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Author Topic: Neumann replacement parts  (Read 7105 times)

Ward Pike

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Neumann replacement parts
« on: April 24, 2012, 02:37:25 PM »

Greetings, gang,

What's the best after-market source for parts for Neumann microphones, outside of Neumann/Sennheiser?  For example, I have a TLM170 with an intermittent polar pattern selector switch.  I can easily replace it, I just need the part.

Many thanks in advance.

Ward
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klaus

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Re: Neumann replacement parts
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 03:21:13 PM »

To my knowledge, there are no aftermarket parts available for Neumann mics, especially contemporary models like the TLM170.

The reason is two-fold: Neumann aggressively defends its trademarks and proprietorial territory, plus, aftermarket parts manufacturing requires a minimum number of units to make any profits. A low volume mic like a TLM170 probably does not justify such investment.

There are some more or less ill-fitting housing and mechanical parts available from third-party vendors for vintage U47 and M49/M50 mics, but that's about it.

If anyone else had differing information, please contribute (personal experience appreciated!)
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Klaus Heyne
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radiovinhet

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Re: Neumann replacement parts
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 11:53:00 AM »

Klaus

Why does Neumann not mind and allows that other manufacturers make U47 and M49 clones?
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klaus

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Why does Neumann allow copies?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 08:32:26 PM »

I speculate with two answers:

1. Neumann may mind very much, now, that 'vintage' is the big thing in current microphone trends, but the complication of having never applied for, or having let lapse, or having never aggressively monitored their own designs and trademarks of these iconic designs in the past, makes it now almost impossible to put the cat back in the sack, and retroactively claim ownership of original designs, now that copies are being made all over the world, with little chance to reach off-shore makers with a cease and desist order that sticks.

2. Until quit recently, when it finally had come to even Neumann's attention that the majority of growth in the condenser microphone market of the last decade was in (attempted) copies of their own mics, the decision makers at Neumann/Sennheiser had an attitude of: "It's beneath our dignity to re-visit mics we made decades ago," and: "this is outdated technology. We need to continue to be leaders in advanced microphone technology, not chase the past" (hence the company's focus on digital mic technology.)

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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soapfoot

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Re: Why does Neumann allow copies?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 09:36:15 AM »

There's precedent for the futility of such pursuits-- Fender guitars attempted to register a trademark the Stratocaster and Telecaster body shapes about 5 years ago, in an attempt to stem the tide of F-style copies inexpensive and boutique alike. They already held trademarks on the names and headstock shapes-- this was an effort to trademark the body shape as well (patents had long expired) so that any strat- or tele-style guitar body would be an infringement of trademark (!) 

They spent a lot of money and sent a lot of cease-and-desist letters, but ultimately were unable to win any sort of judgement-- the shapes and technology had been freely used in the industry for decades before they decided they wanted to try and protect them.  They spent a lot of money, and generally nothing but bad came of it for them.

As Klaus says, I doubt Neumann wants to go there.
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klaus

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Re: Neumann replacement parts
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 12:35:17 PM »

 To add a story about the difficulties protecting a design that is already in use by the general public:

I once wanted to protect from use by others a microphone circuit I had invented. But, because I had already sold and distributed the specific circuit modification for a period of time, my trademark attorney informed me I could no longer protect that circuit from duplication, never mind the fact that I came up with it.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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maarvold

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Re: Neumann replacement parts
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 03:55:53 PM »

IMO, this country (USA) often seems to have a casual or even 'hands off' approach to the protection of ideas and intellectual property. 
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Michael Aarvold
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klaus

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Re: Neumann replacement parts
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 04:42:12 PM »

...unless you have deep pockets and the lobbying clout and threat of legal action big money affords.  Apple and Microsoft have been quite successful in keeping copyright and patent infringements at bay.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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David Satz

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Why does Neumann allow copies
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 07:26:08 AM »

Neumann doesn't allow other manufacturers to copy their designs where the law gives them a clear alternative. They own a design patent in Germany and other countries which covers the external design expressed in the U 87, and they regularly work with customs officials to see that this patent is enforced. Recently one vendor's entire booth at a major trade show in Germany was forcibly closed by customs authorities for this reason, and the infringing products were confiscated. (This occurred after the vendor had been notified of the infringement and had refused to withdraw the infringing products.)

But the protections given by such an arrangement are obviously limited and particular. Circuit designs using discrete components are copied with special ruthlessness, it seems to me.
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klaus

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Re: Why does Neumann allow copies
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 11:55:50 AM »

Circuit designs using discrete components are copied with special ruthlessness, it seems to me.

And they can be, legally, as soon as the design is in circulation; unless the creator had applied for trademark or patent beforehand.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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