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Can I get the U47 sound for under a grand?
Old 1 week ago
  #31
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With your budget I'd be looking at Pearlman mics. Maybe you could score a used KEL-HM7. Those would get you in the "ballpark" at least. Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
can't believe no one has mentioned advanced audio yet. A few choices from him right under $1000, plus a newer offering that apparently sounds the same but is in his smaller body for about half the price.
cm-48t
$595

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-...icrophone.html
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Well, let's say I have the best monitoring system in the world and ears as good as yours, would I then find the U87 to have lower self-noise than the NT1-A?
No. Whatever its faults, the Rode NT1a is a quieter mic than any 87 model. Compare the published noise specs (neither company lies much in their specs). That is a fact that means almost nothing when comparing the sound of the two mics, but it is a fact.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Thanks. I might have to then look into some tube mics. If the FET doesn't produce that characteristic vocal sound I like, then it's got to be something in the tube design.

I've had no experience with tube mics other than some really old and funny looking Oktava tube mic that I tried some time ago. I remember it being warm but nothing like the sweet upper mids I hear on U47 recordings.
Roger Waters was/is a big fan of the U47 FET and U67 FET mics. If you like the sound of Dark Side of the Moon (and who doesn't) then you want the U47 and U67 FET sound.

Also I'm pretty sure the self-noise spec is A-weighted and the U87 spec is unweighted, meaning that the self-noise result of the Rode was band-pass filtered at 1kHz before measuring which would make the broadband noise spec quieter than any mic measured in an unweighted test. There is a comparison between U87 and clones somewhere on Gearslutz that includes the NT1-A and you can easily hear the difference and choose the U87 every time. It's simply the quietest and cleanest of the test files even though the tonality is very similar. It would be difficult to distinguish at moderate volumes without a low-distortion DAC and amp setup with full-range and flat-response, high-sensitivity speakers. That is of course until you've layered and processed multiple tracks then the performance differences become more and more obvious.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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U67 fet?
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
No. Whatever its faults, the Rode NT1a is a quieter mic than any 87 model. Compare the published noise specs (neither company lies much in their specs). That is a fact that means almost nothing when comparing the sound of the two mics, but it is a fact.
A fact which everyone suspiciously resisted through the entire first page of this thread.

Time and again, I've challenged myself to see if I could pick one of these super expensive mics in a blind shootout. All I found was, beyond a few hundred dollars, there's just no way to reliably choose the expensive mic as the preferred choice. As I said earlier, the only exception has been the U47. That's why I'm trying find a cheaper mic which sounds like it.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
There is a comparison between U87 and clones somewhere on Gearslutz that includes the NT1-A and you can easily hear the difference and choose the U87 every time. It's simply the quietest and cleanest of the test files even though the tonality is very similar.
The noise spec isn't what you hear in a comparison. A mic doesn't sound quiet. Quiet doesn't have a sound. Quiet is the absence of sound.
I agree with you that anyone with a good ear should pick an 87 when it is compared with an NT1a on almost any source. I don't agree that they sound very similar. The NT1a has a lot more top boost. The 87 is a little mid forward with less emphasis in the sibilance range.
But if you want to record some quiet, put up the NT1a.
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
U67 fet?
You're correct, my mistake. It was the U47 FET and U67 was a tube mic. I have the Classic Albums making of the Dark Side of the Moon DVD and if I remember correctly Roger Waters saying he preferred FET mics before he did a solo acoustic performance into a U47 FET. I'm going to have to watch that now. It has so much gear discussion in it.

