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f a mic doesn't pass the breath test, is it still fully operational?
Old 2nd January 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

f a mic doesn't pass the breath test, is it still fully operational?

Got a 1974 U87 off evilbay. Sounds good, but fails a light breath test miserably. I guess I've been lucky buying used old mics as I've never had this issue. The mic was advertised as fully operational. Is this mic still fully operational?

*sorry for the title typo*
Old 2nd January 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
How does it sound with a pop filter and singing? Or in front of instruments?

When my U87 started acting up I sent it to Shannon Rhodes at Mic Rehab and he fixed a problem of intermittentness. He knows those mics well.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the referall! I just sent Shannon an email. I'll try it with a pop filter tomorrow. Sounded good to my ear over a drum kit and with spoken word.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 

It might still work but it could also crap out on you at the worst possible time. I would send it to Neumann and be prepared for a possible $750+ repair bill.... but after that you have a fully working much-sought-after vintage U87.
Old 4th January 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
If it's failing a breath test, a simple capsule cleaning probably is all that is needed.

Do NOT let anybody re-skin the capsule. It will NEVER sound like an original. I don't care what anybody tells you. I've never heard a re-skinned Neumann capsule that sounded right.
Old 4th January 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Do NOT let anybody re-skin the capsule. It will NEVER sound like an original. I don't care what anybody tells you. I've never heard a re-skinned Neumann capsule that sounded right.
Interesting. Have you heard a reskin job by Thiersch? Apparently he uses original materials and tools.
Old 4th January 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weimar View Post
Interesting. Have you heard a reskin job by Thiersch? Apparently he uses original materials and tools.
Yes. As far as I know, he does not have Neumann's original material for mylar capsules, like a U87 would have.

Thiersch does PVC for M7s, which you may be referring to. That is a whole other topic, which has been covered at length.

Simply put, if breath moisture is causing a short, it's probably dirty. The debris captures the condensation, and you get a short from the ring to the sputtering. If for some reason the ailment turns out to be catastrophic, the best course is to buy a new K87 from Neumann.
Old 4th January 2018
  #8
Here for the gear
 

I had two K67's reskinned by him, with original mylar film I was told.

They came back sounding very good, but I couldn't really compare since before the reskin, they didn't pass audio at all.
Old 4th January 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 

The capsule in my 87 failed and has been replaced with a Thiersch reskin. It definitely doesn't sounds the same as it used to.
Old 4th January 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weimar View Post
I had two K67's reskinned by him, with original mylar film I was told.

They came back sounding very good, but I couldn't really compare since before the reskin, they didn't pass audio at all.
How is he obtaining Neumann's pre-sputtered mylar? Their sputtering method will affect the way the capsule sounds. It's not just the plastic.
Old 7th January 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
dfchandler's Avatar
 

I have a U-87 that was cutting out from breaths.
It needed retentioning. It was like a loose drum head
and low frequency air would cause it to make contact
with the backplate and short out the charge on the diaphragm.
After a few seconds of getting the charge back on the diaphragm,
it would be working again. until the next low frequency breath!

Denny
Old 7th January 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfchandler View Post
I have a U-87 that was cutting out from breaths.
It needed retentioning. It was like a loose drum head
and low frequency air would cause it to make contact
with the backplate and short out the charge on the diaphragm.
After a few seconds of getting the charge back on the diaphragm,
it would be working again. until the next low frequency breath!

Denny

As I understand it there was only one generation of very very old k67 that suffered from tension loss. It is very easy to make a capsule hit the backplate (a fairly moderate ‘pah’ Sound will do it at close range). The bottoming out of the diaphragm with the backplate is not as much of a problem as the dirt which shorts with the outer ring when combined with the moisture of a breat (hence, sustained ‘haaaaaaa’ sounds are more of a trigger than hard ‘pah’ sounds)
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