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Author Topic: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?  (Read 23083 times)

klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2017, 11:18:30 am »

For the answer please read my opening post #1, and update, #23.
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Klaus Heyne
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kamamuri

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2018, 04:43:15 am »

Thank you for such invaluable info. Is the capsule in the new U67 reissue the K870/K67? (as far as I know, there is no new capsule available as spare on the Sennheiser site).
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klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2018, 01:29:20 pm »

Yes, it is. And this mic's response, as that of the U87Ai, therefore is largely affected by the individual response of the actual capsule installed.
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Klaus Heyne
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kamamuri

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2018, 03:26:24 am »

Yes, it is. And this mic's response, as that of the U87Ai, therefore is largely affected by the individual response of the actual capsule installed.

Thank you. Then my hope is the new batches of capsules of a $7K mic should be better in terms of consistency. I really don't know if I should buy a new K870 for my 1961 U67, wait a little more, or try a vintage second hand and cross fingers (even though, at this point, all choices seems a cross-fingers-matter to me!).
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klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2018, 02:00:31 pm »

I sympathize with your predicament, and am afraid the news is not good for you and anyone who hopes that the same capsule installed in the $7k U67 will be better or different than when it's installed in the $3.5k U87Ai.

If my complete tear down and analysis of the U67 reissue (article currently in progress and posted soon) is any indication, the ills that plague the K67/870 capsule have not been cured: high diaphragm tension on still too many of them.

Though there is a way to reduce the tension and, for a balanced response, bring it into a range of past generations, it is laborious and expensive.

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Klaus Heyne
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kamamuri

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2018, 08:23:45 am »

In any case I'm glad to be here to face the facts (in spite of these disappoint my expectations). Education first. Thank you Mr. Heyne.
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gtoledo3

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2018, 06:42:05 am »

So, how do you test the diaphragm tension of an assembled capsule, or do you just listen empirically?

It always seems a little circumspect to me to peg difference down to just that. Small differences in the size of holes in the backplate for instance, etc., could seemingly make as much difference in end frequency response.

It also seems like low tension can be a bad thing... one of the first things to make a capsule sound bad, IMO, is low tension that starts to result in a capsule being overly sensitive to plosives.
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klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2018, 12:38:37 am »

So, how do you test the diaphragm tension of an assembled capsule, or do you just listen empirically?
I listen.

Quote
It always seems a little circumspect to me to peg difference down to just that. Small differences in the size of holes in the backplate for instance, etc., could seemingly make as much difference in end frequency response.
I know it's the diaphragm tension, because once I relax an overly tight diaphragm, the capsule behaves and sounds just right. If it were something else, relaxing the diaphragm to levels of tension found in former times would not bring the capsule into compliance.

Quote
It also seems like low tension can be a bad thing... one of the first things to make a capsule sound bad, IMO, is low tension that starts to result in a capsule being overly sensitive to plosives.
Of course. I speculate that too many K870 were too close to that limit, so they were selected out and rejected, which cost the company too much money, which caused the company to increase diaphragm tension, which reduced the amount of rejects, but which made the capsules sound worse.

But what do I know? Could have just been a new tensioning weight they ordered that was off, or something else...
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Klaus Heyne
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gtoledo3

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2018, 01:03:52 am »

Very interesting, thanks for that response!
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RuudNL

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2020, 11:22:08 am »

Today I had the opportunity to compare a brand new Neumann TLM67 to my own U87ai microphones.
Although at first I was a bit sceptic about the TLM67 (I am not a real fan of the TLM series), the microphone sounded good.
The TLM67 microphone had a full low end, compared to the (2016) U87ai microphone I compared it with.
Since the capsule heads are exchangeable, I tested the TLM67 capsule assemby on the U87ai.
This resulted in a much better LF response. Measurements confirmed this, the difference at 40 Hz. was more than 4 dB!
So, has Sennheiser/Neumann improved things lately?
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klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2020, 01:49:46 pm »

Quote
So, has Sennheiser/Neumann improved things lately?

I posted a reply on Gearslutz yesterday that sums up my current impression:
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Extreme cases of diaphragm hypertension that I encountered in late 2017/18, and in the U67Reissue I tested and wrote about are getting rare.

It's the average that still concerns me: too many people continue to send me current-issue capsules to reduce the tension back to 1960s level. It's time-consuming and not lucrative, but an interesting project I continue to refine and improve.

I have been in communication with Neumann about this for years now, and, who knows, maybe a systematic change has occurred, or it's just a fluke. It will take a few more months to tell which.

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Klaus Heyne
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soapfoot

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2020, 03:38:58 pm »

For what it's worth, we got a pair of U67 reissues and, after replacing the tubes with good NOS Amperex mesh-plate EF86s, they perform very much like our three vintage originals.

Well enough that we use them interchangeably, except on stereo sources, where we actually prefer the reissues as they sound very well identical.
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klaus

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2020, 11:22:47 pm »

Good for you. As I keep saying: bass-starved K67 are popping up here and there, with no rhyme and reason, in between perfectly fine samples.

If you find that the Reissue is interchangeable with the vintage U67, it would be interesting to find out what capsule is in the vintage. It may already be a replacement K67, as none of the original K67 made from 1960 to about 1965 was ever lacking in gorgeous bass response.
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Klaus Heyne
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soapfoot

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Re: New Neumann U87 Capsules: Finally A Turn-Around in Quality?
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2020, 09:08:41 pm »

At least one of our vintage U67s does have a replacement Neumann K67--not of extremely-recent vintage, however.
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