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-   -   Neumann Microphone worth the price? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=477047)

Doug Young 07-24-2017 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trevor B. (Post 5419095)
I found the video below which showcases the AT 5040 on acoustic guitar

Man, that sounds incredibly thin to me. He even makes a Les Paul sound like a tele. Got me looking for other examples, because I hope the mic isn't that bright and thin. This one sounds better to me.



I looked briefly for some Neumann demos on you tube, didn't find anything I like, but surely there are some

KevWind 07-25-2017 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Young (Post 5419804)
Man, that sounds incredibly thin to me. He even makes a Les Paul sound like a tele. Got me looking for other examples, because I hope the mic isn't that bright and thin. This one sounds better to me.
I looked briefly for some Neumann demos on you tube, didn't find anything I like, but surely there are some

I agree but suspect it could something else in the chain or mix

I did find this fairly decent demo By SoundPure, of one of the other mics mentioned in this thread , the Schoeps SMC6 amp W/ MK4 Capsule... And I found it really interesting because they recorded through three great mic pre's an A Designs MP2A tube amp (at the start of the Video) then at about 1:50 thru a Great River MP-2NV SS amp then thru an A Designs Pacifica SS amp . Hard to wrong with any of theses pres.
Unfortunately they change guitars on each pre change so the variable of guitar tone is increased, but none the less interesting.

Of course arguably I am a prejudice given my front end is the Schopes CMC6 MK4 and the A Designs MP2A , but to my ear it has a slight edge in depth and presence.

Trevor B. 07-25-2017 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Young (Post 5419804)
Man, that sounds incredibly thin to me. He even makes a Les Paul sound like a tele. Got me looking for other examples, because I hope the mic isn't that bright and thin. This one sounds better to me.



I looked briefly for some Neumann demos on you tube, didn't find anything I like, but surely there are some

I hadn't listened to the nylon string or electric guitar from the video I posted, only the steel string. An unfortunate faux pax. I agree that the video you posted provides a better illustration of the Audio Technica 5040.

Doug Young 07-25-2017 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trevor B. (Post 5420516)
I hadn't listened to the nylon string or electric guitar from the video I posted, only the steel string. An unfortunate faux pax. I agree that the video you posted provides a better illustration of the Audio Technica 5040.

The steel string sounds pretty bad too - I had to keep watching in hopes of an improvement :-) Maybe he just EQ'd the whole video in an odd way, since everything sounds so thin. The nylon string is better, tho. In any case, it's an example of how the gear alone doesn't mean you'll get a good sound. We've got pretty different tones from the same mic.

RRuskin 07-25-2017 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Al Acuff (Post 5415681)
A friend of mine bought a U87 for her home voice over studio. She has had difficulty with the mic due to room acoustics and less than perfect mic technique. IMHO a U87 is not a great mic for an amateur getting started. It can be extremely unforgiving.

A friend loaned me his pair of U-87's because he never used them. After comparing them to my other mics, I never did either.

jim1960 07-25-2017 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RRuskin (Post 5421112)
A friend loaned me his pair of U-87's because he never used them. After comparing them to my other mics, I never did either.

Just out of curiosity, what are your other mics?

RRuskin 07-25-2017 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jim1960 (Post 5421235)
Just out of curiosity, what are your other mics?

Too many to list but a lot from the Sennheiser mkh series, at least one of every version of the Sony C-37/38 series, 3 other Neumanns, Other condensers from EV, AKG, Altec, Audio Technica, ribbons from B&O, Beyer, RCA, & AEA. Dozens of dynamics as well. More than enough to do full sessions.

jim1960 07-25-2017 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RRuskin (Post 5421291)
Too many to list but a lot from the Sennheiser mkh series, at least one of every version of the Sony C-37/38 series, 3 other Neumanns, Other condensers from EV, AKG, Altec, Audio Technica, ribbons from B&O, Beyer, RCA, & AEA. Dozens of dynamics as well. More than enough to do full sessions.

Okay, that makes sense then. The U87 is a very good mic for some applications but it can be the absolute wrong choice in others.

I brought my Flea 47 over to a friend's place some weeks back because he wanted to do a shootout. His main singing style is operatic tenor but he also does some 40's jazz style stuff as well. A U87ai was in the mix, along with an assortment of Advanced Audio mics, the Slate VMS, a Wagner U47, and a Korby red. The U87 didn't sound terrible but it lacked the clarity and presence of some of the other mics. For his operatic stuff, we both thought the AAcm49 was the best for his voice before any fx so now he's looking to book some time in a studio that has a Flea 49. But getting back to the U87ai, I've heard pop-ish female singers on that mic and it really shined for them.

Maybe it's like how in the Harry Potter world they say "the wand picks the wizard." The mic picks the performer ...with a little help from someone in the studio who knows his stuff.

The worst of the bunch was the Slate VMS. My friend bought it thinking the versatility would come in handy but every time he compared it to another mic, the Slate would come up very short. He wound up selling it last week.

rockabilly69 07-26-2017 01:19 AM

For all of those who keep talking down the U87ai I will have to be the opposing viewpoint. I've put it up in blind shootouts and it more than not it rises to the top of the pile, and I own some pretty good microphones. I love the way it sounds with my Gibson guitars when I'm looking for a vintage rock tone. I have quite a few Neumann microphones, and a few of them, people tried to talk me out of buying, like the M147, TLM103, and KM184. And funny enough, I love all three of these microphones. And I can't say enough good about my U89, it's another microphone that just gets the job done. One thing though, when I buy a microphone I use the holy hell out until I find some magic combinations, like, mic/instrument, mic/preamp, etc. I would recommend the OP doing the same with each mic he buys and really learn the capability of each mic!

