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Vintage Mic Identification

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Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:53 pm
by KHPH
Hi folks,

I recently purchased a lot of vintage mics, mostly older EV and a couple Shure. The person I purchased them from didn't know much about them, much to my advantage! ;) However, there is one mic in this bunch that I'm not familiar with and cant seem to identify. :headbang: My boss at the studio doesn't know, and all of the local area artists I work with do not know what it is. I'm going to attach a photo, any help identifying would be much appreciated! It's fairly mysterious to me considering I have a decent collection and am constantly surrounded by mics. Thank un advance to the entire community. :thumbup:

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Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:37 am
by Hugh Robjohns
It's a Philips EL6040 from the mid 1950s.

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Its a moving-coil omni-pattern mic, intended for broadcast applications where it can be mounted out of sight but with the capsule positioned relatively close to the sound source in an elegant way. It has a wide bandwidth performance, with a strong high end, and a movable tube at the base to control the low end response. The connecting plug can inserted in three different orientations to select alternative output impedances..

Here's a very thorough BBC research department report on it:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1956-01.pdf

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:47 am
by KHPH
Thanks a ton!

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:46 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
No problem. You got lucky in that I happen to remember that particular mic -- I came across one in a BBC store cupboard years back. Thought I was a 'marital aid' at first... :oops:

Not the most refined sounding mics, as I recall -- at least not by more modern standards -- a bit boomy and tizzy, really... But probably very good for its time and certainly far more extended at the high-end than most moving-coil mics of the era.

H

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:08 pm
by ManFromGlass
Hugh Robjohns wrote: Thought I was a 'marital aid' at first... :oops:

H

If your better half was a recording engineer with a passion for vintage gear you might not be far off the mark! :mrgreen:

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:20 pm
by Ariosto
With so many wonderful modern mics I'm surprised that so many people are seeking vintage mics. Perhaps I'm missing the point. I have one new mic that has a sort of vintage sound - an active ribbon - Sontronics Sigma. My latest mic has been around since the 1970's - but the modern version - an AKG 414 XLR. * But I only mostly do voice narration these days - so maybe that needs these sort of mics. So I'm probably talking a load of bull***t (As usual ...)

* I suppose that I was wowed by this mic in the 1970's as the Beeb used them a lot and especially in the orchestra I played in at the time. It must all come down to nostalgia - which is probably why people crave even older vintage mics ...

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:30 pm
by ManFromGlass
I would think nostalgia is part of it. But I wandered into a vintage car show a week ago and I found that not all the owners were old guys. Some were younger keeners who loved cars of that era. There was also a live band of what looked like 14 or 15 year olds playing cool tunes that were way older than they were.
Perhaps it is also part what we feel will inspire us?

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:34 pm
by James Perrett
Ariosto wrote:With so many wonderful modern mics I'm surprised that so many people are seeking vintage mics.

It is the same as guitar players wanting vintage guitars. An awful lot of people in the music business see the 60's and 70's as some kind of golden era and they want their music to sound like it could have been recorded in that era. Music listeners have become accustomed to hearing certain sounds and recording a vocal through something like an old U87 often gives you an instant 'it sounds like a record' reaction.

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:22 pm
by Sam Inglis
I think it's a chicken and egg situation. Many of the modern mics that are released are basically copies of old Neumann or AKG designs. This both reflects the demand for the originals and reinforces it, because the new mics often come across as a slightly inferior alternative for those who can't afford the originals.

It also depends on what type of mic you are looking at. There are a lot of really exciting new ribbon mics around today which are clearly better than the old models: they're smaller, lighter, more robust, have a much wider frequency response and are more sensitive. By contrast I'm not sure there are any new moving-coil dynamics out there that are even close to being as good as the old AKG D224 or the Sennheiser MD441. (Although that Shure KSM8 looks interesting...)

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:40 am
by Ariosto
I have two old AKG D202 mics (dynamic) which I bought in 1974! I think they cost about £120 each. They are still in working order. I don't think the modern versions are inferior at all, and I have a Sontronics Sigma active ribbon mic which sounds wonderful. Also AKG C414 XLS which is a modern version of an old mic from the 1970's and which is also excellent.

I also have some other excellent ribbon mics by Royer, which, as you say, are much improved versions of the older ribbon mics.

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:28 pm
by CS70
Ariosto wrote:With so many wonderful modern mics I'm surprised that so many people are seeking vintage mics..

Because it feels cool, perhaps.. and the allure of the silver bullet is always there.

Re: Vintage Mic Identification

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:48 pm
by Darren Lynch
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Thought I was a 'marital aid' at first...

Certainly the most...tumescent mic I've ever seen.