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Author Topic: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube  (Read 6445 times)

marlonoreilly

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TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« on: February 02, 2015, 07:00:53 PM »

Hey All,

I am new to owning a U87. I bought a modified version. Sort of went in blind but I read a lot of reviews about a modded U87 before I bought it and thought it would be perfect. I got it into my studio and I must say it's not blowing me away. I did some more research after the fact and realized that it's not an authentic neumann Power Supply but now that I've done even more reading... unless I get a U67 power supply, Neumann didn't make a power supply for a U87 so an after market PS is all you can get.

My real reason for this post is to find out how to make sure this mic is working correctly and most importantly, WHICH TUBE IS THE BEST FOR THIS MIC? I read a post from 2002 post and it was awesome! I've come to think that the EF86 is the one. Or even the Valvo E80F. When I was reading Klaus's remarks about testing the voltage, I realized he must be talking about the U67 PS because there is no trim in my InnerTube Audio PS. So where does that leave me for testing it? Maybe I should just send it to Klaus? It actually has his name on the mic as the modifier: code# 0605

The good and the bad thing about this mic is that I sent the serial number into Neumann and they told me it's a Vintage 1971 U87. WOW!! The bad is: Why the HELL would anyone MESS with a vintage U87???
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

klaus

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 07:35:48 PM »

Quote
Maybe I should just send it to Klaus? It actually has his name on the mic as the modifier

I have never installed a tube in a U87, so this modification is not something I should be associated with. If, as you say, an identification sticker with my name is still on the mic (possibly from previous work on this U87?) I'd kindly ask you to remove it.

Regarding the tube used in this Innertube mod: The first step I would recommend is to contact Innertube and find out whether the tube installed is the one intended for this specific modification. Then we can discuss whether a substitute would serve you, or whether the flaw may be in the implementation of the circuit, and the choice of tube alone would not improve things.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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marlonoreilly

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 07:57:04 PM »

Thanks for your prompt reply Klaus. I figured the tag might be from work you've done in the past, BEFORE the tube was inserted. I emailed you directly about this as well. I can send you pictures of it if that helps. The Modification was done by Innertube Audio in California and it appears to be intended for this Mic. It says: "TUBE 87" on the power supply. I am in contact with them now. I will let you know the outcome. Here is their link: www.innertubeaudio.com Not sure if you've heard of them but they have been in business for 22 years and seem to be the best at this type of Tube Mod.

Thanks.
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

klaus

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 11:05:42 PM »

The Innertube system consist of an entirely independent tube mic amp, cable and power supply that can be used "plug & play" with the existing Neumann KK87 capsule head, leaving the original Neumann amp intact as a spare, any time the original U87 sound is desired. Unfortunately Marlon's pictures of the mic he emailed me shows a Chinese K87 knock-off.

In light of that I recommended that if he wanted the original Neumann U87 performance, he should sell the mic and start fresh, because the original Neumann U87 mic amp is also missing, leaving him with no option to either restore the system to Neumann stock or achieve the set-up Innertube recommends: Neumann head + Innertube tube amp.

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

marlonoreilly

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 02:43:14 PM »

Yep... it's true. OUCH. $3500 down the toilet. Lesson learned.

Klaus.... I am hoping that putting in a REAl Capsule is a decent choice here? I either spend $2500 - $3000 on a complete mic or $600 on a vintage capsule. Here's on eI found on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neumann-K87-Capsule-for-vintage-U87-/321649121307?pt=UK_Music_Instruments_Microphones_MJ&hash=item4ae3c8181b

Your thoughts?
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

Uwe

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 07:16:32 PM »

The capsule referenced through eBay is NOT a real Neumann K87, but rather a 'reskinned' one. Together with the Chinese U87 knock-off and the Innertube mod this combination will never perform as a vintage genuine Neumann U87. It appears foolish to throw good money falling for falsely represented speciman. Your best bet may be to follow Klaus' advice, sell the bastard and start anew with a true Neumann U87, U87A, or even U67.
P.S.: This recommendation is not intended to start a new discussion about the merits or drawbacks of either of these models. That has been hashed out repeatedly elsewhere in this forum and elsewhere...
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marlonoreilly

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 07:19:18 PM »

What does re-skinned mean? Is it not as good? I missed that part in the ad.

So I'm guessing this one won't fit a vintage U87? http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEUMANN-K870-67-NEW-ORIGINAL-Capsule-for-U67-U87Ai-M269-SM69-367-and-more-/301504456448?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item463310e700
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

klaus

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 09:42:47 PM »

The Thiersch-re-diaphragmed U87 capsule mentioned in the first eBay auction your cited would dimensionally fit your existing capsule mount, and it would electrically work as well, but it will not sound like a genuine Neumann capsule, because it is an aftermarket product. And, it is generally acknowledged that aftermarket capsules or Neumann backplates with aftermarket skins (diaphragms) will not sound correct.

