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Author Topic: Neumann U64  (Read 3361 times)

Bob Schwenkler

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Neumann U64
« on: February 25, 2009, 09:56:47 pm »

Hi All, I just came across a couple of these mics on eBay and it piqued my interest. I really love the sound of the KM8x series.

Any opinions on these mics as compared to the KM84 or KM86?

Also, anyone have a circuit diagram for this mic?

Klaus Heyne

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 01:11:31 am »

Bob,
The U6x were the only stock Neumann mics equipped with a Nuvistor. Mostly delivered to the US, the U64 was built from 1964 to 1971. They were not very popular, not with the engineers who designed them nor with the buying public, so the mics disappeared much sooner from the market than the production years would indicate.

The capsules were identical to those of the KM64: a KM84 diaphragm/backplate that needed to be mated to the older mic amp terminations which functioned without ground potential on the capsule. Hence the somewhat longer neck on the KK64 capsule head which contained electrical components that disconnected the KK84 innards from ground.

Contact Neumann's pinboard ( http://www.neumann.com/forums/list.php?site=&bn=neumann_ mictec) to get a PDF of the schematic sent to your email address.

If they should not respond, please contact me privately and I will fax you one.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Bob Schwenkler

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 02:52:10 am »

Thank you Klaus. Do you know in any detail what the designers or public might not have been happy about with the mic?

I'd also still be pleased to hear any experience with these mics from members of this board.

Klaus Heyne

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 03:40:25 am »

Quickly, not to dominate my own forum (HA!):
The problem with the Nuvistor in mic applications were primarily unreliable performance over time (high failure rate) and a very high number of microphonic specimens. (Though Neumann did a swell job selecting the cream of the crop 7586 that came with these mics ex factory)

Add to that Nuvistor-to-transformer impedance matching issues which affect the mic's low end in particular, and you end up in the same boat as AKG did with its C61 and C12A/B equipped with the same 7586 and Neumann with its U47 retrofit 13CW4 Nuvistor: marginal mics, all.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
www.GermanMasterworks.com

strangeandbouncy

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 07:14:54 am »

I used to own a trio of U64's, and whilst they are not as desirable as KM64, they are very very usable mics IMHO. They are a tad softer, and I loved them on hh, perc and acoustic gtr.

Sorry to disagree with Klaus, but . . . beauty is in the eye of the beholder! If the price is right, I would say go for it. I preferred them to my KM84s in the same application, whilst deferring to my KM64 if I only needed to use one.  

There are many who write off the AKG C12a in the same breath, and in my opine they are clouded by a comparison with the C!2 they superceded. I have always loved C12a for strings. There was a tally of 12 of 'em at Wessex Studios back in the day.
I have never liked C12s on strings. There is no comparison between the two overall, but it doesn't stop the C12a being a great mic in its own right. Likewise the U64.

If anyone has any "marginal" Nuvistor mics they don't want, I'd be only too glad to take 'em off you!

. . . . .just MY humble opinion . . .

KIndest regards, ANdyP


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Bob Schwenkler

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 10:44:03 pm »

Thanks Andy and Klaus.

As I don't have the experience with the "cream of the crop" mics like many others here I'll clarify that I'm particularly interested to hear opinions and descriptions of the sound of these mics in comparison to the KM8x family as I own a pair of 86s and one 84.

Andy, can you give any more detailed of a description about the sound of the KM64s you used and why you preferred them to the KM84?

I'd also be interested to know the same about the U64s you used.

Bob Schwenkler

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 10:50:14 pm »

Also, what are the differences between the U64 and the KM64?

strangeandbouncy

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2009, 04:00:00 am »

Only difference I am aware of is the tube, being an AC701k in the KM64, and a Nuvistor type 7586 in u64.


   Sound is such a subjective thing, and i don't have any of the aforementioned mics to hand anymore . . . Not to mention, I hate describing sound differences remotely to someone I don't know! Some people use U87's and 414's for everything, and make amazing sounding records. I can't.
You might hate U64's. I doubt it, but you might. Especially if you like KM84. Sometimes KM84 was my first choice. All depends on what ya doin'!

   From memory, there is a distinct difference in the bottom end response of the nuvistor and tube models, with the U64 being a tad thin, and undefined at the bottom. Top end has a lovely kind-of sheen to it. not the sweetness of the KM64. u64 is a lot more coloured than KM84, but in a very useable way. u64 with 10dB pad still sounds good, but KM84 can seem to change a lot with pad in.


  Bottom line, they are all great. I would prefer to own all three, since they are good for different applications. Given a choice, and a limitless budget, I'd always prefer the KM64's overall, but if the price is right go for the u64's . . . just don't expect them to be as sell-able!

 Also take note that whilst there are spare nuvistors available, finding a GOOD quiet one proved to be a bit of a chore! I had to buy a handful, and select. Having said that, I'd rather be trying to find spare 7586 than spare AC701k right now!


   I am sure that there are those who disagree with me, but such is life. I do, afterall, make records for my living, so I hope there is some merit in what I say.



   Kindest regards,



      ANdyP
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Bob Schwenkler

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Re: Neumann U64
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 02:00:44 pm »

Thanks, that's very helpful information.
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