Neumann U67 Reissue
The Neumann U67 reissue is an exact recreation of the desert-island microphone that replaced the U47 and set the standard for modern mic technique, while shaping the sound of music for generations to come.
Neumann introduced the transformer-balanced U67 tube condenser in 1960 to replace the U47, which in and of itself was no easy feat. However, the U67 became one of the most popular mics of all time. The U67 was the first microphone designed for the close-miking techniques that grew out of the revolutionary recording techniques of the sixties, such as Geoff Emerick’s experiments during Beatles sessions at Abbey Road. Prior to the introduction of the U67, the U47 was the mic of choice at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, and the favorite microphone of Sir George Martin. It was used on most of the recordings of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. However, EMI had very specific rules about mic choice and placement. For example, according to EMI law, a microphone could not be placed closer than 18" to a bass drum. When recording the Beatles, engineer Geoff Emerick had to get written permission from upstairs to place microphones closer to the source. (Please excuse Geoff from placing the mic 18 inches from the kick drum. Signed, Epstein’s* mother.) The U67 was Neumann’s answer to the times that were a-changin’.
Neumann U67 Reissue features and tech:
- Reissue of the legendary Neumann U67
- Classic tube circuit, transformer-balanced
- Made to original specifications using archived documentation
- New power supply NU 67 V automatically adapts to the local mains voltage
- Balanced sound in three polar patterns
- Vintage case
- Handmade and hand soldered in Germany
*Beatles manager Brian Epstein
Neumann U67 behind the grille
As timeless as its sound and technical design is its outer appearance. The U 67’s cone-shaped body and the tapered head grille have since become iconic for the Neumann brand; the same elegant design would grace its solid state successor, the U87, for the next 50+ years.
One of the defining characteristics of Neumann microphones is the precision with which they are built. Neumann manufacturing ensures that any two mics coming off the assembly line can function within tolerances that enable them to function as a stereo pair, whether they come off the line the same day or ten years apart. (Sequential numbers are a customer courtesy). In fact, the new NU67 V power supply is fully compatible with older U67 microphones. As such, when Neumann says that the U67 reissue sounds the same as the U67s released from 1960 to 1971, you can believe it (or hear it for yourself).
The K67 capsule
The U67 would not be the U67 without the famed K67 capsule (neither would the U87), which is the most copied microphone capsule in the industry. All budget mics that claim sonic similarity to Neumann mics use a Chinese-made version of the U67 capsule. (The difference is when the singer belts, the lesser mics break up, but Neumann’s K67 capsule doesn’t break a sweat.)
Along with the K67 capsule, other key parts, such as the BV12 output transformer, are meticulously reproduced according to original documentation, archived in Neumann vaults. The EF86 tubes used in the U67 are carefully selected for optimal characteristics and lowest noise in a dedicated measurement facility (Neumann mics are built under Level 5 clean room standards, used for medical equipment). The NU67 V power supply was redesigned to meet today’s strict safety requirements and to accommodate the slightly higher filament current of newer premium grade tubes, yet still works with vintage U67s (if you can find one)
Those who learn from history also get to repeat it
If recording engineers have learned anything in their experience, it’s that not every new mic sounds better than the old ones. Neumann took a big risk replacing the U47 with the U67. However, proving itself more than up to the task, the U67 was quickly adopted as the new studio standard, offering many advantages over its predecessor. The Neumann U67 was designed to handle all comers, including the tendency toward high-SPL sound sources introduced by the burgeoning rock scene of the ’60s and ’70s. Transformer-balanced for low self-noise, it featured advanced tube circuitry (for its day) three polar patterns, low-cut filter, and pad, to handle loud instruments.
As a testament to its versatility and ability to handle high SPLs, rock engineering legend Eddie Kramer used the U67 on Jimi Hendrix’ guitars. Due to its ability to handle close-miking, which was a first, Abbey Road’s Ken Scott used the U67 on McCartney’s bass cabinet, and Lennon and Harrison’s guitars. Notably, the U67 also captured the sounds of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”
To this day, many top level engineers, such as audio legend, Al Schmitt (Toto), Steve Albini (Nirvana), and John Leckie (Radiohead) would choose the U67 as their “desert island” microphone for its extraordinary versatility and unmatched sound quality.
Neumann-Engineering at its Best
Neumann’s history is replete with milestones in professional audio technology, including the invention of phantom power. Studios that want to be taken seriously almost always put Neumann microphones at the top of their equipment list—a recognized sign of a highly professional operation. Neumann microphones, while not inexpensive, are also a wise long-term investment, and in most cases, increase in value, contrary to most electronics. And of course, if the U67 is any indicator, you can make commercial quality records for decades with Neumann in your mic cabinet.
The U 67 is a universal studio microphone suitable for all applications. Its smooth top-end with a subtle tube shimmer makes the U 67 an outstanding vocal microphone. Due to its linear response in three polar patterns; omni, cardioid, and figure-8; the U 67 is also a very versatile microphone for all types of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, piano, drums, acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, and upright bass.
Audio legend Al Schmitt on the Neumann U67
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.
—20-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt (Toto, Steely Dan, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles)
Since its introduction, the U67 became the quintessential studio workhorse, and now for the first time in decades, Neumann’s legendary tube microphone is back in production, built to the original specifications. For more information, call or chat online with your Pad Professional today.