The capsule cited in your last post (for U87Ai) would not work fetch new, its electrical connections do not correspond to your U87 capsule hook up.

Bottom line: You need to get a genuine Neumann U87 capsule, which is correctly identified as "K87". 
Capsules named "K67" or "K870" will not work in a U87 mic.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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marlonoreilly

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 10:15:25 PM »

Thanks Klaus!! I appreciate your input.
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

J. Mike Perkins

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 12:32:57 PM »

Before getting side tracked by the fact Marlon's mic was not a genuine Neumann U87, I can try and answer the original question about what tube might be best, assuming you have a real Neumann U87 to put the Innertube Audio U87 retrofit into. 

I own a mid 70's Neumann U87, with the original ivory plastic ring K87 capsule in it, and an Innertube Audio tube U87 kit and I have experimented with several different tubes to see what I thought sounded best.  To begin with, the Innertube Audio kit (or at least mine) uses an E88CC tube which of course is not the same tube as the U67 and it's wrong to think the Innertube Audio kit is designed to make your U87 sound like a U67, it's not.  It does turn the U87 into a wonderful and very useful tube mic, but it does not sound like a U67 (but then again, nothing does), rather it has its own thing going on. 

To try and summarize the sound, I would say that it "opens up" the sound of the U87 giving it more depth and reach. It also solves some of the headroom issues associated with the U87; but mainly it's just a "different" sound. 

Although I have not had the chance yet, I would think the tube U87 would be a great mic to use on a string section.  However, I am sure there are certain applications, perhaps narration for voice over, where someone might prefer the sound of the original electronics, but that is the beauty of the retrofit, you can change it over from one to the other in seconds in a totally non-destructive way.  The best sounding tube I have found for the Innertube retrofit is an original, new old stock, and somewhat expensive, Telefunken E88CC.  It seemed to have the best overall balance and very low noise. 
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marlonoreilly

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified By Innertube
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2022, 12:02:25 PM »

Before getting side tracked by the fact Marlon's mic was not a genuine Neumann U87, I can try and answer the original question about what tube might be best, assuming you have a real Neumann U87 to put the Innertube Audio U87 retrofit into. 

I own a mid 70's Neumann U87, with the original ivory plastic ring K87 capsule in it, and an Innertube Audio tube U87 kit and I have experimented with several different tubes to see what I thought sounded best.  To begin with, the Innertube Audio kit (or at least mine) uses an E88CC tube which of course is not the same tube as the U67 and it's wrong to think the Innertube Audio kit is designed to make your U87 sound like a U67, it's not.  It does turn the U87 into a wonderful and very useful tube mic, but it does not sound like a U67 (but then again, nothing does), rather it has its own thing going on. 

To try and summarize the sound, I would say that it "opens up" the sound of the U87 giving it more depth and reach. It also solves some of the headroom issues associated with the U87; but mainly it's just a "different" sound. 

Although I have not had the chance yet, I would think the tube U87 would be a great mic to use on a string section.  However, I am sure there are certain applications, perhaps narration for voice over, where someone might prefer the sound of the original electronics, but that is the beauty of the retrofit, you can change it over from one to the other in seconds in a totally non-destructive way.  The best sounding tube I have found for the Innertube retrofit is an original, new old stock, and somewhat expensive, Telefunken E88CC.  It seemed to have the best overall balance and very low noise.


Thanks Mike! Great assessment! And YES you are right, I have A/B'd the 2 and mine sounds much fuller with a much better tone!
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Marlon O'Reilly
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.soundcloud.com/marlonoreilly

Kai

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Re: TUBE SUGGESTIONS for U87 Modified
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2022, 03:18:23 PM »

Yep... it's true. OUCH. $3500 down the toilet. Lesson learned.

Klaus.... I am hoping that putting in a REAl Capsule is a decent choice here? I either spend $2500 - $3000 on a complete mic or $600 on a vintage capsule. Here's on eI found on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neumann-K87-Capsule-for-vintage-U87-/321649121307?pt=UK_Music_Instruments_Microphones_MJ&hash=item4ae3c8181b
Now you went the path $3500, why not bite the bullet, make the last $$$ step and install a contemporary, new Neumann capsule?

You would end up with what you originally intended, that even can fetch money when sold.

Forget Ebay as source for so called “vintage“ whatsoever.
The only thing sold there is trouble, with no returns offered.


Thanks Mike! Great assessment! And YES you are right, I have A/B'd the 2 and mine sounds much fuller with a much better tone!
Which “2”?
Your’s and ... ?
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