Introduced in 1960, the U 67 was the quintessential studio workhorse
throughout the formative years of modern music. Today, more than ever,
its inimitably smooth sound continues to be in high demand.
Now, for the first time in decades, Neumann’s legendary tube
microphone is back in production, built to the original specifications.
"Neumann has consistently made the best microphones available. Your quality and the character of your
microphones – there is nothing comparable on the market. Honestly: If I could only use one microphone –
just one mic – it would be a Neumann U 67. It’s the most versatile mic."
A: The U 67 is considerably more costly to manufacture than other Neumann microphones. It includes some very expensive components such as a large custom designed output transformer, a premium quality tube, which must be specially selected from large batches of tubes, and a redesigned power supply with a large toroidal mains transformer.
The microphone itself is very intricate. The circuit board layout dates from the 1960s and does not lend itself to modern manufacturing methods. The “new” U 67, therefore, is built just like the old ones: The entire microphone is handwired. Currently, there are only three specially trained employees who are qualified to build a Neumann U 67 microphone. Like all Neumann microphones, the U 67 is made in Germany, which, of course, is more expensive than outsourcing the production to lower wage countries. However, the expertise and dedication of highly qualified staff is well worth the additional cost as our ambition is to deliver the best quality possible.
A: The Neumann U 67 reissue comes in a handsome vintage case and includes a Z 48 shock mount, the new NU 67 V power supply, a UC 5 high quality multipin cable. All included parts, including the case, are made in Germany.
A: The UC 5 multipin microphone cable, which connects the U 67 microphone with the NU 67 V power supply, measures 10 meters (32.8 ft.). The cable is very flexible and double shielded for best immunity against RF interference. The same high quality cable material is used for all Neumann tube microphones. The multipin connectors are fully compatible with all older U 67 microphones.
A: The U 67 has a special connector insert rotated by 30°, compared to the normal configuration commonly used by German broadcasters in the 1960s. This was done for safety reasons, to prevent misconnections between microphones and supplies. This special connector version has been out of production since the early 1990s.
For the 2018 reissue, we mechanically modify and rotate all four connector inserts on microphone, cable and power supply, so they are 100% compatible with all vintage equipment. We even rework the inner diameter of the female cable connector, to accommodate 1992’s slightly thicker housing sockets.
A: The wooden box for the U 87 Ai also fits the U 67. You can order it as replacement part #071247 from your Neumann distributor. This box also fits U 77, M 269, M 367, U 397, U 497 microphones.
A: It is important to understand that the new U 67 is not a copy or clone. It is an original Neumann U 67 microphone, made to the exact same specifications. Key parts such as the output transformer are manufactured according to the original documents and production drawings from the Neumann archive. The most crucial part, the K 67 large diaphragm condenser capsule has always remained in production, as it was later used in the U 87 Ai. While the current K 67 differs from old specimens in minor cosmetic details, its acoustic design and build quality have remained unchanged over the decades.
There are no intentional changes or modifications, either. The current U 67 is engineered to sound exactly like a U 67 microphone from the original production period. The tube circuit and the component values are identical. The frequency response of a new U 67 microphone matches that of an old U 67 made from 1960 to 1971 to the point that you could use them as a stereo pair (provided the old one is in good shape).
Please note that the limited production run of 1992 was adjusted for a slightly brighter response.* This was not repeated with the current reissue. The new U 67 has the same essentially linear response as U 67 microphones from the 1960s.
*Note: The 1992s version response can be adjusted to the linear response by one minor adjustment by any Neumann service station.
A: The U 67 circuit saw only minimal adjustments, over the decades:
A: The Neumann U 67 reissue will be produced as long as there is sufficient demand. However, due to the U 67’s labor-intensive construction, the output of microphones per month is limited.
A: The Neumann U 67 is not a copy or “clone”, nor is it a “tribute” or “revival” microphone that merely looks like the real thing. It is a true original. With the experience of the 1992 limited production run, the complete original development documentation of 1959/1960, and all production drawings from the Neumann archive, the original and current manufacture were meticulously evaluated and compared.
