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Vintage vs. Ai 87 500 Series Preamps
Old 4 days ago
  #1
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Sigma's Avatar
Vintage vs. Ai 87

So I picked up a 87 ai in the 60k serial number range..I popped it thru vp28 to test it..at a 4 inches and cardiod it was fat of course but it didn't emit that 600-1.8 "cab forward" of the late 60-70's 87's ..personally I found it more pleasing but not refletive of the original...other opinions?
Old 4 days ago
  #2
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

i have personally found them to be somewhat similar other than the headroom issues...

however, the 4 battery pack 87's we have all sound fairly different... age, abuse, etc. you know the story

i could make a recording with either
Old 4 days ago
  #3
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

The ai's have a "bite" that the older ones don't, and on some things I kinda like it.
Old 4 days ago
  #4
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I like both for different things. We have an old one which distorts on anything remotely loud but it’s brilliant on acoustic guitars and instruments or voiceover. The new ones sound really great for pop vocals into a tube pre and around a drum set.
Old 4 days ago
  #5
The vintage is more balanced. Not that annoying mid peak around 3k and isn't to thick around 400hz which is my main complaint about the AI.

Both are usable but not awesome if you got some other highend mics to chose from you'd probably reach for those first
Old 4 days ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

The Neumann spec for that capsule is +-2db at any given freq. that’s a 4 db variance to be in spec, so some will certainly be brighter/fatter/thinner/peakier than others....
Old 4 days ago
  #7
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
i have read that there are internal circuitry differences between the 2.

the old original 87s, are supposed to have a section of circuit, which negatively attenuates the high frequencies slightly.

the newer Ai lacks that circuit, and is therefore brighter. according to what i have read.

a technician would be able to give details

i only have the old genuine 87s here, so i can't accurately comment on the new Ai.

someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this circuitry business.

thanks Buddha
Old 3 days ago
  #8
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Sigma's Avatar
I think they derive fig 8 differently and there are a few circuit changes..plus lol I'm old..I was like where are the battery slots...yeah I heard the 400 and like it rather take it out than have a hole there in the first place
Old 3 days ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
So I picked up a 87 ai in the 60k serial number range..I popped it thru vp28 to test it..at a 4 inches and cardiod it was fat of course but it didn't emit that 600-1.8 "cab forward" of the late 60-70's 87's ..personally I found it more pleasing but not refletive of the original...other opinions?

Its nothing like the original, electrically. The U87Ai has an increased capsule polarization voltage, no negative feedback capacitor, and a different way of connecting the capsule to the rest of the circuit. All of those modifications add up to 11dB more sensitivity at the capsule, which translates to 6dB more output. The added sensitivity makes the U87Ai easier to drive into distortion.

I own both. Just have to watch what you point it at. Both are great mics, with a wide range of uses. If I could only have 1 mic, the U87 would be it...
Old 3 days ago
  #10
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kennybro's Avatar
I like both
Old 3 days ago
  #11
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Other things being equal, I like the sound of the U87i better on its own-more mellow. I realize pairing the AI with an excellent pre, (like Mike T's) helps immensely.

Plus the sonic association with voices like Karen Caprenter's, doesn't hurt either!

Chris
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