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Klaus Heyne U87 mod- its here AND ITS GOOD...
Old 7th April 2008
  #1
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Klaus Heyne U87 mod- its here AND ITS GOOD...

....REAL REAL REAL GOOD!

So I sent my U87 to Klaus for restoration and modification and Ive had it back for a bit. I must say it sounds incredible so far. It has a sweet quality thats just wonderful. Ive only tracked acoustic guitar so far and its just killing me (and some vocals of me but those don't count... trust me). I also used it for the fig 8 in a MS and its awesome. I really like the roll off now as well- at least this time on acoustic I did!

Main things Ive noticed-

1. Louder. Way louder. The output is 10db hotter than my blue blueberry.
2. Size- everything sounds big. Detailed top with out sounding boosted. Plus the mic really like some space from the source- and it still sounds big!
3. Mojo- the mic just flat out sounds GREAT. The minute its up, it sounds good. Placement always matters but thats where mojo comes in- regardless, it just sounds good. Find the right spot and it sounds INCREDIBLE!

Mods done

1. Pad removed. Switch now removes pattern switching out of the path- cardioid only or all 3 switching.
2. Bass roll off mod- internal miniswitch removes circuit from the path when not in use. When on the roll off switch on the outside acts as 2 settings of rolloff (if the miniswitch is activated).
3. Tuning and capsule selection (which side)
4. New output transformer and other tibits.

Ive got some big orchestral sessions coming up after the 14th so that will be the real test of function but so far Im blown away. Its still got that U87 sound but with a newfound sweetness. I can't wait to try strings! Im waiting till after those sessions to give Klaus my final opinion but Im pretty sure how it will go!

More gushing to follow Im sure! I just know many ask about this mod and its hard to find much user info so here you go! Worth every penny! And everyone on GS kept saying 6 months to a year- I had my mic back in less than 3 months ( could have been 2... I forget since I had written it off- I wanted the mod regardless ). Klaus was VERY professional and answered all of my questions and emails. He even called me a couple days ago to see if I was satisfied! Yes, yes I am!

Now Im seriously considering getting a KM84 or a pair for him to do! If I were only rich! I still have 2 kidneys...

Klaus I thank you! There is no question why you get the respect of everyone you have worked with!
Old 7th April 2008
  #2
Gear Addict
 

how much were the mods?
Old 7th April 2008
  #3
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

"How are the mids ?
It seems that beauty in the mids are what lacks today"

Word.

Thats the main thing that separates the wannabes from the contenders.

Proper functioning U87/U67 have this in spades. With a Klaus mod, I bet you're in heaven.

Enjoy,
Old 7th April 2008
  #4
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walth View Post
how much were the mods?
I think it best to ask Klaus if you are interested. Sorry!

I set the MS up again and tried it with the GMLs, 1073s, and Q8 MM61s, acoustic guitar, and it went-

3. 1073s
2. GMLs
1. MM61s

The GMLs and the U87 have some real magic cracking but the MM61s are just so happening in the high mids- perfect for acoustic.

I have vocals on Tuesday so that should be fun! Compression!
Old 7th April 2008
  #5
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
"How are the mids ?
It seems that beauty in the mids are what lacks today"

Word.

Thats the main thing that separates the wannabes from the contenders.

Proper functioning U87/U67 have this in spades. With a Klaus mod, I bet you're in heaven.

Enjoy,
The mids are as you guess- brilliant and smooth! The mic as a whole is just way more refined!
Old 7th April 2008
  #6
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T_R_S's Avatar
Pad removed?
I need to pad down a U87 when recording drums, trumpets, and a sax.
Old 7th April 2008
  #7
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
Pad removed?
I need to pad down a U87 when recording drums, trumpets, and a sax.
Wierd, I have never used the pad recording drums and brass... Must be different techniques! I found the pad to be generally useless. I never used it on snare though nor close miced the horns with it- always had some space.