A: First of all, make sure the old U 67 is still in good shape. Many vintage microphones do not conform to their original specifications anymore, either because of defects or because of third party modifications. The U 67 has a very delicate circuit, and minor changes may result in audible sound differences. Another crucial part is the capsule. If it was re-skinned by non-Neumann personnel, it is not likely to sound like a genuine K 67 anymore. The proper way to service a defective Neumann capsule is to have it replaced with an original Neumann capsule. Note: Neumann service does not re-skin capsules.
Apart from that, the usual rules for sound comparisons apply: Place both microphones so that their capsules are as close as possible. Depending on the source and the room, the small offset between both capsules may still produce more sound difference than the microphones themselves. This is particularly true for complex sound sources such as acoustic guitar, where the sound changes audibly within a few inches.
Also, make sure the recorded levels are identical for both microphones. It is not enough to dial in the same amount of gain as the microphones may differ in sensitivity. Keep in mind that small level differences are often not recognized as what they are, but perceived as sound differences. A slightly louder file will usually be preferred as “fuller sounding.” Therefore, it’s essential to match the RMS level (not peak level!) of the files you want to compare. Studies have shown that a level difference of 0.2 dB was enough for participants to choose the slightly louder file as “better sounding” – even though the test files were otherwise identical.
Finally, we tend to perceive what we expect to hear. Follow the principles of blind (or double-blind) testing, where the test subject (and the test supervisor) is not informed which file he is currently listening to.
A: The new NU 67 V follows the classic circuit design of the NU 67 A (1992), with a large toroidal mains transformer. The tube voltages are finely regulated and filtered. Maximum filament current capability is higher than in the older supplies to accommodate the slightly higher current draw of today’s tubes.
For user convenience and protection, the NU 67 V was upgraded with a voltage sensing circuit which automatically adapts the power supply to the local power setting (100–120 V / 220–240 V, 50–60 Hz). Furthermore, the NU 67 V accommodates today’s much stricter worldwide safety regulations.
A: No, like older power supplies for the U 67, the NU 67 V is a linear power supply with a large toroidal mains transformer, just like 1992’s NU 67 A.
A: Yes, the NU 67 V is fully compatible with all older U 67 microphones. With its higher filament current capability it still only supplies as much current as the tube requires while keeping the filament voltage constant.
A: Today’s tubes require a slightly higher filament current which cannot be provided by the unregulated NU 67 supplies. These supplies would underheat the new tubes significantly, which may result in excess noise, either immediately or slowly rising during operation.
The 1992 NU 67 A supply version can be modified by your Neumann service station, to provide the higher current requirements.
A: Yes, but only in connection with the new NU 67 V power supply. Older power supplies would underheat the new tubes significantly, which may result in excess noise, either immediately or slowly rising during operation.
A: Yes, of course, you can. The new power supply will not overheat older tubes; it only supplies as much current as the tube requires while keeping the filament voltage constant. However, keep in mind that not every EF86 tube is fit for microphone use. For lowest noise and optimal sound, tubes must be tested and selected for various characteristics. This involves complex measurements and a “burn-in” process. Usual tube testers, as used by many tube resellers, can only tell you if a tube works (e.g. in a radio or guitar amp) but not if it is good enough for a studio microphone.
Many products introduced in the history of the company have become milestones of professional audio technology. It is no accident that when listing their equipment, audio studios almost always put Neumann microphones at the top of the list – they are a recognized sign of a highly professional operation.
Microphones with highest sound quality
Neumann gives the customer the certainty of acquiring a product with unsurpassed sound quality, reliability and lasting value, an investment that usually survives several generations of audio engineers. Although Neumann microphones certainly are not cheap, professionals know from their daily experience that they are worth the cost. Many owners of home recording studios also dream of having “a real Neumann” of their own.
Neumann U 67 – Return of the Legend
We are very proud to announce the re-issue of the Neumann U 67 tube microphone, one of the most famous and desired microphones in recording history. Sonically, the current reissue is identical to the U 67 made from 1960-1971. It uses the same capsule and electronic design. Key parts, such as the BV 12 output transformer, are meticulously reproduced according to original documentation. EF86 tubes are carefully selected for optimal characteristics and lowest noise in a dedicated measurement facility. The power supply was redesigned to meet today’s strict safety requirements and to accommodate the slightly higher filament current of newer premium grade tubes. The new power supply NU 67 V is fully compatible with older U 67 microphones.