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This section offers you a comprehensive introduction to the Neumann company, as well as an extensive overview of the company history and the products which have previously been placed on the market.

If you would like to visit Berlin, you can find interesting links with information about this fascinating metropolis, which has been in a state of constant change since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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Upheaval Everywhere
These dynamic developments in the area of capsule technology and circuitry coincided not only with turbulent upheavals in global politics, but also with changes throughout the Neumann Company's corporate structure. For three decades, the company's Charlottenstrasse headquarters in Berlin near the Allied border checkpoint "Checkpoint Charlie" had stood at the edge of Western Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Neumann suddenly found itself thrust into the centre of Berlin. The consequence: costs climbed dramatically overnight and ultimately the company's building was to be torn down to make way for a planned skyscraper.

The "politics in microcosm" within the company, however, was also good for a few surprises. The Neumann family, which had continued to hold a controlling interest in the company after Georg Neumann's demise in 1976, decided to sell its shares. TELDEC, which in turn now belonged to Warner Brothers, had been an additional owner since the early seventies. After negotiation with several prospective buyers, the Neumann family decided to turn the company over as a whole to a similarly structured, family-run German company that also has experience in the studio market: Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG.

So 1 January 1991 marked the start of a new chapter in the 62 year history of Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin. This coincided with two fundamental changes in the market and thus was not without consequences: Since the mid eighties, traditional vinyl disk technology had been increasingly replaced by compact discs. Automation and digitisation in mixing console technology demanded ever increasing development outlay with ever shorter product life cycles for the components.

Some of the last large consoles in N 7000 technology were installed in the Berlin Philharmony and in regional studios of the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Since 1993 Neumann concentrates itself on studio microphones. Herewith lie the core competence, the tradition, and 70 years experience of Neumann, Berlin.

Company’s headquarters in Charlottenstrasse, Berlin
Company’s headquarters in Charlottenstrasse, Berlin
Neumann Moves
In 1993, a decision was taken to move microphone production to the parent firm Sennheiser, located north of Hannover.

Now it was time to break camp and make a "fresh start" at a new location. This location is in Ollenhauerstrasse on the Northwest side of Berlin, not far from Tegel Airport. At Sennheiser, in the meantime, a separate "Neumann Production Hall" was erected with state-of-the-art machinery and manufacturing equipment. Thanks to intense training measures, within a very short time it was possible to manufacture the entire line of microphones and accessories at the high level of quality which the world has come to expect and appreciate.

Company’s headquarters in Ollenhauerstrasse, Berlin
Company’s headquarters in Ollenhauerstrasse, Berlin
New Objectives - New Microphones
Despite all of these very dramatic changes, development of new microphones continued at the usual pace. In 1993, for example, Neumann launched the TLM 193 large diaphragm microphone. Limitation to those factors that are essential for recording quality, in conjunction with uncompromising streamlining of production, resulted in a new microphone category. This was a studio microphone which, by virtue of its low price, for the first time reached a demanding new set of customers who until then had never even dared dream of owning a "real Neumann". This marked the advent of a new generation of microphones, which was continued one year later with the KM 184. In this connection, Neumann is especially proud of the fact that not only do these microphones have the technical specifications associated with "real studio microphones", but they are also part of the continual, uncompromising improvement of these values. For the time being, the zenith of this development is marked by the TLM 103, which was launched in 1997 and received the TEC Award in 1998. For now, its residual noise of just 7 dB-A makes it the "quietest" studio microphone on the global market.

TLM 103 (1997)
TLM 103 (1997)
KM 184 (1994)
KM 184 (1994)
Back to the Tubes
The assertion above that the U 67 was Neumann's last tube microphone is not entirely correct.

Down to the present day, the development of semiconductor circuitry has resulted in tremendous improvements in specifications. There has also been amazing improvement in the reliability of all components. Quality and utmost technical complexity have become commonplace. Equipment available only to professionals a few years ago is now available for relatively little money.

Nevertheless, one "old-fashioned" component has, despite a brief slumber, never disappeared, especially in the studio sector: tubes. First they became popular in power amplifiers, where they could bring their pleasant sounding qualities to bear, then the clamour for a microphone revival became increasingly loud.

