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Author Topic: Mystery 'U87'  (Read 863 times)

RuudNL

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Mystery 'U87'
« on: April 20, 2023, 09:33:45 AM »

Today I received a microphone for repair.
It was announced as a 'Vintage U87'. Neumann badge has a black color, this suggests a tube microphone.
But the inside looks different than any U87 I have seen before!
There is a small transformer inside the battery compartment and the PCB doesn't look like any U87 I have seen before.
The PCB looks 'Neumannesque'. Is this a kind of 'Frankenstein U87' or what could it be?
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soapfoot

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2023, 11:37:10 AM »

It looks quite a bit like a U77 inside.

Could this be a U77 to which someone has added a transformer (perhaps as part of a conversion from T power to P48?)

Our U77 has a black badge also. Does this mic not have a model number listed on the ring at the bottom, near the connector?
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RuudNL

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2023, 12:07:08 PM »

Thank you!
On the bottom ring it says: 'Neumann Microphone Type U87 Made in Western Germany'.
But IMHO it isn't!
It looks indeed like a U77 with an extra transformer!
The owner will be surprised, because he thought he bought a 'vintage U87'!  :D
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soapfoot

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2023, 12:37:53 PM »

On a positive note, the U77 (if that indeed is what we're looking at) is a fantastic microphone
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RuudNL

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2023, 12:54:14 PM »

But who wants 'Tonader Speisung' nowadays?
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Kai

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2023, 11:26:49 AM »

The added transformer points to, someone might already have modded the mic to P48 / 48 V Phantom Power.
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soapfoot

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2023, 12:38:20 PM »

But who wants 'Tonader Speisung' nowadays?

Not ideal, but we just treat ours the same as we treat our U67s... we have an external T-Power supply, and we connect it whenever using the U77. Not as convenient as P48, but not the greatest burden either, all things considered!
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RuudNL

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2023, 01:21:17 PM »

All well and good, but the owner feels cheated because he thought he bought a 'vintage' U87 and not a converted U77...
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David Satz

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2023, 02:00:04 PM »

> But who wants 'Tonader Speisung' nowadays?

In general almost no one, but if the microphone is really a U 77 and were restored to its original condition, I'm sure there would be a market for it. Plenty of battery power supplies for T12 are on the used equipment market for cheap, left behind by film and video sound people who switched over to phantom powering.
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Kai

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2023, 09:44:01 AM »

Not to forget, it can be powered by an internal standard 9V battery, even a rechargeable one.
This might be attractive for some situations.
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RuudNL

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2023, 09:59:52 AM »

No, not this one. Because they placed a transformer in the (partly removed) battery compartment!
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Kai

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2023, 10:47:05 AM »

No, not this one. Because they placed a transformer in the (partly removed) battery compartment!
...if the microphone is really a U 77 and were restored to its original condition....

I already suspected that its converted to P48.
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radiovinhet

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2023, 12:38:20 PM »

I don't own a U77 (yet), but how does it sound versus a U87A? I think that U77 are transformerless... or not?
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David Satz

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2023, 11:03:17 PM »

Right, the "fet 70" microphones (KM 73/74/75/76 and U 77) had transformerless, balanced output circuits.
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soapfoot

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Re: Mystery 'U87'
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2023, 01:07:02 PM »

I don't own a U77 (yet), but how does it sound versus a U87A? I think that U77 are transformerless... or not?

Subjectively, I'd say it compares favorably. I think you'd have to hear one to gauge whether you agree, and what you feel any distinctions may be. I'm not sure how useful sommelier terms would be from me.
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