Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lafayette PA-42 Crystal Microphone

Finally, here is the famous, revered, much-coveted Lafayette PA-42 "Crystal Mike" as indicated in the delicately embossed styrene grille surface.  This incredibly colorful and exciting microphone was produced in Japan in the early 60s, and sold by Lafayette.  The PA-42 has two wonderful cloisonne emblems that seem to balance the amazingly rich plastic metallic color of the face perfectly.  The rear of this mint-condition treasure is made of injection-molded styrene in an interesting and unusual flesh color, a portion of which can be seen peeking from the top looking like a little earlobe, but it's actually the front of a long, Mohawk fin that streamlines the bullet shape of the body .  The casual and imprecise, fine details of this microphone are all the more discernible due to its completely unmarked and intact surface finish, which is apparently exactly as it looked in 1962 at the Lafayette store.

Probably the all-time favorite microphone in my extensive collection, made all the more desirable with the Lafayette emblem and brand, known to me as a mark of the highest quality in low-cost communications gear.

In our present age of dressed-down product design, where nearly all the cars are strangled into safe blacks, silvers and maroons, and every microphone save one or two is a colorless black or silver, the PA-42 remains amazingly free.

Click on the image for a close-up.


exposureDPI said...

Wow! Finally after many years, you have helped me ID this mic! I have the green/beige model like yours - but not in as good shape.
What are these worth?

Bob Crowley said...

Hi !

People are constantly asking me what microphones are worth. I don't know, but not very much usually. Sort of like old transistor radios, nearly all of the old mics are not really of much use, but look very cool. I think this one does and has an overall design that holds up, plus interesting details.