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Author Topic: U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?  (Read 273 times)

ElvisY

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U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?
« on: October 05, 2019, 08:46:42 am »

Hello everyone,

Elvis here from France.
I am new to this forum and don’t know much about mic electronics and electronic at all…
I recently bought an U87 from 1968/1969 based on SN (8584) that has been recapped and has seen its capsule reskinned (I have both bills and it had been confirmed buy the guys who did the jobs and I 100% trust the guys). The guy who recapped it told me it can now work several decades...
I have tested the mic before buying and it worked great to me, all directivities (cardio, omni and 8), breath test, pad and filter work great.

Now home, I opened the mic and just wanted to know what has really been done in terms of changing components. So I compared mine with pictures I found about a listed U87 1970 and a 1971 one.

From I can see :

https://imgur.com/WkxUOyg

1) Mine is missing a component on the bottom (red circle). This component looks like this on the 70’s ones : https://imgur.com/R1jBSwh

Can someone tell me what is it and maybe why has it been removed?

2) I have different components from the 70’s ones (green circles). I guess these are the new capacitors if I understand correctly. Can someone confirm it to me and maybe tell me what are the ?

3) From what you can see on the pictures, do you think my mic is ok and it will last several decades?

Thanks a lot to all

Cheers
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klaus

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Re: U87 LATE 60's
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 12:52:52 pm »

Your mic was manufactured before the phantom/battery indicator was available that eventually filled the square cavity.
So, that part of your mic amp is period-correct, and of no concern.

I also see no electrical or sonic disadvantages to having filter and coupling capacitors replaced, as was done here, unless these components were of low quality.

I am not a great fan of the BC264 FET, also replaced in your mic. I prefer, and Neumann still prefers the 2N3819 in U87 (Fairchild and others make it). A picture cannot show whether the source resistor which biases the FET was properly chosen when it was replaced.

My biggest concern-one that would affect your mic's resale value like nothing we discuss here-would be your capsule: Was it "reskinned", i.e. the original diaphragms were removed and replaced with aftermarket material by a third party? There is currently no one in the condenser mic business capable of retaining Neumann's famous capsule sound after the original diaphragms have been removed and replaced (for that reason, not even Neumann offers such service). A close-up picture would clear up what was actually done to your capsule. Hopefully a Neumann replacement capsule was installed, which would be fine.

P.S.: The mic, as pictured, will last for decades and its sound will not change, unless you contaminate the capsule with spit and dust (some aftermarket reskins are mechanically unstable over time)
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

ElvisY

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Re: U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 04:23:03 am »

Thanks a lot Klaus for your answer.

Regarding, the capsule, it has not been replaced unfortunately and it has "only" been reskinned by a very famous german "reskinner". And considering the price of new Neumann K87 capsule (800 EUR), it is not an option for me to have it replaced at the moment...
 
I manage to remove the head and open it thanks to your step by step message on another thread. Here's a couple of picture front and back :

https://imgur.com/lQ0C0jr
https://imgur.com/EiLjW0y

All I can see is that there is a little bit of dust on one side. But I can't really judge the work that has been done here.
All I know is that it works really great to me but would definitely love to test vs an original K87 capsule ! Hopefully one day...

Thanks again Klaus, this forum is a true treasure for mic lovers!
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klaus

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Re: U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 11:05:08 am »

Your pictures show that the original capsule has been altered with aftermarket diaphragms.
It is therefore unfortunate that you won't be able to experience the true sound of this early U87 until you again install a genuine Neumann capsule.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

ElvisY

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Re: U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 08:40:39 am »

Ok thanks Klaus.
One day I will for sure A/B test this mic with another one with original capsule. And maybe I'll experience your #5 in your "30 Years, 10 Insights" thread...

This made me think: is there a way to recognize a reskinned capsule? How can I be sure when buying a U87 (or U67, U47 ...) that the capsule is 100% original?

Thanks again Klaus.
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klaus

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Re: U87 LATE 60's: Something Missing?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 12:29:21 pm »

Experts recognize most re-diaphragmed capsules even from a photo, but some can only be determined through physical inspection.
I wrote about this before: with each tell-tale sign or investigative method made public, fakers will make it yet one step harder to tell.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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