Georg Neumann invented the condenser microphone. He founded his eponymous microphone company, “Georg Neumann & Co.,” with partner Erich Rickmann in 1928. Together, they developed the M7 capsule and the bottle microphone, both still made today.
In 1943, the Neumann factory was damaged by Allied bombs. The founders relocated the entire company from Berlin to Gefell, a city that would two years later be given to the Soviet Union in exchange for the western region of Berlin.
In 1946 a small group of Neumann Gefell employees set up a microphone repair center in West Berlin. This outpost would grow into the second Neumann company, Georg Neumann GmbH.
Despite the East German state taking an ownership position in the Gefell company in 1956, the sister companies worked closely together until 1961, when the Berlin Wall was erected and the GDR cut off all communication at the border.
The original company, Georg Neumann & Co. (in Gefell), continued to develop microphone technology, with a focus on broadcast and measurement applications. The company name changed in 1972 to VEB Mikrofontechnik Gefell, following the GDR’s prohibition of use of the family name.
In 1989, Georg Neumann GmbH (Berlin) was foundering, but established contact with MTG and began distributing the Gefell line of microphones. But by 1991, Neumann Berlin faced bankruptcy and was soon sold to Sennheiser. MTG set up its own worldwide distribution network.
In 1993, ownership of Microtech Gefell GmbH is returned to the original limited partnership, “Georg Neumann & Co.,” renamed Georg Neumann KG.
The Gefell condenser microphones of today are still manufactured using the original techniques and exclusive processes developed by Georg Neumann. This includes the famous M7 capsule, which is to this day at the heart of many Gefell microphones.