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

UPDATE with pic: (cleaning Neumann capsules in the EU in 2023?)

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My business partner (currently working from Berlin) has an excellent vintage U87 that is showing symptoms of capsule contamination.

He sent it over to Neumann (since they're local to him) and they quoted him a very high figure to replace the capsule; they would not clean it.

Obviously someone capable in Europe would be preferred (if in Berlin, best of all!)

Is there anyone that can be vouched for through personal experience?(Bold added by KH)
This mic is part of a matched, sequential-serial pair and we'd hate for anything bad to come of it.

Thanks in advance!

Curious if you would clean both to keep them "matched"?  Or if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

We’d only clean the defective one, thanks

My colleague sent the mic to a professional for inspection, and this was the report:

--- Quote ---Your U87 was just inspected. The contamination of the capsule is of greasy nature (probably trumpet oil, see picture), and cannot be cleaned away.
The most cost-efficient way at this point would be to clean the entire capsule assembly and fit new diaphragms
--- End quote ---

This was the attached picture (apologies for the low quality, it's what we received)

I advised that re-diaphragming is unlikely to be a good idea (based on advice I've seen Klaus give to others over time).

The question at this point--provided the inspection report is correct and this is an oily substance like valve oil, is there anything that can be done (by anyone, anywhere)? Or is the best course to keep this original capsule aside and replace it entirely?

Thanks so much.

If your colleague wants a professionally reliable mic, at some point there is no way around replacing the capsule.

I’m not clear about Neumann if they currently supply spares.
Replacing the capsule is no rocket science.

On the other hand - if the capsule is unusable anyway and he’s willing to take the risk of it being finally destroyed, why not make a cleaning attempt?

Everything can be removed, it’s just a question of the right solvent.

The only part that needs to be clean is the diaphragm’s non-conductive ring without gold.
The gold part can be left untouched, reducing the risk of removing the gold.


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