To be honest I prefer Bock and Soundelux to any of the current Neumann line except the U87 for which I still haven't found anything that does what it does as well or better than it does. Bock mics take the vintage Neumann mics up a notch, I'm a fan.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
No. Whatever its faults, the Rode NT1a is a quieter mic than any 87 model. Compare the published noise specs (neither company lies much in their specs). That is a fact that means almost nothing when comparing the sound of the two mics, but it is a fact.
I'm fairly certain the Rode spec is A-weighted and the Neumann spec is not. I can't imagine a capacitor capsule being quieter than a pressure gradient in practical terms.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
As I said earlier, the only exception has been the U47. That's why I'm trying find a cheaper mic which sounds like it.
I don't know that such a mic exists. Your ear seems to pick up something very distinctive from the U47. You are the only one who can say which other mic has that certain distinctive sound you hear and are looking for.
You need that Vintage King setup where you could live test and compare a real 47 with a large number of other similar mics. They do a test with your voice, headphones, matched levels, and you make the comparison.
On second thought, I'd want to be first in line for that test, and I'm not even looking for a microphone.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I'm fairly certain the Rode spec is A-weighted and the Neumann spec is not. I can't imagine a capacitor capsule being quieter than a pressure gradient in practical terms.
Every LDC is a capacitor capsule. The basic design of the capsules are not very different, except regarding what is required for pattern switching on the U87.
We aren't comparing distinctly different types of microphones like condenser vs dynamic vs ribbon.
Old 1 week ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Every LDC is a capacitor capsule. The basic design of the capsules are not very different, except regarding what is required for pattern switching on the U87.
We aren't comparing distinctly different types of microphones like condenser vs dynamic vs ribbon.
Not entirely true. They operate on different electronic principles. A pressure gradient mic is more like a dynamic in that it outputs a change in voltage where a capacitor capsule outputs changes in capacitance which have to be converted to voltage changes in the circuitry. A capacitor mic builds a charge between the diaphragm and the back-plate which has a rate of discharge that changes when pressure is applied, thus the output is the result of a change in capacitance. Not only does the Neumann have a dual-layered diaphragm to allow it to change pickup patterns, but this also allows it to reject noise much like a humbucking pickup.

One capsule is built around the principle of capacitance with circuitry to translate the changes in capacitance to voltage, the other directly outputs voltage by one of the diaphragms motion against electromagnetic resistance doing work within an electromagnetic field.
Old 1 week ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I'm fairly certain the Rode spec is A-weighted and the Neumann spec is not. I can't imagine a capacitor capsule being quieter than a pressure gradient in practical terms.
According to Recording Hacks, both mics give A weighted noise specs. They list self noise from the NT1a at 5db and self noise from the U87 at 12db. The NT1a is no longer the quietest LDC in production, but Recording Hacks has it on a list of the quietest LDC mics. No version of the U87 is on that list.
I still don't like the sound of the NT1a, but you should stop saying an 87 is in any way a quieter mic. Better in most respects, yes. Quieter, no.
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
There is a comparison between U87 and clones somewhere on Gearslutz that includes the NT1-A and you can easily hear the difference and choose the U87 every time. It's simply the quietest and cleanest of the test files even though the tonality is very similar. It would be difficult to distinguish at moderate volumes without a low-distortion DAC and amp setup with full-range and flat-response, high-sensitivity speakers. That is of course until you've layered and processed multiple tracks then the performance differences become more and more obvious.
Wouldn't processing make the difference less obvious, if anything? As hard as it is for me to tell which mic is which in a raw shootout, I've found it nearly impossible to do that in a mastered recording of a piece that's masked by all kinds of plugins and effects, not to mention the rest of the mix which may have been recorded with other mics.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
According to Recording Hacks, both mics give A weighted noise specs. They list self noise from the NT1a at 5db and self noise from the U87 at 12db. The NT1a is no longer the quietest LDC in production, but Recording Hacks has it on a list of the quietest LDC mics. No version of the U87 is on that list.
I still don't like the sound of the NT1a, but you should stop saying an 87 is in any way a quieter mic. Better in most respects, yes. Quieter, no.
5dB above what? 12dB relative to what? To the phantom voltage? Capsule field charge? That is not a complete spec unless they were both tested on the same preamp and bench.

