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U87ai is it really that bad??
Old 16th January 2013
  #31
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
It's about context...

If you're a seasoned pro with a locker full of mics it's a great "go to" for so many applications though probably not the "best" on anything specific. It will always produce what can be deemed as an "acceptable" sound. In relative terms at 2K, it's, by top pro standards almost a "bargain one size fits all mic".

To the middle range, making a name for yourself, it's probably your first "aspirational mic purchase" and you really want to love it and you forgive it, its' so many foibles for so long, as 2K was actually a sizeable lump to fork out on it so you're determined to see it in its' best light. Eventually, you notice, if you're using digital, that slight whispiness and upper mid range dip, are actually, in the context of dropping 2K on it, not actually the boon they were with analogue tape.

If it's your big purchase for you own home studio. I can't honestly say I'd could counsel dropping 2K on one unless it's the perfect fit for your voice.
Other options for me to look into?
Old 16th January 2013
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
Other options for me to look into?
check out the Lauten Atlantis
Old 16th January 2013
  #33
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FireMoon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
Other options for me to look into?
Well that's the 64,000 dollar question... i can only answer that with recourse to my own personal prejudices. On my voice the FET47 has always sounded far far more natural than the U87 and this year I am definitely in for either a Wunder or Bock clone of said mic.

Let's say you record voice and guitar mainly, you can buy a FET47 clone and pair of Beyer MC930s new, for the same price, or less, than a new U87 and I suspect you'd be happier, especially if you're all digital.

However, that's totally my prejudice, that's not to say the FET47 is "better", it's simply it suits me better than the U87. That said, with a seriously good pre-amp, I am in the camp of preferring to use a SM57 to the U87, when I'm doing my "rock voice".

If you doing mainly voice recording I'd say.... a FET47 clone and a SM7 should, given a decent pre-amp, cover most eventualities. Others, I'm sure, would counsel otherwise and their opinions, in their context, I am sure are as every bit as valid and probably more so than mine.
Old 17th January 2013
  #34
I think the U87ai is a great mic for many applications, near, mid, and distant, pop, rock, rap, r&b, classical, jazz, piano, voice, bass, room, overheads, etc, etc. I haven't used an older U87 in decades, so I can't compare, so my comment is more for people generally considering buying one or two than for the OP.
Old 17th January 2013
  #35
I recently used the 87Ai when recording drums. I used it in the 'Motown' position, to the right of the bass drum, under the rack Tom. It definitely shone in this position. Previously had used a vintage D12, and a U67 in the same position. I'd gladly use the Ai again. Perhaps a little brighter than the other 2 options (I know many will accuse the D12 of being 'muddy'..I find the example I have used very natural and balanced).

I think the reality is that there'll always be another mic that will fit a particular purpose just as well or 'better' than another. A U87 is a reasonably good gamble to take as it's a mic you'll always get use out of, and it'll hold it's value should you find otherwise. You can't go wrong adding quality pieces like that into your arsenal. It's popular to diss famous mics because people seem to want to disprove the 'legend'. Legends aside, it's a great sounding mic. There's also lots of other great ones...
Old 17th January 2013
  #36
Gear Addict
 

ai is not a bad mic is is a very bad mic for $3500 or whatever they charge now. It's a $700 mic like a ksm44 or a 414. Sound quality is not bad. It's good on kick drum or floor tom or a bass cab.

I like them but I only paid $1000 12 years ago for mine since it needed work. In retrospect even that was expensive but it looks cool in the locker.

For 3600 buy a nice vintage u87. Also companies like wunder or Gefell make some much nicer mics at a fraction of the price
or much better at the same price

Where the ai fails is on softer instruments, it is sibilant and has some harshness which makes not an optimal vocal or OH mic. Its a good mic for on floor toms outside a kick. It can take a beating and that's what's cool about it since you are not going to risk putting a Wunder or vintage u67 in front of a 26in kick. But ai works in this situation. If you can get one cheap
they have a purpose.
Old 17th January 2013
  #37
Gear Head
 

