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Antique Mic Restore or Update?

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Chris C
May 05, 2009 3:14 AM GMT

The mic pictured in my profile is an absolute pearler. I love it. There is no doubt in my mind that It is my best mic but it is very old and the connections are delicate. I want to use it on gigs but I am mindfull that it is an antique and not only valuable but also perhaps historicaly important? I know there are some great mic techs on this forum. What do people think about getting such a mic updated for modern harp use instead of restored? The mic itself is not in great condition and every time I work on it myself I am not doing it any favours, such is my skill level. Its an Australian dynamic low impedence mic from the 40's. Steanes Sound System Dynamic.I will put some details on my profile for thoseinterested. Alsoare there problems sending/mailing such a mic to a good tech overseas? I live in Australia.I may be over stating its value. This is quite possible. I do love the sound though.

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Comments (7)

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May 05, 2009 7:31 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I'll defer to the mic experts regarding value, tone and recommendations. I just want to say that it has a very cool look, and I can't wait to read more in this thread. Thanks for posting this question.

May 05, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

Kinds of depends on what you value. What do you like about the mic? The tone? The looks? The way it feels in your hands? (I know, all of it.) Hard to tell how big it is from the pics. It is probable that you could put some other element in there but then it won't sound the same. It is possible someone could rebuild the element in it, but that will be very expensive.

If you care more about its value as an antique, put it on the shelf and look at it, or sell it.

If you care more about using it for the "cool" factor, send it to a credible customizer to explore your options.

If you care most about its sound as it is, just keep playing it. Properly resoldering wires to connectors shouldn't hurt it a bit.

As a thought, there are two kinds of vintage car nuts - those who restore a car to show class beauty and then ship it from show to show in a truck, and those who actually drive them. I subscribe to the latter - if you're not using it for what it was made for, what's the point? Jay Leno says "Restore it to 100 (he means out of 100 possible points, the standard for car show judging), drive it down to 90."

May 05, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Thanks Greg,

It's the tone. It has this great old wide diaphram in it. Very delicate looks like tin foil.Its sligtly smaller than a green bullet. Abit heavy and slightly awkard in hand but I can live with that. When I say its not in great condition its just a bit beaten externally. It still looks hot.Putting a new element is not what I want. I'm thinking more about the soldering, the way the diaphram is mounted, And closing off the back internally so that I get more of a seal. You know what I mean? And some how making the whole thingrobust for gigs.Thatnot v. extreem at all when I think about it. You have answered my question very well thank you. Do you want the job?

May 06, 2009 5:04 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

I'd be happy to work on it for you. If you seal the rear you need to leave at least a pin hole to vent atmospheric pressure changes.

May 30, 2009 6:39 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Joe your advice was rock solid, unfortunately it came too late. The bad news is I did settle for anupgrade because the old element did not survive. The good news is that it is now has a hot CR element in it and sounds great. Thank you Greg for yourexcelent work.

May 31, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

Yeah, Chris's mic arrived at my shop sick from all its travel- and then died in surgery. It is a really unique mic so I took it as a personal challenge to turn it into something Chris can use and really like. A hot element and some careful gasketing, despite all those holes in the shell, resulted in a mic that iscompletelycuppable/sealable and so sounds great.

Thanks for the biz, Chris!


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