Skip to main content

Hi Fletcher, and everyone,

Anyone know what the differences are between these two mics?
I know the 193 is cardioid only and the U87 is multi.
What are the differences/similarities in design (I assume single v. dual diaphragm? capsule? electronics?) and sonic signature.

Thanks in advance...


Guest Wed, 04/04/2001 - 04:39

Actually, while we're Neumann dealers, I don't believe we offer that particular turd for sale. I know I've talked several clients out of getting one over the years, and would probably send them somewhere else to purchase one if they insisted on getting one.

The problem lies in the 'unconditional return policy'...see, they're not going to be happy with the mic, so it's going to be returned. When it's returned, it's not like we'd ever use it, nor would we sell it to anyone it would be an entirely wasted investment.

We tend to piss on our shoes as infrequently as possible...though it's not always possible.

osmuir Wed, 04/04/2001 - 07:37

i'm just bitter because i have one. not bad on some things, but frequently gets its ass kicked.

ah, price constraints.

is the TLM 103 that much better in yr estimation fletcher? i a/bed on some acoustic guitar a while back, and the 193 was ok. just not great, i'll grant you.

better mic in its price range?

anonymous Sun, 04/08/2001 - 02:57

From experience I've found the 89 to be an expensive tom mic. The only other use was Steve Perry liked it on his vocal. It's what he used for the vocals on "Missing You," which was the single off his solo album.

I've never found an application for the 193 that some other mic couldn't do better. As far as that goes, I was in a studio in SF that had one and the vocalist, hard rock stuff, wanted to try the 193. We set it up, ran it through four different mic pres but couldn't "ring the bell."

As with most of us, I carry a few mics with me to sessions. I hated that 193 so bad that I told him my used $50 EV ND257 could eat the 193's lunch. Set it up and through the first pre it kicked complete and total ass on the 193. :cool:

PS Forgot to mention the U87(any). I sold my last one six or so years ago and have +never+ regretted it. I find it to be a boring mic that costs too much for what it does.

Guest Sun, 04/08/2001 - 04:51 my twisted little world...the 103 eats the 193 for breakfast and shits the little fucker out before lunch.

I don't know what was going through their minds when they came out with the 193...but those kinda dumbass thoughts have gotten their little country in trouble before.

The 193 could suck worse...I just don't know how. [ always, YMMV]

Dan Popp Sun, 04/08/2001 - 06:37

I think the 193 was one of Neumann's least popular mics, despite the price. The '87 just has "something" - character, presence, whatever - that the U89, TLM 170 and '193 don't.

Re: Tonebarge's comment, the U87 is a lackluster mic "out of the box," just A/B'ing it against others - but if you have access to some decent EQ, you can easily shape the '87 to be a lot of different things. It's quiet and not grainy, so HF boost is not a problem.

Of course, the best thing I've found is to send it to Stephen Paul and tell him to do his magic on it. :)

Dan Popp
Colors Audio

anonymous Tue, 04/10/2001 - 19:37

Yup. I agree, but using EQ to tape is a time waster and vibe killer for a vocalist (in my world). And using EQ for the mix to correct a mic is a crap shoot. Over the years I find myself using less and less EQ and looking more to the recording chain to give what is desired.

In fairness I would have to say that the one positive experience I've had with the 87 is its resale. If one purchases an 87 used and in decent shape they can reasonably expect to recoup their money when they resell it.

A bit like a Mercedes. Not the greatest thing in the world but it holds its value :^)

:cool: TB

George Matthews Mon, 01/23/2017 - 01:03

The Neumann U87 AI in my opinion is a much better microphone, all though the TLM193 is still a great microphone and has rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 from most sellers it does lack a variety of features that the U87 AI makes up for including:

  • Pressure gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
  • Three directional characteristics: Omni, cardioid, figure-8
  • Switchable low-frequency roll-off
  • Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation
  • Ideal as main and as support microphone in the most differing recording situations
  • Advanced Output Circuitry – Although the microphone features the original capsule, the U 87 AI Mt features improved output electronics that provide higher sensitivity and improved signal-to-noise ratio

While the TLM193's features are:

  • Large diaphragm cardioid microphone
  • Pressure-gradient transducer
  • Transformerless circuitry
  • Extremely low noise: 10 dB (A)
  • Includes swivel mount
  • The "plug and play" microphone for professional studios, musicians and home recording applications
  • High-quality professional equipment for mid-size budgets

Two features of the Neumann U87 AI which have been a really great for me have been the Switchable low-frequency roll off and the Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation switch which are great for obvious reasons among fellow engineers, but overall the U87 AI for me has been a much more diverse microphone having used it in a variety of set-ups ranging from vocals, room, 5 piece orchestras, and acoustic guitars.

I've written up a short review of the U87 AI that may interest you all -