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Old 16th December 2009
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
My limited personal experience with U87s was similar to the OP, I found them too harsh, too neutral and too s*****.

On the other hand I own tons of great records that were done with U87s (Anyone here ever heard an obscure English psychedelic record called 'Dark Side of the moon'?) especially in the 70ies.

I think changing recording formats have a lot to do with the lesser poularity of U87s these days. Digital formats generally enhance transients and the upper range of the frequency spectrum, so it's certainly no wonder that ribbon mics especially have become so popular again. FWIW, my pair of Coles 4038s has really changed my approach to guitar recording and using smaller amps especially .

So there's no doubt that a U87 is still a workhorse and generally useful but for me it's just too expensive for that. 57s or 421s are workhorses to me, so rather than spend 2 or 3k on a U87 I rather wait till I can afford something in the U47/67/251 league or a spinoff.

In a way, U87s are much like late 60ies/early 70ies Fender guitars. In general, these instrument are inferior to the earlier models but since they get older and older they are now labeled as 'vintage', deservingly or not. The outrageous prices asked for older Strats, Teles, etc (or U47s, U67s in our case here) also play a big role. I might not be able to afford a U67 but a U87 instead and it also says 'Neumann' on it.....