Messaround Rhythm, Blues & Related Tunes
MessaroundRhythm, Blues Related Tunes  

ALTEC 639A - "Birdcage"

This is a functioning example of an Altec 639A ribbon/dynamic microphone. Except for the fact that the manufacturer's badge on the front of the mic is missing, it's in very nice shape.

 

Since the badge is missing, I'm not certain if it was manufactured as a Western Electric or Altec microphone, but by my understanding there's not much difference between the two (except that the former was part of the infamous Ma Bell).

 

If you want some information on the mic just mosey on over to the Modesto Microphone Man: http://www.modestoradiomuseum.org/microphone%20man%209.html 

 

There are a lot of photographs of these mics on the internet in which the microphones are more or less smashed to bits: ribs are missing or out of alignment, the whole top part of the microphone is gone, etc. I think the fact that there are so many damaged specimens of this model microphone is due to the yoke. If the yoke is not attached in the right way, the mic will fall out and gravity will take care of the rest. Problem is, it's very difficult to attach the yoke correctly: the arms on the yoke must be placed in the right direction - and it's pretty hard to discern what the right direction may be;  the mic is so heavy that one wrong move while attempting to attach the yoke will send it smashing to earth... and so on. So if you happen across one of these things with a yoke, be very careful about attaching and removing it.

 

 

 

 

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