But I think this thread is actually pretty interesting. You got an OP who is a novice to recording who is looking at purchasing some REALLY expensive microphones without a clue on what he is going to do with them as he has no practical experience using anything he's looking at buying.

Can't wait to see how this develops.

KevWind 07-26-2017 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jim1960 (Post 5421332)
Okay, that makes sense then. The U87 is a very good mic for some applications but it can be the absolute wrong choice in others.

I brought my Flea 47 over to a friend's place some weeks back because he wanted to do a shootout. His main singing style is operatic tenor but he also does some 40's jazz style stuff as well. A U87ai was in the mix, along with an assortment of Advanced Audio mics, the Slate VMS, a Wagner U47, and a Korby red. The U87 didn't sound terrible but it lacked the clarity and presence of some of the other mics. For his operatic stuff, we both thought the AAcm49 was the best for his voice before any fx so now he's looking to book some time in a studio that has a Flea 49. But getting back to the U87ai, I've heard pop-ish female singers on that mic and it really shined for them.

Maybe it's like how in the Harry Potter world they say "the wand picks the wizard." The mic picks the performer ...with a little help from someone in the studio who knows his stuff.

The worst of the bunch was the Slate VMS. My friend bought it thinking the versatility would come in handy but every time he compared it to another mic, the Slate would come up very short. He wound up selling it last week.

Yes the U87 has both fans and detractors. But as you say at the level of a U87's et.al. the actual instrument itself or specific performer (vocals) and personal preference begins to become a big big factor, and to lesser extent but still a factor is the specific preamp also.
I have only ever recorded once with a pair of U87ai. I was very impressed at the time and had figured that would be my main vocal mic, but ultimately I chose the Brauner Phantom V (which also has both fans and detractors).

alohachris 07-26-2017 11:51 AM

Compare the U87ai to a 70's U87 - Or the 184 to an 84
 
Aloha,

Neumann makes very, very good mikes. They used to make great mic's, IMO.

When I compared a new U87ai with a 1972 U87, they were two completely different mic's (I've made this comparison many times). People familiar with the warmth & versatility of vintage U87's are the ones who probably are harsher on the U87ai that they should be. But I am one among them.

And comparing the KM184 to a 1980 KM-84? Try it out for yourselves, guys. SIZZLE!

alohachris

jim1960 07-26-2017 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alohachris (Post 5421898)
Aloha,

Neumann makes very, very good mikes. They used to make great mic's, IMO.

When I compared a new U87ai with a 1972 U87, they were two completely different mic's (I've made this comparison many times). People familiar with the warmth & versatility of vintage U87's are the ones who probably are harsher on the U87ai that they should be. But I am one among them.

And comparing the KM184 to a 1980 KM-84? Try it out for yourselves, guys. SIZZLE!

alohachris

I've heard shoot outs over the years that confirm this. That's not to say the newer Neumann's aren't good mics; they'd just not quite as good as the old stuff. I think a lot of that is a scarcity of parts they used in the originals. For example, a quality nos VF14 tube for a vintage U47 will cost you in the neighborhood of $2K today and that price is only going to go up in the future as fewer and fewer are around.

Bob Womack 07-26-2017 01:40 PM

You know, variety is the spice of life...

http://www.in2guitar.com/images3/u47boxsm.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/session8-5/2mic2.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/rev/u4715.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/images4/rcabk5a.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/images3/tlm170sm.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/c50show/14mojavesm.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/images2/akgc451e.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/images2/mics3.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/session8-5/setupside.jpg

https://d2ydh70d4b5xgv.cloudfront.ne...9f120e9ffa.jpg

http://www.in2guitar.com/images3/re654asm.jpg

They've all got a use or two in 'em. Even the newer ones.

Bob

jim1960 07-26-2017 01:54 PM

Gear porn....hmmmm. Womack, you're a tease.

rockabilly69 07-27-2017 02:52 AM

for those who want a more rounded opinion of the comparison of a U87 and a U87ai....

http://recordinghacks.com/2011/03/19...u87ai-vs-u87i/

And as for the KM184, for every hater out there, there are 10 pros using them silently. Just look in the classical musical recording world how many people love KM184s and how KM84s are rarely seen in the genre of recording. It all comes down the source, and what you want to bring out in the recording, and then of course, the right preamp helps, as KM184s seem to pair very well with darker pres. I've known more than one person who read all the rave reviews on forums of the KM84 (which btw I like), sold there KM184s, which they liked, to buy a KM84 and then went back and re-bought a KM184 because they missed what it brought to the mix. I woudn't mind buying a KM84 in good condition but every one I come across is in need of some TLC with the mic already at a premium. That's why I take opinions on forums with a grain of salt, especially regarding the bashing of modern Neumann microphones. I have plenty of good mics, I don't have to hold on to microphones that don't work. And if the modern Neumanns didn't work, I would replace them with something that did in a heartbeat. But the modern Neumanns get the job done for me. The only good thing about the Neumann bashing is that it helps keep the prices on newer Neumanns down in the used market:)


The best post I ever saw about the KM184 is this one that I found on GS a while back by user Omnicron_9 (I hope he doesn't mind me quoting him)....


As soon as Neumann discontinues the KM-184 and introduces the KM-284, everyone will swear:

1. The KM-184 was one of the best mics Neumann ever built.
2. The KM-284 is one of the worst mics EVER.


KM-284ically yours,
-0.9


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