R/E/P > Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab

Neumann/Sennheiser Stopped Selling Capsules And Other Parts

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Hello All,
I called Sennheiser in Connecticut this morning to get pricing and availability on a new Neumann K49 capsule. I gave the part
number and was told that Neumann will no longer be selling any capsules, or any parts, for that matter.
All microphones must be sent back to Connecticut for repair.

That is a disturbing development for folks like me who need to replace damaged or deteriorated capsules. What now?

Charlie Bolois
Vertigo Recording Services

The information you received is only partially correct.
Authorized Neumann repair personell can still receive original Neumann capsules and other core components, but must provide model and serial number of the mic the part is to be installed in.

What you describe as a 'disturbing development' actual makes sense, once you know the background for the decision:
Manufacturers and DIYers have increasingly resorted to fitting their Neumann copy mics with original Neumann capsules, housing parts, transformers, etc. to improve the sound of their products or their resale value.

Neumann finally turned off the spigot when it had learned that a major copy mic manufacturer was about to launch a line of Neumann "tribute" mics using genuine Neumann capsules. 

I don't believe the most famous of the legacy manufacturers has any obligation to lift up and enable the competition, especially when copy manufacturers are not capable to equip their mics with quality components of their own making.


I had said more, but Iíll just leave it that itís an unfortunate turn of events.

I understand why they would want to do it; the proliferation of "47" in the model number of almost anything these days would cause them alarm, and then the actual selling point being the use of a genuine K49 in a competitor's inferior product would be the ultimate insult to both reputation and finances.

I have to do the same thing when I purchase API 2520s from API; I have to take a picture and give them a serial number of the item that will be repaired and will receive the new manufacture 2520 op amps when I do the repair, even if they are 50 years old. I get it.

The problem for me is that although I have been restoring and repairing vintage Neumann microphones for about 20 years now, there's nothing "Official" about me so unless I get help from an official associate, I won't be able to perform some repairs. Modern times!

Thanks for the explanation, none the less. Of course, I already knew it instinctively.
-Charlie Bolois

David Satz:
Klaus, does this new rule apply only to the K 49 series, or does it also include other Neumann capsule lines such as the K 67?


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