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Author Topic: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?  (Read 2612 times)

brightmillion

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Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:11:39 pm »

Can anyone recommend trusted sources for finding vintage mics for sale? (either vintage retailers or individuals that deal in mics)

I am hesitant to work with random folks on eBay or Craigslist to acquire a multi-thousand dollar item, and many of them won't agree to having the mics sent to and inspected by a third party. (which could mean they are scammers, or just that they would rather not go through the extra step since probably some other buyer will buy it without the extra step...)

I realize that retail dealers will have a higher price than individual sellers, but I am not adept enough to recognize authenticity on the spot through photos or in person, so am in the dark to know if I would be purchasing something that is pieced together improperly, or downright fake...

Thanks, I appreciate it!
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klaus

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:52:22 pm »

Vintage King has garnered an increasingly good reputation in its dealings with buyers of vintage mics over the last decade. They are expensive, in my opinion, and not staffed by particularly deep mic experts, especially when it comes to authenticating a vintage mic down to its last screw or wire. But that would be unrealistic to ask for; the field of vintage mics is too specialized to allow for a generalist pro-audio dealer to develop deep detail knowledge. And VK makes up for that with a generous warranty.

That is to me the crucial point when evaluating whether a company is suitable for me to engage with: how do they act and behave when there are "issues", when the buyer is unhappy?

And there, I have found VK to be flawless, whenever any type of complaint from a buyer arose. (I usually hear from buyers and their buying experience once I provide service, and I love to understand what makes a happy customer, and what makes for a good outcome for buyer and seller when problems arise.)

In my recollection, there have been few lasting gripes from buyers about VK. The company took care of the issues, if need be, all the way to refunding the purchase price. Mike Nehra is a veteran in the vintage mic selling business, and runs a tight ship. He seems to instill in his employees an understanding how tight-knit our recording community is, and how damaging to his company's reputation even a small slip-up can be.

My opinion of Vintage King is based on my personal experience over the years with VK staff, and with buyer of VK's vintage mics. I do not receive kickbacks, commissions, or any other kind of favors, nor do I have a business affiliation with Vintage King. My interaction with the company is limited to the occasional mic a buyer sends me for authentication after a purchase. In all cases where I found flaws, or had concerns, VK took care of them to the buyer's satisfaction.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

brightmillion

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 04:34:27 am »

Thanks for the recommendation Klaus. I have worked with Vintage King in the past and have always been satisfied with my purchases (but the mics are pricey!).  I have found their standards for what needs to be there to be called "original" as far as reskinned capsules,etc doesn't seem to be as stringent as folks on this forum - a u47's a U47 etc,  details like reskinned capsules, etc doesn't really affect the price and seems to be a small detail.. which maybe for some buyers is not an issue, but one reason I appreciate the knowledge I have learned from this forum, that I know what details to look for, what makes a certain mic 'sound' like that mic etc.. that a mic with a reskinned capsule is not equal to one with an authentic nuemann,etc...

Anyone else have dealer/ mic sources they would recommend?

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polypals

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 10:11:02 am »

Buying from a respected dealer that takes customer satisfaction seriously means pay  more for a similar item than what you would pay at evilbay etc.
Genuine sellers will have no objection to having the mike tested. Here comes a practical problem for the seller. How can he be certain the mike is handled with care by an expert technician?
Not to mention scammers that change parts from his mike for inferior parts.
Do not think this does not happen. I had that misfortune with a camera lens in the U47 price range.

This is a business opportunity for a technician with a solid reputation.
Offer a check up for originality and performance of highly valued older mikes.

I would not mind doing a bit of travel to inspect a U47 myself if I were interested to buy one.
The U67 I offered for sale recently attracted much interested from buyers world wide, and that concerned ''only'' an ordinary Neumann U67.
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mehak

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 04:45:01 am »

Nice post. I like it. Thanks for sharing these information. Keep it up.
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klaus

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 12:28:08 pm »

Here comes a practical problem for the seller. How can he be certain the mike is handled with care by an expert technician?
Think about it: no one gets a reputation as an "expert technician" who does not handle mics with care.

Quote
This is a business opportunity for a technician with a solid reputation.
Offer a check up for originality and performance of highly valued older mikes.
From my experience: this part of the workload of an "expert technician" is a loss-leader at best. A thorough analysis of, for example a tube mic system, often requires parts substitutions and initial circuit repairs to determine the exact cause of a malfunction. With other words: you end up performing (unpaid) work to be able to give a conclusive diagnosis.

Quote
I would not mind doing a bit of travel to inspect a U47 myself if I were interested to buy one.
Have you considered advertising your services as a pre-purchase authenticator?
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

polypals

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Re: Vintage Mic Dealer Recommendations ?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 05:00:20 pm »

Dear Klaus,

You dig much deeper than most buyers would expect from you when evaluating a older mike. Understandable from your experience of course
Most buyers would like to have an answer on a couple of questions:
Is the mike in working condition without serious problems.
Are their signs of repairs by non qualified technicians.
Parts missing or repkaced by non original part.

Nobody asks for a complete determination of all components.


The  purpose of the experts opinion is to prevent paying good money fir a maltreated non original mike  that only vaguely resembles the original.

Regarding expert reputation: You will be surprised what amount of ignorant persons consider themselves an expert whether it concerns classic and sportscars, cameras etc.

As to the U47: If the wish comes up to record with one of these I am lucky to be able to borrow a couple of excellent ones from a friend.
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