Cleaning a u87 Capsule

This article about cleaning microphone capsules has been archived

A common problem with the Neumann u87 manifests itself with the microphone cutting out when you’re singing right into it, then coming back to life when you shut up.

13 thoughts on “Cleaning a u87 Capsule”

  1. Hi,
    Thank for this beautiful direction. I tried this but still get some cut-out . Do you recommened any oil solution instead of water ? as the water seems not strong enough to clean the craps.

    Do I have to remove the screws around the capsule for better result?

    Kind regards,


    • No! Don’t use oil, and don’t unscrew anything. If water won’t shift the crud you should probably take the mic to hospital.

  2. how do you get to the capsule? are there little screws… 20 year ago I send them to
    Gotham in NY… now they both cut out… the serial numbers are low, so they are old… I really want to try and clean them myself…

  3. I took all the shield away (quite easy – unscrew the bottom of the mic, take away the top part, in a delicate way) having a look on the youtube video “neumann how is done” and now i’m trying to clean it. Do you think I can use a normal cotton swab (same as the children one) and distilled water?

  4. I tried to clean the capsule today of an AKG 414. Your instructions worked great! I just used an small blower that comes with DSLR lens cleaning kits to dry it almost immediately. Didn’t want to depend on some third party to clean it, this is the only website I found that gave clear instructions. Thank you!

  5. Possibly a stupid question.. Is it possible to get dirt UNDER the diaphragms? Looks like that is the problem with mine, like it’s sticking to the backplate. If it is.. what can I do?

  6. As Chris said, do not use anything than a brush.
    To clean it up, prepare 3 small recipients, with three different dilutions of deionized water and pure isopropyl alcohol.
    The proportions are: 1st: 25% isopropyl and 75 deionized water; 2nd: 10% isopropyl and 90% deionized water; and 3rd: 5% isopropyl and 95% deionized water.
    With EXTREME CARE, WHITHOUT APPLYING ALMOST PRESSURE OVER THE MIC CAPSULE, use the first solution alongside all surface. LĂ©ase it dry by itself. Yes, it is normal these kind of traces that you will see.
    When dries, apply with the same amount of care the second solution. Leave it dry it alone.
    And finally, once dryied, use the third solution. Once again, leave it dry by itself. DO NOT APPLY AIR OR ANY OTHER ACCELERATION!. OF COURSE, DO NOT BREATHE IT OVER!.

    You must repeat the procedure for the another side of the capsule.

    When you see you mic’s capsule clean and free of dirt and dust, you are done. Close your mic, and the capsule will perform as new again.

  7. Just saw your website looking how to properly store u87. I enjoyed instructions on capsule cleaning. I am currently in Boston MA area and would like to find someone who can look over u87 to make sure it’s in highest order to record with.


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