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Neumann U87 is distorting and cutting out

My Neumann U87 is breaking up and dropping out. The signal returns after a few seconds. What's happening and how can I check out the microphone to make sure it's working properly.

Jim

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  • macfrenzie Dec 04, 2008

    I have the same problem with an early U87 & would love Jimmys advice on what he did, because I'm in Los Angeles too.


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As condenser microphones 'mature' they may accumulate contaminants on their diaphragms, which in turn provide a relatively low impedance bypass for the bias voltage. To check if your microphone may suffer from this effect, hold it close to your mouth and breathe (heavily) a few times on the head. The moisture from your breath will condense , and if there the capsule is compromised by contaminants, or if it has developed other flaws, you will hear an increase in frying sound and/or complete loss of output.
Sometimes the capsule can be cleaned, thus extending its useful lifespan. At the risk of causing irreparable harm to the heart and soul of the microphone, this procedure should not be attempted by an inexperienced specialist! If in doubt, sens the microphone to the Neumann Service Department in Old Lyme, CT or another qualified specialist.

Uwe Sattler,
Technical Director - SEC

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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This is likely caused by dirt that is causing the capsule to "back down" and lose charge. The audio goes away and then returns when the capsule charges again. The mic needs to be cleaned by a professional--Tracy Korby, Klaus Heyne are the best.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009

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You really need a full set of parts, and to use the process of elimination to easily fix this type of problem. It can be caused by any of the internal parts.

I suggest to send the mic to a professional audio service company or to the Neumann service rep directly. This is a very high end mic and it can be critical to service. If you want to service it yourself, you will require parts to try, and have the necessary test gear and service manuals to go through it.


Jerry G.


Posted on Jun 06, 2008

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Who serviced the mic? Send the mic to Tracy Korby or Klaus Heyne.

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