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Neumann U 47s
Author: Posted by David E. Motson
Date: 05/05/2000
I work at the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum which will be opening in Seattle this summer, and I'm in the process of cataloging a Neumann U 47 microphone.
Unfortunately none of the sources that I've found really talk specifically about the type of historical information I'm seeking, so I need to post this message. Sorry that my questions will be basic, but to be honest, I don't know all that much about microphones.
Questions: *What were the approximate dates that Neumann made U 47s? *What dates did U 47s have the Telefunken logo? (In case you're curious, ours has a Neumann label.) *The serial number of the microphone I'm working with is 5392. What is the approximate date of manufacture? *Would it have been made in West Berlin? (Probably obvious, but I need to be 100% certain of this information.) *The microphone I'm working with has a 'type' listing on it of 'U 47a'. Does the 'a' mean anything? *It also has a label on it that states 'Custom modification by Klaus Heyne,' with a Portland, Oregon, phone number. What sort of modifications may he have made?
(btw, in case you're curious, the reason why we have this microphone is it's the one that was used in the studio by the Kingsmen when they recorded 'Louie Louie' in 1963.)
Thanks! David E. Motson
DavidM@experience.org Cataloger Experience Music Project http://www.experience.org  
Re: Neumann U 47s
Author: Posted by Klaus Heyne
Date: 05/05/2000

David, I have serviced and modified this particular mic you mentioned, and am familiar with its features and repair history. I might therefore have most of the information you are looking for. Please contact me via phone (503) 695-3410. Regarding DOB: I am sure that Martin Schneider at Neumann, Berlin, with his access to Neumann's manufacturing records can give you the date of birth for that mic via this pin board (my estimated guess: Summer of 1961.) Kind regards, Klaus
P.S. A side note: your mic had an official Neumann 'Nuvistor retrofit kit' installed: a 13CW4 Nuvistor (metal jacket miniature triode) instead of the VF14 pentode. Martin could possibly enlighten you about the history of that conversion in your mic, which, I guess, was done many years ago, most likely in Berlin. Part of my modification on your mic consisted of improving the shortcomings of the electronic circuitry surrounding the Nuvistor, in order to regain some of the beauty the original VF14 was famous for.