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Author Topic: U87 Housing Tube: Replacing Or Restoring?  (Read 432 times)

SignificanceNo3211

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U87 Housing Tube: Replacing Or Restoring?
« on: June 07, 2022, 01:17:38 AM »

Hi, I have a vintage U87 (1978) where the body had some damage (dents, etc.) so I decided to order a replacement housing tube. The new body arrived, but it's quite a different color from the rest of the microphone. I suppose due to the age difference. I could order a new headbasket and bottom screw to match, but those parts of the mic are in great shape and have a wonderful character so I'd prefer not to if I can avoid it. Do I have any other options?

Thanks,

Ben
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klaus

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Re: Replacing the housing tube of an older u87
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2022, 04:42:01 AM »

Hello Ben,
The bead blasting on the nickel plating (which determines the surface texture) was changed over the years, so that matching old and new is not just an issue of shiny new object vs. patina of old, but of finer surface grain (then) over the more coarse (now).

Keep the old housing tube, as the collectible value of the mic would be reduced if you tossed it.
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Klaus Heyne
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soapfoot

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Re: Replacing the housing tube of an older u87
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 11:31:48 AM »

Are there people/services who can straighten/restore those body tubes, as they can with RCA microphone grilles? If someone can remove dents from the bell of a trumpet, I wouldn't be surprised if it was possible to straighten a mic body tube
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klaus

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Re: Replacing the housing tube of an older u87
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2022, 12:22:20 PM »

Finding a competent person who can remove dings and dents from Neumann and other housing tubes is not so much the issue.
But when metal is distorted and stretched as a result of an impact it also alters the original bead-blasted surface composition, so that ugly shiny areas remain even when the body has been straightened out professionally.

I have yet to find a service provider who can also properly restore the original sheen of the (bead-blasted) surface.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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SignificanceNo3211

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Re: Replacing the housing tube of an older u87
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2022, 03:26:44 PM »

Thanks for that, Klaus. I will definitely hold on to the old parts. I think I will end up buying a new mesh basket and base screw so it all matches for my use. I know that's quite a price to pay for aesthetics, but I think for me personally it's worth it. Have there been any changes to the mesh basket over the years that could affect the sound?

If I were to try and get the dings out of the old tube what sort of profession would I be looking for? I recall seeing on an older post on here that mentioned perhaps a jeweller.
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klaus

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Re: Replacing the housing tube of an older u87
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2022, 04:33:20 PM »

There has been no discernible change in sound of U87 mics through different eras of housing components, despite changes in material thickness and plating details.

Before I got reasonably good at un-denting* U87 housing tubes, I used several of the mobile dent removing services for cars. Some of these people are magicians.

* Please don't contact me about this service. I am too busy with more substantial work these days, but on occasion still get the itch and take on the challenge in the course of upgrading someone's U87.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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