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Re: Details ...
Author: Martin Schneider/Neumann
Date: 10/12/2012
Hello Kirk,

- a real sonic degradation is quite difficult to achieve. We recently measured one U89, with tons of deteriorated windshield crumbs on the diaphragm. There, we really missed roughly 2dB in the high end. The diaphragm was literally covered with foam flakes.
- standard condenser microphones work with circuits with extremely high input impedance, including the capsule. Soiling (dust, spit, coffee) is understandably not the best insulator. Keeping this sort of soiling away from the capsule (using pop shields, taking unused mics off the stand and back into the locker,...) can give you decades of uncompromised performance.
Soiling will make itself "heard" via increased, humidity-dependant irregular mic self-noise (rumbling, sputtering, clicks, crackle). If that appears sending in the mic to have the capsule cleaned is the way to go.

Finally, true, we get a certain of microphones to repair per year, but it's not thousands. 1. because the mics don't need that much service, 2. they're often very carefully treated by their users, and 3. we really don't build millions of microphones.

Good recordings!
Martin Schneider / Neumann Mic. Development  
 
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