Can't be repaired? That's never the case.

Medzid Veseli opens up a big flightcase that just arrived from Chile. Inside it contains row after row of carefully packed treasures. Old U 47 and U 67 units, still from the first series, in some cases with considerable signs of wear. The Service Manager gently lifts a visibly worse-for-wear U 47 out of the protective foam, turns it over in his hands, and nods. Total value of the merchandise: some 96,000 dollars. “We’ll be able to do it,” Veseli says, and his colleagues smile.

A U 47 before maintainance...

…and after maintenance.

There they are, their treasures. None of the packages received are “goods” or “products” to them. They’re personalities. “There’s no such thing as ‘We won’t repair that,’” Veseli says. That’s never been said at Neumann, not in 90 years of company history. The company’s team in Berlin and the service representatives all over the world have brought every microphone back to life. In fact, the range of wishes and challenges is enormous: Many microphones are sent in for gentle maintenance, others need extraordinary TLC. The diaphragm corroded, the electronics broken, the body smashed: “We experience the entire spectrum here. And we get even the most difficult cases ready to be used again.” The team likewise returns the ancient U 47 to its former glory. That requires a very good feeling for the old models. In some cases, enormous effort is needed to find individual parts or components that have long since ceased to be manufactured. It’s a matter of course and comparatively normal to re-lathe bottom pieces and housing parts by hand. The same goes for all measurements being meticulously and precisely adhered to after the service. Veseli: “We don’t rebuild the microphones to sit in a showcase but to be used.”

Diaphragm after customer’s cleaning attempt.

The inventory of an entire studio sent in for repair.

Veseli rejects one customer wish, however. “We don’t ‘tune’ them in the sense of ‘improving’ on the original factory state. Even if the customer requests it. We restore the original condition. Never more than that — and never less.” He says that and places the old U 67 carefully back in its place in the flightcase: “We’ll get back to you soon.”