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Thread: Townsend L22 Sphere Vs U87Ai?

  1. #1
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    Townsend L22 Sphere Vs U87Ai?

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    I have tried both of these mics and of course the U87Ai sounds amazing. The Townsend, I think sounds amazing as well. I don't know which one to justify buying over the other and was looking for professional opinions. I mainly record vocals for all genres of music and all kinds of voices. I only have the budget for 1 of these mics and I wanted to know which one is worth getting over the other and why? Thank you, this would help a lot.

  2. #2
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    everyone compares to the U87....even the U87AI..

    Isnt it like comparing a small dynamic mic to a SM58/57? or comparing electric guitar to a Stratocaster or LesPaul…

    When you buy off brand your resale value is much lower and much more selective because its unknown.
    If you sell and swap, the big brand names make it easier. The market will probably always have a place for a Neumann or Fender, but for a TommWhaBlah piece there will be a selective "boutique" crowd for that.

    I have a Fender American Precision Bass guitar For Sale , its great. $1700
    I also have a PooGahGunky brand bass guitar for $1700.

    which would you buy?

    Soundwise, its probable there is miniscule difference. Maybe the no name is even better quality....

    Ive read many write the U87AI doesn't sound that great, but is very good at covering a lot of sounds very well and is why its a "standard".
    The huge sales is why mfg's copy it , right?

    Like Warm copying all the classic rack gear and classic mics, even using the same numbers and nomenclature.

    Now you say you only have money for one.

    The Townsend is $1500 new, the U87AI is $3500.
    If you cant hear the glory some will say its your ears suck, or your room sucks or your channel strip sucks...or else you would hear the more expensive one is $2000 better.

    Then one might think USED!! but with mics and capsules the $3500 U87AI might have a chineese $150 capsule stuffed in it from Sammy Scamman. So buyer beware.

    If you can afford it, for a serious business, a U87ai wouldn't hurt the mic locker. You'll want to protect it well.
    My brother was in a studio and a dude sneezed flem into the Neumann, a human thing, but well.... there you go. The owner was pissed beyond..

    Does the clientele pay for a $3500 mic?

    The Clone Wars.....WA87..$600 hmmm.....STAM 87 (they even use a diamond brand stamp) …..

    run them through a 1176 or LA2A and I bet the difference gets small.

    You could have 6qty WA87 or 1qty NEUMANN U87AI....or 3.5 qty STAM 87A

    Or maybe go brand name + cheaper like AKG 414(?model) and get a few mics.

    Shure 44, AT4050, <enter brand name here> Behringer B2 Pro or B1.....RODE NT-1

    I just listened to a bunch of shootouts against the U87's. How much is left after plugins and eq's?

    How much are the clients paying?
    If someone blows into your $3600 mic is it going to effect your budget to buy a new capsule?

    What kind of Preamp is the mic going into. Maybe a nice DAKING PREAMP would set the level playing field.

    Then try a few mics and rent a U87ai for a bit. Spending $3600 on a mic is huge, $1000 is huge here.

    If you use processors have all those on too, no sense doing a "dry" comparison if you will be dumping plugins on it.

    Maybe the Behringer B2Pro with PlugIns can get within 90% and then you can buy several. Save money.

    RODE is a good brand name and cheaper, with PlugIns who knows.? Save Money and Good Brand Name.

    Shure, AKG + plugins?

    Neumann U87ai and U87 which one? That would be an even harder question, right?

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

  3. #3
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    The 87 has never been on my list...and it's true that a lot of people will say it doesn't sound all that great, especially for the price...but people buy it and hype it up because they think that's the mic to have.

    I haven't tried the L22...but my understanding is that together with their software, you can change that mic to sound like many other mics. You can't do that with the 87.
    That said...I don't much care for that kind of stuff...there similar mics from Slate and Antelope, where you use software after the fact to create the mic character. Kinda like recording a guitar DI/dry...and then re-amping later on.
    I prefer just using a specific mic...and not trying to change it later with software... but if you can only buy one mic, then something like the L22 might be the right option, since it will give you many flavors.
    I think Neumann mics will always be a safe purchase, because you'll be able to unload them and get most of your money back...but these days there are SO MANY mics that sound as good or even better, and cost way less...they don't have the Neumann name, which probably adds at least half the cost to their mics.

    Are you buying something for its resale value...or because it's the right mic for your needs?

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