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Author Topic: Newbie buying a M269C  (Read 7970 times)

torsteinl

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Newbie buying a M269C
« on: July 16, 2011, 06:37:51 am »

I'm in contact with a seller and will probably buy my first vintage mic soon, the Neumann M269C. There are bumps in the grille and the pins for highpass and -10 are broken. But he say it is completely original and sounds wonderful.

Is there anything in particular I should ask for, and look out for?

Torstein
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klaus

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 05:25:54 pm »

Maybe if I used an analogy from the vintage car world, it would be obvious to you what's at stake and how to proceed:

Someone is advertising a 1973 Porsche 911S. The owner says a door handle and the mirror are missing, and the bumpers are dented in, but the car is all original, and drives like a dream.

First question you ask: what does he want for it? $45k? Forget it, thanks for chatting. $19K? Maybe. Yu meet, check it out, step on the gas, drive through the mountains on a windy road, and if the car feels tight and responsive, you both agree on a third-party pre-purchase inspection by Dieter's Porschewerks.
Dieter, having apprenticed at Porsche in Stuttgart in the 1970s, will hone in like a laser on the weak spots of every 911 of that era: rust in the trunk, under the battery tray, tired torsion springs, bad compression on cylinder #4, smoke at start-up, etc.

If Dieter says: A OK! You've got yourself a bargain at $19k. If not, you spent a measly $150.- for the inspection, and will go to bed that night relaxed, followed by sweet dreams of you driving your dream 911.

If you don't proceed with any of these steps, you will be miserable, until you'll make the next guy who will buy this thing from you either very happy (because you had to unload your mistakes at fire sale prices) or miserable too (because you conveniently forgot to mention to him all the problems you discovered, one after the next.)

The bottom line: proceed deliberately, don't forgo reasonable steps of inspection and examination, just because you sense a deal may be slipping away, and someone else may get there first. I've learned through buying (and selling) many a mic, car, guitar, that it NEVER pays to rush into a substantial purchase.

Good luck!
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 10:35:14 am »

Thanks! I hope Dieter is reading this forum, cause I have some pictures of the car for him  :D

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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 10:36:37 am »

Some more

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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 10:37:32 am »

and more
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 10:53:10 am »

...
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klaus

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 02:12:05 pm »

Did you tell Dieter how much the seller wants?
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 02:15:28 pm »

Ah, forgot about that... $6500.
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klaus

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 02:48:23 pm »

So, have you hired Dieter yet to do a compression check (in this case, at least a tube-health, voltage supply or capsule function test)?

Or are you trying to bypass Dieter, in the hope of getting free advice from amateur mechanics online, because you'd like to save what little money you would spend with Dieter, but don't mind to gamble on the big stuff?

As an (overbooked, and therefore non-competing) colleague of Dieter, let me assure you that, at that asking price, you will need to hire Dieter: if a couple of the main components of this mic need to be replaced, you are already in the "not such a good deal" territory for this purchase.

Hire a known professional, rather than relying on free (and unreliable) advice from strangers.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 03:34:23 pm »

Quote
are you trying to bypass Dieter, in the hope of getting free advice

Yes, I am. I also try to educate myself.

Quote
from amateur mechanics online

I chose REP because the ratio of amateur mechanics here seems relatively low.

Regarding the car/microphone analogy: I took my car to a checkup when I bought it. It is a good idea to do the same with expensive microphones. I will explore the possibilites I have. But it's not like there is a guy around the corner that can do it, like with cars.

I live in Norway, the seller in Sweden. This is outside/inside EU, meaning tax barriers. If anybody know somebody in Sweden with the relevant experience who can check up on the microphone before I buy it, please let me know. From what I've heard, this kind of work usually gets shipped to Germany.
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Piedpiper

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 08:58:07 pm »

great, succinct thread. priceless synopsis Klaus. geez, say that ten times fast...
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radiovinhet

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 03:21:56 pm »

Why don't you search for a u67? 
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 03:26:25 pm »

From what I understand the U67 is a little dark for vocal application. M269C a little brighter.
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klaus

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 04:48:43 pm »

While on paper the M269 is 2dB hotter at 10k compared to the U67, please keep in mind that the K67 capsule which is used in both mics is largely responsible for both models' frequency response tolerance of ±2dB, or a spread of 4dB.

That means, you could get a U67 which will be 2 dB hotter at 10K than another M269.

I found in testing numerous samples of both that, all else being equal, the midrange texture of a U67 is preferable for vocalists, while the slightly more glassy timbre of an M269 (especially the c version) is a bit more suitable for acoustic instrument pick up- any acoustic instrument - the mic is that good.  In the end, these are theoretical considerations.

In the aggregate, you may end up with either model being capable of rendering vocals exquisitely.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 05:08:03 pm »

Interesting! The deviance might help explain why some prefer it for vocals, others not so much.
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Max K.

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2011, 05:18:55 pm »

I live in Norway, the seller in Sweden (Malmö). This is outside/inside EU, meaning tax barriers. If anybody know somebody in Sweden with the relevant experience who can check up on the microphone before I buy it, please let me know. From what I've heard, this kind of work usually gets shipped to Germany.
Martin Kantola is located in Finland, if that is of any help.

Best regards,

Max
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torsteinl

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 12:03:55 pm »

I suggested Kantola and Sennheiser in Copenhagen, but the seller don't want the waiting time. He has others interested that will buy it without the checkup. And he wants to go on vacation ;-)

Anyway, he just said in an email that he just learned that the mic was reskinned in the nineties. I read some of Klaus's and others older posts about reskinning and the consensus seems to be that reskinning is inferior to getting a new, original capsule. I guess I could buy a new K67 capsule but then the mic would start to look expensive.

If the consensus about reskinning still is that you get the sound of the reskinner, not genuine Neumann, I think I will pass on this mic.

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Sean Eldon Qualls

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 01:18:31 pm »

Is that a platinum diaphragm, or some weird artifact from the camera? If platinum, perhaps done by Horch...
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Sean Eldon Qualls
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2011, 09:06:05 pm »



Would the bottom leads on the AC701 have been coiled at the factory?  Is this a replacement, where somebody failed to do it?  Or would have come from the factory like this?
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klaus

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011, 02:00:20 pm »

All factory-installed AC701 in ANY Neumann microphone were coiled, and no matter how tiny the space or difficult to do so.
The coiling is not ideal- it creates a slight coil effect (doh!)- but it serves three (maybe more) good purposes. It dissipates heat during installation, avoids filament resonance and acts as mechanical buffer against filament breakage.
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Klaus Heyne
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Dinogi

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Re: Newbie buying a M269C
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2011, 09:36:37 am »

The automotive metaphor seems very appropriate in this discussion. Whether you want it as a Sunday driver or use it every day has to be taken into the equation. Original equipment is going to fail when stressed. Can you depend on it if you simply need transportation? The reasonable person would assume that even in the best case scenario, any manufactured device will eventually require extensive repair. I've watched enough Barrett-Jackson car auctions to know what an off body restoration costs. If that 911 is that special a car. If you're willing, and able to purchase, restore, and maintain it, then good for you. I am shamefully jealous. If I had that kind of coin to put toward a single microphone, I'd wan't to check out a couple of new ones just for comparison. In fact, for 6-8 thousand bucks, or 32,097-42,796 K, I'd probably be throwing a tantrum in the lobby of Mercenary Audio until they let me play with everything they had in the store.
.....Dean Giamette
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