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Klaus Heyne U87 Condenser Microphones
Old 8th January 2018
  #61
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Do we have a website/email address for Klaus? I'm keen to get my u87i sent to him!
Old 8th January 2018
  #62
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SP2016's Avatar
Klaus Heyne:

German Masterworks

Or send him a p.m.:He is a GS forum member....

Last edited by SP2016; 9th January 2018 at 09:24 AM.. Reason: add info
Old 8th January 2018
  #63
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+1

Not only does my u87ai sound better, but that infamous u87 "honk" is gone. Best of all my vocal tracks sit much easier with a lot less effort which was my ultimate endgame.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nnajar View Post
My Klaus 87 is not bright at all. Not even a little. It is smooth, even and balanced.
Old 8th January 2018
  #64
Why mod a mic? I would just sell it and move on. A certain character is what makes a mic (in)famous or not.

Im guessing the mod isn't cheap and if you push your budget 1-2k above a 87 you have a ton of options.

If you like the u87 sound but are annoyed by its flaws get a u67, they share the same characteristics but the u67 do everything better.
Old 9th January 2018
  #65
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Why mod a mic? I would just sell it and move on. A certain character is what makes a mic (in)famous or not.

Im guessing the mod isn't cheap and if you push your budget 1-2k above a 87 you have a ton of options.

If you like the u87 sound but are annoyed by its flaws get a u67, they share the same characteristics but the u67 do everything better.
Let me know where I can buy them and I’ll order 10 U67s that could be had for 1-2K above a U87 price.
Thx.
Old 9th January 2018
  #66
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jjblair's Avatar
I've never really cared for U87s. They are useful, and work on everything, but the sound has never excited me. And then I heard a Klaus 87. Holy moly! Who would have ever thought that a U87 could sound sexy? I certainly did not notice a diminished headroom, btw.

The best way to describe before and after is like looking out your windshield during the rain without your wipers on. That difference between the view with and without wipers is like the difference before and after the KH mod. The increase in clarity and detail, and just silkiness is profound.
Old 9th January 2018
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Let me know where I can buy them and I’ll order 10 U67s that could be had for 1-2K above a U87 price.
Thx.
Haha! Well my point was that if you push your budget assuming Klaus charge 1k for the mod you have allot of different options so why mod something that you don't like? Just get something else instead
Old 9th January 2018
  #68
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Haha! Well my point was that if you push your budget assuming Klaus charge 1k for the mod you have allot of different options so why mod something that you don't like? Just get something else instead
Who said you have to 'not like' an 87 in order to think it a good idea to give it to Klaus? If anything,it would be that you have to like it enough to justify paying for Klaus to eek out the last bits of juice out of it, no?

This isn't the 'the mic is crap/flawed, let's whack a k47 in it, make it better, but a completely different thing' sort of mod, this is 'lets take a mic that isn't broken/a total classic, and get the last few inches without changing its name'.
Old 9th January 2018
  #69
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IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Haha! Well my point was that if you push your budget assuming Klaus charge 1k for the mod you have allot of different options so why mod something that you don't like? Just get something else instead
The premise from Klaus is that Neumann, who had a huge operation in the 60s, put massive recourses into making the U87 into what they hoped was the greatest microphone of all time, but had to throw in a lot of electronics in order to force the mic to comply with West German radio broadcast specs of the time, which defeated a lot of the sound quality the U87 was designed for. A lot of this mod is removing the unnecessary components, and you end up closer to the mic the U87 was originally designed to be. And it's true, it sounds way better. A U67 is a different sound altogether with the tubes and high rolloff circuit, and doesn't sound like a Klaus Mod U87.
Old 9th January 2018
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
The premise from Klaus is that Neumann, who had a huge operation in the 60s, put massive recourses into making the U87 into what they hoped was the greatest microphone of all time, but had to throw in a lot of electronics in order to force the mic to comply with West German radio broadcast specs of the time, which defeated a lot of the sound quality the U87 was designed for. A lot of this mod is removing the unnecessary components, and you end up closer to the mic the U87 was originally designed to be. And it's true, it sounds way better. A U67 is a different sound altogether with the tubes and high rolloff circuit, and doesn't sound like a Klaus Mod U87.
I'm quite sure the u87 ended up exactly how Neumann intended it to be.


