Re: [Harp-L] Favorite Mic

The Crystal Balls I have has a low value pot. If yours does (under a meg), toss it and install a 10 meg to 30 meg linear taper (NOT audio taper - those are for tone controls) pot. All Electronics has these.

You're probably aware that Astatic has discontinued the MC151 crystal cartridge. The MC127 ceramic is still available (I believe). They have a sound similar to crystal elements, and my experience with them is that they're indestructable..

If you use crystal or ceramic mikes, never run it into an input of less than 1 megohm. It will sound thin and tinny. There is a simple fix. Build a buffer amp for it. You'll need a cheap 741 op amp (should be WELL under a dollar), a pair of 9 volt carbon zinc batteries (cheapies), 2 battery clips, a pair of 1/4" jacks (I recommend stereo, so unplugging either one cuts power.

The output is connected to the inverting input. This clamps gain at unity, and REPLACES ALL POWER LOSSES IN THE INPUT. This make the input impedance INFINITY. Your crystal/ceramic *loves* this, and now has a big fat sound, as well as that "natural distortion" these are noted for having. If you need a volume control, either get a 10-30 meg linear taper in th mic, or install it AFTER the buffer.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Trafford-Owen" <richardtraffordowen@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Harp-L" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 10:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Favorite Mic

Well, up until recently, my favourite mic was my Crystal Balls (Astatic). I'm
slowly coming to terms with the fact that the crystal has gone. Thanks everyone
for the advice. I have not completely let go yet. I've taken the element apart
and once I dissolve away the glue on the diaphragm, I'll be able to see if the
crystal has just slipped and can be easily fixed. Not sure what mic I'm going to
look to to get a nice crunchy sound, but there seems little point in trying to
replace the crystal since it is so hard to get them. A little piece of history
is slipping away.

For a clean sound (non blues), I love my SM58. I also use a cheap Radio Shack
lavelier mic that I hold in my hand by slipping it under my wedding ring. This
allows me to get a lot of dynamic hand sounds and also percussive sounds.

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