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Author Topic: Neumann/Sennheiser Stopped Selling Capsules And Other Parts  (Read 3330 times)

afterlifestudios

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2021, 01:28:11 AM »

I can perfectly well understand Neumann's motivation. Why should they prop up their competition by providing the single most important component that determines the sound of a microphone?

Let the imitators struggle to imitate as best they can. Don't relieve them of the dirty work.

Fully agree.
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gtoledo3

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2021, 09:21:24 AM »

I can perfectly well understand Neumann's motivation. Why should they prop up their competition by providing the single most important component that determines the sound of a microphone?

Let the imitators struggle to imitate as best they can. Don't relieve them of the dirty work.

There is a pretty wide gap between that and stopping someone from ordering a single capsule. I think it’s pathetic to make the lives of the end consumer harder, while some parties involved go right on selling Neumann gear. https://www.zenproaudio.com/brands/Neumann.html

It feels like watching someone get bullied or cheated, and they are too scared to do anything to the
bully so they turn around and slap their friend.

To be very clear, what is pathetic is for Neumann to allow a dealer who was behind doing this to keep on with their sales of Neumann product, while retaliating against the consumers who had nothing to do with it. If Neumann is threatened by someone buying a single capsule, let them close the doors now. Some guy who bought a vintage Sela mic or something like that is now out of luck while actual perpetrators go on business as usual. Not so admirable.
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klaus

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2021, 11:43:06 AM »

... while some parties involved go right on selling Neumann gear. https://www.zenproaudio.com/brands/Neumann.html

Quote
To be very clear, what is pathetic is for Neumann to allow a dealer who was behind doing this to keep on with their sales of Neumann product

I am not aware how this particular company enabled Neumann copy products to be equipped with original Neumann capsules, yet continues as authorized Neumann dealer. To verify and support this notion, can you please cite a reference? Thanks.
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Klaus Heyne
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gtoledo3

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2021, 02:12:24 PM »

I am not aware how this particular company enabled Neumann copy products to be equipped with original Neumann capsules, yet continues as authorized Neumann dealer. To verify and support this notion, can you please cite a reference? Thanks.

Klaus, unfortunately it is difficult to because the sales were hosted at their site and are no longer active pages. This is one of the relevant URLs, which now just goes to a “page not found”: https://www.zenproaudio.com/warm-audio-wa-47-zenpro-mod-edition

But here is a wayback archive link: http://web.archive.org/web/20201220184340/https://www.zenproaudio.com/warm-audio-wa-47-zenpro-mod-edition

The related audio file is here: https://www.zenproaudiofiles.com/ZPA-Files/Warm-Audio-WA47-Mod-WAV.zip

There is another vestige of it in the language here, but the Neumann related “mods” have been taken down:

https://www.zenproaudio.com/on-sale/limited-time/warm-audio-mic-mods

“ZenPro takes these great mics into dangerous territory with the addition of original Neumann and AKG capsule mods”.
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klaus

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2021, 03:12:06 PM »

Thanks. I cannot comment on Sennheiser's motives to dump, punish or retain retailers of their products, but it seems clear that appropriating Neumann capsules when your own capsule does not cut it has been stopped.

To paraphrase David Satz: make your own capsules if you want to be in the microphone business!
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Klaus Heyne
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soapfoot

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2021, 10:00:04 PM »

But here is why your analogy may be off:
I cannot imagine GM selling engines to DeTomaso if they had the gall to perfectly copy the shape and looks of a Chevrolet, including planting a Chevy logo on the hood of the imposter!

In that case, I don't think ceasing to supply engines would be the first mode of recourse, as the issue would be trademark infringement!

Similarly, I remain dubious that such a blunt instrument (ceasing capsule sales to all third parties) is really the most effective tool for addressing the specific issues of trade dress infringement. If a copier were forced to quietly substitute another capsule, would that necessarily be fatal to their business selling imitations?

The broader root issue, in my view, is that there is clearly a significant demand for microphones in the style of Neumann's vintage classics. And like any unfilled demand, it will find a way to get satisfied, by hook or by crook.