Was this mod intended for the ai or the vintage a? I haven't made an a/b test between a/ai but if my memory serves me right the vintage sounds quite a bit better, said if its in good condition.



Does anyone have a a/b test between an unmodified u87 and Klaus modded one?
Old 9th January 2018
  #71
I compared a couple many year ago. The KH modified mic had the feedback resistors all changed around so the gain was super high. Yes, the mic clipped easily even with a singer. I reduced the gain and the mic sounded fine again.
Old 9th January 2018
  #72
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I compared a couple many year ago. The KH modified mic had the feedback resistors all changed around so the gain was super high. Yes, the mic clipped easily even with a singer. I reduced the gain and the mic sounded fine again.
What do you mean by "The mic clipped"? Do you mean, the preamplifier was clipping due to the hotter gain of the new mic circuit so you rolled back the gain on the preamp? Or did you actually change the gain in the modded microphone circuit so that it wouldn't clip as easy?
Old 9th January 2018
  #73
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Klaus's Avatar
 

As per published specs and Neumann's Uwe Sattler's detailed calculations on my forum, the headroom in stock U87Ai (current version) is ca. 6dB lower than in the older U87 version (1967 to 1986).

But even vintage U87 were not known for their high headroom: single-FET impedance conversion circuitry, though superior in sound compared to any other solid-state designs, requires decent engineering skills to protect the mic at loud vocal or musical passages.

What can be done?
A relatively minor part of my electronic modification of the U87Ai consists of improving the headroom (ca. 4dB above stock).
Another step is using a custom-transformer I developed with Oliver Archut for all my U87 mods which has a beefier, tighter low end, but lower overall gain than stock.

Both measures mitigate, at least a little, the dreaded U87 headroom limitations.

I am not sure what version upgrade Jim was comparing "many year ago", but for many years now, I have been implementing the above two measures to fend off additional distortion that otherwise would ensue.

After modification, overall gain of the mics would be ca. +4dB (vintage) and -6 to -8dB (U87Ai, current).

Last edited by Klaus; 11th January 2018 at 08:51 PM..
Old 10th January 2018
  #74
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

Who has 2 years to wait for a Mod, that’s like an entire lifetime in industry standards lol. I want this mod lol, can’t decide on doing the mod or just buying another mic.
Old 10th January 2018
  #75
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One thing that I don't think has been made clear upon reading the whole thread is that, unlike many mod specialists (Stephen Paul immediately came to mind), with Klaus you make a reservation for the service and continue to use your microphone until a short time before its scheduled visit, sending it to him only then. With many others, your gear sits there from the initial request until the service is done. I much prefer the way Klaus does business.
And if you like your 87 now, you'll LOVE your 87 when it comes home.
Old 10th January 2018
  #76
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....what he said!


Quote:
Originally Posted by burp182 View Post
One thing that I don't think has been made clear upon reading the whole thread is that, unlike many mod specialists (Stephen Paul immediately came to mind), with Klaus you make a reservation for the service and continue to use your microphone until a short time before its scheduled visit, sending it to him only then. With many others, your gear sits there from the initial request until the service is done. I much prefer the way Klaus does business.
And if you like your 87 now, you'll LOVE your 87 when it comes home.
Old 10th January 2018
  #77
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
....what he said!
Did you make that demo yet of the Klaus 87?
Old 10th January 2018
  #78
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Not yet. I will get you a snippet. If you are on the fence...JUMP! Klaus does not change the sound, he improves it. Vocals come together with much less effort since acquiring this mod. The mic is not bright AT ALL and is definitely not thin as mentioned before. It simply gets the job done. My new go to solid state mic hence my Soyuz is now availabe in the classifieds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IkennaFuNkEn View Post
Did you make that demo yet of the Klaus 87?
Old 10th January 2018
  #79
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

I’m
Casual but would love to hear it
Old 11th January 2018
  #80
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Silvertone's Avatar
BTW is anybody has a Klaus modded U 87 they are getting rid of, I’d be interested... if I can swing the asking price.

