Warm Audio’s new mic is claimed to offer the sound of an original Neumann U87 at a fraction of the price. Does it succeed?
Demand for items of classic studio hardware is high and supplies are low, meaning that the originals are out of reach to many home and project-studio owners. This situation has created a niche for companies like Warm Audio and Golden Age, who use low-cost Far Eastern manufacturing to bring replicas of this gear to market at much more affordable prices. Thus far, Warm Audio have focused mainly on studio outboard, but the WA‑87 is their first foray into the world of microphones.
There are no prizes for guessing which classic item of studio hardware the WA‑87 recreates. Introduced in 1967 as a solid-state successor to the equally classic U67, the Neumann U87 is a microphone that properly deserves the term ‘iconic’. It is still a market-leading product 50 years later, but today’s U87Ai is the result of a 1986 design revision, and differs from the original in various respects that some people think are significant.
The original U87 used the 48V phantom power supply to polarise the capsule directly, and as a consequence, the...
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