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Vintage Neumann U87 w/ original capsule or new capsule???
Old 17th June 2009
  #1
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Vintage Neumann U87 w/ original capsule or new capsule???

Hey guys. I'm in the market for a pair of vintage u87's. My question is what are the differences between getting them with original capsules versus new capsules? Thanks!
Old 17th June 2009
  #2
Well, I have an old U-87 which I understand is from the late '60s or possibly early '70s and it sounds significantly better than the new ones. Neumann claims there is no difference, but many people I've spoken to state that there definitely is, which my mic seems to support.
Old 17th June 2009
  #3
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insomnio's Avatar
 

I thought the sound difference between the Ai and the old ones was a subtle thing that only the golden ears guys could perceive. It is not. Get the vintage, there are plenty available out there.
Old 17th June 2009
  #4
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Ok maybe I didn't phrase the question properly. I am looking to get a pair of VINTAGE u87's. My question is what is the difference between VINTAGE u87's that have their original capsule versus VINTAGE U87's that had their capsule replaced with a newer capsule. Thanks!
Old 17th June 2009
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diegel View Post
Ok maybe I didn't phrase the question properly. I am looking to get a pair of VINTAGE u87's. My question is what is the difference between VINTAGE u87's that have their original capsule versus VINTAGE U87's that had their capsule replaced with a newer capsule. Thanks!
New capsule = new mic. If the capsule has been replaced the mic is no longer vintage and don't let anybody tell you it is.
Old 17th June 2009
  #6
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diegel View Post
Ok maybe I didn't phrase the question properly. I am looking to get a pair of VINTAGE u87's. My question is what is the difference between VINTAGE u87's that have their original capsule versus VINTAGE U87's that had their capsule replaced with a newer capsule. Thanks!
There is none... other than the units with new capsules will have fresh new capsules (assuming the capsules are from Neumann, it's still the same part). They will sound different, because they don't have the same abuse... that's about it.

And... this is a different capsule than the current U87.

Me? I would buy new one's.... not every vintage 87 sounds good. In fact, I would say 50% or less do.
Old 17th June 2009
  #7
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So when somebody says they have a vintage u87 and that the capsule has been replaced with a new one which capsules are being used? I know the u87's I rented from dreamhire sound great and they told me the capsules were replaced by sennheiser. Does everyone replacing capsules on vintage u87's use the same capsule? I am not a fan of the newer u87's btw but just so I know the difference which capsule do they use for the ai version versus the replacement for vintage u87's?
Old 17th June 2009
  #8
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diegel View Post
So when somebody says they have a vintage u87 and that the capsule has been replaced with a new one which capsules are being used? I know the u87's I rented from dreamhire sound great and they told me the capsules were replaced by sennheiser. Does everyone replacing capsules on vintage u87's use the same capsule? I am not a fan of the newer u87's btw but just so I know the difference which capsule do they use for the ai version versus the replacement for vintage u87's?
Who knows.... the only way you can be sure is if it is replaced by Neumann/ Sennheiser, or has a Neumann/Sennheiser part. Other than that, it could have anything in there.
Old 17th June 2009
  #9
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suedesound's Avatar
 

I don't know if this will help you much but I never liked U87's all that much until I started at the studio I'm at.

We have three vintage 87's, two sound pretty similar and one is a bit brighter. I actually love these mics where before using newer 87's I never liked the top end/brightness. These haven't had anything replaced I'm pretty sure are from the early 70's. I guess it's the wear and the dirt and whatever but they sound so much better to me than the newer ones.

They still have that 87 presence but with a kind of HF rolloff, much darker than the new ones.
Old 17th June 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
There is none... other than the units with new capsules will have fresh new capsules (assuming the capsules are from Neumann, it's still the same part). They will sound different, because they don't have the same abuse... that's about it.

And... this is a different capsule than the current U87.

Me? I would buy new one's.... not every vintage 87 sounds good. In fact, I would say 50% or less do.
So you're saying that Neumann has a stock of vintage capsules that they only use to repair vintage mics and they do not use the same part they use in new production? I find this a bit difficult to believe, especially since the Neumann rep I spoke to at AES INSISTED that there is no difference between new and old U-87s - which I absolutely do NOT believe......
Old 17th June 2009
  #11
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Older U87s and virtually every other older mic grows "darker" to a certain degree as it ages.
The diaphragm gets coated with pollutants and and general mung from the air.
People singing close to the mic make the diaphragm moist and the moisture traps dust and other stuff.
There is eventually a coating on the diaphragm that cannot be cleaned off without damaging the mic.

On condenser mics the build up of foreign material can attract and retain moisture which "shorts out" the charge on the diaphragm.
Condenser mics with this going on lose lots of level and fade out when a singer sings close to the mic.