In 1995, Neumann responded with its M 149 Tube. The "49" in the name is no accident, since this large diaphragm microphone with nine switchable directional characteristics falls back on distinguished ancestors through its use of the K 47/49 capsule and its design. The circuitry is modern, however, despite the tube impedance converter which determines the sound. The output stage contains a transformerless, solid-state amplifier that can handle high modulation levels for driving even long microphone cables. This was always a problem with this microphone's ancestors, since cable material and length were always unforeseeable factors affecting the resulting sound.

M 147 Tube (1998)
M 147 Tube (1998)
Tec Award: M 149 Tube (1997)
Tec Award: M 149 Tube (1997)
Highlights of the End of the Millennium
At the end of 1998, exactly one century after the birth of Georg Neumann, the M 149 Tube inspired the new M 147 Tube. Limited to the most popular directional characteristic, the cardioid characteristic, the M 147 Tube features the same capsule and circuit technology as the award-winning M 149 Tube.

Another highlight in the history of the company occurred shortly before the end of the millennium: In February, 1999, Neumann was awarded the Technical Grammy in Los Angeles for its contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field and the audio world. In addition, a large number of Neumann products received the coveted TEC Award from the American MIX magazine: the TLM 50, the M 149 Tube, the TLM 103, the M 147 Tube, the KMS 105, the M 150 Tube and finally the TLM 127, which appeared in the year 2003.

Technical Grammy
Technical Grammy
Neumann on Stage
Although a few artists had already favored the use of Neumann microphones such as the KMS 85 and KMS 140 on the stage, it was only with the development of the KMS 105 in 1999 that Neumann first expanded into the vast field of live stage applications on a larger scale. Not long afterward, this microphone became established as an internationally recognized standard in the area of live vocal microphones.

The demand for a wireless version became ever more pressing. The natural use of the synergy effects of the parent company Sennheiser, which for years has been known as the best source of wireless technology, permitted the development of versions of the capsule head which can be used with the Sennheiser SKM 5000 wireless system. Neumann microphones can now be seen regularly on television at large concerts and television shows.

KMS 105
KMS 105
KK 105 S and SKM 5000 transmitter
KK 105 S and SKM 5000 transmitter
Neumann Goes Digital
Simultaneously, in the first years of the new millennium, Neumann was working intensively on the development of the first digital microphone. Once again, this involved basic research in a completely new technology in this field. This finally resulted in the successful development of the first digital microphone, the Solution D-01, which was introduced to the market. The company has thus once again provided impressive evidence of its technological leadership.

Solution-D
Solution-D
The 75th Anniversary of the Company
In 2003 Neumann celebrated the 75th anniversary of the company in Berlin in grand style. Many guests from around the world enjoyed a wide-ranging, information and entertaining program which served to acquaint them with the company and with the continually changing city of Berlin. The finale of the festivities was an impressive video, music and fireworks show choreographed on a Berlin lake, which amazed even the guests who were professionals in this field.

On the occasion of the anniversary, Neumann put a costly Platinum Edition of the M 149 Tube on the market, which has become a coveted item especially for microphone collectors.

An unusually detailed insight into the history of the company (287 pages, illustrated with more than 500 photographs) is provided by the book Neumann - The Microphone Company: A Story of Innovation, Excellence and the Spirit of Audio Engineering. Published in 2003, the book is now also available in bookstores.

M 149 Platinum Edition
M 149 Platinum Edition
The anniversary book
The anniversary book
The Broadcast Line
In the year 2003 the first microphone of the new Broadcast Line, the BCM 104, was introduced to broadcast studios. The BCM 104 features a completely new, functionally optimized design, which is especially adapted to meet the requirements of broadcasters. Neumann subsequently provided a real surprise for the audio world: The second microphone in the Broadcast Line, the BCM 705, is the first dynamic Neumann microphone on the market in the history of the company.

BCM 104 exterior view
BCM 104 exterior view
BCM 705 capsule view
BCM 705 capsule view


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