The Neumann U67 is a legendary microphone. It has been used by some of the biggest names in music to record some of their greatest albums.
But the cost of that legend is very high, putting it out of reach for most. Fortunately, there are some fantastic clones that make that iconic sound much more affordable.
Top 3 - U67 Clones
Here are three of the best U67 clones available today.
3 Similar Sounding & Affordable U67 Clones
1. Warm Audio WA-67
The Warm Audio WA-67 is one of, if not the most, popular U67 clones out there. It recreates everything that makes the U67 special while also managing to be its own thing. All at a fraction of the price.
The WA-67 is an impeccably designed mic. Not only does it have a similar look to the U67, but the build quality is on par. The body is incredibly sturdy, giving a sense that the internal components are well protected inside.
The mic features three polar patterns, just like the original U67. It has a cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8 pattern that can easily be switched between using the slider at the front of the mic.
I am impressed every time I use the WA-67. In fact, it has become my go to mic for vocals and acoustic guitars whenever I have one available.
With vocals, there is a very lovely low-mid warmth. Female vocals, in particular, also have a nice clarity at the top end.
Acoustic guitars have a very natural sound through the WA-67. The mic doesn’t add much in terms of coloration, and is capable of picking up the finer details and dynamics in a guitarists playing.
I also love using it as a room mic for drums. The mic adds a very smooth and spacious quality too the sound. That same low-mid representation is also present, but sometimes a bit too much. But it is usually easy to dial back with some light mixing.
On top of an incredible mic, you are also getting quite a few extras. A power supply, XLR cable, a super sturdy shockmount, and a lovely wooden box to keep the mic safe.
The mic alone makes the price well worth it. All the extras you get as well is just a very nice cherry on top of an already delicious dessert.
2. Mojave Audio MA-300
Mojave Audio is a brand that I haven’t really seen or heard much about. So, I was very curious to test out their MA-300 tube condenser mic. And my experience with it was nothing short of amazing.
Right off the bat, the design and build quality of the MA-300 stands out. This is a solid, well-made mic. The design also resembles that of the vintage mic it’s modeled after, especially with the very 1950s Mojave logo.
As for the audio, the MA-300 does a fantastic job. There is a lot of warmth and clarity in everything you record with this mic. But the sound is still kept quite natural.
I also didn’t really need to do much in terms of EQ. Everything just sounds clean, smooth, and buttery. At most the high pass filter needed to be switched on.
Along with a fantastic mic, you are also getting some wonderful extras. A sturdy shockmount, cables, the standard for this kind of kit.
The coolest part, though, are the heavy duty cases for both the mic and a larger one to hold the mic case and all the extras. You even get a set of keys to help make sure everything is kept safe.
I did notice during my testing that the MA-300 is quite sensitive. If you want to use it to its fullest potential, you are going to want to use a good preamp with it. This sentiment does seem to be shared by a few people from what I can tell, so it isn’t just my ears playing tricks on me.
Apart from that, the only real issue with this mic is its price tag. Similar quality mics can be bought for slightly cheaper. But considering the high quality of the mic, plus all the extra that come with it, I still think it is a very worthwhile purchase.
3. MXL V67G
While U67 clones are made to be cheaper versions of the original, they still aren’t exactly what you would call affordable. Many are still sold for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.
That is where the MXL V67G comes in. It is designed to bring the quality of the U67, but at a price that is within reach for any producer.
The build quality of the mic is great, fantastic even. It feels like the build quality of a mic that costs three times as much. I also like the green and gold color scheme. It’s unconventional and makes the mic stand out.
It is quite amazing how MXL has managed to get such a good sound out of a mic that is under $100.
Vocals are crisp with a lovely warmth. And even though the frequency response isn’t quite as wide, it has no problem handling both low and high-pitched voices.
Acoustic guitars sound just as great. They are natural and warm, and the mic picks up subtle details with ease.
Unfortunately, the mic is cardioid pattern only. That means that you are only using it as a vocal or instrument mic.
Noise rejection is quite good, however. If you are recording in a room with less than ideal sound treatment, you will still be able to get a fairly decent recording.
While the V67G is a good quality mic, it is still limited. This is a mic that I would say is really only suited for home use.
Even in a professional study, you will still only get so much out of this mic. If you want to do high end, professional recordings, a more expensive mic is going to be a much better option.
But if you are looking for a high-quality U67 clone for home recording, the V67G is a definite winner.
What Is The Neumann U67?
The Neumann U67 was first introduced in 1960. It was designed to be the successor of the already legendary U47.
The idea behind the U67 was to make a mic that could not only be used closer to a sound source, since that had become more popular at the time, but also a more versatile mic. Most mics were only suited to recording vocals or instruments, etc, but the U67 was designed to be able to recording nearly anything.
The U67 quickly became a legend in its own right. It has been used to record some of the biggest bands and albums in music history.
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, those are just a few of the bands that have recorded with the U67.
Why Go With A Clone?
So, why buy a clone of the U67 instead of the real thing? The answer is quite simple, original U67s are not only hard to come by, but very expensive.
Even the U67 Reissue sells for $7000. And that is without getting into the argument of original versus reissue.
That is the major advantage of buying a clone instead. They give you a similar quality to the mic they are based on, but at a much more affordable price.
Clones Aren’t The Original
Even though clones are based on the same design as the original, many even using similar parts, keep in mind that they still aren’t the original.
The simple fact for this is that they just aren’t made the same way. This is especially true for Neumann mics.
These mics were made by hand, and often by only a few people. That means that every mic was unique, but also had the specific touch of the person who made it.
Clones are made with more machining involved. This is so that they can be made in higher volumes, but they also lose a lot of that personal touch.
Another thing to consider is that, while these are made to recreate the sound, the companies that make them also want them to be their own thing to an extent. These companies also often try to improve on the original. Even though the originals are incredible, they aren’t perfect.
Don’t Just Rely On The Mic
While all of the mics on this list are fantastic, remember that your mic isn’t the only part to a great sound. You are going to need other quality equipment.
Not only are things like a good interface necessary to make sure your mic isn’t being held back, but to make sure you are getting the most out of it. And remember that you also need to record in a well sound treated room.
If you are looking for a mic with the quality of sound on par with a classic like the U67, then look no further than the three on this list.
The Warm Audio WA-67 is one of the most popular U67 clones today, with the Mojave Audio MA-300 being a strong new contender. And for home studios, the MXL V67G is a superb and affordable option.