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Just bought a damaged vintage u87
Old 23rd March 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Just bought a damaged vintage u87

Hi All,

I just purchased what was a mint condition u87i with matching vintage shock mount for a very attractive price of $1,999. Without box. Tragically, it was damaged in shipping. The seller had provided new pictures of the mic in and out from every angle per my request just before shipping. It was complete in every way from what I could see.

Ive been blessed to be working with an amazing seller who already guaranteed full refund and has been great to work with throughout. At this point my angst is with UPS.

The capsule snapped off of the black mount at the two screw points. In the process even tearing the red wires from their screws. Consequently, the capsule faces were damaged due to tumbling within the grill with small dings and scratches.

Given the price I paid, would anyone have considered keeping it and simply replacing the mount and capsule? The bodies internals and outer body are all in EXCELLENT condition! Also, I will say the the capsule itself seems to be a non original capsule. That is unless at some point original mics prior to 1986 had Cardiod patterns that faced the opposite direction? Still not 100% clear. I believe the capsule isn't the original, while the rest is vintage.

Thoughts? Ive been looking and can't find a Vintage u87 that compares the condition of this one. Nor anywhere near that price!

Am I a fool to return to seller? I would greatly appreciate some input from longtime (and short time) vintage u87 owners on what would be best. From what I've read, it seems that a vintage body with new (old) capsule still retains majority if not all its original sound. Iv sonly worked with either all original vintage or Ai, but never a vintage with replaced capsule.

Should I just let it go? Would It still be worth keeping and repairing? I've only seen pricing for replacement parts via a Sennheiser site. Seems pricey. This all just happened, and I am planning to return ship to the seller tomorrow. All experience welcome!

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Just bought a damaged vintage u87-image_8743_0.jpg   Just bought a damaged vintage u87-image_6504_1.jpg   Just bought a damaged vintage u87-image_1151_0.jpg   Just bought a damaged vintage u87-image_8127_1.jpg  

Last edited by Allaboutrhythm; 23rd March 2015 at 05:30 AM..
Old 23rd March 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Contact Tom Onofrio and discuss your options.

Microphone Repair
Old 23rd March 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Nyquist's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If the diaphragm is untouched just get a new mount fitted. It will be fine. If the diaphragm is damaged then buy a new capsule and mount from sennheiser. Easy to fit yourself. You'd be up for about $800 for the parts worst case scenario. Don't bother with online website. Ring Sennheiser directly or Klaus German Masterworks
Old 23rd March 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Matt Nolan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
That looks like a genuine capsule, albeit maybe not the original one. Replaced at a service in 1997? Klaus has written something somewhere about the date codes. I'm not sure if it was that simple...

If the diaphragms are undamaged, it will be just fine. Perhaps the cardioid faces the wrong way because you re-attached the capsule the wrong way?
Old 24th March 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
127Riot's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This completely sucks that this happened to you, Unfortunately it happens all the time fed ex and ups are horrible. They damage vintage items non stop. If it were me I would have it repaired and keep it. That's a great price you got it for. After the repair and some time using it. It will be no big deal.

Good luck.
Old 24th March 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If the mic was damaged during shipping, and insurance was purchased, then UPS should reimburse you for the repair costs. For the capsule to have snapped off like that, the box must've taken a good fall or beating. Did the box look damaged in any way when it arrived? Was it packed well by the shipper? Either way, the repair on that should be fairly simple for a qualified tech.
Old 24th March 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 
AllBread's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd get a refund, send it back, and let the seller deal with all the hassles of getting UPS to pay out and getting the mic repaired. Then, just let him know that you'd love first dibs at buying it once it's been repaired. This frees your money up to snag another one if you see one and saves you a lot of hassle. Of course, primary thing is to see how he wants to proceed with a claim at UPS - they may want to pick it up from you so it might not be wise to send it back (then UPS won't know on which leg of the journey they broke it on)!
Old 24th March 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for all the feedback!
I did send pics and a small inbox in video to the seller right away and he contacted UPs to start a claim.

I did some checkin around and decided to reach out to the above referred Tom Onofrio.

I asked te seller if he would be interested in simply covering the repair cost (which would include a full checkup). It was unclear whether the capsule would need to be repacled and make the cost much less. However, he was quoted for the worst case scenario.

I also wasn't intersted in paying more to ship it back out of country.

