The Neumann U 87 is arguably the best known and most widely used studio microphone in the world (for good reason). The U 87 Ai condenser microphone is a large diaphragm microphone with three polar patterns and a unique frequency and transient response characteristic. A distinctive design and legendary Neumann sound make this mic a must-have for pro studios. The U 87 is known for its unique frequency and transient response characteristics which deliver a smooth natural sound with a variety of source material. The U 87 Ai is used as a main microphone for orchestra recordings, as a spot mic for single instruments, and extensively as a vocal microphone for all types of music and speech. The easy-to-recognize U 87 is a classic!
- Natural Response
- Switchable Polar patterns
- Updated Components
- Filter and Attenuation
The U 87 Ai is addressed from the front, marked with the Neumann logo. The frequency response of the cardioid and figure-8 directional characteristics are very flat for frontal sound incidence, even in the upper frequency range. By means of a highpass filter interferences through subsonic and low frequencies are reduced remarkably.Switchable Polar patterns
The dual-diaphragm capsule is elastically mounted and protected by a large headgrille. A switch below the headgrille selects the three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. A window above this switch shows the symbol of the selected characteristic.Updated Components
The letter A in the name indicates a more recent generation, as compared to the U 87 i microphones that were built from 1967 to 1986. Modifications apply to the electronic components of the microphone only; the capsule remained unchanged.
The present-day circuitry increases the operational headroom of the U 87 Ai by supplying the bias voltages for the capsule through a reduced resistance. The result is a higher sensitivity of 10dB for identical sound pressure levels, and an improved S/N ratio of 3dB.
A switch located at the rear attenuates the sensitivity by 10dB. When this switch is activated, the microphone accepts sound pressure levels up to 127dB (equivalent to a sound pressure of 45 Pa) without distortion. An additional switch at the rear allows to change the microphone's cutoff frequency. This reduces low frequency interference directly at the input of the microphone amplifier. This setting also compensates for the unavoidable bass boost that occurs with all pressure gradient transducers when they are used at close distance (proximity effect). The cardioid characteristic maintains a smooth frequency response at a distance of 30 to 40 cm, the figure-8 characteristic even at a distance of 15 to 20 cm.
Neumann U 87 Ai Studio Set Features:
- Large-diaphragm FET condenser microphone
- Pressure-gradient transducer with double-membrane capsule
- The studio microphone classic
- Three directional characteristics: omni, cardioid, figure-8
- Switchable low-frequency roll-off
- Switchable 10dB pre-attenuation
- Ideal as main and support microphone in practically all recording situations
- Requires +48-volt phantom power
- Includes shockmount, pop filter, mic cable, and wooden storage box