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Re: KMS 105 Problem
Author: Tom Drinkwater
Date: 02/24/2009
I talked to Martin Gathard, he is indeed very helpful!

basically he said that it is possible for the diaphragm to get dirt on it such as smoke, beer, spit etc and that when this happens it can cause dropouts and noise as I have been experiencing.

Apparently the dirt traps the moisture on the diaphragm whereas if it were clean the moisture would immediately re-evaporate. This means that the mic becomes sensitive to moisture, and even clean breath can cause it to fail as it rehydrates the existing dirt on the capsule. This makes perfect sense to me and I'm 95% sure it is the cause of the problem. I bought the mic used, and I suspect it was used by a pub singer. The grille has started to rust (a likely sign of dirty use) and when i got it i cleaned it up.

Mart said that these capsules cannot be cleaned, so the only cure is a new capsule, this plus fitting is so expensive that I will probably buy a new mic instead, since i would prefer a black 104 to the nickel 105 that I have anyway.

I do wonder if it would be possible to clean the capsule by immersing it in a suitable solvent such as distilled water or cleaning alcohol... although the diaphragm is not accessible to wipe clean, it might be possible to dissolve some of the dirt. I don't know if this would work, and I don't know if it would ruin the capsule. I'd welcome comment from neumann engineers on this possibility, bearing in mind that there's nothing to lose, since a mic that cuts out periodically is useless anyway.

Regarding the foam windscreen on the 104 and the multi mesh on the 105, as discussed earlier, I do understand that moisture / water vapour will travel through either , but i wonder if the foam might be more effective at catching dirt and contaminants, and so help prevent this problem arising. Just a thought, comments please.  
 
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