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Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone, 3 Directional - Nickel
|Price:||$3,199.95 & FREE Shipping|
- 3 selectable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-810dB attenuation switch127dB SPL handling 20Hz to 20kHz response Impedance rated at 200 ohms.
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Arguably the best known and most widely used studio microphone in the world (for good reason), the easy-to-recognize U 87 is a classic! A distinctive design and mythical Neumann sound make this microphone a must-have for pro studios. The U 87 is known for its one-of-a-kind frequency and transient response characteristics which deliver a smooth natural sound with a bunch of source material.
Top Customer Reviews
BUT. I purchased this mic with shock mount for a pretty much unheard of deal of $1399 used in good condition. I would hesitate to buy this for full price. Honestly, I probably wouldn't spend more than about $2000-$2100 on this mic. Not that I think it isn't worth the price, I just know that prices go up exponentially when you reach the upper echelons of quality. Does the mic live up to its reputation? In my opinion yes. It really is good, don't kid yourself. My advice would be to buy a used one and save a good chunk of change.
Also, you better have a good preamp and a decent room to record it in, otherwise it will show and won't sound as good as it ought to. This is not a beginner's mic. Get good analog preamps first and a good room/booth to match. I'm using a 4-710d with a host of UAD plug-ins like the 1176 and Pultec EQ and it sounds amazing. I would like to pick up a vintage Neve 1081 but that'll run into the 5 figures for a pair. As long as your preamp is professional quality it should do the trick.
TL;DR it's amazing but there's no good reason to pay for a new one when a decent or better condition used unit sounds the same.
PACKAGING: Not really too much to say about the packaging. It’s standard Neumann. It comes in a paper box but within that paper box, is a hard wood box with heavy foam to keep the microphone protected. Feeling the foam, you don’t feel like the microphone was in any danger during shipping.
BUILD: The microphone is very well built. It feels like a tank. It has a good bit of heft to it so when you hold it, it has a solidness to it. Doesn’t feel cheap in the slightest. The grill is nice and even, and the solders are smooth and you don’t even know they’re there. Smooth paint, and overall slick looking piece of equipment.
SOUND: Finally, I get to it. How does it sound? Well, it sounds like a Neumann u87. If you don’t recognize this sound, I’ll try and explain it. It sounds as if the microphone has a sweater on it. Really warm vocals and drums and whatnot. Now, this sound described in layman terms, I’d say some would call “muffled” or “dark.” Thing is, this microphone is made to bring out the warmth in sounds, especially vocals. What makes this microphone different than the clones out there, is how it is affected by EQ. It takes EQ remarkably well, so well that you can literally make it sound like a completely different microphone and it won’t introduce unwanted characteristics into the sound. With imitations, when you EQ them, they tend to show undesirable qualities like being harsh on the top-end and distorting easily. The Neumann does not do that. You could get a warm sound, or a razor sharp and clean sound with this.
USE: You need 48V phantom power for this microphone as it’s a condenser and not a tube condenser so it doesn’t come with it’s own power supply. Most interfaces have phantom power though so that’s not really a problem.
OVERALL: This is a good microphone for a variety of different music types. It doesn’t really have something it’s best at, it’s more so good at everything. I currently use a Telefunken 251 to record my vocals and I wouldn’t be upset if I had to go back to the u87. I’ve used this microphone for rap, r&b, and pop, and it’s sounded amazing in each genre. If you are just getting into music, this may be too big of a purchase for you right now, but if you’ve been doing it a while and you think you’re ready for an upgrade that you won’t need to upgrade for years to come, this is the microphone to get.
It comes boxed in a beautiful rosewood box. It rests perfectly in the foam shaped to fit the microphone inside the box. This and the AKGC414, in my opinion, is the most well packaged microphone on the market, and I would have no reservations about having it shipped. Rest assured it will arrive safe and sound.
Now, on to the microphone. This microphone is simply the best microphone available. It is a classic microphone and has been used for decades in countless hit records. It is one of my most valued tools in my studio, and any studio I visit, I expect them to have it. The signal is perhaps one of the cleanest signals I've ever heard. Its amazing, and produces the highest quality audio I have ever seen. The U87 and the AKGC414 are my two favorite microphones. It doesn't necessarily "blow the competition out of the water", but it is a noticeable upgrade from the C414. I think this is the best investment I have made in my studio besides my Avalon vt 737sp. I have never had such ease at mastering projects before the U87. It brings out the full character of the voice you are looking to record. It is ideal for nearly any recording situation, close miking a vocalist, or even recording an entire orchestra ensemble: this microphone truly delivers. Even though it only has 3 cardioid patterns, they are the three most useful, and I doubt the others will be mixed. If I truly need a different pattern, I just switch to the C414. I breeze through projects now that I have this microphone, sometimes I have to do hardly any EQing to achieve the sound that satisfies me.
You will not be disappointed in this microphone. Please be sure you know what you're doing before making an investment in a microphone like this. You can't just plug this into your computer and get professional results. You will need a high quality preamp (i use the Avalon vt 737sp) and a high quality ADC (analog to digital converter). If you don't have these things, don't come crying to Amazon saying that it can be compared to much cheaper microphones (like a certain Amazon reviewer who will go unnamed). If you are a professional audio engineer, or just someone with a project studio that truly wants the best sound available, this is the microphone with you.
Just get it, you'll never look back.