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Thread: Neumann U87ai or Avalon VT737SP

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    Neumann U87ai or Avalon VT737SP

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    Hi guy first time posting in a forum, want to ask any pro here for advise, currently using Rode NT1A condenser and a Audient ID14, and i have some cash to burn but only manage to buy either one a Neuman U87AI or a Avalon VT737SP, and im not sure i sould buy which one if i buy a Nuemann U87AI i not sure it will work fine with the ID14 with its own buildin preamp or sould i go for a Avalon VT737SP to boost my Rode NT1A.and i only use it to record vocals most of the time. Hope you guys can give me some advice thanks.

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    Honestly, unless you are making money from recording, either one of these is probably overkill. I would definitely call this a try before you buy decision. If you can take your mic to a local place that sells both you could at least hear what if either sounds best to you before forking over the cash.
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    Condenser mics typically don't present any special challenges to mic preamps. It could be a consideration for really low volume things into a ribbon mic for example, otherwise no..
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    That VT737 is a pretty expensive piece to add. Looking at the some of the demos, looks like a nice piece to add to the chain.
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    So is a U87. But unless you have a very good room it could still be overkill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    So is a U87. But unless you have a very good room it could still be overkill.
    I can't disagree with that, but couldn't say anything against the piece of equipment.
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    If it were my money I'd probably spread it out to a few different mics, a couple different decent preamps, and possibly a dedicated compressor. It's nice to be able to try something different if one mic or a piece of gear doesn't seem to work on a particular song.

    The NT1A is a transformerless mic. Perhaps look for a transformer coupled mic for a slightly different flavor (Miktek C7e might be worth a look). A Shure SM7b can be a good choice on vocals also. Maybe a tube mic.

    A GAP Pre73, Warm Audio WA12/TB12, or Focusrite ISA One can give some 'character/coloration' to a vocal going into your interface. The Avalon per the chart below is a 'clean/transparent' preamp.

    I picked up a Klark Teknik 1176KT compressor that has worked very well for vocals for me.

    Importantly...... is your recording area treated?
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    If you really want to spend that money on one piece of kit then go for the U87. A U87 into a Behringer preamp (I've done it in the past) is going to sound far better than a cheap mic into an expensive preamp. However, if this is just for your own personal use then it would be worth auditioning a variety of mics as you may find something cheaper that works better on your voice or instrument. If you are running a studio to cater for a variety of artists then stick with the U87 as it works acceptably well on just about anything.

    Your Audient preamp is certainly good enough to handle an expensive mic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    Honestly, unless you are making money from recording, either one of these is probably overkill. I would definitely call this a try before you buy decision. If you can take your mic to a local place that sells both you could at least hear what if either sounds best to you before forking over the cash.
    I like this concept. I looked up a rental of a U87ai around $170 for a month or week or something. Its a lot but in one perspective its not considering the cost of the mic to buy.

    Money to burn....

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