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a substitute for my U87 wich I am giving back Condenser Microphones
Old 11th May 2009
  #1
a substitute for my U87 wich I am giving back

Hello,

I know it is a typical subject but reading through the threads hasn t really help me out.
I already own some decent gears :

Mike :
Peluso 2247le
aea r84
sennheiser 509
akg c460
Electrovoice re10
Shure sm58 and 57
Neumann ksm 105

Preamp :
Api 512c
Vintage design 581
SPL channel one
Schlumberger

then it goes to a Fireface Rme 800

I have borrowed a U87 neumann from a friend for the last 2 years and I really love it because it works for me on almost everything especially on folk and nylon guitars, singing voice and voice overs ... so it goes fast to set it up (wich I need).
All the mikes I have, even if they are pretty good, really don t have the flexibility and the "hi-fi style" of the u87.
I unfortunatelly have to give it back but I think it is really overpriced so I was wondering if anybody knew a mike that could subsitute it and be a good feature with the others I have already.

Thanx a lot in advance.

Ben
Old 11th May 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

what is your budget on the mic?
Old 11th May 2009
  #3
Hi,

I would like to put around 1000 or 1200$ max ...
Old 11th May 2009
  #4
Gear Head
 

I've used the CHARTER OAK SA538 on vocals and loved it.

Excellent price too.

Charter Oak
Old 11th May 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Well, you might actually be able to track down a 2nd-hand U87 for your sort of budget. If you really like the sound of it and you know it works anything else may not measure up to what your ears tell you you like.

That said, the Microtech Gefell M930 is an excellent LDC for around your budget - not really an identical U87 drop-in replacement sonically but a very good mic in it's own right and works well on a range of sources.
Old 11th May 2009
  #6
thanx a lot for your advices --- have you ever used a Brauner Phantom Classic or a "cheap" Akg C214 ?

I found once a website with a lot of recording samples through different microphones and preamp but can t find it anymore --- do you know any ? that would help a lot to hear ...
Old 11th May 2009
  #7
Old 11th May 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Some guys are fond of the Soundelux U195 as a sub for the U87. Currently, I am using a Beesneez Jade for my vocal work and a lot of U87 applications and I like it a lot but I wouldn't say it sounds like a U87 other than the fact that it has common characteristics of most LDCs.
Old 11th May 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Teddy Ray's Avatar
 

I detest the Sounddelux 195, personally... bright and etched sounding, but to each his own.

A great all arounder is the Gefell umt70(they pop up used from time to time)

and as suggested, the Gefell m930.

Audio Technica 4050 is another great microphone that will work on everything..
Old 11th May 2009
  #10
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

No microphone has the flexibility of a good U87 in the condenser world.... if you were really happy with the 87, you should try to get another.

Otherwise... Just from looking at your current mic list, I would say get a Peluso P12 to get a complimentary flavor... but, it will not sound like a U87. What it will do is give you a brighter counterpart to your 47 LE and R84, etc.
Old 12th May 2009
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
A great all arounder is the Gefell umt70
Let me reiterate this statement in my best Yoda impersonation.

$1200..if-budget-is...than-dough-you-should-save...for-try-this-microphone-you-must.

If you don't want to come up with another 300 large, and only need cardioid, than there is the MT71, which hammers in at the almost the same cost as the M930.
Old 12th May 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

hifi style means scooped mids
this is not a good choice for a one and only mic imo
better get 3 normal buget good mics than one expensive special
every voice is different, you need to have the ability to choose from different mics
Old 12th May 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post

$1200..if-budget-is...than-dough-you-should-save...for-try-this-microphone-you-must.
Would you think the original if you can get hold of one second hand is a better bet than the newer UMT70S?

Steve
Old 12th May 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benhunk View Post
thanx a lot for your advices --- have you ever used a Brauner Phantom Classic or a "cheap" Akg C214 ?

I found once a website with a lot of recording samples through different microphones and preamp but can t find it anymore --- do you know any ? that would help a lot to hear ...
The Brauner Phantom is a lovely mic. I've got the AE edition. It is quite bright and airy which works very well on some people but not so well on sibilant voices. I wrote a review of it here complete with audio samples Forum - SOUND ON SOUND : User Reports

Despite loving the mic I'm actually thinking about selling it. We are saving a deposit for a house and I might be forced to downgrade to something a bit cheaper!
Old 12th May 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
I recently had my hands on a Peluso 22 251 for a few days and thought it was really great. Used it mostly for vocals, also got a really great acoustic guitar sound with it. The 9-position pickup pattern is really handy.. It seems a pretty great value with a street price around US$1200, find one used for less. No pad or highpass tho, not as versatile if you plan on using on drums. Might be too similar to your 22 47 tho?

