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vintage Neumann U87
Old 25th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
Stilus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
vintage Neumann U87

Hello!

I have the opportunity to buy vintage Neumann U87 (year 1970) for about 600 EUR. All I have to do is to change a capsule with the new one.

What do you mean, it's worth that money?

Microphone is otherwise in good shape...

TNX for your advice!
Old 25th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
geareyes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you purchased a new capsule from Neumann & had it installed, your overall expenditure on the mic offered @ 600 Euro would still be less than the current market value for that model.Vintage U87's sell for anywhere between $1900 - $2400.

In saying that, It would be my preference to have a vintage U87 with its period correct K87 as opposed to a new K87 from Neumann.

If the mic is being sold to you with the defective capsule, you could have it re-diaphragmed by Thiersch in Germany.This would also reduce the cost of getting the mic operational again.

Good luck!

Mike
Old 25th January 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 
Stilus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you for your answer!
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If the U87 is really OK, and it's just the capsule that is bad, then 600 Euro is a great price and you should buy it. The hard part is going to be deciding on what replacement capsule to put into the mic. The Thiersh reskin would be the least expensive way to go. He does good work, but the capsule will never sound exactly the same as a period correct K87 because the diaphram material will be slightly different. But that may not be a problem and you might even like the Thiersh capsule better. Getting a new capsule from Neumann will be the more expensive option. Here is a disturbing thread from Klaus Heyne's mic lab about replacement K87 capsules.

Neumann U87 Capsule Choices: Original or Reskin?
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
2Low's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I paid around 800€ at Neumann for a new U87 capsule 5 years ago ...
Old 27th January 2013
  #6
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Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Since that's the case, then this is not a great deal as 1400 euro is $2254 which is a price you can routinely purchase a vintage U87 for. Granted, they are rising in price now... so it may be difficult to find them under $2500, but it can be done. And then you won't have to worry about any capsule issues.

Curiously, how much does Herr Thiersch charge for a cap re-skinning?
Old 28th January 2013
  #7
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VO Guy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Here is a disturbing thread from Klaus Heyne's mic lab about replacement K87 capsules.
Hey guys, I sold my 87ai about a year ago but decided to go back to it.
Just picked up a circa 2003/2004/serial number 80xxx that will arrive tomorrow---here's my question.

I was gonna send it straight to Neumann for service just as a matter of procedure, since it is almost 1o years old. But now I'm thinking unless it sounds really off, I'll just not futz with it since apparently the capsules of this mic's era have less of a question mark over them.

My understanding is that the possible concern includes K870 capsules as well



Whaddaya think? I'm not really familiar with the typical lifespan of a mic capsule, and I've heard that sometimes when you send the mic in they replace the capsule before you can stop them.

BTW I've also heard that this era of the 87ai sounds better because of the FET circuitry that they changed around 2005/06?
Old 28th January 2013
  #8
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Klaus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FET condenser mics are not cars which need regular or even periodic servicing of any kind, UNLESS there are audible problems. Besides, all of Neumann's capsules made since 1959 use Mylar diaphragms, which do not deteriorate with time. So these capsules only decline in performance when abused.

If your mic sounds fine, especially in comparison with a similar mic, I suggest you leave it alone. As Neumann/USA does less and less capsule cleaning these days, with preference to capsule replacement when they determine a problem, I would be doubly cautious about surrendering my original capsule sound to an unknown new capsule sound.

A U87Ai with serial number 80xxx is at the transition era to the new-style K870 capsules, which, in my experience often, but not always, lack bass. Only direct comparisons to, say, a U87A from the 1990s would tell.

The FET replacement chip (starting with circuit #04, as labeled on top of the transformer) is a relatively easy item to remove and to reverse the circuit to the earlier discrete 3819 or 107 FET-type.

When both items (older K870 capsule-version and discrete FET replacement) are in place, the old-style U87 and the current model U87Ai will sound reasonably close.
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thanks Klaus!

To be more specific, the serial number is in the low 82,000s
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
gpiccolini's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike ➑️
Since that's the case, then this is not a great deal as 1400 euro is $2254 which is a price you can routinely purchase a vintage U87 for. Granted, they are rising in price now... so it may be difficult to find them under $2500, but it can be done. And then you won't have to worry about any capsule issues.

Curiously, how much does Herr Thiersch charge for a cap re-skinning?
I disagree. You're paying that money for an U87 with a brand new capsule. most U87s capsules have seen use
besides that, today €1400 is around U$S 1850. looks like a good price to me. Not cheap, but quite good.
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