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Author Topic: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis  (Read 66912 times)

RuudNL

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #135 on: May 27, 2022, 08:52:21 AM »

Funny that people (think to) hear a difference between different cables. When I was still working for a radio station, we had two kinds of cable from the same manufacturer. One kind was black, the other kind gray. A colleague claimed that the gray cable sounded 'better' and even hid cables when he had to make an important recording the next day.
My idea: he had once made a good recording and used gray cables. From that moment on, he was convinced that the success was due to the gray cables...
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #136 on: June 22, 2022, 01:14:44 PM »

I cannot comment on the specific case you cite, but do not underestimate the role a dye in the cable jacket can make in affecting the electrical properties of a cable.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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RuudNL

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #137 on: June 23, 2022, 06:09:09 AM »

What could be an explanation that the outer jacket of the cable could affect the audio quality?
The outer jacket lies outside the shielding layer, so no effect could be expected from this.
(This reminds me a bit of people buying an expensive cable between their CD player and the amplifier; low output impedance, high input impedance, resistance and capacitance of the cable are negligible. And yet people who buy a $100+ cable, now called an 'interlink', -sounds more impressive-, say: "it sounds better now". I suppose they want to hear the money that is no longer in their wallet...)
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #138 on: June 23, 2022, 02:33:39 PM »

Jackets measurably affect capacitance, reactance and likely other, less obvious electrical parameters of an audio-carrying cable.

Without getting into the philosophy of perception vs. delusion, I can cite conversations with a major cable manufacturer who, after realizing the new jacket material was no longer amenable to the sound envisioned, reversed the jacket material to the previous design, dimension (and dying) and all was well again.

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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Paul Johnson

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #139 on: July 22, 2022, 12:18:08 PM »

Reading all this made me think. I am one of those who have 'trouble' with the flowery words used to describe audio, but here, I do understand what Klaus means because his pick of descriptive words does click in my brain. Clearly, he hears differences, and measurements fail to make sense with this study. The only issue is one of understanding. When any of us see a certain colour of blue, we have no way of determining if another viewer sees the same colour - we just call what we see, blue. Mine might be pink, who knows?  Here, the differences he hears make sense. The facts seem to be that there are differences, good ones and bad ones. Pointing the most critical ones out - as in the capsule and tube also makes sense. The sad bit is that Neumann give him a mic yet gave him one less good, as a re-issue. Surely they should have heard the same? The question is why did they not, as they didn't;t in the past with the capsule performance being 'in-spec' - what exactly does being in spec mean, if a less good one is technically OK?

As I said, I usually hate all those emotive words people use, but coming from an expert, they're actually OK, because they have context. 

It's a bit sad a prestige microphone that clearly could be wonderful didn't really get listened to by the manufacturer?
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U67 Reissue: Complete Tear Down and Analysis
« Reply #140 on: July 22, 2022, 01:55:11 PM »

Your excellent points responded to, one by one:

1. I am one of those who have 'trouble' with the flowery words used to describe audio
The trouble is universal: describing any sensory impression - touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste - defies objective, scientific measurement. Any of these impressions need translation from our subjective realm to an objective, quantifiable and measurable reality., So we use rather personalized language to communicate what we experience.

And, because differentiation and refinement of language, in this case, language describing recorded sounds, does not happen overnight (recoding is barely a century old), describing what we hear still seems clumsy and awkward at best.

However:

2. Here, the differences he hears make sense. The facts seem to be that there are differences, good ones and bad ones.
The differences are not only audible, but in the case of "owe-end starved" capsules, like the one of the test object, also measurable. The problem: Neumann uses a ±2dB tolerance within which a mic (in this case, mainly a capsule) has to perform in oder to be signed off. I had submitted bass starved capsules to Neumann in the early 2000s, an d they were plotted in Neumann's fabulous anechoic chamber in Berlin. And the low end was indeed at the very limit of that tolerance (down a hefty [email protected]). That is not only measurable but will be detected by any ear.

Now comes the hard part:

3. The sad bit is that Neumann give him a mic yet gave him one less good, as a re-issue. Surely they should have heard the same? The question is why did they not, as they didn't;
As stated in #2: the mic was within Neumann-designated specs. So now a larger issue looms: if any mic performs as spec'd, that's the end of the line: there are no taste masters in some man cave in he basement of the assembly lines in Wedemark who then warms up each U67 for an hour, listens to each mic to make sure it "sounds" good. That is simply not on possible in mass-manufacturing.

So, what did change, and could it be changed again, to eliminate the problem once and for all?

4. in the past with the capsule performance being 'in-spec' - what exactly does being in spec mean, if a less good one is technically OK?
A relevant factor in capsule manufacturing: how many rejects can be absorbed before it affects the bottom line? A higher diaphragm tension eliminates almost all such rejects-no bottoming out, no popping, no catastrophic failures from electrostatic attraction, no shorts, especially in high humidity markets (South East Asia, etc.) So, increasing diaphragm tension which has objectionable sonic effects, also makes production less fail prone: warranty returns are costly and always lossy.

I talk to the powers that be at Neumann frequently. They value my input and are taking the constructive criticism I voiced in my original teardown of the U67RI serious. They do not only know the problem, but, especially with the new management and its more dynamic attitude in place, I am optimistic that the bass-starved capsules will some day soon be distant memory.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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