United Studio Technologies Twin87 Twin-Circuit Condenser Microphone
Large-diaphragm condenser microphone featuring custom-wound US-made nickel output transformer, K87-style brass dual-diaphragm capsule, and innovative Modern/Vintage toggle switch that reconfigures the mic circuitry
The United Studio Technologies Twin87 Twin-Circuit Condenser Microphone 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 teased out. 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.
THE DEFINITIVE PAIR OF VOCAL MICROPHONES — ALL IN ONE
The debate is finally over. 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 a large-core, custom-wound, US-made output transformer, 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. Engineers 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 teased out. 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 a 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
CUSTOM UNITED TRANSFORMERS
Many iterations of the original German output transformer used in this type of microphone were studied, drawing inspiration, particularly from some of the older, larger frame designs. Knowing that the size of a transformer can sometimes be a limiting factor, the developed custom-wound part 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. Transformer sounds open, with high headroom, and clear, three-dimensional sound — and will never impede low frequencies. Custom-wound, US-made transformer is built with large, all nickel laminations.
UNITED UT K87 CAPSULE
The UT Twin 87 features 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 (+48 V, 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.
IT'S NOT JUST ANOTHER MIC — IT’S A UNITED
Modern “87-style” microphones incorporate an output filter designed to block RF and EM interference — 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 Modern mode! 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 that is slightly hotter, purer, 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 its real strength is its accuracy in providing the same sound engineers have grown to love in every variation of the “87-style” circuit.
- Large, custom-wound, US-made nickel output transformer
- Custom made K87-style, brass, dual-diaphragm capsule
- Only top-shelf discrete components
- Dual-diaphragm, 6 micron, 24k gold-sputtered Mylar (PET film)
- Capsule: UT Series, 34mm brass, insulated dual backplate K87
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure 8, Omni
- Amplifier Type: Field Effect Transistor
- Self Noise: <10 dB (cardioid setting, no pad, no HPF)
- Output: Custom-wound UT Series transformer, made in USA
- Body: Nickel electroplated, solid milled brass
|Package Contents||Twin87 microphone, zippered pouch, manual, sticker, shock mount and extra elastic band|
|Capsule Type||UT Series 34 mm brass insulated dual backplate K87|
|Polar Pattern||Bi-Directional / Figure-Eight, Cardioid, Omni-Directional|
|Number of Microphones||Single Microphone|
|Impedance||27 Ohms (output)|
|Frequency Range||20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Filters||80 Hz (12 dB down point)|
|Max. SPL||117 dB (no pad); 127 dB (with pad) @ 0.5% THD|
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