Very few mics from the '70s that have been in normal usage are free of the general mung on the capsule.
MANY have had new capsules.

The only condensers that I know of personally that are without too much build up are four U87s that were at a radio/TV production house I worked at for years.
Those mics rarely had anyone shouting and breathing lots of moisture into them.
Every other U87 I have owned or dealt with either had a new capsule or needed a new capsule.

I think a lot of people get confused because they think a new mic sounds "wrong" when compared to their older (dirty diaphragm) mic.
Old 18th June 2009
  #12
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
So you're saying that Neumann has a stock of vintage capsules that they only use to repair vintage mics and they do not use the same part they use in new production?
The capsule used in the older mics (1986 and older) is different than in the current U87. And, yes... they are still making them for repairs only (they are not used in any current production model). They are not cheap, either.
Quote:
I find this a bit difficult to believe, especially since the Neumann rep I spoke to at AES INSISTED that there is no difference between new and old U-87s - which I absolutely do NOT believe......
Capsule difference aside... There is definitely a difference between older U87's and newer units circuitry wise. Do a search and you will find several posts over the years where I and others have listed these differences in detail.
Old 18th June 2009
  #13
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Ok now I am getting a little confused. According to Neumann they claim the capsule for the u87 has never been changed. Yet I read that older u87's use a k87 capsule while the newer (AI) versions use the k67 version. So I guess the first question is what is the difference between those two capsules and secondly why does Neumann claim the capsule never changed if in fact older u87's used k87's and newer one's use K67's?
Old 18th June 2009
  #14
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geareyes's Avatar
You require a K87 capsule for a vintage U87.As has been mentioned,Neumann still manufacture these capsules.

The differences between a K87 (older U87 models) and a K67/K870 (U87A and U67 models) are:

1) The K87 has a plastic sleeve over the four mounting screws that keep the two backplates together.That sleeve is not found on the K67/K870 capsules.

2) The spacer between the two capsule halves in the K87 is made of plastic,where as it is made of aluminum in the K67/K870 capsule.

It is ludicrous for anyone to propose that a vintage U87 with a newly manufactured Neumann K87 installed is "NOT" a vintage U87 any longer.Capsules simply dont last forever!

Vintage U87's equipped with current Neumann K87 capsules will sound fine.

Mike
Old 18th June 2009
  #15
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geareyes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
New capsule = new mic. If the capsule has been replaced the mic is no longer vintage and don't let anybody tell you it is.

That statement is beyond absurd and false.

Mike
Old 18th June 2009
  #16
actually am pretty interested in getting a u87 as well.

I got one recently in a trade and sent it back to neumann for them to check and restore the mic.

Was in total disappointment. Rather sad.
Shall not mention who i got the mic from.
Though the previous owner did sent a new k87 capsule to me.
The mic still doesn't work properly and have dropouts

End of the day
I
Spent money in new gear to trade for vintage.
Spent time looking for repair,
Paid for checking and all postage fees.

Neumann told me the mic is not deem original after all.
and claim that Most parts in mic had been changed and the capsule is beyond repair.
Although i did send the new k87 capsule over to them.
Neumann didn't try to work with the new capsule to restore the vintage mic.

This makes me wonder. Is the K87 capsule authentic ?
or rather a third party capsule ?
So is vintage really the real thing ?

What i'm left with
My trade gear got used by the other party

Time wasted
Sadden by the case that the previous owner still claim that mic is workable and has no problems despite prompting him about the workability of the microphone. A little dishonest there i feel.
Give me opinions.
what should i do here ?

the trade fell and the other has got no financial capabilities to get the new gear from me in monetary terms.
So i get get back a used gear and end up with no mics

Reason of why i send my mic over to neumann is because i want an authentic party to restore the mic for me to original.
All i want is to make it alive

That's always a problem getting vintage mics.
the u87 was manufactured back in 1967.
Too old for any repair i guess....
Sad case.

Regardless of the trouble and time i've been through, i'm still looking for one.

Anyone in the same boat as i am ?
Still looking forward to hear how an exact 87ai sounds like.
Old 22nd June 2009
  #17
anyone?
is the after market k87 capsule the real thing ?

why neumann gmbh does not even want to repair them ? or fix the vintage u87 with k87 capsules?
Old 22nd June 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by geareyes View Post
That statement is beyond absurd and false.

Mike
OK, I stand corrected..... I wonder why the rep insisted, rather strenuously, that the design of the mic has not changed (when there are obvious signs to the contrary)? Doesn't do much for the credibility.......

