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Old 07-20-2017, 07:55 AM
StrummerLovin StrummerLovin is offline
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Default Neumann Microphone worth the price?

Whats up everyone, thanks for being so helpful and encouraging to a newbie like me. I got a question for if you all don't mind.

After playing for a while I want to record my music, just to put on places like here or for myself to listen to and learn from. I am going to be spending some money on my recording set up as I think I will be a lot happier when I start recording music and listening to it, so I was looking at some of the Neumann microphones. I have read online that they make some of the best microphones for home recording, but I wanted to ask what peoples experience here is with them.

The ones I am eyeing are the U87, U47, KM140, or the KM84. They all seem to be up there in price, so I want to make sure my money is spent wisely and that I am not buying something expensive that I don't need. If anyone can chime in with experience with these mics or suggestions for something better I would be very appreciative.

I don't think I could have possibly gotten more help and advice anywhere, this is amazing. Thanks everyone, you made this decision so much easier. I picked up a U87 that was for really cheap on https://www.for-sale.ie/neumann and I am loving it so far. It may have been a tad expensive, but I think that all of the experience I will get and fun I will have recording will make up for it easily. Once again, thanks so much for your help everyone, I cannot get over how nice you all have been.

Last edited by StrummerLovin; 07-29-2017 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:43 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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This is a hard one to answer. Yes, Neumann Mics are worth the price. They've got a sound that is fantastic. They aren't the only manufacturers who make great mics, but I am sold on Neumanns and use them all day long every day. We've got several here at the studio where I work.

With that being said, you are diving off into the deep end if you are, as a novice, getting ready to buy a mic of that caliber on other people's opinion.* Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to try them out. But let me see if I can help a bit. I've come across some other mics that are really, REALLY good and quite a bit less expensive. They don't have the name cache' to them, but they are excellent. I wrote up a review for one of them that is available for $399. The mic is the MXL Revelation tube condenser. My review is HERE and the mic is available HERE. check out the performance by Dayna Petrie towards the bottom of the review.



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* My studio owns a beautiful 1950s Neumann U47. Where did we get it? Back in the 1950s a well-off fellow decided he wanted to go into recording as a hobby. He bought the state-of-the-art Ampex tape deck and an excellent Neumann U47. When they arrived he set about learning to record. After fiddling for about eight hours he put the two back in the boxes and stuck them in his closet. In 1983 his widow called and asked if we were interested. Hehehehe... Were we interested? But that shows you what can happen if you blindly invest a big chunk of change. Here they are, side by side:

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Old 07-20-2017, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrummerLovin View Post
Whats up everyone, thanks for being so helpful and encouraging to a newbie like me. I got a question for if you all don't mind.

After playing for a while I want to record my music, just to put on places like here or for myself to listen to and learn from. I am going to be spending some money on my recording set up as I think I will be a lot happier when I start recording music and listening to it, so I was looking at some of the Neumann microphones. I have read online that they make some of the best microphones for home recording, but I wanted to ask what peoples experience here is with them.

The ones I am eyeing are the U87, U47, KM140, or the KM84. They all seem to be up there in price, so I want to make sure my money is spent wisely and that I am not buying something expensive that I don't need. If anyone can chime in with experience with these mics or suggestions for something better I would be very appreciative.
It isn't just about the microphones. Have you done enough research to understand all the pieces of gear you will need in your recording and playback chain (including the recording space/room)? It's good that you are willing to 'spend some money on your recording setup', but you probably want to know how and where you will be using it so you know what you will need (i.e. will you be recording in stereo?). Then you probably want to get pieces of gear that are at a somewhat equal level of 'quality/performance'. Also, there's lot of high quality gear, and often times the difference is not quality/performance but personal choice. If you don't yet know your preferences you may not be ready to make the optimal choice.

So, you may get more good information if you describe how you intend to use your recording setup and what your expectations are. Also, if you could provide your budget range (for all the gear combined) you may get better suggestions.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:56 AM
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Yep, $7,000 for a couple of mikes is up there, and of course there is other recording gear you would need (e.g. pre-amp, DAW, external and/or in the box effects).
And what are you going to be recording? - solo guitar, other instruments, voice?

