes against you before you even hit the record button.
Hey Stayne,

Can you tell us anything about the 451 tube kit on your site? Do the guts just slide in like on the 87 tube? Are you using an AC701? Is the transformer in the mic, or in the supply? What's it sound like??

I've gotta say that I think that's a great idea. I picked up a C60 with no cord or PS, and ended up building a supply for it using a Jensen output transformer, and the thing sounds amazing. Got the Blue lollipop head for it, and it sounds even more amazing. It's a really nice mic, and if your 451 sounds anything like that, you've got a winner on your hands...

One more question.... Actually 2....

Is there any difference in the sound of your kit for the "old" 87 compared to the AI? Other than the variation in individual capsules?

Also, any plans to do a kit for the newer and lesser-loved mics like the 127, 193 or 170??

Thanks...

Mike
Old 27th February 2006
  #25
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the four-fifty-tube retrofit is another one of our 'instant' tube mics.
just unscrew the ck-1 capsule from your solid state body and screw it
onto the innerTUBE body.
that's all there is to it.
it does also work with the BLUE 1" capsule.
we use a dual triode instead of the ac701 single triode.
the circuit is VERY similar to our 87 retrofit.

it sounds huge.

there is NO internal difference between our 'old' style 87 retrofits and
newer 87 Ai model retrofits. the capsule pin out is the only change we
made to accommodate the Ai.

capsule variations do make a difference.

we've moded lots of lesser-loved mics but i don't see a production run
any time soon.
Old 27th February 2006
  #26
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Ok I get it now. I'm really interested in this because I'm a huge fan of the K67 capsule. I was just about to pick up a u67 because I have too many headaches with the 87. A bit strident, poppy, essy. You really need to work to get it right. When it works though, I find it unbeatable.

My prob with the U67 is that they're old and more often than not you're eq'ing the high end anyhow. So it sounds to me that I will probably be happier to mod the 87 if this mod addresses the two issues I have with the U87(ai) than purchasing the U67s.

Stayne, I know you make this product, but don't be shy to chime in on my question for fear of sounding bias - judging from what I've said, do you think your product is what the doctor ordered for me?
Old 27th February 2006
  #27
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shy ????? who....me???? the u-67 is not a vesitile mic. it works GREAT on a few things but that's it. the tube 87 works well on everything and just might become YOUR favorite mic. the tube 87 is bullet proof too.... no down time like the 67's.
bias???? not me !!
Old 27th February 2006
  #28
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Holly hell! - I just finished 1 of 5 one-hour shows that I'll be recording this week, and all I can say is GREAT! - yes, it fixes the "S"es, yes it fixes the pops, but then it just grabs it and stretches it in 10 feet in all directions.

Stayne - thank you: 1. for making this kit. 2. For supporting it so well.

For anyone interested in hearing how how this thing sounds over the air, watch "Mutual of Omaha" on Animal Planet - Sundays @ 7pm (I think). I'll be doing the entire series with the 87 tube.
Old 27th February 2006
  #29
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And let me add - just so it does not seem I'm jumping on the tube band wagon blindly and without consideration - there are 2 small negatives:

1. the noise floor is higher - I cranked my monitors and heard it, a little
2. I've improved things to a point that I now need to address some room acoustics that I now hear (ok, not the mics fault)
Old 27th February 2006
  #30
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- yes, it fixes the "S"es, yes it fixes the pops, but then it just grabs it and stret

the one [and only] thing i know about transisitors is that they are quiet.

i will take the 3-D sound of tubes and live with the [acceptable] noise floor
everytime over the one dimensional sound of transistors.

EVERYTIME !!!!
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