How to (Re)Mount Badges on Microphone Bodies
There comes a time when a badge fell off the precious U47, or was never there on the used KM84 you bought. You may have bought an overpriced badge on eBay and now want to be absolutely sure to not waste the effort and expense.
Years of trials and mess-ups have taught me how to (re-)mount badges on Neumann, Telefunken and other mics, and I herewith share my tips.
1. Initial Check
Check the radius of the badge against that of the body tube. For a flush fit, both must be the same. If necessary, you can bend and flatten or arch the badge a tiny bit, but do not try to fit a badge made for a different body radius: the body holes may not line up. KM8x badges will not fit U87 housing tubes and vice versa. M49 badges need to be re-bent to fit a U47 housing tube, and vice versa. Once the same radius of badge and housing tube has been confirmed, hold the badge over the correct position and check that the holes for inserting the rivets will line up.
Insert rivets into badge - thumb pressure only - no tools
With rivets in badge, insert all the way into the housing tube, to check correct rivet length: if rivets stick out on the inside, they are too long and need to be shortened until flush with the inside surface of housing tube: On some Neumann mics there is zero clearance between frame and housing tube during insertion.
To shorten rivets that are too long: insert into badge (best for holding rivet in place) and carefully grind down length with a Dremel diamond wheel or other tool.
If rivet shafts are too thick to go into holes without extreme pressure: use diamond wheel to slender the shafts until only light pressure is necessary to seat them
3. Final Installation
Insert rivets through badge, apply a small dab of Eclectic E6000 styrene glue* to center of badge’s back, and guide badge into correct position by lining up rivet shafts with body holes. Press badge firmly into position, making sure that all edges are flush with body. Thumb pressure is optimal. Finally, use your wooden dowel and gently press the rivets until heads are flush with badge. DO NOT HAMMER.
Do not trust the rivets to hold in the badge. They are primarily for looks. To avoid rivets from falling off: place a drop of Crazy Glue to each of the rivet holes from inside the housing tube.
*Eclectic E6000 is great: firm hold, yet easily removed without residue if necessary.