Personally on guitar I have been using Microtech Gefell M295 and M300 mikes. There are plenty of much less expensive mikes that will do as well.

Regarding recording guitar, if you have that kind of budget I would up front be looking to find and buy great sounding ones.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrummerLovin View Post
Whats up everyone, thanks for being so helpful and encouraging to a newbie like me. I got a question for if you all don't mind.

After playing for a while I want to record my music, just to put on places like here or for myself to listen to and learn from. I am going to be spending some money on my recording set up as I think I will be a lot happier when I start recording music and listening to it, so I was looking at some of the Neumann microphones. I have read online that they make some of the best microphones for home recording, but I wanted to ask what peoples experience here is with them.

The ones I am eyeing are the U87, U47, KM140, or the KM84. They all seem to be up there in price, so I want to make sure my money is spent wisely and that I am not buying something expensive that I don't need. If anyone can chime in with experience with these mics or suggestions for something better I would be very appreciative.
You might post what type of recording you are interested in doing i.e. solo acoustic guitar ----guitar/vocal ---additional instruments ---room treatment --etc. etc. As well as post what equipment you might already have
and a preliminary guess at total budget range.

As has been suggested the mic/s is only part of the $ equation, then there are preamp/s --interface/converters ---- interface w/pre's ----- monitor speakers/headphones - --computer, DAW, mic stands, cables, for starters .
With so little information it is hard to give really great answers or advice.
Give some more detailed info and you will get much better, useful, targeted and efficient , answers.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:23 AM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrummerLovin View Post
Whats up everyone, thanks for being so helpful and encouraging to a newbie like me. I got a question for if you all don't mind.

After playing for a while I want to record my music, just to put on places like here or for myself to listen to and learn from. I am going to be spending some money on my recording set up as I think I will be a lot happier when I start recording music and listening to it, so I was looking at some of the Neumann microphones. I have read online that they make some of the best microphones for home recording, but I wanted to ask what peoples experience here is with them.

The ones I am eyeing are the U87, U47, KM140, or the KM84. They all seem to be up there in price, so I want to make sure my money is spent wisely and that I am not buying something expensive that I don't need. If anyone can chime in with experience with these mics or suggestions for something better I would be very appreciative.
Designing a home recording studio and populating it with equipment should be approached holistically, i.e., all aspects of it should be researched and determined before any gear purchases are made.

Step 1 is to identify what you will be recording, the maximum number of simultaneous tracks you will need to record and the end product you will produce.

Step 2 is to set an overall budget.

Step 3 is to identify, generically, the equipment needed, including computer, software, computer interface, outboard gear, room treatment, etc.

Step 4 is to choose the specific equipment making sure the total cost is within your budget (or revise your budget accordingly).

Step 5 is to purchase the equipment and install it.

Step 6 is to spend the hundreds of hours needed to learn how to use it.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:08 AM
Fairlight Fairlight is offline
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My fav budget-realistic Neumann is the TLM-103. Great on vocals and guitars.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:01 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Great Advice Guys.

Aloha Strummerlovin',

Great Advice Guys!

I'm in complete agreement with all the guys above touting a holistic approach to studio building - before you buy.

I mean, it makes no sense to invest in great mic's unless you've already created a viable recording space that is properly treated & a compatible signal chain that works well with the mic's you choose.

So please consider doing that first before purchasing Neumann's or any other great mic's. Room Treatment is the key. It's the biggest bang for the buck in terms of creating consistent recordings, controlling early room reflections, separating & balancing frequencies & maximixing your signal chain - especially mic's.