I've gotten kind of picky with vocals, I love the U87 on some voices, but hate it on others. I work with one singer who sounds dynamite on an M147, but I haven't really liked that mic on any other voice.
Old 12th May 2009
  #16
teo
Lives for gear
 
teo's Avatar
 

Although for me is a great allround mic, and really a must have, I would say the 414 is non at all similar to the U87...
Old 12th May 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
I own two Violet Design Amethyst Vintage...they sound terribly close to an 87..maybe that's just me..
Btw I'm very happy with them. If you could give them a try and let me know if it's similar to you too..

If you really like the U87..save thge money and get the real (maybe vintage) one, just because the U87 sound comes from that capsule, that basket design and that electronics...

hope this helps,

Bests,

Cheu
Old 12th May 2009
  #18
Hello,

thanx a lot for all those advices ... I know it will also help others.

The gefell and the Violet Design Amethyst Vintage came many times as really great versatile microphones but I can t get my hand on them here in Copenhagen unfortunatelly. I can buy them but not try them out.

I really don t understand why people doesn t really dig the u87 here. I just did a session again recording a Martin HD28 this morning and the U 87 sounds much better than my peluso or the Akg without a doubt !
I might not take any risk and save money to go to the real one !
A shame I can t test the others though.
Old 12th May 2009
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
Would you think the original if you can get hold of one second hand is a better bet than the newer UMT70S?

Steve
Can't say for sure what is a better bet for you? Here the differences that I can see.

1) Buy a Used UM70s with a questionably aged Capsule [??], still with original electronics [??] and Transformer, no warranty, no return policy and without support of your purchase. [Unless you buy from a place that deals in used equipment, but I take: "second hand" to mean Evil Bay]

2) Buy a Newly manufactured MTG UMT70s with a Newly manufactured Capsule, without a Transformer, with a warranty, and a dealers after sale support behind your purchase.

I dunno, whaddya think?
Old 12th May 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benhunk View Post
All the mikes I have, even if they are pretty good, really don t have the flexibility and the "hi-fi style" of the u87.

Hey Ben.

Ya know, I think the answer to your questions is kinda right there in front of your face. Searching for a cheaper solution, though it's just barely possible there's one out there (I like my UM70 a lot, for instance, and it's definitely hi-fi), has brought you to this pass -- you're just not getting the same quality and connection to the sounds you record with lesser alternatives. Seems to me that looking for a cheaper solution is simply going to leave you unsatisfied, as it has till now.

So bite the bullet, save up just a wee bit more money, and get a U87. You can find a used one for around 1500, if you're patient.

I really don't think you want to settle in this area.

As for gearsluts bashing the 87 -- let 'em. I absolutely frakkin' ADORE mine, and it's the much-feared ai version, one from the mid-90s (the difference between the "vintage" and the ai -- wildly exaggerated -- is such a tenacious and persistent internet myth that it's almost futile to fight it heh). But I unquestionably, unequivocally, ADORE it.

The 87 can be a mismatch for certain voices, so I can see where the antipathy comes from, but in my world (to borrow Fletcher's phrase), it's a fantastic, dependable tool that gives me tracks I don't wind up frowning at.

Go with your gut in this, Daddy-O.


Cheers.

Old 12th May 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
drmmrboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benhunk View Post
Hi,

I would like to put around 1000 or 1200$ max ...
3 - 5 more beans could get you a used 87....
At least you'll know that mic will sound like an, umm, 87..
Old 12th May 2009
  #22
Gear Head
 
Withnail's Avatar
 

Microtech Gefell UM70s.
Awesome mic!

/Richard
Old 12th May 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
If the U-87 works that well for you then I'd say don't waste time, start working extra hard and saving up to buy this mic.

One very nice thing about the U-87, if you get a good one, take care of it, keep it in nice shape, it will reward you with something few of the other mics offer, resale value! Serious resale value.

The U-87 is not my favorite mic in my locker but it's great for somethings and can be magic at times, at other times, it sounds a lot like my $79 MXL 2001, it depends a lot on the source and where the mic is.

