[Harp-L] Sick of It

I want to underscore the point someone made about how many dead
elements you have to buy to get one good one.  Every harp builder has
to buy at least 4 or 5 mics to get once good element, sometimes more.
A lot of those large lots of mic parts you see being sold on eBay
come from builders trying to get rid of stuff they bought that didn't
work out as planned, ir hoped for. That is just the nature of the
business, and adds a lot to the cost. Every great mic I build for
myself so far probably costs as much as custom job on eBay. Aaargh!
But it is more satisfying for me to play it - and I designed it the
way I like, which is my own unique design concept. 

Also, tTere is a huge lack of integrity on eBay, so you have to be
careful when buying any old microphone parts. Here are some tips -
and feel free to add to this list:

- if it says untested that means IT IS KNOWN TO BE NOT WORKING.
Nobody that sells anything on eBay is doing it for anything but
money. Selling a working item on eBay jacks the final bids up
significantly. It isn't hard to test for serious sellers, so not
tested generally means not working.

- If it says it is working, you still need to be careful. Don't get
your hopes up...consider anything vintage to be a crap shoot...ya
makes yer bid and ya takes yer chances! Unless there is something
clearly intended to deceive in the description, don't cry when you
get the item. I bought some great looking mics on eBay that "worked"
but the elements were too old (crystals get thin and unusable, but
work, after about 50+ years, if they work at all). This isn't always
bad - I bought a beautiful Turner at a great price (months ago of
course, as these are now expensive too)...and at first was
disappointed that the elemtn was not original...but when I played
with it the sound was awesome. I have no idea what the crystal
element in this mic is or where it came from, but it screams!

- If you see a model of mic that has a controlled reluctance element
in it on ebay, don't assume that all mics that look like that are
hiding black label CM's in them! Many are not! Even though the black
label models are more widely known, there is still a lot of room tto
learn by trial and error. I have gone through that and paid some dues
to learn what not to buy the hard way. If you are not willing to go
through that, buy your mics from an experienced, reliable
builder...and give him or her the respect they deserve for having
paiud those dues. Their mics are WORTH what they charge for them. I
know - if I actually sold one of my own mics, I'd probably charge
$200 and up for them myself!

- If you are unsure of yourself buy only from the mic builders with
strong reputations and good customer support, then you will never go
wrong. Lots of feedbacks is not always a guarantee, since any seller
can find some old mic and list it - but a mic builder like Sonny Jr.,
or even Technobird on eBay, is someone you can trust. The reason is
that they are not driven purely by greed alone - they love what they
do, and do great work because that is who they are - they don't even
have a choice!

So if you love anxiety, risk frustration and disappointment, go ahead
and build your own mics, and try selling them on eBay - maybe you'll
actually make a few bucks, possibly even minimum wage! If not, at
least give some respect to the builders who are willing to deal with
all that so you can have a great sounding 50 year old mic that
wouldn't even be in your dreams unless someone who paid the dues went
out, hunted it down, made mistakes, lost money, ruined a couple of
elements, etc., etc. - and they did it for you.

Sonny deserves plenty respect for all that, and much more. Keep that
in mind next time you bid against him for one of those black labels. 

- Robert

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