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Value of vintage Neumann u87 (80s)
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Head

Value of vintage Neumann u87 (80s)

Hey All,

I was wondering what you guys would be willing to pay for a vintage u87(1984). I’m seeing vintage 87s selling for around $3000! Just years ago I was seeing them for like &2000-$2500.

I am asking this as I am looking to purchase one. There are some selling for ~$2800, most with some small dents in the body.

What do you guys think? Is it worth it or just go buy the new AI versions?

Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Funny, I was going to start a thread here, with the same question. For a friend who has a U87 deep in storage, he "thinks" is a vintage one.

Any further thoughts as far as Vintage U87i price range.... From "Nice" to Mint condition? Ex-Coin Collector here, so please excuse the follow up question!
Old 4 weeks ago
I got two for around 2k/each two years ago. They sell for 2200$ here in Sweden. Mind you that the Swedish crown is fairly cheap these days.

I would not pay more then 2500$ for a vintage. 1800-2200 would feel better. They can be used and abused though so the best as always, is to try them before you buy!
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Hmm... I had the impression that excellent to Mint ones, started around $3K US typically.
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
toledo3's Avatar

I think the general used price is way high, because many need about $1G worth of service to get them to spec. $1500-1800 is more what they should be going for. IMO, mics don’t really get better through age, they just get further out of spec and/or damaged in various cosmetic ways.

It seems like a joke to see a u87 that’s been worked over by a drum stick in a few places have a price of $3000-3500. I wouldn’t pay it personally. I think the newest U87ai are very nice sounding, and better than many vintage, but ultimately it is subjective.
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Head

Yeah, $3k is pretty average right now, and for not the greatest condition I might say...crazy.

I guess the next obvious question is do you guys think it’s not worth to buy something like this online like reverb/ebay (out of state) as one cannot realistically try it?
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
Klaus's Avatar

Get a money-back warranty and pass up any "sold as is" offer, if you can. But even if you are tempted, Reverb and eBay back up the buyer if the mic is not in a condition as can be reasonably expected, regardless of the disclaimer.

Example: if you find capsule contamination in an older U87 (very common), and the sound fades singing/talking at close proximity, you now have a non-working mic that will need several hundred dollars of capsule work.
Why does the seller's 'no-returns' policy still protect you with Reverb/eBay? Because there is reasonable expectation from any buyer that a Ferrari offered at full market price will run.

Smart sellers who want to protect themselves from buyers in that scenario will state "for parts/not working". That informs the buyer that chances that the mic will be "plug & play" are close to zero. Absent such disclaimer, you usually get your money back if the mic does not work/is not fully functional.

All of this does not cover the finer deficiencies of a mic, like dings in the housing, or its sound ("no low end, harsh..." etc.) . So, if you are picky, you limit your search to sellers who give an unconditional money-back warranty.

Last edited by Klaus; 4 weeks ago at 06:29 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Thanks guys, I defer to your better judgement... With the exception IMHO T (George), that $1500-$1800 is a proper value range seems a bit low to me.
In time to come, if/when I buy my Buddy's U87 (factoring in inflation etc)... I'd feel a little guilty giving him even $1800, for an excellent+ condition U87i.
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