I keep seeing a Neumann SM69 for sale on ebay (for a while now, sale price keeps decreasing). I purchased a vintage U87 from the same seller (allthatjazz68), and while the U87 is fine, I just got a bad feeling from dealing with him. He was a bit taken aback that I did the breath test and was getting bad crackling noises. Although he did offer to take it back.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has purchased anything else from this guy and has had more positive experiences. An SM69 would be sweet
When buying vintage equipement I'd always calculate some extra cost for getting the stuff repaired/rebuilt/reworked/reconditioned. Many people who sell old studio equipement make claims like "in mint condition" but don't have the time or knowledge (or don't take the time and claim to have no knowledge) to give the equipement a real test.
So while you may have to deal with old crackling knobs, faders and switches, some sort of hum due to caps loosing their capacity in studio equipement generally, microphones are very special specimen and can lead to very high repair bills, if they need major work.
Capsule aging is always an issue with a capsule 30years and older. Some may still sound good but once the mic gets in a damp environment (it may just be a very humid day in summer) the capsule can start making noise or just fail.
When you buy a mic of this age, be prepared to get the capsule reskinned or (even better, if original parts are still available) replaced. So with a stereo mic, this won't come for cheap.