Common name: Neumann KM 86
Production Status: Discontinued / Vintage
KM is the acronym for “kleinmikrophon” meaning “little microphone”. The original KM family (KM 53 – 54 – 56) was introduced in the 50’s out of a professional market request for high quality, but very small, microphones, for TV productions and broadcast applications. The KM 86 is a dual 21 mm capsule switchable-pattern microphone part of Neumann’s “fet 80” series microphones. It is externally identical to the KM 66 tube version. They can be identified via the different Neumann logo color, black for the tube versions and violet for the fet 80. The KM 86 employs two K64 / K 84 capsules installed back to back inside a large head grille sitting on top of the standard 21 mm body. Polar patterns can be switched between omnidirectional, cardioid and bidirectional. The amplifier incorporates a built-in capacitive -10 dB switchable pre-attenuator. These capsules feature MCF diaphragms and exhibit the same frequency response for incoming sound sources over +- 135° (100 Hz – 18 kHz). This allows recording with just level differences and without any sonic coloration of a sound source located within that angle. The KM 86 microphone was manufactured from 1986 to 1986, it was available with standard 3-pin Tuchel connector or with XLR-3 (“i” version).