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Hi, I have an AKG C414 and I was considering selling it to buy a Neumann U87. I record Hip Hop and Mostly RnB and I use my Mics with an Avalon 737 sp.
1. would you recommend the U87 for RnB vocals or is there a better mic for this purpose in the same price range.
2. Do you think the difference between the AKG c414 and the U87 both plugged to the Avalon is that big? does it worth the money difference?
3. Does Mic modeler do a good job transforming a C414 into a u87?
Thanks a lot


John Stafford Tue, 02/08/2005 - 02:18

Mic modelling doesn't really work very well, other than to give a different colout to the mics that you already have. You won't get a U87 from a C414.

I love the U87 and Avalon combination for pop vocals, although I don't own either unit, so my experience is limited.

It's a difficult choice to make between the two mics, but in terms of sound quality, the U87 and C414 are equals. You might happen to prefer the 87 with your Avalon, but would it be possible for you to keep your 414 if you buy the 87? The reason I mention this is that with the launch of the new version of the 414, second-hand prices can be quite low.

John Stafford

johnwy Tue, 02/08/2005 - 04:53

I usually go with the u87........great combo with the avalon 737............I have recorded more rap/hip hop/r&b vocals on an 87 than anything else.....that is unless you can afford a vintage akg c12, Neumann u67, u47, or a telefunken elam 251 (hey, who doesn't want to own an $18k microphone?)

I never used these mic modelers because I have always had the real deal available to me and frankly I am a skeptic to them.

...and if you can try to keep your 414 like Mr. Stafford can never have too many microphones, i always say!

Guest Wed, 02/09/2005 - 07:22

Hip-hop vocals... I'd probably recommend a Shure SM-7. What I usually look for when recording hip-hop vocals is good articulation of the words with a mic that isn't too picky about the relationship of the vocalist to the micrphone [or will allow the vocalist to use the mic handheld if that gives them a platform for a better performance].

The Shure SM-7 has great detail, allows the singer to move around, and is internally shockmounted should the vocalist want to use it in a handheld manner.

Sorry to burst your bubble Kurt... I'm just not a big fan of condenser mics for hip-hop vocals... and in general not a fan of U87's nor 414's .


Guest Thu, 02/10/2005 - 06:36

If I were to recommend a Manley I would recommend the Gold Reference series with the capsule made by Josephson Engineering... though I would rarely recommend one of those mics as the Horch RM2J is [IMNTLBFHO] deeper, richer, and clearer sounding [for about the same $$$ +/-3db].

For R&B stuff I would most likely recommend a lg. diaphragm condenser mic [but never the AKG C-12 VR... an AKG C-12 maybe, but not the 'Very Rotten' edition]. It all depends on the voice, the sonic character of the other tracks involved in the presentation and the overall goals vis a vis tone/texture you have for the presentation.

I would never presume to suggest a firm signal path without hearing a whole lot more of the specifics... and who knows, with the right singer and the right arrangement, the Shure SM-7b may still be the vocal mic of choice... those things are often very capable of providing great surprises. They are really excellent tools in a whole slew of applications.


Guest Thu, 02/10/2005 - 11:00

In some applications I'm sure they sound fine... I've just never encountered one of those applications. One of the largest problems the mic has is that it's called the C-12 VR... but has none of the depth of a real C-12; none of the opulence of a real C-12; none of the air, 3rd dimension, nor 'intimacy' of a real C-12.

The body looks similar [except for the hideous color scream] to that of a real C-12, but the audio does not support this contention.

TeddyG Fri, 02/11/2005 - 06:01

Fletcher. How does the SM-7 compare to the RE-20 and Senheiser 421, in such application, or for general VO?

And, if handheld is the preferred method, are there any "actual" hand held mics that would do a really good job? All of the above would seem rather "large", even if "usable"....

Also I wonder about the above mics abilities to reject "hand-holding" noises...

Actually, I question using any of them without a really good external shock mount? They all say they are "internally damped", but all I have used have benefitted from their respective spider mounts... What say?

Teddy G.

anonymous Fri, 02/11/2005 - 12:44

MakoBlink wrote: soo, back on topic what is the sound quality difference between the c414 and u87? are they comparable?

yes!!! thank you!:) lol
Sjould I get the u87 or stick with my akg c414 for RnB male vocal? if none of these two any better suggestions in the same price range? I'm curious to know what USher, justin timberlake,etc... record on.

anonymous Sat, 02/12/2005 - 00:49

MakoBlink wrote: soo, back on topic what is the sound quality difference between the c414 and u87? are they comparable?


I've directly compared these two mics and the u87 is the outright winner for vocals. The u87 sounds round and smooth whereas the 414 sounds trebley and brittle. I personaly wouldn't use the 414 for vocals in any genre.



anonymous Sat, 02/12/2005 - 13:09

Jan Folkson wrote: [quote=Kurt Foster]Who are you asking ... ?

I recommend the C12VR into an Avalon 737, mostly because it the standard go to for hip hop R&B ..

Perhaps that's true "Somewhere Between The Desert and The Left Coast", but not here in NYC. That would be the Sony C800G into the 737.
I know for a fact that 50 cent recorded his hit "in da club" on a Sony C800g plug to neve 1073 preamp and compressed with avalon 737 but I'm not sure the sony would be the best for RNB!? not shure though I never tried it. I tried the u87 and I find it a bit muffled compaire to my akg maybe a good thing maybe not...

anonymous Sat, 02/12/2005 - 22:41

I agree wit kurt foster mickael. the c12vr sounds great with the 737 but it does cost you around 3 to 5 grand on ebay brand new. I have the 414 myself and go to my partners house where he has the 737 and u87 and my opinion i like the u87 over the 414 but.... remeber i think MY voice sounds better with it... Yours might sound different.... so all depends on the person. I do hiphop and r&b and many like the u87 but almost if not everyone likes that akg c12vr with the 737 preamp..