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New Model Telefunken AR-51 vs Neumann U87/u87ai? Condenser Microphones
Old 12th September 2014
Lives for gear
JamesClark1991's Avatar
New Model Telefunken AR-51 vs Neumann U87/u87ai?

Does anyone have both these mics or worked with both of these mics that could give me some impressions of the two?
I'm familiar with the u87ai sound but not in comparison to anything Telefunken. Mainly interested in vocal recording.

There is a similar thread to this already open however since then Telefunken has changed the AR-51 to an edge terminated capsule which yields different results I thought it better to start afresh with this plainly stated from the start
Old 12th September 2014
Lives for gear
I have used both: u87's in the past, and I currently own an edge-terminated AR51. The U87 is solid state, the ar51 is a tube microphone. They sound different. They are both great vocal microphones. The U87 does this thing where the midrange of vocals sounds really forward and exciting and great. The AR51 makes a lot of voices sound larger than life, really nice, big, exciting, and warm. The u87ai is $1k more than the AR-51. Either microphone will be equally wonderful on voices appropriate for each microphone, and conversely will sound equally bad on voices that don't work for each microphone. Either mic is capable of capturing professional vocal recordings, but neither will be the best choice for every voice.
Old 12th September 2014
Gear Addict

I own an edge terminated AR-51. I liked it but was on the fence. I then swapped the tube for a NOS Mullard and it just opened up and sounded euphoric, for lack of a better word. It's now a great mic but can be prone to proximity effect. Sounds better when a vocalist is 9"-12" back if you are working with vocals. I also love a pair for overheads. The drums sound very natural and open. I've used the mic with 1073, API, Neve 511. I like the 1073 best.
Old 13th September 2014
I own both, the U87 is mid forward, the AR 51 isn't, and has a nice thing at the top end. I like both different sounds. I went another step up with the AR51 and had a Campbell capsule installed
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