Ill say the mic now DEMANDS some space! But in a very very good way.
Old 8th April 2008
  #8
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T_R_S's Avatar
Trumpets and toms with loud player will overload a U87 very easy. You will hear the mic distort on loud hits or loud trumpet stabs. Without using a pad you would not be able to close mic.
Old 8th April 2008
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
tone delux's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
I think it best to ask Klaus if you are interested. Sorry!

I set the MS up again and tried it with the GMLs, 1073s, and Q8 MM61s, acoustic guitar, and it went-

3. 1073s
2. GMLs
1. MM61s

The GMLs and the U87 have some real magic cracking but the MM61s are just so happening in the high mids- perfect for acoustic.

I have vocals on Tuesday so that should be fun! Compression!

How do you like the MM-61s compared to the GML and Neve?
sorry to take the thread off topic.
Old 10th April 2008
  #10
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tone delux View Post
How do you like the MM-61s compared to the GML and Neve?
sorry to take the thread off topic.
Im really loving the MM61s and they were the only of the 3 I hadn't heard/used before buying. Partially because they were being sold by the guy who does all my repairs etc. - David Kulka.

They have more upper mid ( actually mid in general) emphasis than the 1073s. The 1073s are thick but in a tight phasey way with more bottom. I think of them as 1073s for lows/mids or thickness, MM61s for mids/high mids, and GMLs for highs or detail. Definite retro color- mid heavy, less high end detail (maybe pushed back by the heavy mids). You can push the EQ pretty hard!

The MM61s have a gravel to them- channel 2 more than channel 1 in my case. The EQs are very cool but super limited. I boost at 5k and cut at 40k often. The highs seem to roll off on the MM61s but in a sweet way- but definitely rolled off compared to the GML. Not sure of the MM61 freq response.

They just kill on acoustic and close miced vocals. Plus they have a wierd 3D quality to them in the mids. Overall very happy- especially with how they fit relative to my other options.thumbsup

Note- mine have both op amps but I prefer the channel that has more of the older am3s- I did pick it before I knew this. Also both EQs are slightly different- so it may just be the eq or the op amp or complete BS! Regardless I love them both- channel 2 is just slightly more edgy.
Old 10th April 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
Trumpets and toms with loud player will overload a U87 very easy. You will hear the mic distort on loud hits or loud trumpet stabs. Without using a pad you would not be able to close mic.

I think the placement of the pad within the U87 circuit makes it a moot point. IE it's useless.
Old 10th April 2008
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
tone delux's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
Im really loving the MM61s and they were the only of the 3 I hadn't heard/used before buying. Partially because they were being sold by the guy who does all my repairs etc. - David Kulka.

They have more upper mid ( actually mid in general) emphasis than the 1073s. The 1073s are thick but in a tight phasey way with more bottom. I think of them as 1073s for lows/mids or thickness, MM61s for mids/high mids, and GMLs for highs or detail. Definite retro color- mid heavy, less high end detail (maybe pushed back by the heavy mids). You can push the EQ pretty hard!

The MM61s have a gravel to them- channel 2 more than channel 1 in my case. The EQs are very cool but super limited. I boost at 5k and cut at 40k often. The highs seem to roll off on the MM61s but in a sweet way- but definitely rolled off compared to the GML. Not sure of the MM61 freq response.

They just kill on acoustic and close miced vocals. Plus they have a wierd 3D quality to them in the mids. Overall very happy- especially with how they fit relative to my other options.thumbsup

Note- mine have both op amps but I prefer the channel that has more of the older am3s- I did pick it before I knew this. Also both EQs are slightly different- so it may just be the eq or the op amp or complete BS! Regardless I love them both- channel 2 is just slightly more edgy.

thanks for the detailed response.
Old 10th April 2008
  #13
Gear Head
 

i hate to ask this but,

who is Klaus? And where can I reach him? (i got a vintage U87...)

thnx,

niels
Old 10th April 2008
  #14
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cooper View Post
i hate to ask this but,

who is Klaus? And where can I reach him? (i got a vintage U87...)

thnx,

niels
Klaus Heyne is the fellow you seek; you can find him on his forum over at PSW, but I would contact him outside of the forum - try his website:
German Masterworks

