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David Satz:
Timtape, I raised this question on the Pinboard after comparing the frequency response curves that Neumann had published for all their microphones in 1973 (in a standalone, four-page flyer printed on green paper), in 1977 (Catalog 100), in 1980 (Catalog 110), and in 1984 (Catalog 120). Response curves for other switchable-pattern microphones, such as the KM 86 and U 87, were included in the same publications. Those sometimes differed slightly from edition to edition, but not nearly to the degree that the KM 88's curves changed between catalogs 110 and 120.

Klaus, I can't find this exchange on the Pinboard any more; perhaps it wasn't kept when the archive section was set up. But I don't think that this was a special order in the usual sense, where only the one customer got "variant" capsules; rather, I think that some time between 1980 and 1984 Neumann changed this parameter of the K 88 capsule for all subsequent production, as the published curves indicate.

--best regards

klaus:

--- Quote from: David Satz on February 01, 2018, 11:39:02 AM ---(...) rather, I think that some time between 1980 and 1984 Neumann changed this parameter of the K 88 capsule for all subsequent production, as the published curves indicate.

--- End quote ---

My problem with that scenario: Neumann , to the best of my knowledge, did not produce nickel capsules in the 1980s anymore, so where would new ones with different specs (higher diaphragm tension) have come from?

David Satz:
Apparently the K 88 was the last nickel-membrane capsule that Neumann produced, though, continuing more than a decade after the capsules for the KM 54 and MM 5 had been discontinued. The "‹bersicht der von NEUMANN gebauten Mikrofone und Mikrofonkapseln" from the "Infopool" lists the KM 88 as having been produced from 1969 through 1986--and that's consistent with the catalogs and price lists of the time, as well as what Martin wrote on the Pinboard.

--If you want to add a bit of real trivia concerning the KM 88: It was originally going to have just two patterns. See the attached scan from the 1968 fet 80 catalog; there are other examples.

klaus:

--- Quote from: David Satz on February 01, 2018, 10:39:02 PM ---(...) It was originally going to have just two patterns.

--- End quote ---

That corresponds to the evolution of the DC converter, which did not come to fruition until the late 1960s. Without DC converter = no figure eight for that model.

David Satz:
Klaus, I found the Pinboard messages about the change in the KM 88's low-frequency response. The essential one from Mr. Schneider is PBD_11554, dated Sept. 1, 2003 (i.e. from the original arrangement of the Pinboard, before its active part was divided into three sections).

I don't think it would be right to post the message here without permission, but its essential point is, the diaphragm tension was increased (thus reducing the low-frequency response especially in the figure-8 setting) because this improved operational reliability when the microphones were used for speech pickup in radio broadcasting. He said that this change had been made in about 1982.

--best regards

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