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Neumann U 87, U 47 for vocals

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by audiokid, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What 3 vocal ranges, or an all in one Neumann mic would be your first choice for just vocals and what pre(s) would you choose?

    U87 seems to be the standard but maybe there is a better choice. I'm not going to be using it for kick etc.
    U47 valve sounds amazing and expensive. hmm, my lust for mics... :tongue:

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You cannot go wrong with a U87. I have an older one and would not trade it for almost anything else. It has been restored to original German specs by Klaus Heyne. It works for anything. I would also check out the Bock 251. An incredible mic for vocals.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good to know Dave. Ohh that Bock 251 looks beautiful. I have a Soundelux e250, its similar yes?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yes. Its the little sister mic of that model.
  5. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I have an ever-growing collection of good mics (and ever-shrinking wallet!). My U87 is by far the most versatile, but it truly shines on vocals of all ranges. I run it through an Avalon 737 with a tough of compression and... WOW! Head & shoulders above my TLM 103, or my C-414 on most vocals. Also used it on stand-up bass, cello, and fiddle with great results. It's the one mic in my collection that I would not want to do without!

  6. natural

    natural Active Member

    On occasion when I would have 2 vocalists I would set them up on opposite sides of the room, one on the U87 the other on the U47 (fet) Generally, the quality was very similar, but the bigger difference was that the room rejection was greater on the U47 (hyper cardioid). So, in a less than stellar room, you might opt for the U47.
  7. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    In terms of tenor of vocals....wait. If a vocalist is a tenor, but you can also say the tenor of somebody's vocals is bass, baritone, etc - is it spelt the same way? From dictionary.com - 5. quality, character, or condition. So yeah I guess it is!

    Anyway, for clear bell-like vocals I like my U87ai. So we default to it in a hurried job for women, folk singers, or anything trilly and poppy. If I want a bit more grit I sometimes use a Rode K2, a SMb or my new toy, a Heil PR40, or a 58 for the real screamers. So I can't really answer in terms of the range or altitude of vocals, and I don't own a 47. But I tend to grade from pure to gritty and mic on that basis.
  8. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Same thing, here...
    I don't own a 47 but if you go with the u87, you won't be disappointed....
    I do everything with that one (or half of everything)......
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have 87Ai, what I love about it is it is not hyped like say Rode Nt2. Its almost mellow in comparsion. It works well on everything. On Vocals I always give it a try, 6 times out of ten its stays up.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I was going to ask what the difference between a Neumann u87ai and u87 and found this link"
    Neumann Models U87 and U87 Ai

    Dave, when you say the soundelux e250 is the little sister to David Bock 251, have you compared this (e250) or a 251 with a u87?

    I haven't looked for reviews on the e250 since I got it 6 years ago. I see why I am looking for a more velvety sound for me. The e250 may be better suited for female vocals.

    Thanks everyone.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    audiokid - Thanks for that link. While I've heard a lot of people who like the vintage mics more, it seems as if most feel that the current incarnation U87Ai is worthy of the line. Am I reading that right?

    About buying strategy - Everyone is showing the same advertised price: $3,400 USD with the shock. Do any of them move from that for a new mic? What's the real street price? I'd have to know the person I was buying from to buy used. This seems like am obvious counterfeit candidate.

    How about rentals? If I want to rent one for a week or two this summer, what is a good rental outfit? What are the going rates?
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Bob,
    I think so. But there are always other who think the knockoffs or clones are just as good.

    I think once you open your wallet up, something should drop but you won't know that in public. That is MAP. I would shop around. The U87 Anniversary Set looks perfect for me. :tongue:

  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    And that is probably where I'll end up going. You would expect that high quality clones would be good mics. It's not like this is super secret high tech. I'm not in a situation where the marketing value of the real thing will bring me enough business to justify the extra cost - at least in the short term.
    Looks damned near perfect period. I'll give this to Neumann. Their stuff is well made and pretty.
  14. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Dave - how much did your restoration by Klaus Heyne cost you?

