[Harp-L] I-Mic makers unite...

Hello list!

    I've been a fly on the wall in this list for some time now, but I thought I take this opportunity to stick my oar in. Reading the recent and fairly emotional exchanges about custom harp mics and mic elements has interested me, especially since I play through home-made I-mics. For those on the list that have never heard of i-mics: search the archives here, or better yet, just google it. Of course, you will never get "that sound" (ie. just like so and so's really hot green bullet, etc..) from an I-mic, but I have none-the-less discovered that there are several interesting differences between the several mics I have made, and that they each have their own character.
    I thought it would make a nice thread if any other i-mic builders out there would share construction tips, element types, wiring intricacies, and impressions of overall performance and design. 
     As for me, I have two I-mics that I regularly use. The first I-mic is built in an aluminum shaker (what chefs call a "flour dredge") that I bought at Big Lots for a couple of bucks. I used a small 1in speaker from RadioShack, and a 10k linear pot wired as a "better volume control" (I shunt the hot pole to the ground pole with a 1.5k resistor to make it have a more logarithmic taper). I used some left-over vinyl lawn edging to insulate the components from the chassis, and to make a "gasket" for the element. I painted the whole thing red with rustoleum. 
   My second I-mic is built in an old "mini" Maglite (the kind that takes 2 AA's). I essentially gutted the thing, and then wired an element (in this case, and old cell-phone earbud) to an in-line 1/4in jack (not a panelmount kind, but the kind you are meant to be crimped on the end of a cable). I then cut out a bit of metal screen to replace the lens, and screwed the cap back on to sandwich the element in the flashlight's head. The in-line 1/4 jack amazingly screwed into the battery cap's screw thread at the but of the flashlight.
   How do they sound? Well IMHO, amazingly good. The radioshack 1in speaker-cum-dynamic element seems to be better for acoustic playing, It could be that the gasketing I used is too loose, but the sound is slightly tinny, although it gives the harp an "old timey" sound through my amps. Larger dimensions of the flour dredge are good in the hand, and the handle acts as a "fingerhold" so as to safeguard against dropping the thing. Believe it or not, the cell phone ear-bud sounds FANTASTIC as a "hot" element. It really gives a chicago-esque edge to the tone when cupped tightly (which is really easy with the dimensions and shape of the flashlight housing). It does not have a volume control, however, so it is slightly problematic to use with effects, and there tends to be more feedback issues.
    My next steps in the mic building world will be as follows. I just ordered a couple of surplus New Old Stock dyamic elements from the Electronics Golmine, and found some nicely dimensioned all steel salt shakers at a Japanese dollar store, so I will be experimenting with various set-ups in these housings. I want to try out different gasgetting materials, experiment with adding a lowpass filter to the volume control, experimenting with adding a DC filtering Capacitor to the hot-line (to protect the element), and making an in-line volume control that I can plug into any mic.
   Any mic-building tips, experiences, feelings, sound clips, pictures, etc, would be greatly welcomed. I'll take some pictures of these mics and post them somewhere if people are intersted...



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