I had assumed, based on his insistance, that they would simply replace an old capsule with the new design. Nice to know it's not so. Still, the capsule in my particular mic seems to sound a lot better han even a lot of other old ones - I wouldn't want to have to have it replaced......
Old 22nd June 2009
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamboxstudio View Post
actually am pretty interested in getting a u87 as well.

I got one recently in a trade and sent it back to neumann for them to check and restore the mic.

Was in total disappointment. Rather sad.
Shall not mention who i got the mic from.
Though the previous owner did sent a new k87 capsule to me.
The mic still doesn't work properly and have dropouts

End of the day
I
Spent money in new gear to trade for vintage.
Spent time looking for repair,
Paid for checking and all postage fees.

Neumann told me the mic is not deem original after all.
and claim that Most parts in mic had been changed and the capsule is beyond repair.
Although i did send the new k87 capsule over to them.
Neumann didn't try to work with the new capsule to restore the vintage mic.

This makes me wonder. Is the K87 capsule authentic ?
or rather a third party capsule ?
So is vintage really the real thing ?

What i'm left with
My trade gear got used by the other party

Time wasted
Sadden by the case that the previous owner still claim that mic is workable and has no problems despite prompting him about the workability of the microphone. A little dishonest there i feel.
Give me opinions.
what should i do here ?

the trade fell and the other has got no financial capabilities to get the new gear from me in monetary terms.
So i get get back a used gear and end up with no mics

Reason of why i send my mic over to neumann is because i want an authentic party to restore the mic for me to original.
All i want is to make it alive

That's always a problem getting vintage mics.
the u87 was manufactured back in 1967.
Too old for any repair i guess....
Sad case.

Regardless of the trouble and time i've been through, i'm still looking for one.

Anyone in the same boat as i am ?
Still looking forward to hear how an exact 87ai sounds like.
Well when I got mine (a '60s vintage U87) I got it off the remote truck of a major studio through my local pro audio dealer and had is sent to Neumann for checkout and cleaning before the deal actually rolled - they cleaned it and replaced a switch. Don't know what would have happened if the capsule was bad, but I do know I wouldn't have paid as much as I did (which was a really good deal, anyway) for a mic with a bad capsule..... I think the checkout and cleaning was around $200.......
Old 22nd June 2009
  #20
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geareyes's Avatar
So in summing up your situation - You acquired a vintage Neumann 87.You then went and sent it to Neumann with a new spare authentic Neumann issue K87 capsule.Upon inspecting the mic they deemed the greater portion of the microphone to be unoriginal and refused to service it.

I have no explanation for this, other than offering the suggestion that Neumann may have no desire to tie their time,energy and resources up with restoring mics that have been significantly butchered or modified past the point of recognition.If this was the condition your mic was assessed to be in ??

It makes no sense to me why Neumann declined to repair the mic having accepted delivery of your mic with the arranged intention for them to service it, "IF" your Neumann U87 was in reasonable shape.

Mike
Old 22nd June 2009
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by geareyes View Post
So in summing up your situation - You acquired a vintage Neumann 87.You then went and sent it to Neumann with a new spare authentic Neumann issue K87 capsule.Upon inspecting the mic they deemed the greater portion of the microphone to be unoriginal and refused to service it.

I have no explanation for this, other than offering the suggestion that Neumann may have no desire to tie their time,energy and resources up with restoring mics that have been significantly butchered or modified past the point of recognition.If this was the condition your mic was assessed to be in ??

It makes no sense to me why Neumann declined to repair the mic having accepted delivery of your mic with the arranged intention for them to service it, "IF" your Neumann U87 was in reasonable shape.

Mike

Precisely !
i wasted 180 USD on postage and TT charges alone.
What could be more ?
felt cheated in the trade that went through with seller claiming that mic is usable.

problem is that the mic functions with dropouts. and neumann can claim that's beyond repair. i'm wondering if the vintage 87 circulating around are deem original in terms of parts or capsule especially in circumstances like this.

how could i possibly trust any tech to judge that the mic is in original condition and the parts are not "butchered"

Original or not so original ?
Vintage but not so vintage ?
Old 22nd June 2009
  #22
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geareyes's Avatar
If you still have the mic and you would like to have a professional tech look over it.Tell me where you are located and i can suggest someone.

Alternatively return the mic to the seller and demand your money back.

Mike
Old 22nd June 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by geareyes View Post
If you still have the mic and you would like to have a professional tech look over it.Tell me where you are located and i can suggest someone.

Alternatively return the mic to the seller and demand your money back.

Mike
It's a trade
Had demanded my gear back.
New gear becomes used gear.

Have yet to see the condition
da*n
the gear is in the postman's bag.

located in asia, mate. everywhere is far for me.
I still deal direct in states.

you mean peluso, korby, klaus
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