Thursday, June 29, 2006
BEO-3 Ribbon Microphone with Original Offset Ribbon
This is a decent close up shot of a B&O 3 ribbon microphone with the original "duralumin" ribbon still in it. This mic was DOA from the factory as the ribbon was incorrectly installed, and had shorted against the frame, hence no output. Lifting the end of the ribbon up just a little got it working again. Duralumin was an early name for a high strength aluminum alloy. Today there are many high strength aluminum alloys grouped according to series, such as 3 Series, or 7 Series. 7 is strong material.
You are looking into the A side of the mic, and the ribbon is convex. That transformer is tiny and very inefficient. Overall the motor unit is rather underwhelming. The microphone case is a beauty! That brushed finish and deeply engraved red filled letters - oooohh!!
These are beautiful art objects and worth grabbing if you see them at a reasonable price. In terms of output level , sound quality and noise, they are old school designs and do not compete well with more modern designs. A new ribbon and a remagnetization of the motor can bring it up a bit, but then the limitation is the tiny transformer.
Collectors of things like old mics and transistor radios from the 50's know that the mintiest examples are often DOA units that were put back in the box and stashed away. Millions of cool and colorful transistor radios, in particular, were given as gifts during the late 50's and early 60's, and some were of course Dead on Christmas Morning. Others were put away for good once the batteries wore out! Thanks to those frugal people of the past and their upper left-hand sock drawers, our little collection continues to grow!
Posted by Bob Crowley at 12:02 PM