Lots of good advice here on value for money. If there is something "wrong" with a 87 ai, surely it's the price. The brand value of Neumann is high to start and arguably an U87 is the most widely recognized studio mic. As expected, the price reflects this notoriety and it only stands to reason. At a lower price, it is a versatile standard everyone should know well on all kinds if sources, if only for the reference value. So, "buy used or buy elsewhere" is the the answer in my view.
Old 17th January 2013
  #38
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
What mod?
Andreas Grosser mod.
Andreas Grosser Contact Info
Old 17th January 2013
  #39
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This thread is ridiculous. The u87ai has never sounded bad on any source I have ever used it on. One could argue that certain mics will sound better in certain applications, but there is a reason why this mic is a studio STANDARD around the world. Vocals, drums, guitar cabs, acoustic guitar, I have used the u87 with great success on all of those sources. Pair it with good vintage Neve style pre, and I cannot imagine a source that this channel wouldn't work for.
Old 17th January 2013
  #40
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bigbone's Avatar
 

There are no wrong or bad mic, only wrong or bad application.

The U87ai is a fine mic, if you can't get a decent sound, the problem
is somewhere else.
Old 17th January 2013
  #41
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
This thread is ridiculous. The u87ai has never sounded bad on any source I have ever used it on. One could argue that certain mics will sound better in certain applications, but there is a reason why this mic is a studio STANDARD around the world. Vocals, drums, guitar cabs, acoustic guitar, I have used the u87 with great success on all of those sources. Pair it with good vintage Neve style pre, and I cannot imagine a source that this channel wouldn't work for.
Yeah I mean so far everything I've heard with the research I've been doing sounds pretty great.. Detailed and rich mids and very full overall. Highs can sound harsh I'm noticing but I'm not the one eqing or mixing these things so who knows what those recordings have going on.
Old 17th January 2013
  #42
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
You can get a used ai for like $2200 that seems pretty reasonable
Old 17th January 2013
  #43
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VO Guy's Avatar
 

the 87ai does a great job however that doesn't mean everyone is going to LIKE how they sound on it.
Old 17th January 2013
  #44
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
My main reason for asking was simply because my singer sounded very good on an older pre-ai u87, and I was researching the ai since that's what's available in the under $2500 price range right now, and people were bashing it like crazy. I just wanted to know why.
Old 17th January 2013
  #45
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
This thread is ridiculous. The u87ai has never sounded bad on any source I have ever used it on. One could argue that certain mics will sound better in certain applications, but there is a reason why this mic is a studio STANDARD around the world. Vocals, drums, guitar cabs, acoustic guitar, I have used the u87 with great success on all of those sources. Pair it with good vintage Neve style pre, and I cannot imagine a source that this channel wouldn't work for.
ai is not terrible, but for 3500 is doesn't compare to other mics half it price. u87ai is not the standard. The u87 was at one time a standard studio workhorse. But there are much better optionsnow for less money

Mics like 414 and u87ai are not preferred by many these days due to the brightness factor in conjunction with digital. Especially with lower end converters. With analog these mic work a little better. ai is sort of open but is harsh in some frequencies on some voice and on acoustic instruments. Spending 3500 on a mic that has issues is not advisable for smaller studios.

ai should never be confused with a Nuemann u87. ai is a sennheiser u87 with a neumann badge. Big difference
If the mic was $1000 it would be acceptable and a decent value. But $3500? wow. You can by a vintage tube mic for 3500.
If you need patterns 414 is a way better value and better sounding than ai, as is ksm44. If you want the u87 sound
and don't need patterns buy a Wunder FET
Old 17th January 2013
  #46
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emitsweet View Post
ai is not terrible, but for 3500 is doesn't compare to other mics half it price. u87ai is not the standard. The u87 was at one time a standard studio workhorse. But there are much better optionsnow for less money

Mics like 414 and u87ai are not preferred by many these days due to the brightness factor in conjunction with digital. Especially with lower end converters. With analog these mic work a little better. ai is sort of open but is harsh in some frequencies on some voice and on acoustic instruments. Spending 3500 on a mic that has issues is not advisable for smaller studios.

ai should never be confused with a Nuemann u87. ai is a sennheiser u87 with a neumann badge. Big difference
If the mic was $1000 it would be acceptable and a decent value. But $3500? wow. You can by a vintage tube mic for 3500.
If you need patterns 414 is a way better value and better sounding than ai, as is ksm44. If you want the u87 sound
and don't need patterns buy a Wunder FET

