United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone
The United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone has been painstakingly recreated with the utmost attention to detail! The UT Twin87 is United's take on both vintage and modern variants of a very classic and much desired condenser microphone that has been used on countless hit records.
The UT Twin87 captures the essence of both the original classic and modern incarnations of the “87-style” microphone design. For the first time ever, United has created a microphone that duplicates both circuits, and can reconfigure itself on the fly for an exceptional reproduction of the sonic capabilities of both microphones. The UT Twin87 features our own large-core, custom-wound, US-made output transformer, our own custom made 24k gold sputtered dual diaphragm/dual backplate K87 style capsule, and a whole assortment of selected, premium components such as polystyrene, tantalum, multilayer ceramic, WIMA film capacitors, metal and carbon film resistors, and hand-selected transistors. Vintage, or modern? The UT Twin87 finally ends the debate with a new answer — both.
Twin Circuit Topology.
The UT Twin87 offers the authentic sonic capabilities of both “87-style” microphones in one package. United extensively measured component values and types, and circuit differences between ‘golden reference’ specimens of the very earliest available microphones of this style, as well as some of the final revisions produced. These variations were studied, documented, and their audible differences were carefully teasedout. No mere ‘EQ/boost’ circuit or digital gimmick would cut it — the UT Twin87 literally toggles between two discrete ‘87 style circuit topologies, separated by nearly half a century.
- In Vintage mode, the UT Twin87 polarizes its capsule directly by phantom power voltages, taking advantage of an insulated, dual backplate capsule design — just as the earliest "87-style" microphones did. The high-Z and de-emphasis circuitry use all of the same component choices as the original. This yields a slightly warmer, softer and forgiving sound.
- In Modern mode, the capsule is polarized at a higher voltage using an FET oscillator circuit as found on later revisions of the classic mic, yielding a higher capsule sensitivity and feeding a hotter signal into the amplifier circuitry. Its high-Z and de-emphasis circuitry likewise use all of the same component choices as much later “87-style” designs. This yields a louder, slightly brighter and more articulate response, with an extended top end reach and a more ‘up-front’ character.
A Custom United UT K87 Capsule.
The UT Twin 87 features United's own custom-made K87 style, dual diaphragm/dual backplate capsule. The UT-K87 capsule is precision milled from brass, skinned with 6 micron Japanese PET film (mylar), and has 24k gold sputtered membrane. The capsules are skinned in a laboratory clean-room environment. In Vintage Mode, the capsule is polarized simply by normal phantom power voltages (+48v, optimal), and utilizes an insulated backplate design to polarize the front and back sides separately. In Modern Mode, the capsule backplates are connected, and the polarization voltage is raised (slowly, and gently) up to about 63 volts using a specially designed boost circuit.
Custom United Transformers.
United looked at many iterations of the original German output transformer used in this type of microphone, drawing inspiration particularly from some of the older, larger frame designs. Knowing that the size of a transformer can sometimes be a limiting factor, United developed their own custom-wound part which has nearly four times the metal mass found in any “87-style” microphones. This part truly ensures that there are no bottlenecks or weak links in the design, and that nothing is lost in translation as the signal is passed out of the microphone and down long cable runs. Their transformer sounds open, with high headroom, and clear, three dimensional sound — and will never impede low frequencies. United's custom-wound, US made transformer is built with large, all nickel laminations. While they could have used a smaller or less expensive transformer; they simply refusedto compromise.
It’s not just another mic — it’s a United.
Modern “87-style” microphones incorporate an output filter designed to block RF and EMinterference — much debate has taken place over the years as to whether this filter enhances or harms the sonics of the microphone. The UT Twin87 has also ended this debate, as the filter can be engaged/disengaged at any time, in either Vintage or Modernmode! When the UT Twin87 is set to cardioid, another boutique modification is quietly engaged:the “true-cardioid mod”. Rather than operate in active (switched) cardioid mode as per the standard design, the UT Twin87 will disengage the pattern select circuitry altogether and decouple from the rear diaphragm of the capsule. This yields a cardioid function thatis slightly hotter, more pure, and boasts a better signal to noise ratio.With all of the extra features and high-end components, the UT Twin87 is a truly exceptional microphone — but it’s real strength is it’s accuracy in providing the same sound engineers have grown to love in every variation of the “87-style” circuit
United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone Features
- Modern / Vintage switch isn’t just some gimic, or voice-trickery — the entire circuit reconfigures itself to the original specifications, and energizes the capsule to the same specifications.