Also the U87 being a pressure gradient mic has a much extended high frequency response. Capacitor mics are measuring a change in a change, which makes them respond slower and adds distortion much lower in the frequency spectrum (a pressure gradient capsule will not distort electronically within the high-frequency threshold of hearing). You may have noticed that cheaper capacitor capsules sound "hard" or "edgy" in the upper registers. Maybe the electronics are designed to make the NT1-A much quieter when no (minimum possible) acoustic input is present, but during a moderate signal the self noise will increase in the high frequency ranges. Another reason why an A-weighted test is not a practical comparison between these two mics. All this is not even including the difference in internal circuitry beyond the capsule voltage output. Use your ears. Find the comparison test. There are wav files on Gearslutz and also a YouTube video with the same files. Hear for yourself.
Old 1 week ago
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Wouldn't processing make the difference less obvious, if anything? As hard as it is for me to tell which mic is which in a raw shootout, I've found it nearly impossible to do that in a mastered recording of a piece that's masked by all kinds of plugins and effects, not to mention the rest of the mix which may have been recorded with other mics.
Because both distortion and noise build up in the same places with layers, and unless the processing is only applied to deal with this specifically, that buildup is likely to be enhanced further by noise and distortion from elsewhere. Noise doesn't mask noise it adds more noise, and distortion being distorted multiplies distortion.
Old 1 week ago
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Not entirely true. They operate on different electronic principles. A pressure gradient mic is more like a dynamic in that it outputs a change in voltage where a capacitor capsule outputs changes in capacitance which have to be converted to voltage changes in the circuitry.
Looks like you're mixing things up.
Old 1 week ago
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
5dB above what? 12dB relative to what? To the phantom voltage? Capsule field charge? That is not a complete spec unless they were both tested on the same preamp and bench.

Also the U87 being a pressure gradient mic has a much extended high frequency response. Capacitor mics are measuring a change in a change, which makes them respond slower and adds distortion much lower in the frequency spectrum (a pressure gradient capsule will not distort electronically within the high-frequency threshold of hearing). You may have noticed that cheaper capacitor capsules sound "hard" or "edgy" in the upper registers. Maybe the electronics are designed to make the NT1-A much quieter when no (minimum possible) acoustic input is present, but during a moderate signal the self noise will increase in the high frequency ranges. Another reason why an A-weighted test is not a practical comparison between these two mics. All this is not even including the difference in internal circuitry beyond the capsule voltage output. Use your ears. Find the comparison test. There are wav files on Gearslutz and also a YouTube video with the same files. Hear for yourself.
I was going to post what legato did already for a previous post. This one too is all mixed up. You are in a round about way just saying the U87 is better than the Rode and covering it up with this confused thinking about how they work.
Old 1 week ago
  #49
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First of all, a pressure gradient microphone is a noise cancelling microphone by definition. Second while all condenser mics are in fact capacitors by nature of holding a charge, there are different ways of obtaining a signal from the capsule just as there are different angles of measuring AC utility service panel output and different ways for a compressor or limiter to detect and apply gain changes. What I have been saying all along is that the Neumann U87 utilizes a specific type of condenser capsule that is different from what is commonly referred to as a capacitor or electret microphone; in which the capsule has been manufactured with a back plate of permanently charged material having a fixed voltage which produces a varying capacitance in proximity to the diaphragm that is measured by microphone electronics which then oscillate output voltage, rather than a fixed capacitance which is maintained by active voltage that is greatly varied by minute changes in said capacitance. The electret requires active signal amplification and thus is noisier and produces more distortion while the pressure gradient capsule itself is active and outputs a very hot, direct and thus clean signal with a DC offset which requires the microphone electronics to filter after the capsule.

I didn't mean to confuse. You are correct that every condenser is technically a capacitor mic, but these days only electret mics are usually referred to as capacitor mics.

Basically the U87 is a high voltage, noise-cancelling capsule attached to a high-pass filter while the NT1-A is a very low voltage capsule attached to a high voltage amplifier and a low-pass filter for removing the extra high-frequency noise.
Old 1 week ago
  #50
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This is getting a bit messy.

A capacitor mic is just another name for a condenser mic, electret or not. And IIRW none of the mics suggested in this thread sofar are electrets.

