Monday, July 03, 2006

Our Ribbon Microphone Transformer

Ribbon microphone transformers are possibly the trickiest type of audio transformer to get right. Not only do we want a frequency response that meets the requirements of the overall design, but it must also be very efficient, not introduce noise and distortion, and be free of magnetic pickup.

Shown here is one of our transformers. All Crowley and Tripp microphones use a high quality transformer similar to this one. The design is our own and is unlike any other microphone transformer. We often like to depart from convention around here. The transformer shown here is designed to be very efficient, and each loss mechanism was studied, and design parameters chosen, for best possible signal preservation. Heavy shielding helps keep the actual noise floor very near that of the thermal noise floor. Naked Eye is double shielded and all of the other mics we make are triple shielded with the transformer oriented perpendicular to the long axis of the microphone. This takes advantage of the magnetic shielding properties of the heavy stainless steel housing used in many of the mics we produce.

Noise come in several forms: Thermal, magnetic, RF, and even mechanical noise can be significant in a sensitive device such as a microphone. Keeping external noise out is half the battle. The idea is to make the mic as immune to interference as possible, as certain locations, such as radio stations, have much potentially interfering RF energy in the studio.

Here's more on other ribbon mic transformers.

"Crowley and Tripp" and the "Bikini Bottom" logo are Trademarks of Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc.

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