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Author Topic: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?  (Read 842 times)

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Offline jes1982

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Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« on: May 22, 2022, 01:26:15 PM »
So I finally got around to sending my DPA4061 mics to DPA in Longmont to get fixed. The last time I had taped, one mic's capture was ~25db less than the other mic.  I tested the cables and preamp and am fairly certain it's a mic issue.

Only one mic was faulty.  I mailed both mics to DPA for testing purposes, and oddly they told me *both* mics are "not repairable"--even though one mic worked fine for me the last time I taped.  One mic was identified as "low charge in capsule" and the other was described as "loss of sensitivity in capsule."  DPA offered me new mics at a 10% discount. 

I'm not sure how to proceed. Any counsel?  Basically, I'm not certain whether I should trust DPA's assessment regarding whether the mic is repairable.  I'm also guessing that seeking out a single replacement mic to match with my one good one may also be problematic?  Any recommendations on where I could send the DPA mics for a second opinion regarding whether the mic can be repaired?

Thank you.

Offline EmRR

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Re: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2022, 01:40:08 PM »
I would trust their assessment.  I'd bet the one that works now is in it's way out, seems to be the way they die.  It works, but is likely outside their test performance spec, and I don't think there's anything repairable outside of cable replacement.  You can certainly get those returned and continue to use the one that works.  Yes, it'll be a toss-up matching its sensitivity to another, OTOH no reason you can't compensate. 
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50

Offline DSatz

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Re: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2022, 06:34:46 PM »
I'm not a DPA user myself, but I know plenty of people who are, and I've never heard of any reason to doubt the professionalism or competency of their repair department.

In any case their manufacturing methods are so specialized that in effect, you have no alternative anyway. Even another professional microphone manufacturer couldn't troubleshoot or repair a DPA condenser microphone.
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2022, 10:35:32 AM »
As EmRR mentions there is nothing really repairable in the tiny monolithic construction DPA miniature microphones other than re-terminating the integrated cable, and a sensitivity drop seems the common end of life failure mode.  I've sent in other 4060/4061 mics to DPA over the years for assessment, received the same prognosis, and have taken them up on the offer for replacement at reduced cost. They have returned the failed mics in addition upon request.  As Both DSatz and EmRR note they are a trustworthy professional operation and I trust their assessment.

Be aware that in order to make their assessment they cut off the microphone's original microdot termination, which was returned along with the microphone upon request.  In the past I've re-used those cut-off microdot terminations in combination with female barrel connectors to create microdot "Y" adapters to a mini-plug or mini-XLR connector.  The microphone grids can be kept as spares.  I've not actually done anything useful with the bad microphone elements, but have kept a few on hand intending to dissect them at some point to see what's going on inside, and for use as dummy mics sometimes useful in figuring out unusual setups without using my good operational mics.

Best practice for longevity-
  • Make sure you aren't powering them with more than 9V, which can damage the FET.
  • Avoid situations with static electricity which can damage the back-electret charge and/or FET.
  • Remove the grid from the microphone and check for clogging of the screen material, which can be cleaned before replacing it on the microphone.
  • Contamination or dirt that has made its way past the external grid can end up blocking the tiny perforations on the rectangular gold internal capsule. That may or may not be visible. The capsule itself can be cleaned by removing the grid and immersing the microphone in distilled water, string it around vigorously, then shaking off any remaining water and allowing it to dry completely.
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Offline jes1982

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Re: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2022, 12:10:15 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, y'all.  This is helpful and educational.  Like I said, I was confused as to why a working mic would be deemed "not repairable," but I think I now have a better understanding.

I bought the 4061s used around 2012, so I definitely got my money's worth.  I'm leaning towards the 4660 for its sturdier construction.

Thanks again.

Online heathen

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Re: Anyone have experience with DPA for mic repairs?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 10:03:05 AM »
I think it's a testament to their exacting standards that their definition of "working" is so strict.  (Which is not to say that other mic manufacturers don't also have exacting standards.)
Mics: AT4050ST | AT4031 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05


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