Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Would Paul Revere approve of this bottom?

Here's a shot of a non-production prototype Crowley and Tripp ribbon mic with a machined flat bottom. Actually this is the very first mic we ever made that looks like today's products. It seems like ages ago. We don't sell the mics made this way because Switchcraft, the American maker of XLR connectors and sockets, doesn't have a low profile design that mounts flush to a panel or a mic bottom, unless it is machined flat after assembly. Doing that makes it nice and flush, but then you have the exposed cast material with the plating taken off. We avoided this dilemma with Naked Eye, which uses a protruding, integrated low noise connector shell that is continuous with the transformer and ribbon motor.

They also don't have a flange mount countersunk deep enough to accept any high strength stainless steel flathead screws. We tried deepening the countersink to correct that, but it exposed the cast base metal, inviting corrosion in 20 or so years.

So, we are working on a new "proximal end" as they say in the medical industry. Soon people will be turning over their new mics to see which bottom is which, perhaps in hopes of spotting a rare and desirable mark, such as Minton, Weller, or Paul Revere.


Gordon said...

It's too bad, that flush bottom is gorgeous (and I bet it could take a serious drop without hassle).

Bob Crowley said...

Yes, we were admiring it too. But the present bottom is stronger, and electrically better too.

We need to make a custom part to replace the Switchcraft part. There is nothing wrong with Switchcraft and the parts are made in the US. None of the other XLR jacks are all that different - they all use potmetal, and if you machine potmetal, you expose the zinc/aluminum/whatever alloy and it looks a lot like pewter. Maybe Revere would have liked that.