The seller offered to pay for repairs versus deal with a return and paying return shipping.

It went out today headed towards Tom for repair. The seller even agreed to pay direct via PayPal to eliminate me needing to be involved in that exchange.

Hopefully the worst is behind me. I Consider myself very lucky to be working with this seller as well as have the input from this community!

Thanks all!
Old 25th March 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Vintageidiot's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Wow, good for you. Make UPS pay for their callous disregard, wrecking the contents...
Old 25th March 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
doncaparker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think your plan is a good one. First, Tom Onofrio is great. He knows Neumann mics, he is easy to deal with, and his prices are fair. If Tom is doing the work, and the seller is committed to paying Tom directly, as well as making the claim to UPS, then all you will be out is the delay and a bit of aggravation. You otherwise get what you paid for, and at a great price.
Old 25th March 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Good plan. The mic will be good to go once it's repaired.
However, I think I would still file a claim with UPS.
Old 26th March 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Marcocet's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Definitely file with UPS, though in my experience they rarely come through with anything.

The mic itself seems fine, and that capsule looks like there's a good chance that it's fine as well. One more vote for Tom Onofrio, assuming that the seller is going to cover the costs if UPS doesn't. Otherwise it would be a tossup.
Old 26th March 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I know untoward things happen but I can't help speculating that the seller must have done an average packing job. A mic like that needs serious bubble wrapping etc IME.
Can you give us an idea of how he packed it please.
Cheers, Ross

Last edited by reddirt; 26th March 2015 at 01:39 PM.. Reason: added a line
Old 26th March 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
_Mark's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Good luck getting UPS to pay anything. I insured a snare drum and packed it like a tank. When it got where it was going, it was destroyed. They refused to honor it, saying that if they had packed it, it could be honored. Why do they even sell the insurance then? To be greedy!
Old 27th March 2015
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hi all,

Just an update. The seller was good to his word and sent payment to Tom for the repair! He did file a claim immediately following the delivery. I sent him pics of the mics condition as well as the boxes condition when received. Thankfully, he had taken pictures the night before shipping to help assure me it was vintage. So we have good references with before and after looks. In all the pictures he provided it was clear the capsule was fully attached. The pictures post unboxing clearly show where damage occurred.

While I would have completely gone overboard in packing materials out of paranoia, the package that arrived was packed full of packing peanuts. The mic itself was wrapped in foam paper and in a large Shure mic bag. Snug fit. Even closed, it was a pretty "cushioned" box. Someone really did a number, or something dropped onto it. All signs point to one sudden blow. Of all things the shock mount was wrapped in bubble wrap. Overall, I would have gone with a larger and stronger box, but it is what it is.

I ordered a wooden box for the u87 and shipped it to Tom in it, heavily wrapped in an oversized box filled with bubble wrap (big bubbles). Ordered a foam windscreen for it, and noticed that the original shockmount has new elastics too. Cant wait to get it back and actually hear it for the first time!

I will be keeping it in museum condition in my private studio. I fully intend to pass this on down the family line one day and want to keep it as fresh as possible.

What a week!

Thanks for all the perspectives and support. The immediate offering of solutions and referrals really shows that this is a strong community of professionals looking out for each other. I get the very strong sense that I was a one in a million+ chance story to have things work out this way and this fast. I won't take that lightly and am SOOO grateful. So often (for me anyway) things go another way. So many good feels!

Thanks again!

The shock mount shows slight signs of tarnish. Anyone know if something like CLR, or similar with clean up the tarnish without removing the actual champagne finish? Purely aesthetic and no biggie.