You probably will not find a better, or more knowledgeable person to restore/mod/repair Neumann microphones.

regards,
Old 11th April 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 

This thread go my hopes up. I contacted Klaus today and he said he is not taking any new clients for probably a couple years.
Old 11th April 2008
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Fruition2k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5 View Post
This thread go my hopes up. I contacted Klaus today and he said he is not taking any new clients for probably a couple years.
You can also try Tony Merrill at Stephen Paul Audio for U87 mods.
Old 11th April 2008
  #17
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5 View Post
This thread go my hopes up. I contacted Klaus today and he said he is not taking any new clients for probably a couple years.
Wow am I glad I did it when I did! I had no idea. The mic sounds soooooo good! I guess I just got lucky!
Old 11th April 2008
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Amadeuz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5 View Post
This thread go my hopes up. I contacted Klaus today and he said he is not taking any new clients for probably a couple years.
Its impossible to get Klaus to do any work these days.
I’m curious to know if there’s anyone here that would so highly recommend a modification for the 87 other than Klaus's.

Any experiences with Stephen Paul's Company, after the man himself passed???
Jim Williams at audio upgrades is also doing some mods.
Korby offers a mod too.

If anyone has had experiences with any of these, comments are highly appreciated!

PS
Congrats on your acquisition!
All the Best,

~A
Old 11th April 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
Regarding the choice to remove the -10dB pad, Klaus has said that the capsule gets overdriven before the electronics does so the pad is totally useless in the original U87s. The ai versions have different circuitry.
Old 11th April 2008
  #20
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Klaus's Avatar
 

A reply to a couple of issues raised in this thread.

1. Backlog. Due to a large amount of pending work orders, and because I run a company of one, I am forced into long wait times. A long waiting list may seem an enviable position to be in, but it creates mostly stress and, eventually, ill will from current and future customers. I am deeply concerned about this, but don't have an answer at this time.

2. U87 headroom and -10dB switch. I convert the -10dB switch to a 'cardioid-only' switch, for the 4-5dB of s/n improvement this option yields. I could keep the -10dB switch as is, and add another micro-switch on the mic amp board for the cardioid-only function, but for sonic reasons that would not be satisfactory.

The mechanical distortion of the K87/870 capsule (a claim Neumann still disputes) is indeed one reason why I chose to eliminate the -10dB function of the switch.
The other reason: have you ever compared the sound of a U87 when set to -10dB, compared to the sound (after gain adjustment) without pad? If anyone needs convincing how bad this particular implementation of an audio pad sounds, it should dispel any doubts why I appropriate that switch.

Stock U87, especially U87Ai, have notoriously low headroom. With pad engaged, the U87's electronic headroom is close to that of its capsule, and on the U87Ai lower than the capsule's head room.

My advice- if you are ever faced with too much SPL from a sound source in front of a U87, back the mic off, instead of using the pad. Or use another model.

Best regards,
Klaus Heyne
Old 11th April 2008
  #21
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Klaus,

All I can say is there is no question why you are backlogged and I am THRILLED to have been able to slip in when I did! Im still absolutely loving the mic and both my mentor and I can't wait to try it on the orchestral sessions coming up. You tuned it for vox but it sounds just wonderful on EVERYTHING so far which is what I had hoped as well- the ubiquitous U87!

Sorry to have hyped you up considering you are sooooo busy. I just had to gush a little bit! I had a very good experience!



And apologies to anyone who got all excited to use Klaus- I DID just get a lucky window and had no idea! And I can't help it if its just awesome!thumbsup
Old 11th April 2008
  #22
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amadeuz View Post
Its impossible to get Klaus to do any work these days.
I’m curious to know if there’s anyone here that would so highly recommend a modification for the 87 other than Klaus's.

Any experiences with Stephen Paul's Company, after the man himself passed???
Jim Williams at audio upgrades is also doing some mods.
Korby offers a mod too.

If anyone has had experiences with any of these, comments are highly appreciated!

