i just saw a couple of these on vintage kings site and they claim that it has a similar sound to a 47. is this true? I thought it was really weird that i couldn't find one reference to the 57 on this whole site. I could have missed it though, there were a lot of posts that used the words "Neumann" and "57"( as in SM57).
everyone wants 47's, 67's and 87's....I get the feeling that this mic is the dim witted middle child in a family of geniuses. neumann's site doesn't even mention it!
There's been at least one whole thread about them here in the past (here) but the link doesn't seem to work!!! I don't think everybody was exactly in love with the mic. They seem very cheap as vintage Neumanns go. FWIW the Microtech Gefell UM75 limited edition mic is a replica of the UM57, so that might help you with your searching.
In short, UM57 (and UM75 too) is a good mic on a bass diet. It is good or bad, depending on what are you recording. On the other side CMV563+M7 is off the diet and pretty full sounding member of Gefell family.
I think it's a great mic for vocals in the right situation (I own a vintage UM57, not the reissue, but I've heard the reissue and it sounds great also). It's not as big sounding as a U47, but it's got some of the same softness through the midrange. The classic proximity of the U47 isn't there and the UM57 might even be a bit darker in the high mids (going from memory here).
For female voices, I think the UM57 (or at least the one I have) is absolute killer. Larger than life, flattering and very natural at the same time, velvet highs (not too much of it) and very easy to mix. It could be that my one sounds different as it has an ECC81 tube insteade of an EC92 in it.
For male voices, though, I prefer most of the time the CMV563, it has a more compact forward-sounding midrange.
i often mix a singer who has a 57 and i am always really pleased with his tracks. they need very little help. he's got a huge bari vox and the mic handles it beautifully. i doubt i'd trade it for my 67 but it's an excellent mic, and quite a bit cheaper.
on another note, it's not a u47.
from what i understand, um57's don't sound so stellar unless they have a simple mod done to them. if they have the mod, they open up and sound more "neumann like". i have 2 um57's and they sound great (i also have a u47 and 2 m269's). they don't sound as big or deep as my u47, but i like 'em. they're on my overheads right now. i have a buddy who has one and when he describes his, it sounds like he needs to have the mod done.
Well some of them are dogs. Mine (bought around 2002 if I remember correctly) had something wrong with transformer that resulted in some ugly midrange coloration. My tech guy changed it for xformer from another one (with bad capsule etc) and it's a different mic (smooth, open, nice). What remained though is general lightness in the bottom, which is probably the capsule. I like it this way though, it's usefull.
It is every bit as much a Neumann as a U47 or a U67 as George Neumann and Company designed it, manufactured it and sold it. It is not like a 47 or 67 per se, but it has the "Neumann Sound". Much more so than almost any Neumann sold since Sennheiser took over the company.
"Microtech Gefell" is still a Neumann company. 'Neumann' is a Sennheiser company.
It is every bit as much a Neumann as a U47 or a U67 ...
My understanding on this is that, whilst the UM57 is indeed based on the same technological developments and expertise of the G. Neumann Co. of the 30's & 40's etc (before being effectively split in two following WWII) it is also obvious that things were done somewhat differently in the eastern "Neumann" Company of the 50's and 60's etc, compared with the western "Neumann" co which went on to produce the U47, U67 etc..
(Certainly in terms of many design specifics, component choices & materials available, and specifics of manufacturing process). They also clearly share the same original M7 capsule design, and the basic format of a tube condenser mic is all there, of course.
I have two UM57 mic's and they are some of the best in my studio.
Whilst I agree that they are every bit as deserving to be seen as a part of the fascinating Neumann history (alongside the U47 and U67 etc) I think it is still significant to view the UM57 as really belonging in a slightly separate branch of the family tree.
And yes, there seems then to be the interesting question of "which company is *more Neumann* today?" !
I can appreciate the strong history behind today's "Microtech Gefell" company and I agree that this should be appreciated when looking to buy a current production mic, for sure! Reviews of their products seem to be at least as favourable as what current Neumann products get, maybe even more-so.
So just snagged a um57. I'm in the middle of moving studios so haven't listened to it yet. It seems to have been re-worked as there's some modern resistors and a modern cap inside. The power supply is a Korby one so I have a feeling it's one of his mods. But haven't been able to get a reply from him yet.
Low serial number as well in the 2000's. The head serial is off by 3 numbers from the body serial.
Excited to give it a listen and hopefully one of the good ones.
Last edited by soundeq; 10th December 2015 at 06:39 AM..
Yeah the price was so low I took a chance. Fingers crossed. I've tried reaching out to Tracy Korby to see if he had records of working on it but apparently he's a hard guy to track down ;-). Owner doesn't know much about it.
I own a UM57 for some years.
Never managed to make it work for vocals.
However, it works wonders for cello, some acoustic guitars and mono room / drum mic.
It certainly isn't an all-arounder but I am a pretty happy owner.
I think the capsule is the only thing it has in common with a u47. The UM57 has some weird stuff in the midrange that may, or may not, work for you. The high end is very mellow, which might be good or bad. Many people bring up the CMV563 as a better option. The CMV certainly is better balanced and has the capsule options. It certainly looks cool too! The only way to know which is right for you is to try it out. If you aren't able to try it, just keep in mind it's not very flexible.... but can work well on some things if you give it a chance.
Also, I have noticed it has slowly gained more attention through the years. I think this is because the "classics" have all become so crazy expensive that people are starting to look at less popular vintage models. I know 10 years ago a UM 57 was trash. Now, it is more respected.
Weird midrange? Only if there something wrong with it IMO. It's considerably thinner than CMV when set on cardiod, though in a cool way. Fig8 on UM57 is much more useful than M8 capsule on CMV. Omni is my favourite on UM57 (the most flat sounding setting), great for rooms. M55k (omni) capsule on CMV563 is very very bright on axis and surprisingly neutral around 90 degrees... not really comparable to UM57 in omni. So in many ways it's really different mic than CMV. One good app for it is to be the S mic in MS (if you want to stay in old gefell sound).