|RE20 microphone in the Xaudia studio|
The first thing that arrived was a letter demanding a whopping payment of duty and handling for the import.
On unpacking I noticed that the microphone rattled - the capsule was loose. This is actually a common fault with these microphones - the foam disintegrates and the capsule becomes loose. Luckily, replacement foam is available for a small charge from Shuttlesound. I ordered a kit and it arrived the next day.
Time for surgery: Here is an excellent photo-journal showing how to open up an RE20.
Also remove the grill, which will unscrew once a small grub screw has been removed. On this mic the hexagonal hole had been stripped round, and so I had to carefully drill this out and re-tap the thread.
The capsule was no longer loose, but the mic still rattled! Something was broken inside the capsule assembly.
With nothing to lose, I carefully unsoldered and removed the diaphragm with a scalpel, then re-glued the baffle and reversed the process, and tested. Sadly the 'repaired' capsule had low bass response. It was time to admit defeat and order a new capsule, which did indeed solve the problem. The mic is now back to full working order, and sounds just like the other RE20s.
'Bargain' microphone: £130
International postage: £25
Duty and handling £49!
New foam set + delivery + VAT: £23
New capsule + VAT: £167
+ a couple of hours ordering and fitting bits.
Total = £394
For reference, Thomann.de sell a package for £399 which includes an RE20, a stand and 10M cable.
Lesson learned.... at least for now.
Oh, and the mic stand clip is missing....