Behringer B5 Disassembly

My Behringer B-5 microphone started making some weird thumping noises recently. After doing some cable swapping, and creative hookups between my preamp and a pair of headphones, I became 90% sure that it was the microphone making these weird noises. Also, the noises seem to be intermittent, so my guess is that maybe one of the capacitors inside the microphone is making the noise in the signal after it heats up? I don’t know, I’m not an electrical engineer. Also, after taking the microphone apart myself, I discovered that if you’re not an electrical engineer, there will be no reason for you to open this thing up. Anyway, if you’re reading this, you have an unhealthy desire to take your B5 apart for some reason, so let’s go…

First the tools that you WILL NOT need. I discovered this through my adventure:

  • Pipe Cutter
  • Dewalt cordless drill and bits
  • Bench Vice (to hold the microphone while you attempt to drill it)

The tools you will need:

  • Something to loosen the retainer clip (that’s what I call it). I’m sure there is an official tool that can into the little cutouts on the ring, but what I used was a pair of slip-joint pliers.

Your microphone should look like this (http://photo.killfly.com/displayimage.php?album=77&pos=0) if it does not, you do not have a Behringer B5, and these instructions will not be of much help to you. Also, the image of mine has a deep gouge on the XLR end. Yours will not have this because mine is actually in two pieces. The picture was taken after my first disassembly in which I cut off the end with a pipe cutter thinking that I needed to free up the screw at that end. It turns out that the screw that is under the decal near the XLR connector does not need to be removed. (I also attempted to drill out the screw in a fit of disassembly rage).

Take off the cardoid or omnidirectional capsule, whichever is on there, and you will be presented with something like the following: http://photo.killfly.com/displayimage.php?album=77&pos=1. See the threads that are now exposed? At the tip of the threads (also visible in the picture) you can see two cutouts. This is where you should probably use a special tool to get into those cutouts, and be able to unthread this ring. The ring is actually what’s holding the contents of the microphone into the case.

Unscrew the ring: http://photo.killfly.com/displayimage.php?album=77&pos=2 (I’m using my fingers in the picture, but in reality I had to loosen it with a pair of slip-joint pliers.) One thing to note, there are two holes in the top of the microphone that look like they’re custom made for being able to unscrew the tip. This is not what you’re looking to do, you want to actually unscrew the threads themselves.

The desired result is better explained by seeing all the pieces together in a picture (or two):

In this picture you can see the case, the ring, and the capsule in the top, and the guts of the microphone in the bottom of the picture. In order to remove the guts, you’ll have to push down on the attenuation selector switch to be able to get it past the cutout on the case. When you pull out the gut, it will come out on a sled. You want to pull it out straight, because there’s a key that the XLR connector preventing it from twisting. Both halves of the key are visible in these two shot

Now that you have the sled out, you can see the contents of the microphone. If, like me, you were hoping to see a wire that might be loose, and that you could fix, you will be sorely disappointed. But it’s still kinda neat. Feel free to check out all the pics over at the photo site: http://photo.killfly.com/thumbnails.php?album=77

5 Replies to “Behringer B5 Disassembly”

  1. Hah! Finally! I too have a noisy B-5, and being of a similar bent, I got all my tools out for the job. Then I googled and found your site! Amazing. Anyway, I’m just so glad that someone has both the guts and the patience to put together a post like this. Saved me hours of frustration. And I can already say that those ‘caps and resistors are in for a upgrade and that it will reduce noise – especially “flicker noise” that these mics are susceptible to.

  2. Nope, never did. And my disassembly technique made it so that re-assembly was not an option. I wish I’d seen the suggestion about drying it out as you describe in your post, because the symptoms sound very familiar. At the time I was living on the coast of Rhode Island, so humidity was without a doubt very high. Oh well, at least I got to see the inside.

  3. Thank you for having taken the time to post this. Really helped me. I am going to try and replace the three electrolytic capacitors to see if the noise goes.
    Most noise (like John Leach) mentions would be due to moisture affecting the capsules and not the microphone body. I think mine is different and sounds more like a spent capacitor.

  4. I was having all sorts of problems sliding the insides out, when I started to check that screw under the label. What I discovered is that you need to screw it IN, not out. Otherwise it stops the insides sliding out.

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