DIY Room Treatment does not have to be expensive, permanent & can work well as portable (you can store broadband absorbers out of the way when not using them). Check out the many "treatment' threads we've had here for info on how to make panels. Make 2-4 4"x2'x4' Owens-Corning 703 rigid fiberglass broadband absorbers & you're on your way, Strummer. I made 22 of them over three years as needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lni_4HpwmZk

I used to be a high-end "mic-aholic "- for over 35 years. I owned all of the Neumann's you mentioned at one time or another, & some of the best mic's ever made. I slowly made my way up the trough trading & selling. However, it wasn't until I fully committed to creating a well-treated space that I was able to get the most out of those great mic's. Please Don't make my mistake.

FWIW, my current main guitar recording SDC mic's are Schoeps CMC6 with 41's or any of their other modular capsules. My LDC vocal mic's are a Microtech-Gefell UM900 or a Mojave MA-200. I sold everything else off 4-1/2 years ago. No longer addicted. No longer even curious.

Good Luck! Treat That Space, Strummer! Once you're there, I'm sure that all the other mic freaks here would love to discuss the qualities of various mic's with you.

alohachris

PS: I prefer older Neumann mic's to the newer - although they are difficult to find used in great condition. I had a matched pair of mint 1972 U87's LDC's that were unreal for guitar or vocals. And I used to love the KM-84 SDC's for acoustic instruments. The newer Neumann's often have a built in upper-mid rise that you have to contend with. Still, great mic's. After you get your space treated, check out gearslutz classifieds or VintageKing for used. -alohachris-

Last edited by alohachris; 07-21-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:02 PM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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There are lots of great mics out there which are more affordable. I have been using Mojave mics the last couple of years and they are great mics. The Aston mics are extraordinary value as are the Stam mics from Chile. Take a look at the Gearslutz site!
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:23 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Unless you have all the other stuff sorted and in place, you might be putting the cart before the horse. Neumann certainly makes great microphones but what will you be plugging that mic into?

To get the most help from our collective knowledge, we really need to know what you already have in terms of recording gear and what your budget is.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:13 PM
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Just from my little bit of experience:

great mic + poor room = poor result
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Just from my little bit of experience:

great mic + poor room = poor result
True, and the reason why room treatment is a basic foundation of good studio recording. And it should be noted a poor mic + great room = mediocre to poor result.

It is after all matter of the weakest link.

However, seeking to degrade the recording to make up for a bad room, misdirects and diverges from the goal, somewhat the philosophical equivalent of walking backwards or sideways on the path of life. It may be easier at first but fails to progress one's journey.
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Last edited by KevWind; 07-21-2017 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:01 AM
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All of the major recording facilities (and the people who work there) know something or they wouldn't fritter their money away on Neumann mics.

Yes, in the right hands and with the right gear and acoustics, they make a difference.

Not everyone on the planet hears the way they do. Coming to grips with that, can be humbling. You're not an Olympic athlete (I'm assuming), so you can't do what they do. You don't play golf like Arnold Palmer did, right? You're not at George Martin's level for recording, right?

As we get past society's (All of us are equally good) lame *** pandering and realize our own limitations. We can accept that there are people who DO know more than others, can hear things others can't which is why they are working in whatever jobs they work in, then Neumann's and Schoeps may make sense to you. You may not be able to hear the difference today, but if you try very hard, you may learn to. Or just don't get them, enjoy them when you hear them well used and get on with your life.

A Neumann or Schoeps in the wrong hands seldom shines.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:49 AM
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Al Acuff Al Acuff is online now
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Check out the AEA N22 ribbon mic. If I started a studio from scratch it's the mic I'd start with. It's designed for singer songwriters with home studios.

I use the N22 for everything. It's my favorite studio mic these days and I have a drawer full of expensive German mics. I use my N22 with an AEA RPQ preamp. The RPQ has replaced a more expensive preamp in my studio and I love it. All my mics sound great through it. Wes Dooley and the good folks at AEA give you a lot of bang for the buck. Highly recommended!
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:50 AM
Trevor B. Trevor B. is offline
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Quote:
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A Neumann or Schoeps in the wrong hands seldom shines.

Regards,

Ty Ford
No doubt you're right but a Neumann or Schoeps in the right hands, mmmmm good!
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