Why do people bash it because sennheiser owns it now? Doesn't sennheiser make some quality stuff as well?
Old 18th January 2013
  #47
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
No one likes beesneez here?
Old 18th January 2013
  #48
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Deviated's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
This thread is ridiculous. The u87ai has never sounded bad on any source I have ever used it on.
I agree 100%. This thread is a joke.
Old 18th January 2013
  #49
I just picked up '78 or '79 model p48 u87 for around $1700. Don't have an AI to compare it to but it really sounds great with the limited testing I've done so far.

Pretty clean condition considering it's age, capsule looks good too.
Old 18th January 2013
  #50
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PashTavazule View Post
Plus 3!!!

A U87ai sux??

pulllease... If I could only have one mic in the studio, it would be that one or a 414...

Harsh?? do you guys know how to gain stage a microphone?

I'm wondering what folks are expecting a mic to do...hold your hand while you postiton and gain stage it?
All I'm looking for is a mic that will make me dinner and tuck me in at night
Old 18th January 2013
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
This thread is ridiculous. The u87ai has never sounded bad on any source I have ever used it on. .
Of course it is, this is Gearslutz!

I have had many 87s. I currently have a 71 U87 and an 87 U87ai. The older one sounds better, yes, but the "new" one still sounds fantastic for a 25 year old microphone.

For those who love to bash Neumann, there are possible reasons: Hearing deficiency, grudges for some unwarranted reason, insanity, poor taste, the need to feel better or smarter than you and I by showing their superiority in not liking something most people like?? Who knows?

P.S. I still wish the Neumann-Gefell merger dream were a possibility.
Old 18th January 2013
  #52
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
Doesn't sennheiser make some quality stuff as well?
I don't know, I have some 421s and a 441 but they are from the 70s
I don't own any newer sennheisers except for the ai.

I just think it's important to realize that current Nuemann is not the
Nuemann of old.
Old 18th January 2013
  #53
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bigbone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviated View Post
I agree 100%. This thread is a joke.

Like most GS tread, you don't come here for the knowledge......
Old 18th January 2013
  #54
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
What I remember enjoying about the 87 was depth and details in my recordings. Looking for that in a new mic.
Old 18th January 2013
  #55
Gear Addict
 

get klaus heyne to mod it

Klaus Heyne sold me a modded u87ai

I never heard one without the mod, but with his mod this mic is the best mic in my studio.

I highly recommend you call him and see if he has time to mod the mic for you
Old 18th January 2013
  #56
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Andreas Grosser mod.
Andreas Grosser Contact Info
How does it change the mic/what is the intention of the mod?
Old 18th January 2013
  #57
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boneshowell View Post
Klaus Heyne sold me a modded u87ai

I never heard one without the mod, but with his mod this mic is the best mic in my studio.

I highly recommend you call him and see if he has time to mod the mic for you
Same question.. What does the mod do for the mic?
Old 18th January 2013
  #58
Gear Maniac
 
Mafiso's Avatar
I have a u87a and a u87 mid 70's. They are both great mics. Get used all of the time. I have no idea if they are the best value out there, but they do sound great on a lot of things.

The name also looks good on any mid range studio. I will put up the new 87 with my vintage 67 and my blue bottle, depending on the voice any one of them could win.

I think if you can find one used, they are probably the best value for the money.
Old 18th January 2013
  #59
Lives for gear
The question is, is there anything better than an 87ai...and the answer is, EMPHATICALLY, yes.

There are microphones that are much more capable of producing all round great results than the 87ai. Gefell makes MUCH better microphones than Sennheiser. All the way up the price-list you will find a technically better, better sounding, better made product. I believe that much the same can be said for Brauner and Bock.

You just need to stand 'em next to each other and hear how much better they sound.

Sennheiser make great headphones and, for that, I'm glad.
Old 18th January 2013
  #60
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Does anyone have any suggestions about how to demo a gefell mic? I've been looking at gear lists for local studios and everyone's got plenty of neumanns but no one has any gefell mics. I'm in Brooklyn. Thanks.
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