Georg Neumann (entrepreneur)

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Georg Neumann (born October 13, 1898 in Chorin ; † August 30, 1976 in Berlin ) was an entrepreneur and developer of electroacoustic devices, especially microphones , which achieved international renown.


Georg Neumann received his professional training in Berlin at Mix & Genest and at AEG Kabelwerk Oberspree under the direction of Eugen Reisz . When Eugen Reisz then founded his own company, Georg Neumann worked there as an employee.

In 1923, the first German radio station in Berlin used the famous Reisz microphone in a marble block, in whose development Georg Neumann played a key role. In 1928 Neumann and Erich Rickmann founded the limited partnership Georg Neumann & Co. in Berlin . The company's goal was to manufacture condenser microphones in which the sound waves cause the membrane of a condenser to vibrate and thus convert its capacitance into an electrical signal. This technology was implemented in the CMV3 and brought onto the market. Equipment for the record industry was also constructed.

At the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, the first embodiment of the condenser microphone developed by Georg Neumann and still manufactured today with the well-known M7 capsule in low-frequency tube circuit passed its first "live test".

The so-called “Neumann bottle” could be equipped with exchangeable capsules with different directional characteristics.

A Neumann microphone U87

Georg Neumann succeeded in another important development in 1947. A process that made it possible to manufacture nickel-cadmium batteries without separating out large amounts of gas and to close them absolutely tightly. This invention had a lasting influence on the further development of electronic products. At the same time, based on this principle, he developed a special capacitor , the stabylite cell . Because of its high screening effect, it was used in tube microphones for a long time.

Even after the CMV3 was launched, Neumann signed a contract with Telefunken as a sales partner for the worldwide distribution of its microphones. All Neumann microphones for export bore the Telefunken logo and a Telefunken serial number. This practice only changed when Neumann set up its own US distribution in the late 1950s. Because of this sales deal, many old Neumann microphones are still regarded as Telefunken devices today.

In the course of the Second World War , the company was relocated to Gefell in the province of Saxony and classified as important to the war effort. After the war, Georg Neumann rebuilt a production facility in Berlin. He founded Georg Neumann GmbH in the Kreuzberg district and continued to produce condenser microphones, as well as record cutting machines and large audio control systems (mixing consoles). From there he also looked after the company in Thuringia, which was gradually nationalized with the founding of the GDR and later renamed VEB Microphone Technology Gefell . His influence on the company was pushed back and completely banned in the 1970s. After the reunification , the Thuringian company was transferred back to the Georg Neumann limited partnership and has been called Microtech Gefell since 1990 . In the production of measurement microphones and classic condenser microphones, among other things, it continues to feel obliged to the Neumann tradition. Today the company also manufactures solid-state lasers .

In the 1990s, Georg Neumann GmbH in Berlin was taken over by Sennheiser . Since then, development and customer service have been located in the Berlin district of Mitte and production has been relocated to the parent company in the municipality of Wedemark near Hanover. The Neumann condenser microphones are still produced under the name "Neumann". The directional speakers from the traditional manufacturer Klein and Hummel now also bear the Neumann logo.

On November 5, 2013, the Georg Neumann Museum was opened on the premises of Microtech Gefell . A prototype of the KEM 970 cardioid plane microphone, a test model of the UM 92 and an old CMV5 with M7 capsule can be seen in the museum.

  • Neumann CMV3 (Neumann bottle), first condenser microphone in series
  • Neumann U47 first studio microphone with switchable directional characteristics
  • Neumann M49 first studio microphone with remote controllable directional characteristic
  • Neumann U87 the condenser microphone that has been in production for the longest time


  • Claus Reuber:  Georg Fritz Neumann. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 19, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-428-00200-8 , p. 149 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Anselm Roessler: Neumann, the Microphone Company: a story of innovation, excellence and the spirit of audio engineering. With CD-Rom; PPVMedien, Bergkirchen 2003, ISBN 3-932275-68-3 ; 2nd updated edition Bergkirchen 2007.
  • Dirk Sommer: The Georg Neumann GmbH: The Microphone Company. In: Cai Brockmann, Roland Kraft (eds.): Hifi tunes - the book of classics. Foreword and property management: Roland Kraft, photos: Rolf D. Winter. Image-Verl.-GmbH, Groebenzell 2008, pp. 8-23; online at .

Web links

Commons : Georg Neumann GmbH  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Marble block microphone. Telecommunications collection at the Institute for Telecommunications, accessed on November 21, 2013 .
  2. about us history, Georg Neumann., accessed November 21, 2013 .
  3. ^ Anselm Roessler: Neumann, the Microphone Company: a story of innovation, excellence and the spirit of audio engineering. With CD-Rom; PPVMedien, Bergkirchen 2003, p. 36, 70 f.
  4. ^ Opening of the Georg Neumann Museum in Gefell., accessed on November 21, 2013 .