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Old 16th January 2013
Lives for gear
Kyleseglin's Avatar
Originally Posted by AllBread View Post
No, they are not bad at all. In fact, they are still some of the most useful large diaphragm condensers around.

I use the ai model as well as vintage ones all the time - on vocals the vintage one always wins (they sound very similar but the ai sounds to me like it has one little peak in the top end that the vintage ones don't - if I didn't have a vintage one in the same room then I'd happily use the ai. I do, however, use the ai's for overheads, piano, acoustic guitar and anywhere else where you might desire a LDC or 2. I once did as blind a shoot out as I could with a vintage 87, 87ai, Peluso 2247 and a Bock 195 on vocals). The vintage was my favorite followed by the ai - in comparison to the other mics the two U87 versions were clearly the same mic but with just a subtle difference in the top end. The Bock held up quite well considering the $2k+ price difference and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone based on that factor but the ai still had it beat to my ears.

They really are just solid, workhorse mics that have been proving themselves in every application under the sun for decades so fear not - (they are like the SM57 of condenser mics -no one has ever gotten fired for using one).

I think that they get a bad rap on here at times for a few reasons - 1. They don't sound quite as good as a well maintained vintage one. 2. They are a bit overpriced when purchased new (especially because most desire pairs of condensor mics and 3. It's gotten to be cool to dis them in the same way that some guitar players love to point out that Jimmy Page was a sloppy guitar player (and therefore imply that they are better than Jimmy Page) - some think that it's cool to dis what is popular as if what's good enough for everyone else isn't good enough for them.

Now, all of that being said, for the new price of $3000 or a little more there are plenty used mics on the market that are, IMO, superior. I spent $3k on my used Blue Bottle and couldn't be happier with it. All the same, for aggressive rock music there's nothing like a U87 through an 1176 for aggressive vocals that sit in the mix with ease.
I have a pair of blue dragonfly mics I like on overheads. That's my only experience with blue mics. I suppose I can't judge them overall on one model, but I don't care for the flys on vox or guitars really they're so thin sounding to me. I'm sure the bottle is great though