Be sure that the U-87 you've been using is not degraded or special, will a new one sound like what you've come to know and love?

Get what you want, then, go forth and make killer recordings. All the best to you in your quest.
Old 12th May 2009
  #24
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

You're one of the few slutz that has spent time with the one thing he wants, a U87 apparently. Don't mess around, buy a U87 (hear it first though, it may sound different!).

War
Old 12th May 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Alex Specht's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teo View Post
Although for me is a great allround mic, and really a must have, I would say the 414 is non at all similar to the U87...
Why not?

I think it is a good all around mic.

I have used both in sessions and the 414 live on strings, though not extensively.

Granted the U87 is incredible, I think the 414 is very versitile, though not as good for Vox. However from reading the MIX review of the new 414 XL II it has a 3db boost in the upper range which may make it a better choice than previous models for vox.

I think both mics are extreemly overpriced though, considering, but if you have the name and the patents why not make the profits. I just dont see how the list price for an 87 doubled over ten years?!?!?
Old 12th May 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
I also have the ai and have only a couple complaints (that I doubt are specific to the ai, but i wonder...):

- I don't like it on certain voices. But I doubt there's a single mic that's going to work on all voices.

- I do find the off-axis coloration of my 87 to be pretty ugly sounding in some uses. I *love* 87 on acoustic guitar, but won't use it if the artist is singing at the same time, any vocal bleed sounds completely horrendous. Tho I have had better luck in that situation using figure of 8 and pointing the null right at the singers head, working in a super-dead gobo-cave.

Good looks on the resale value comment, that's very true.

A 414 couldn't be less similar to an 87. I'd try a 58 on a voice before trying a 414.

I find myself using the 87 on kick a lot recently. Pretty awesome. pad engaged, about 1.5 feet away, nowhere near the port, in front of the drum, but pointed at a slight angle right at the shell, popscreen 3" off the capsule just to be really careful... Outrageously good sounds.
Old 12th May 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Larry Villella's Avatar
I was a big fan of U-87's when I first started recording analog tape.

When digital came along, the U-47 and U-67 became my personal preferences.


Alternatively - for around $1200 you could have a Custom TC-251Au
and for around $1000 we have seven other custom Mics in the four
Primary Colors (Variations on the Historic Curves). If you like the
German Colors - the TC-47 or TC-67. If you prefer Austrian - TC-12 or
TC-251. There are Four FET's use the same aerospace capsule technology.


Ironically, it's the Vienna II-Au covers the same applications-set as a U-87!

Best of Luck in your search for a new mic!


Larry Villella, ADK)))

adkmic.com
myspace.com/adkmic
E - [email protected]
Old 13th May 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
Give up.

An old U87i is a fab mic. I've not used any current productions that come close. Larry, feel free to send me some of your latest to change my mind.

I've never heard a direct replacement. Including newer 87AIs. However, I will point out that one of the closest has been mentioned--the Gefell UMx7x line. However, I want to mention that, IMO, the new ones just don't come that close to the old ones. You want to hear an overpriced mic? A UMT7x. If you could get the multipattern for $1k, I'd like it. But, at closer to double that? Absurd. It lacks magic all together. The old ones are magic...but, as someone who currently has his in the shop, they are old at this point, and very susceptible to moisture/dirt. YMMV.
Old 13th May 2009
  #29
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
No microphone has the flexibility of a good U87 in the condenser world.... if you were really happy with the 87, you should try to get another.
Agreed. If you're lucky enough to find a mic that really works for you, and it's as inexpensive as an 87, BUY IT!!!!!

Why mess with alternative shortcuts. The 87 is not all that much more than $1200. Just get it. It will hold it's value forever as well. Money well spent IMO.
Old 13th May 2009
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Larry Villella's Avatar
Exactly why I got into building mics 12 years ago.

Because my Vintage Neumanns sounded so much
better than the new models. If the U-87 is the
holy-grail of mics for anyone, then that's great!

I'll take a Gefel any day. Or ADK Custom-Shop Gear.

But it's what your ears want to hear that matters!!

Over the years, certain products become the industry standard.

Yamaha C-7. Neumann U-87. AKG 414.

For the contrarians, there is Steinway, Bosendorfer, Gefel, Shoeps, etc.

It's good to have bench-marks. Even better to try to break them!!!

Cheers!

Larry V / ADK)))
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