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Author Topic: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?  (Read 612 times)

RosyGrove

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Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« on: June 17, 2024, 01:15:16 PM »

Excuse me if this is the incorrect place to post or anything but im new in this forum, I am in the process of looking for a vintage u87 to buy and I found one that interests me a lot. The issue is that I dont really know if the capsule will give me the classic sound I am after, I tried to line it up with the identifiers klaus put up, but I am definitely missing something. Any or all information you could give me about this mic would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2024, 03:09:47 PM »

You titled your post "Neumann capsule legitimate?".

In answering I will expand on your two issues I am frequency confronted with when being asked to verify the authenticity of a vintage mic or its parts.


To examine a mic using photos, the images need to be:

1. of high enough resolution to magnify them enough, to be able to look for tell-tale clues.
In your case, you posted compressed images of such low resolution (less than 50kb) that they pixilate as soon as I try to enlarge.
Every cell phone camera these days has a resolution in excess of 3MB. Most cell cameras also have a macro function, allowing to zoom in on the part in question.


2. of sufficient size within the image frame.
In your image the capsule takes up only about 1/10 of the available space within the frame.
Please try to fill the frame with the capsule, not the carpet it sits on, not the mount it is attached to, just the capsule itself.
The two shots of the amp are similarly too distant to make out anything: the mic amp takes up less than 1/3 of the available image space.

Bottom line:

Please retake the pix, using a resolution of at least 500KB, and fully filling the image frame with the object you wish to examine.

If these images were sent to you (prior to a potential purchase) in this poor resolution and framing, insist that the seller complies with the necessary imaging requirements, otherwise you cannot make an informed purchasing decision when based on only images, rather than being able to trying the mic yourself.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2024, 03:46:35 PM »

Thank you so much for your quick response, I reuploaded the pictures with a better quality but they are still not ideal as the website says I cant upload more than 500Kb total :-\. Sorry if this is something that can be easily fixed like I said I am new here and I really appreciate the patience. What I'm most curious about is if the capsule appears as if it has been reskinned or looks like it is one made by neumann when they were still reproducing the capsules faithfully. I don't know how much info im able to get but I really appreciate your response.
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2024, 04:08:46 PM »

I am sorry, the bad quality of the picture (low res, angle rather than head-on shot, color hue...) does not allow me to make that judgement.

At least with a head-on shot I could see the year of capsule manufacture on the diaphragm ring (top of the ring) but I cannot make out whether it shows a seven or nine or some other number.

What would help: the serial number of the mic (not the head assembly number, which has no relation to the serial number).
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2024, 04:16:19 PM »

I am pretty sure the number on the top is a 7 and the ones at the bottom are 451, if the top number is incorrect what does the rest of this tell you about the capsule? Thank you, the serial number on the body is 44108.
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2024, 06:22:38 PM »

If the mic's serial number is indeed 44108 (that would point to a delivery date sometime in June of 1985) and if the number on the capsule says "7" (in this case, it would have been manufactured in 1997, going by the build characteristics), then one thing is certain: that capsule did not originally come with that mic.

Any further fact finding or authentication will depend on either better pictures or an in-person inspection or some explanation from the seller...
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2024, 06:25:59 PM »

Thank you so much Klaus, If that was a capsule manufactured by Neumann in 1997 would it still have the characteristic sound of the microphone?
I know many people report the newer capsules lacking the natural sound of the older ones, this is my last inquiry.
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2024, 07:57:09 PM »

Assuming that the capsule is authentic, original Neumann K87 from 1997 (which at this point we cannot confirm because of the above detailed circumstances), the sound will be authentic to the 1985 mic, as that capsule era predates the current bass-starved K87 versions.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2024, 11:43:58 AM »

I was able to receive a higher quality picture of the front of the capsule, I hope it will suffice. Does this tell you anything about if perhaps the capsule was reskinned or is still the same as manufactured in 1997? It appears the capsule needs a cleaning but I am no expert, that is why I need help! Thank you for your time and expertise.
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RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2024, 12:02:15 PM »

Also here is the backside separately because of my file size limit:
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RosyGrove

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2024, 12:07:45 PM »

Different shot of front
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klaus

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Re: Neumann U87 capsule legitimate?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2024, 03:32:11 PM »

Quote
I was able to receive a higher quality picture of the front of the capsule, I hope it will suffice.
Yes, it suffices for confirming that the capsule is a dirty example of a genuine Neumann K87. The image is just not sharp enough to positively identify the year of manufacture, aside of it being made in the 1990s.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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