PS
Congrats on your acquisition!
All the Best,

~A
You could also add Doug Walker to your list - he is very good, tho like others, has a long line of customers lined up in front of you. He lives about 15 minutes away from me...
  • Walker Microphones
    dsw at mgl dot ca
If you're in Europe, you could contact Peter Drefahl:
peter drefahl musik/sprache/technik

I've not used his services, but he has a pretty good reputation.

Hope this helps,
Old 25th April 2008
  #23
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

follow up.

So Ive had a few vocal sessions and a some more acoustic guitar with this mic and I must say how absolutely thrilled I STILL am every time I put the mic up. I would say the thing Im most excited about is its consistency. The ubiquitous U87 as always BUT this has a sweetness and presence it just didn't have before.

Though mine admittedly was not in the best condition, I am very familiar with the U87. There is no doubt in the beauty added to the mic, or as Klaus might say the "sexy quality", that has been revealed!

My mentor is back from China so now its time for some serious orchestral sessions and I just can wait. Plus he has 2 vintage U87s and owned a SP U87 for years so I can wait to get his input.

Im not claiming its no longer an 87 though, don't misunderstand. Its more like having one of those "magic" U87s who's capsule had a special something... and a little more! And to me there is NOTHING like having a mic you can count on!

I wish we got to hear more from Klaus in the Peluso focused NPR story! Though it was great to hear about Peluso as well.
Old 12th January 2009
  #24
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
You could also add Doug Walker to your list - he is very good, tho like others, has a long line of customers lined up in front of you. He lives about 15 minutes away from me...
  • Walker Microphones
    dsw at mgl dot ca
If you're in Europe, you could contact Peter Drefahl:
peter drefahl musik/sprache/technik

I've not used his services, but he has a pretty good reputation.

Hope this helps,
I will 2nd doug walker. Sevice 2nd to none. 15 min away? you must be in my neck of the woods!

Russell
Old 12th January 2009
  #25
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Tube World's Avatar
If you can't get your U87 mod from Klaus, my recommendation is to buy a Brauner Phantom, and your pretty much there.
Old 12th January 2009
  #26
Gear Nut
 
tunetown's Avatar
 

I bought one of these InnerTube Audio Tube Retrofit for the U87 because you just remove the guts yourself and install the new one. It gives you the benefit of the original mic and a modded mic. Sounds great. It's a 30 sec changeover.

Cheers
Old 12th January 2009
  #27
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Just an update since its been a year-

The KHu87 is still my favorite condenser mic I own. Its always usable and on acoustic guitar and vox its just awesome. It captured an old 50s martin just PERFECTLY including the sweet and airy top end that guitar had. I still think it likes some space and occasionally have to fuss with singers who want to press their lips against it...

A year later, I still feel the same way about the quality and usefullness of the mod. I would hug Klaus if I saw him but then he would have to call the cops on me again and that was bad enough the first time... heh
Old 13th January 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amadeuz View Post
Its impossible to get Klaus to do any work these days.
I’m curious to know if there’s anyone here that would so highly recommend a modification for the 87 other than Klaus's.

Any experiences with Stephen Paul's Company, after the man himself passed???
Jim Williams at audio upgrades is also doing some mods.
Korby offers a mod too.

If anyone has had experiences with any of these, comments are highly appreciated!

PS
Congrats on your acquisition!
All the Best,

~A
Korby Audio in Nashville does great work.
Old 13th January 2009
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunetown View Post
I bought one of these InnerTube Audio Tube Retrofit for the U87 because you just remove the guts yourself and install the new one. It gives you the benefit of the original mic and a modded mic. Sounds great. It's a 30 sec changeover.

Cheers
I was real interested in that mod. I talked to Mercenary about it and I was told that it makes the mic so hot you could skip the pre and just go straight to the compressor. I wouldn't mind that on a few things but I would not want to have to do it all the time. What's your take?
Old 13th January 2009
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Can you post some samples of KHu87?
I'm interested in vocals the most.
I own u87ai and wonder how KH sounds

Thanks
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