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Re: U87ai Compare U87ni
Author: Uwe Sattler
Date: 01/06/2005
The significant difference is the letter 'A'. As Martin pointed out, this designates the successor to the original version. The letter 'i' after the model number identifies the output connector as 'international', or 3-pin XLR male. Historically the studio standards for connectors were different between Europe and America, prompting internationally operating manufacturers like Neumann to offer market specific versions of their products. In addition, most Neumann microphone models are offered with different surfaces, which are alsi identified through specific suffixes to the model designation. The most common are -ni for the familiar dull nickel finish, and -mt for matte black.
While the these differences (-ni VS -mt) are strictly cosmetic, the U87 VS U87A difference does affect the technical data, mainly in their sensitivity and self noise. Both versions are otherwise sonically very similar.  
 
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