    I was checking out the prices of tube U-67s on Ebay and they have shot up to $6250-7000. I bought mine in 1981 (used) for $1250 and thought I overpaid. I have told people before that if you have the money it is worthwhile to invest in collectable mics - they do go up in value and you get to use the mic while you own it.

    The only downside is that they just took a big leap in value (they were going for about $3900 for a decade), so it might be awhile before they appreciate again. On the other hand, sometimes things like this "catch fire" and get more valuable all the time.

    Audio gear is one of the few things where you can actually own something, use it and make money when you sell it. I think that's a really good deal.
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think that the Bock as well as the Soundelux mics get closer to that Neumann 'sheen' than anything else in this price range. If you want precision and extreme sensitivity then perhaps a Manley Reference mic or a Sony 800,a Brauner or something in that category would be a good selection. The Bock i heard was incredibly dynamic and would be a joy to use on a singer with a lot of range of emotions and knew how to work the mic well.

    The thing I like the most about the 87 is its ability to sound great with any mic pre. If you want ONLY the sound of the mic, then its a 'clean' pre that doesnt add artifacts of its own, or if its grit and grunt you seek than something you can drive a tube into that smooth distortion while retaining the clarity is what you want. Because of its already high-end response and quality output, the 87 doesnt limit your choices on either end.

    It is the most versatile mic on the planet. This only my opinion and should only be taken at its value. Of course, theres a lot of others who will most certainly agree with this and the previous posts will testify to it somewhat.

    No matter what the session, i will always put my 87 up first. It doesnt always stay, but 6 out of 10 is a good number for its likelyhood of being the go-to on any voice.

    It certainly pays for itself every time I hear it.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I'm all about any quality clone mic that can be found. At first listen, I do belive you can get the Neumann quality with something at a third the retail, but I will tell you that after a while, you will start to notice small things in the overall makeup of the sound that will bug you. Its probably not going to be something you'll notice unless you have an 87 to compare it with and many many people will never hear the difference. Certainly not the purchaser of a CD or a listener on an iPod.

    As recordists, engineers, producers, mixers, etc. it all about the ease of the job. Better gear certainly cuts down on the time you have to spend tweeking something to perfection.Th ability to attain a great sound or a mix isnt limited by the price of the gear and I have been an advocate of this approach for years. You CAN do it without the huge pricetag. The difference will be in time spent. Some projects will allow for this. Since I am currently producing all the artists I get involved with, we dont really have a clock to worry about. But for those who do things on an hourly basis, the better gear will help you simply in cutting down the time spent in achieving that 'perfect' sound.

    My point is, having a Neumann type of clone will get you there as far as an initial listen, but eventually you're going to hear things and the desire to get a Neumann will begin again. There is 'something' about them. I certainly do not know what it is, but it IS something.

    To cruisemates.....contact Klaus. I have an agreement with him not to reveal the price he charged me. I am local to him so I saved a lot in shipping and such. He is the BEST. If you have a tube 67 and you want it to be perfect, he's your guy. Understand that mine is NOT modded, he simply cleaned it and restored things to the proper specs. And it is a smooth detailed warm beautiful sounding mic. And worth every penny I have into it!
  17. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    U 87s are in my arsenal, as well. It was my most used mic for acoustic recordings and vox for many years. 3 years ago I
    bought a Brauner VM and for a wide area of applications this is my new go-to mic. But I would not sell any of my Neumanns.
    They are just too valuable and just too versatile to be dismissed.
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Why not be a sly devil and go with the new U 67? Less money than the 87 since the componentry count is less and it is transformer less unlike the 87. My 87's are from around 1971. So original issue. Just try to find those batteries though? Or an XLR with a switch built-in. I could never see that little meter very easily through the case. Thank God for Phantom. I went to see that," Phantom of the Power". My favorite opera.

    Gap scattered thought process
    Mx. Remy Ann David
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