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#788610 - 01/18/10 05:51 PM Has anyone have a neumann clone?  
Joined: Jun 2002
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pRISCILLA  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
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Barcelona, Spain
are they for real?
neumann microphones are way (sadly) too expensive for me to afford, I wish I could grab a couple for vocal and instruments but ...well. Some neumann owners have commented me though that there are some really working neumann clones that you could barely notice the difference (probably there will be lots of chinese clones that look like but doesn't sound like? but does anyone know about real neumann clones working or is it an urban legend?
thank yoU smile

Priscilla Hernandez singer-songwriter
New album at:
#788623 - 01/18/10 06:17 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: pRISCILLA]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I have a Neumann and a couple of Chinese. There is a difference but it is subtle and not so much that the difference in price would put you off buying the Chinese. The savings could buy some pretty good plugins or hardware to enhance your gear substantially.

#788626 - 01/18/10 06:46 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Which mics in particular are we discussing? Because some that claim to be Neumann clones are absolute rubbish, while others that don't might be a good fit for your voice.

Most budget Chinese condensers have a nasty distortion problem in the high frequencies. And most mics that claim to be just like a Neumann, well, they really aren't like a Neumann at all. But there are a lot of mics that sound great anyway for a lot less money...but it's hard to find a large diaphragm condenser (LDC) of GREAT quality for under $600. There are some marvelous mics being made by Peluso, Wagner, Bock, Mojave and Bees Knees. Another excellent option is to have Michael Joly of Oktavamod.com take your cheap Chinese condenser and transform it into a very nice, musical, balanced mic for a modest investment.

#788683 - 01/18/10 09:13 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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I was referring to the SE 2200a.


Some of the Chinese mics are rubbish. There are some Chinese mics however that are pretty good for the money and for a fraction of the price compare well to top brand mics. Remember that we are talking about mics that cost a fraction of the price of their western counterparts. I agree about replacing some tubes and other parts to improve them is a great way to save money. At the end of the day it all boils down to personal preference, application, budget and how a mic suits each voice, situation and application. One thing for sure some of these mics may not be true Neumanns but some come close and cost peanuts in comparison.

#790482 - 01/25/10 12:37 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Nov 2009
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James Perrett Offline
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James Perrett  Offline
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Hampshire UK
For some reason most of the Neumann copyists seem to go for U47 clones. The U47 is a great mic but it often isn't the best choice, especially for female vocals. I much prefer an older U87 for most female vocalists.

The most important part of a microphone is the capsule and the way that it is matched to the mic's electronics. While the Chinese have copied Neumann's capsule designs, the correct way to tension a Neumann capsule is a closely guarded secret and I don't think that the Chinese have really worked it out yet. Chinese capsules therefore have that characteristic 'zingy' sound due to the poorly controlled capsule resonances. I believe that some manufacturers take Neumann capsules and mate them with their own electronics which looks like a good way to go.



James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#827144 - 06/25/10 02:29 AM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: pRISCILLA]  
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EmmitSycamore Offline
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EmmitSycamore  Offline
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First, I'm not associated with any of the folks linked to below, but I've already done the research, so I'm just sharing that bit.
For somewhere between $250 & $700 you can end up with a mic that compares well to classics that start at 4X those figures, if you can even find anyone willing to part with them.

Here are some links to consider. Some are ready-made mics you can order, some are customization services, where you send your stock mic, and they send back something closer to a high end "boutique" mic. Spend some time poking around the sites, I'm just including one or two links per vendor. Follow up on Google, for opinions from folks with hands-on experience:






Also, don't forget ribbon mics as an option for studio use:



And finally, a detailed example of how to emulate a mic, based on it's known characteristics, using a similar mic and audio processing finesse:


#827673 - 06/28/10 11:15 AM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: EmmitSycamore]  
Joined: Nov 2009
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James Perrett Offline
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James Perrett  Offline
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Hampshire UK
I always take those claims with a pinch of salt. I really regret being too young and impulsive to wait for Don Larking to get a U87 in stock when I was microphone shopping a few years ago. Instead I bought one of the Chinese lookalikes and used it for a few years. It impressed the clients with its looks but sounded nothing like the Neumann. The recordings sounded zingy because Chinese capsules are often tensioned wrongly and resonate at a few KHz. Neumann's tensioning method is a closely guarded secret. In the end I bought the real thing and now the lookalike rarely comes out of its box.

Some of the mics you link to look like standard Chinese mics although the Oktavamod stuff is supposed to be good for what it is.



Last edited by James Perrett; 06/28/10 11:16 AM.

James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#827794 - 06/28/10 11:41 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: James Perrett]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 195
EmmitSycamore Offline
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EmmitSycamore  Offline
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James Perrett wrote"

"Some of the mics you link to look like standard Chinese mics"

Actually, they all are. Or rather, they started out that way.

The point is that the stock is basically quite useable, but like a hotrod that started out as a stock unit, all of the mics linked to above are modified. These folks all take advantage of the inexpensive "stock", and improve upon it, significantly.

Don't take my word for it. Follow up on Google to read what folks with hands on experience with many different makes and models have to say.

Her's one tasty quote, just to give you the idea:

"We blind-tested Joly's modified RSM-3 against each mic in various applications (guitar cabinet, acoustic guitar, grand piano, and even VOICE!!!!), and each time, that $100 RSM-3 with a $300 mod job beat the daylights out of those multi-thousand dollar ribbon mics. This is no joke, folks, and the studio owner who spent about $30,000 on all those classic ribbon mics found no humor in it at all.



For myself, all I can attest to is that a $60.00 (on clearance) MXL 9090 with a $100 mod is now one of the most useful and versatile mics I've ever heard. I even bought two more, while they were still available, and I'm saving my pennies to get them modded too.

#938382 - 12/27/11 09:03 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: EmmitSycamore]  
Joined: Dec 2011
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masterminds Offline
Casual Observer
masterminds  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
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LA Baby
Get on Craigs list and do a search for an M-Audio SPUTNIK. Or just read the reviews...I have 4 of them...will NOT use anything else for most things....epecially female vocals.
Best of luck...

#938442 - 12/28/11 02:34 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: masterminds]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,039
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,039
Brunswick, Ga. USA
One thing you may want to know is a lot of things are made by the same factory but sold by different outlets with different names on them. For instance Japanese Camera Lens. That great Cannon Lens you purchased? Probably made by a factory that specalises in Lens's. My daughter needed a new Refigiator a few years ago. We have a Whirlpool. She bought the same refrigator except it was an Amana. Made in the same factory, just branded different.

I don't know but those Neuman Clones may be made in China by the original manufacturer just set up in China. I bought a Fender Guitar made in Indonesia. Those Mics made in China are most likely as good as the Originals.

Ray E. Strode
#938443 - 12/28/11 02:37 PM Re: Has anyone have a neumann clone? [Re: masterminds]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,899
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Saint Petersburg. FL
Note that Neumann mics range in price in the US from $700 - 8,000, so they are not all created equal. I don't know if one will make your voice sound better than another.

My friend owns a pro studio and he has a Neumann mic but actually prefers the Audio Technica AT 4040. We recorded through both during the making of a recent CD and they both sound fine except the AT is slightly brighter.

I think once you get to a certain threshold of large diameter condenser mics, most of the differences boil down to the EQ curves, which can be fine tuned after the fact with an EQ plugin. I use a couple of Chinese mics in my home studio and I doubt that an $8,000 mic would make me sound any better.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



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