- Custom United 24k gold sputtered dual diaphragm/dual backplate K87 style capsule.
- Custom wound, American-made United transformer with 4x the iron mass of “other 87s”.
- The only “87-style” microphone that has options to engage/disengage it’s RF filter — a modular approach that captures both versions of the classic, as well as combinations inbetween!
- True-cardiod mod built right in; the very same modifcation done to vintage microphones by the most demanding of engineers, without sacrificing polar pattern selection.
- Absolute workhorse, a desert-island microphone for professional studios and voiceover work.
- Clean, clear, articulate, open sound. Low noise and high headroom and dynamicrange.
United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone Specifications
- Type: Condenser Microphone
- Diaphragm: Dual-diaphragm, 6 micron, 24k gold sputtered Mylar (PET film)
- Capsule: UT Series, 34mm brass, insulated dual backplate K87
- Power Supply: +48v Phantom Power (via XLR)
- Ground: Pin 1 XLR (required)
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- SPL: 117dB (no pad), 127dB (with pad) @ .5% THD
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure 8, Omni
- Output Impedance: 27 Ω
- Amplifier Type: Field Effect Transistor
- Self noise: <10dB (cardioid setting, no pad, no HPF)
- Output: Custom-wound UT Series transformer, made in USA
- Body: Nickel electroplated, solid milled brass
- High Pass Filter: 80hZ (12dB down point)
- Pad: -10dB
- Connector: 24k gold plated XLR, pin 2 HOT, pin 1 GND
- Mount: Suspension type shock mount (included)
- Dimensions: Height: 220mm / 8.6′′, Diameter: 55mm / 2.2′′, Shockmount Depth: 190mm/ 7.5′′
United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone Includes
- UT Twin87 Microphone
- Zipper Pouch
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United Studio Technologies UT Twin87 Microphone - Gear360 at Front End Audio
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Grabbed one of these on a whim, knowing I'm very skeptical about U87 clones, having owned over a dozen vintage to U87ai's over the year. Put it through the ringer on a vocalist, and my jaw dropped. Both circuits – vintage and modern – are spot-on from my experience with authentic Neumanns. I reached out to Chad Kelly of UT just to let him know how excited I an for him. These are the best '87 clones available (from what I've heard personally), and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a second one (ok, to tell the truth, I just DID buy a second one).
Alright..... I received my mic yesterday from Frontend Audio. It shipped right away on Release Day (pretty cool)! I had about an hour and a half to play with it and do some spoken-word mic comparisons. I'm not lying when I say this, but the mic is absolutely amazing! It had me smiling all day. The build quality is excellent. The sound is INSANE! Do I have a Neumann u87 to compare it to?... No I do not. However, I do have a decent mic collection to compare it to. None of my other mics compared to it (in favor of). The UT Twin87 totally offers a vibe and tone that none of my other mics have. And from what I can tell, it definitely brings that 87 tone. I compared it to my Austrian Audio OC818, my original early 2000's USA made Blue Mouse, and my Peluso P414 (clone of AKG C414 EB model). These are all mics costing between $1000 to $1300. I EASILY preferred the sound of the UT over all of these specific mics. Boy does it stand above all of these mics (especially in bringing out that mid tone and slight "growl" from back in the throat). It's an insane mic for the price. It easily could cost double the price. The versatility of using it in either Vintage or Modern mode, and even engaging the RF filter on either one of those modes.... It's crazy. And I can totally hear the slight difference and "sweetening" when engaging that RF filter. This mic is more like having 3 flavors, rather than 2. Putting the mic into Vintage mode and engaging the RF filter brings the mic somewhere in between Vintage and Modern mode (it's the Vintage vibe with just a hair more articulation). It's for sure a new Go-To mic. And to be honest... The Austrian Audio OC818 can almost go in the garbage compared to this thing! I know I know... They're not the same mic. Bottom line is, if you need a mic.... GET THIS!!!!!! I can't imagine anyone being dissatisfied. I can totally see this becoming a new studio standard. Especially for the price! Lastly.... Does it sound exactly like a Neumann u87??? WHO CARES!!!! Lol. It sounds so damn good that I don't think it even matters at that point. I'm sure it's close. Hey, maybe it's even better. I can tell you that I don't hear any of that annoying "nasal" tone that sometimes pops out on a u87 (at least it's not present on my voice). This thing is 100% quality! DISCLAIMER.... It will pick up all of your room and background noises, if your room is untreated. Then again, so does the u87. Just an FYI.... Anyway, I hope this honest review helps! Thanks.