I'm sure the preferred choice of most consumers would be for Neumann to offer products like KM84s and quality substitute-tube versions of U47s, U48s, M49s, and M50s (as manufacturers like FLEA and Telefunken USA do). If you owned a commercial studio, wouldn't you prefer your gear list to feature the name brand that prospective clients already know and trust? (I can say from firsthand experience that this matters).

The U47FET and U67 reissues are positive indications that this is on Neumann's radar, at least. But should they instead choose to try and steer consumer demand (toward their nascent technologies) rather than fulfill it (with mature technologies that have become industry standards), there will remain immense market pressure for imitators to fill the void... and those imitators will continue to find an audience (genuine Neumann parts or no).

There may be a good reason I'm not in the business of selling microphones. But wouldn't it make more sense for Neumann to tap into (and profit from) this demand--either by reissuing more of the classics, or by licensing and/or supplying licensed OEM component parts to those manufacturers who will?

I (or any builder) can buy a Fender-licensed Stratocaster neck from Allparts or Warmoth, complete with trademarked headstock silhouette. Fender profits from each sale.

If Neumann have no interest in making a U48, is there a compelling reason why they shouldn't do something broadly-similar and sell OEM K47s to FLEA, demanding a steep licensing fee for their use?

FLEA would probably play ball on the hefty licensing fee if it meant they got to say "now featuring genuine Neumann™ K47." And as long as Neumann could terminate the arrangement if/when they decide to make their own competing product, what would be the downside?
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2021, 03:58:46 AM »

This is sad news for me as I had previously bought replacement KK84 capsules direct from Sennheiser, and would now like to add a pair of KK83 capsules so I can turn my mics into Omnis. I haven't enquired with Sennheiser yet, and I shall, but it doesn't sound hopeful. :( In which case, will I need to find a "middle person"/qualified/registered Neumann tech if I want to order a pair of KK83s? Does anyone have a suggestion for the contact details for one in the EU?

klaus

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2021, 11:35:05 PM »

Contact Bruce Gentry (bgentry@sennheiserusa.com) and get the lowdown.
I would hope that KM8x capsules are sold as accessories, rather than spare parts.
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Klaus Heyne
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2021, 06:09:54 AM »

I'll contact them next week and report back.

Paul Johnson

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2021, 03:50:02 AM »

It does make me smile a little that trade protection seems a surprise.
I wanted to buy a specific Yamaha product a few years back, not available in the UK but available in Germany. Yamaha UK refused to get one for me, and worse, told me no spares or service whatsoever would be available from them, if I bought one from Germany directly. S it is their product line, they can refuse to sell it.

I can’t see any business advantage to the capsule issue. Most owners of very expensive mics do not do their own repairs, and those that have the skills can easily send off the required numbers and pictures.

Sennheiser does not wish to promote mics made by somebody else with their parts. The profit margin on spares is hardly a money spinner to a big company, but a service. You would not expect somebody like Land Rover to supply engines to the new Grenadier competitor to their products that clearly looks the same, but different enough to be legal.

I have to say I support Sennheiser stand here.
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klaus

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Re: Sennheiser No Longer Selling New Neumann K49 Capsules or Any Parts
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2021, 11:33:44 AM »

I can’t see any business advantage to the capsule issue.

If a company which copies my mics, even using my mic's exact shape and name, but lacking my company's skills in capsule manufacturing, was about to purchase quantities of my company's world-renown legacy capsules, I would perceive a huge business disadvantage for my company, if I would let this go through.

I also don't believe that the tightening of parts distribution, specifically of replacement capsules for Neumann mics, is about Sennheiser grabbing service business by choking off parts to independent service organizations. I see it as a necessary response to an abuse of the previous policy.

The collateral damage of this brazen attempt to the rest of us Neumann owners is regrettable, but ultimately, I am sure, will be worked out by Neumann, so that any owner of a Neumann mic will continue to get access to Neumann parts.
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Klaus Heyne
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