Having used stereo pairs of Klauses modded U87’s and U67’s recording choirs and string quartets I can attest to their greatness. I really loved the U87’s in particular.
Old 11th January 2018
  #81
Gear Addict
 

modded u87 vs.a u47?

I'm thinking of getting a u47 or a clone like the stam sa47. I already have a klaus heyne u87. is there enough of a difference in sound between the 87 and 47 to warrant owning both ?
Old 11th January 2018
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boneshowell View Post
I'm thinking of getting a u47 or a clone like the stam sa47. I already have a klaus heyne u87. is there enough of a difference in sound between the 87 and 47 to warrant owning both ?
Yes!
Old 12th January 2018
  #83
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Quite distinct. The Klaus is (IMHO) the best version of the 87 sound while the vintage 47 is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Old 12th January 2018
  #84
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pethenis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
As per published specs and Neumann's Uwe Sattler's detailed calculations on my forum, the headroom in stock U87Ai (current version) is ca. 6dB lower than in the older U87.
Klaus, could that diminished headroom also result in nasty peaks on dynamic but close miked spoken word? I’m not talking obvious distortion, just that the microphone seems to be performing better at a certain (lower) level. But maybe I just have a “not so nice” capsule..
Old 12th January 2018
  #85
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Klaus's Avatar
 

As I mentioned, the stock U87Ai has a 6B diminished headroom compared to the old U87.
At around 105-110dB, both mics are pretty marginal in that regard, compared to the nice quality and soft-onset tube distortion encountered with, say, a U67.

If SPLs are an issue when using your U87Ai, I would recommend to first try moving the mic off the loud source. Only in an emergency would I use the -10dB switch on the back of the head: the mic's noise floor goes up 10dB in that setting. and fidelity suffers.

But smart engineering with U87s, old and new, has been done quite successfully, as long as you watch your levels: when this type of single-transistor mic reaches the limits of how much SPL it can take, you will hear that immediately as an unpleasant fuzz, and can correct your levels accordingly.
Old 12th January 2018
  #86
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pethenis's Avatar
 

But the source isn’t THAT loud: spoken word from 20/25 cm distance.. it’s just on the peaks and it’s not the preamp either. Like I said, it isn’t real clipping, but just a more “nasty” sound.
Old 12th January 2018
  #87
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Klaus's Avatar
 

Some revisions of U87Ai with certain series of capsules (see other threads on this subject) are more pointy and nasty in the upper mids than others, and tend to emphasize certain irritating frequencies.

One suggestion: try to reverse the capsule's diaphragm leads (re-soldering front to back, and back to front, after covering the capsule's diaphragms with a credit card or other splash shield). You may find that in your case the rear side as cardioid sounds better.

If it does, you can either access cardioid pattern from the rear from now on, or physically reverse the capsule and re-connect the original lead-out arrangement.

Last edited by Klaus; 12th January 2018 at 10:39 PM..
Old 23rd January 2018
  #88
Here for the gear
 

Hello all... regarding the mod... Klaus, does your mod cover a U87 that isn't working? Or one that's been repaired very poorly by some "yayhoo" at some point. And is your rate for modding a standard rate? Thank you very much for your time!
Old 23rd January 2018
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icondor View Post
Hello all... regarding the mod... Klaus, does your mod cover a U87 that isn't working? Or one that's been repaired very poorly by some "yayhoo" at some point. And is your rate for modding a standard rate? Thank you very much for your time!

Best to contact Klaus directly.

German Masterworks?
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