Every company has unsolved secrets. Often, we try to piece together the fragments, but nobody knows exactly what happened. Now, 26 years after the event, we want to get to the bottom of the greatest mystery in Sennheiser history and uncover a perfect true crime story.
Thorsten Timmermann and his team are responsible for ensuring that the premium-quality Neumann studio microphones exceed the highest demands of the recording industry worldwide. The production line is a prime example of precision. Every day, visitors watch his production team at work and are impressed by the efficiency of the processes. It’s inconceivable to think that the production line got off to a very rocky start. Thorsten remembers that disastrous night in 1993.
“After the Neumann brand was incorporated into the Sennheiser Group, we planned to move production from Berlin to the Sennheiser headquarters in Wedemark,” he says. “My colleague Daniel Naujoks and I were responsible for ensuring that the machines were containerized during the day so that they could be transported on two trucks at night. The sites would be set up the following day.” Thanks to precise planning, everything went according to plan in Berlin. Some of the machines were placed in my own car and on the truck and others had, to our surprise, to be loaded onto a second truck. The drivers set off. The first stage of the journey was underway.
We imagine it was nighttime. A bit foggy maybe. The route from Berlin to Wedemark was probably as busy as it is today. However, we suspect something was already amiss. “The next morning it turned out that only one of the two trucks had arrived. Of course, we did everything we could to find out what had happened to the other, but it quickly became clear that we would never see it again.”
There must have been a security leak. We can only assume that the truck containing two of the core components of the Neumann production line was already miles away. Almost certainly abroad, where it was difficult to detect where the machines had been unloaded. “Of course, it was a huge shock. We had our suspicions, but we were never able to solve the case completely. All we could do was forge ahead, keep going and rebuild the missing parts as quickly as possible. There was no time to lose,” says Thorsten.
Thanks to the improvisation skills of the production teams, it wasn’t long before the production line for the Neumann microphones was up and running. Perhaps even running better than ever before. When we walk through the impressive production halls today, we think of how Thorsten and Daniel’s pulse must have been racing on that morning in 1993. However, some true crime stories really do have a happy ending.