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The Microtech Gefell PM 860 dates back to 1986, the last days of the Soviet bloc. At that time the GDR was the 'Silicon Valley' behind the Iron Curtain, most technically advanced equipment came from there. It was developed together with the RFZ (GDR radio and television) and the Moscow 'NIFKI institut' (for film and cinematography)

Because of the forced separation between East and West , the technological development on both sides was very different. When Neumann Berlin went back to cooperate with the original Neumann Gefell and engineers put the East German microphones on the bench, they came to the surprising conclusion that the West was lagging behind in the development of microphones!

The PM 860 (and the later successor, M900 and the M910) microphones have a capsule, made under high pressure, ​​of ceramic materials and coated with chromium - technology developed in Moscow, perfected by Microtech Gefell, and differs from all Western microphone designs.

The PM 860 is a high-quality condenser microphone designed for studio use, but also very useable on the stage. It has two switches (one low-cut -10 dB at 60 Hz and a 10 dB attenuation for very loud sound sources). Firstly , it is a vocal microphone, additionally also perfect for piano, saxophone, electric guitar, bass, bass guitar and percussion. The sound has been compared to the Neumann U 89.

In 2010, Neumann Gefell decided to re-issue the microphone; now with 48 volt phantom power instead of a separate power supply, as before. The price is firm : € 1,650, the technical specifications are exactly the same as the old version, but now it is available in either white or black.
Of the original version about a thousand have been sold ; the plant still does maintenance and repairs, so who has the opportunity to buy a PM 860 2nd hand for around € 250 (plus € 50 for a power supply or € 100 for conversion to 48 volts ) has something unique in hands.

In 1992 Sennheiser took over Neumann GMBH Berlin, but the Neumann family regained ownership of the original factory in Gefell, which makes this the only real remaining Neumann company although it is not allowed to use that name for their products; the name is now MTG (Micro Tech Gefell). In a number of microphones the legendary M7 capsule is still used; exactly produced like Georg Neumann instructed in the Forties.



Gefell PM 680

Above: 1986 version

Below: 2010 reissue (photo MTG)

MTG PM 860