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Sanken CU-41 vs U87 Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd April 2013
Gear Head
Music Guru's Avatar

Sanken CU-41 vs U87

Can anyone who has heard both give me some insight on what I'll be getting that's different if I pick up a Sanken CU-41 versus my U87 (not AI)?
Old 22nd April 2013
Lives for gear
elambo's Avatar
I can't say exactly but I've noticed that Sanken mics were used on an unusually high number of my favorite recordings. There must be a little magic in there.
Old 22nd April 2013
Gear Nut

The CU-41 will have detail and HF response far beyond the 87. I liked them on piano when the arrangement had lots of mid-range heavy instruments (mandolin + fiddle + acoustic guitar + steel guitar). Lots of "air", but definitely not a colorful mic, so I never really found a second use for them.
Old 22nd April 2013
Here for the gear

The CU41 is a cracking mic. Imagine a U87 that sounds "hifi" No harshness. Very very nice mics.
Old 22nd April 2013
Gear Head
Brontosauce's Avatar

Picked one up a couple of months ago and used it on "classical" recordings (strings & ac guitar).
But half-jokingly I put it up as a snare mic (instead of my usual Beyer M201) and... maybe, just maybe it's the best snaresound I've ever recorded myself. It's been going steady there for a couple of weeks now.

No problems yet, no overloading, no harshness.

Izza nice.
Old 31st March 2014
Here for the gear

The Sanken CU-41 is the great unknown wonder mic of all time. Put one on just about anything and invariably they sound amazing.
Old 1st April 2014
Gear Head

On the old Johnny Carson era Tonight Show, a CU41 replaced an beautiful old RCA 77d as Doc Severison's mic. The Sanken sounded incredible. Sanken mics are popular in the film and television business and are a under appreciated brand.
Old 6th January 2015
Lives for gear
Start using a CU41 and the Neumann will start sounding like an SM57 in no time. There's no going back...!!
Old 7th January 2015
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by vandy View Post
The CU41 is a cracking mic. Imagine a U87 that sounds "hifi" No harshness. Very very nice mics.
I recorded vocals with is several times and that's exactly
how i'd describe it.
Add an LA2A after it and you have mix ready vocals
Strange how this mic is not more popular (altho
I suspect more like a well kept secret really)
Old 8th January 2015
Lives for gear
KIDBILL's Avatar

It sounds great!
It's another color, U87 vintage = more "grainy" next to the Sanken.
For information, Mark Needham works with two vocal mikes: a Didrik de Geer and the Sanken Cu41!

Last edited by KIDBILL; 12th January 2015 at 06:05 PM.. Reason: details
Old 8th January 2015
Lives for gear
gainreduction's Avatar

I have only ever recorded grand piano and strings with Sanken mics. Sounded great!
Old 18th February 2016
Lives for gear
Where do you guys go to buy the CU41 mic?
Old 18th February 2016
Lives for gear
Earcatcher's Avatar
Originally Posted by Krush411 View Post
Where do you guys go to buy the CU41 mic?
There's a distributor list here: SANKEN MICROPHONE CO .,LTD. | Link

Please note that the CU-41 is not available in Europe or China, for unknown reasons. I went with CU-44X MKII mics. Same as CU41, but transformerless.
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