Furthermore, both condensers and dynamics can be pressure gradient mics. They are separate notions.

And there's more.

But most importantly, it all has nothing to do with the U47 sound, so I won't fuel this dicussion by going in any deeper.
Old 1 week ago
  #51
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I agree with Legato. The attempts to correct the multiple and repeated factual misrepresentations of one poster have sidetracked the thread. As much as it is uncomfortable to see some basic facts and definitions in audio tossed into an incoherent word salad, I will not respond further to that poster. Last caution; reader beware!

Last edited by Bushman; 1 week ago at 08:46 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #52
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Can I get the U47 sound for under a grand?

The answer is no. In fact you can't get the U47 sound at any price unless you buy a U47. Even then, pick ONE, and you will never get the same exact sound out of any other microphone, even another U47.

Can you get another mic that is 'close enough'? Nobody can answer that but you, and then only by trial and error.

I agree, the thread derailed into nonsense pretty quickly.

Forget about specs, especially self noise, this is *usually* going to be irrelevant for a vocal mic.

The microphone with terrible specs and uneven frequency response could end up being your absolute favorite vocal mic.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
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If the noise spec is all that matters to you go ahead with the Nt1a.

If real world RESULTS are what matter then I've yet to hear an NT1 show anything in the way of competition to an original U87 - NOT the U87ai.

It also comes down to your monitors. When auditioning mics on their own, with most low end / mid range monitors, the resolution they present will give you little in the way of factual information.
Believe me if a Rode could replace Neumanns I would sell my collection in a heartbeat.

What is your monitor rig ?
Old 1 week ago
  #54
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The OP didn't ask about the NT1a, or either U87, or say anything about noise specs. That's all the stuff that derailed the thread.
The OP loves the U47 and is looking for suggestions of mics with a similar sound signature. I can't help because I haven't used a U47 in more than 25 years.
Old 1 week ago
  #55
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There are quite a few microphones made that use the same capsules as a U47 and are designed to replicate them. They will sound close, or in same cases, even better according to owners. However they are going to cost a lot more than $1000.
Old 1 week ago
  #56
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Advanced Audio make a good clone for under 1K. The lawson clone is over 1K
Old 1 week ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Wouldn't processing make the difference less obvious, if anything? As hard as it is for me to tell which mic is which in a raw shootout, I've found it nearly impossible to do that in a mastered recording of a piece that's masked by all kinds of plugins and effects, not to mention the rest of the mix which may have been recorded with other mics.
Here I agree with you... With all the crap thrown on top of modern vox I maintain you could just as well record using the mic in your ipad.

My nt2 still isn't indistinguishable from a Neumann though
Old 1 week ago
  #58
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Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Here I agree with you... With all the crap thrown on top of modern vox I maintain you could just as well record using the mic in your ipad.

My nt2 still isn't indistinguishable from a Neumann though
Well, I prefer the Neumann over the NT1-A too. What I said was the difference is negligible, especially after some eq tweaks on the Rode. But I can't seem to process the NT1-A signal to make it sound like a U47... That's why I started this thread.

I've mostly quit this meaningless hobby of toying with microphones. Having a LDC, a couple of SDC (maybe some dynamic or ribbon for warmth) is all I need. Unless any of them absolutely suck, there're all going to get the job done well.
Old 1 week ago
  #59
I've said this at least twice already but just get the NT1A bro, you will thank yourself later! I use it all the time and I haven't regretted it since.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
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Originally Posted by Godson View Post
I've said this at least twice already but just get the NT1A bro, you will thank yourself later! I use it all the time and I haven't regretted it since.
Thanks, man. I already have it. It has its uses. Not perfect for every voice. For sibilant high-pitched female voices it's hard to process in post. Usually eq deals with it well, but often I find myself having to use the desser tool which I prefer not to use at all. They say the NT1000 which isn't too much more expensive than the NT1-A is even better (sweeter, more neutral). Might sell the NT1-A to get that instead.

Something sounding like the U47 would be a perfect second LDC to have.
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