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Thread: Is there any mic better than the Neuman U87?

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    Is there any mic better than the Neuman U87?

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    A recording noobie here. I've been using that $200 Rode NTK mic, and it's nice, but it's very...clear? Like...how do I explain it, very dry? I guess dry is the word? I've researched that these Neuman mics, all our heroes used them, Bob Marley and the rest of the 70's cats.

    Is there any mic that comes close to the Neuman sound that isn't $3000? What are your thoughts?

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    The AKG 414 has been compared to them, and many more. It is the swiss army knife of all time. The AKG 414 might well be the most superior of microphones not $3000. Like $600.

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    Better for what? Different sources benefit from different mics. A U87 is a great studio vocal mic for many singers, and great on a lot of instrument sources, but that doesn't mean it's always the best choice.

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    A better mic than a U87? I can think of many. To name a few - Any version of Sony C37 or C38, Sony C48, some but not all versions of the AKG 414, and from the Sennheiser mkh series, the 405, 406, and 40.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    Sorry, I should have listed source sound! Vocals! I'll look into the AKG 414, Lazer! Thanks a lot. Rruskin, what versions of the AKG 414 are no-no's in your book? Thanks for the list, truly. it really gives me some guidance here. Very tired of my current mic!

    edit: Looking for something I can record my vocals and acoustic guitar into!

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    I'm new to the C414 experience. I bought myself a matched pair of C414 XLS for Xmas this year. Stellar mics, but not very flattering to vocals. At least, not lead vocals. They're too flat for lead vocals. I've loved it for spoken word, drum overheads, acoustic guitar so far. But it's very uninspiring on lead vocals, kind of like a Shure SM81. Actually, so far they've spoken to me like a large diaphragm version of the SM81. The C414 are just way more versatile with all of the polar patterns and low cut options. They're just terrific mics so far, but I'm still in the honeymoon phase with them.

    The C414 XLII is the version with that classic vocal presence peak. It'd be less versatile than the flatter XLS, but it'd flatter lead vocals and acoustic guitar more.

    Neuman makes the TLM 103 and TLM 102 that are kind of the same idea: the 102 has the presence peak and the 103 doesn't.

    On the budget end of the spectrum, I'd look at a Lewitt LCT 440 PURE. I've had one for a few years now and it keeps impressing me for lead vocals. It's just got that "something" in its frequency response. It's the no-frills version of their pricier mics. Same capsule, just no pad, low cut, dual diaphragm or other bells and whistles of their higher models.

    Anyways, hopefully this comes in handy as you continue shopping. There are so many terrific options out there. It's a great time in history to be shopping for microphones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpui View Post
    I'm new to the C414 experience. I bought myself a matched pair of C414 XLS for Xmas this year. Stellar mics, but not very flattering to vocals. At least, not lead vocals. They're too flat for lead vocals. I've loved it for spoken word, drum overheads, acoustic guitar so far. But it's very uninspiring on lead vocals, kind of like a Shure SM81. Actually, so far they've spoken to me like a large diaphragm version of the SM81.

    The C414 XLII is the version with that classic vocal presence peak. It'd be less versatile than the flatter XLS, but it'd flatter lead vocals and acoustic guitar more.

    Neuman makes the TLM 103 and TLM 102 that are kind of the same idea: the 102 has the presence peak and the 103 doesn't.

    On the budget end of the spectrum, I'd look at a Lewitt LCT 440 PURE. I've had one for a few years now and it keeps impressing me for lead vocals. It's just got that "something" in its frequency response. It's the no-frills version of their pricier mics. Same capsule, just no pad, low cut, dual diaphragm or other bells and whistles of their higher models.

    Anyways, hopefully this comes in handy as you continue shopping. There are so many terrific options out there. It's a great time in history to be shopping for microphones.
    Hey, thanks so much for sharing and this info! I just listened to some samples of the 414's and you're right! It sounds...sharp? Like when you turn the sharpness up on a photo. Am I wrong saying that? I listened to some Sony C37 samples and I really dig the warmth and colour in that mic. I'll check out the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE, as I am on a budget Also, why did you buy two of them, if you don't mind me asking? Which sources are you recording simultaneously? I'm new to recording, myself.

    edit: listening to samples of the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE on youtube: VERY nice! I really dig the blunted sound it has, while feeling like a warm hug? I can't explain the sound, haha. It's really nice. AND affordable?! Dig it.

    double edit: now, there's gotta be something like the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE but with an added boost of warmth, right? I imagine it would be like $600 range, there's gotta be a mic out there like that.

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    Maybe have a play with this, KVR: Microphone Modeler or similar before throwing a stack of cash around?

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimm Holiday View Post
    Hey, thanks so much for sharing and this info! I just listened to some samples of the 414's and you're right! It sounds...sharp? Like when you turn the sharpness up on a photo. Am I wrong saying that? I listened to some Sony C37 samples and I really dig the warmth and colour in that mic. I'll check out the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE, as I am on a budget Also, why did you buy two of them, if you don't mind me asking? Which sources are you recording simultaneously? I'm new to recording, myself.

    edit: listening to samples of the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE on youtube: VERY nice! I really dig the blunted sound it has, while feeling like a warm hug? I can't explain the sound, haha. It's really nice. AND affordable?! Dig it.

    double edit: now, there's gotta be something like the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE but with an added boost of warmth, right? I imagine it would be like $600 range, there's gotta be a mic out there like that.
    You're very welcome! As the days roll onwards, you'll most likely get a ton more suggestions from other users that have direct experience with a bunch of other microphones. My mic locker is growing, but it's not vast. Yet

    I bought two of the C414 XLS (and Shure SM81, and Fathead ribbons, and SM57) because I tend to record a variety of instruments in my home studio. Sometimes, a stereo mic setup is preferable for things like drum overheads, acoustic guitar, ensemble vocals, or whatever. Or sometimes just a dual mic setup is nice, even if it's not in stereo. Picking up different characteristics of a voice or instruments based on mic placement, then combining them. There are all sorts of fun things to do with a matched pair of microphones.

    If you like the Lewitt LCT 440, you might also check out the Rode NT1 and NT1A. I think that the LCT 440 is a direct competitor to the NT1A, but I don't have direct experience with any of Rode's mics. But they're hugely popular for a reason, I'd bet. Great customer service, from what I understand.

    There are some other up and coming brands like Roswell (check out their Mini K47), Warm Audio (their WA-87 gets rave reviews, and is a U87 "clone"), Mojave Audio, Aston, and JZ. All of those brands make at least 1 mic in the $600-ish price range and have very good reputations for solid performance.

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