Last edited by Allaboutrhythm; 27th March 2015 at 02:14 AM.. Reason: Poor grammar. Don't tell my english teacher wife!
Old 27th March 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'd suggest you or the seller file a claim against UPS in Small Claims Court. That's the only way you or the seller will get reimbursement for UPS and their brutal package handling screw up. They will claim it wasn't packed right, no matter how good the packing was. Their "insurance" is a joke and they will refuse to pay and drag their feet indefinitely unless you take them to small claims court.
Old 27th March 2015
  #17
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sorry this happened to you. That said, it's great that it is going to pass through Tom's hands for a repair and full check up. I would have sent it to Tom for a look over even if showed up in working order. Keep us posted when you get it back.
Old 27th March 2015 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Motoxxx's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates ➑️
I'd suggest you or the seller file a claim against UPS in Small Claims Court. That's the only way you or the seller will get reimbursement for UPS and their brutal package handling screw up. They will claim it wasn't packed right, no matter how good the packing was. Their "insurance" is a joke and they will refuse to pay and drag their feet indefinitely unless you take them to small claims court.
You must have had a bad experience with them. I have done about 900 international shipments with UPS (both directions) and only had to file claims on 3 occassions and each time their claims handling was done in less than 2 weeks. Their insurance is underwritten by a 3rd party insurance company so UPS doesn't really take the risk UNLESS you don't buy the insurance. Good luck getting UPS into small claims court.
Old 27th March 2015
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
"..good luck getting UPS into small claims court."
I'm not an attorney; maybe a word with an attorney may be worth half hour of his/her time...
I've gone to small claims court a handful of times...to sue a business, you must find the name and address of the registered agent for that business (i.e. UPS), and serve the complaint papers on the registered agent. Warning - the registered agent may be in another state and the small claims court there may have jurisdiction! From my experience, certified mail return receipt signature by addressee only is the least expensive way for service of process, and the signed return receipt is your proof the registered agent was served. Once those papers are served, things may happen quickly (i.e. call to settle case, etc.) Again, talk to an attorney; you may be able to claim the attorney fee in addition to the damages, there should be no "service of process" or jurisdiction issues, and UPS may be less likely to "railroad" a attorney-represented client to a low settlement.

Request a detailed written statement from Tom Onofrio describing the damage and cost to repair, in a manner a judge can understand. Tom worked on one of my mics; does great work.

Just my $0.02 worth...
Old 28th March 2015 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmburrow ➑️
"..good luck getting UPS into small claims court."
I'm not an attorney; maybe a word with an attorney may be worth half hour of his/her time...
I've gone to small claims court a handful of times...to sue a business, you must find the name and address of the registered agent for that business (i.e. UPS), and serve the complaint papers on the registered agent. Warning - the registered agent may be in another state and the small claims court there may have jurisdiction! From my experience, certified mail return receipt signature by addressee only is the least expensive way for service of process, and the signed return receipt is your proof the registered agent was served. Once those papers are served, things may happen quickly (i.e. call to settle case, etc.) Again, talk to an attorney; you may be able to claim the attorney fee in addition to the damages, there should be no "service of process" or jurisdiction issues, and UPS may be less likely to "railroad" a attorney-represented client to a low settlement.

Request a detailed written statement from Tom Onofrio describing the damage and cost to repair, in a manner a judge can understand. Tom worked on one of my mics; does great work.

Just my $0.02 worth...
I've used small claims court a few times. I do know the rules vary state by state but...I believe you would just need to have a local address for UPS, then the court serves the papers on them. No attorneys are allowed in small claims court. That means UPS also can not have an attorney present. You can include court costs in your claim, but not attorney fees. Once UPS gets the notices from the court, they have X number of days to respond. If they do not respond in the time allotted, you win by default. If they do respond, and refute the claim, and show up in court to challenge the claim, you still have a pretty good chance of winning. If they respond to the claim but don't show up in court, you win by default. I'd do it without thinking twice if they ever again drag their feet on a damage claim.
Old 28th March 2015 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thats really handy to know!!! Thanks!

At this point, I am told to sit and wait. The seller is in Japan, and UPS international was supposed to contact me to schedule a visit to see the damaged merchandise and packaging. I told them that I might not be available via phone during the time they wanted to call so to make sure they leave a voicemail with contact info. I requested they send me info via email, but no one has contacted me via either phone or email. I also mentioned that the seller had pictures of the the merch the night before shipping and that I submitted pictures of the mic right out of the box as well as pics of the box.

Ive called in to UPS international twice from my end, but keep getting told that the claim was submitted and in process.

Tom already said the mic was finished day before yesterday. He will ship it Monday. It will include the old parts and an invoice which I will forward to the seller for his records. I hope everything with these seller works out, but at this point am not sure what else I can do, or what Im supposed to do other than stand by.

Again, still can't wait to finally get it back and do some tracking! Thanks again to all for the insight. Its all good to know for future transactions and pitfalls to avoid.
Old 29th March 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 
VO Guy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't know if this is your first U87, but overall I would say that you will find
that it is more than worth the effort.....once you get this issue resolved you will have a world class mic (and pre -ai which some say is even better) purchased at a very good price.
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