One of the evergreen classics within the world of microphones is the Neumann U67. It’s a multi-pattern tube microphone which was presented to the globe in 1960. it had been the successor to the legendary Neumann U47—although they did exist in parallel for some years. Over the years and decades, it’s become one of the foremost sought-after vintage microphones out there. it is time to shine the spotlight on the U67 mic full. Here’s the history of why it materialized, how it had been designed, and what variants and versions there are.
MATERIALIZATION OF THE NEUMANN U67
The Neumann U67 could be a multi-pattern large-diaphragm mic with a tube-and-transformer topology. It was introduced by Neumann in 1960 to replace the U60 for the year of its development.
The U67 was designed with versatility in mind. And indeed—you would be hard-pressed to search out a sound source where it doesn’t work. It’s detailed but the smooth midrange makes it a top choice for close-miked vocals, pianos, guitar amps, acoustic guitars, drum overheads, and horns.
In a recent video shot at Capitol Studios in la, legendary engineer Al Schmitt uses U67s set to Omni on the saxophone players in a very dance orchestra recording. He comments that any leakage from the opposite instruments doesn’t bother him, as even the leakage sounds good with U67s! Catherine Marks of Assault & Battery 2 in London on the opposite hand swears by 67s for electric guitars with many top-end sparkles.
So basically, the U67 could be a safe bet. it’ll rarely be the incorrect choice, and in many cases, you’ll find that it’s the highest choice.
HISTORY OF THE NEUMANN U67
In the 1950s, toward the end of the year, several things led to the creation of Neumann the U67. Perhaps most significantly, the recording technique of placing microphones near their sources had become very fashionable during the 50s. While this system has great advantages, it poses some challenges to the mic design. This enables Neumann to see a gap in the for a microphone designed with a close-range placement in mind. Furthermore, Neumann wanted to fabricate a truly versatile new microphone. One aspect to satisfy this goal was to introduce an oversized diaphragm condenser offering a figure-of-eight pattern additionally to Omni and cardioid. At the time, Neumann already had experienced with his KM56 small-diaphragm condenser success, the KM56 offered patterns with three switchable polar. Furthermore, Telefunken had announced that they’d cease production of the VF14 tube.
That tube was a significant component in Neumann’s then flagship model U47, so it absolutely was clear Neumann needed to begin designing the successor which led to the U67.
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The M269 was released by Neumann for the German broadcast market. It’s a U67 with an AC701k tube rather than an EF86. Some would say the top results a mic that sounds even better than a 67. The M269 also incorporates a multi-pattern turn on the facility supply, whereas the U67 only has three patterns that are selectable from the mic body. Interestingly, the M269 also features a put-on body that gives an infatuated cardioid mode.
In the early 1990s, a set of the latest old stock U67 parts from the 1960s was discovered in a warehouse. Neumann decided to fabricate a few hundred microphones from those parts and sell them as U67 SLO Edition which offers an amazing limited offering.
But no matter the vintage, the U67 sound can vary quite aot from unit to unit—see the Measurements section below. Based on manufacturing aging and tolerance, these differences were largely noticed. However, different parts from factories and minor design twists also play a job.
THE LEGEND RETURNS: NEUMANN REVIVES THE U67
Early 2018, Neumann announced a U67 reissue microphone. it had been presented as being the image of the vintage ones, but some design differences may make a discernible difference. Most notably, the capsules are tensioned differently than the vintage U67 which produces a special sonic character.
So, the German microphone manufacturer has created a historically accurate replica including a K67 capsule and EF86 tube. In fact, the refashioning of the U67 is so faithful form that each one of the microphone’s parts will be exchanged with those from vintage versions of the mic.
The reasons for reviving the Neumann U67 are obvious. Used for countless recordings, such as “My Girl,” from David Ruffin, Ian Gillan on “Highway Star,” McCartney on “Hey Jude” and the microphone has been a staple from when it’s been introduced into the studio world.
The Neumann U67 origins fall back to the late 1950s as mentioned above when it was looking to create a successor to its flagship microphone, the U47. The famous VF14 tube, that helped created that magical U47 sound, was then withdrawn from production by Telefunken, and Neumann seize the opportunity to make an all-new mic.
The advancements of tech since the discharge of the U47 permit Neumann to create several improvements. For the U67, for the capsule membrane a Mylar was used, and also the microphone featured an external pad switch and an indoor cut-off filter. The new capsule within the mic uses an accurate figure-of-eight pickup pattern and the smaller tube EF86 allowed for a slimmer body.
Most importantly within the development of the U67, the general shape of the microphone changed. The U47 tubular body was removed and replaced with the classic shape that has since become iconic; a tapered head grille (to ensure a reduced capsule resonance), and a tapered body shell (made possible by advances in metal lathe tech).
Having three polar positions made the U67 very versatile, and to top it all off, the mic was designed to be displayed without the employment of tools – the bell unscrewed housing which releases the body shell and thus the removable head assembly.
All in all, the U67 was a dramatic revolution in microphone technology and style for the new decade of the 1960s.