From "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> I have to put a little backspin on this notion.
> Yes, when they are in good working order, the famous vintage mics sound
> great and are very useful
when their "flavor" is desired. However, I've had some interesting
conversations with the guys who
restore them and it's surprising how many un-restored, damaged, ancient mics
are in use in famous
and semi-famous recording situations today. One of the better makers of
modern condenser mics
explained to me how the gold sputtering can't help but start coming off the
older European mics
because the material it was sputtered onto becomes brittle and warps/shrinks
with age. In the case
of the ribbon mics, things like rubber, fabric and the ribbons themselves
change over time,
especially when exposed to breath and spittle. The mics become less uniform
in their response and
less sensitive overall, a former RCA technician still in the restoration
business told me.
> So yes, an old Neumann, AKG, RCA or other famous mic is very desireable
> today, because they sound
good when they work properly. But "work properly" is the key term here, and
just because something
looks good doesn't mean it works to its published specs.
> Also, I'm sure there are many recordists on this list who would prefer a
> modern less-colored mic for
what they are doing. If you look at the published curves on these old mics,
there was a lot of
coloration built-in, which is desireable to some and undesireable to others.
I would suggest that
modern recording methods, which are essentially noiseless and offer very
wide dynamic and frequency
range, emphasize the coloration on these old mics more than back-in-the-day
Again, whether that's a plus or a minus depends on the situation and the
What I'm looking for is vintage dynamic mikes for use as harmonica mikes!
These had limited frequency response...which is part of the "harp" sound
of 50's blues recordings...!
Steven C. Barr