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Ribbon mic safety: Any reason why not to put foam inside?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Ribbon mic safety: Any reason why not to put foam inside?

Hello experts,

I was thinking about those vintage ribbon mics that have some space inside the basket, like RCA 77 / 74 / 44: Anyone ever tried putting foam inside as a fixed pop shield? Talking about good foam like the one from Håkan P110.

Especially with my RCA 74 the ribbon is pretty much exposed just with the perforated metal screen around it.

That would make it easier than placing pop shields in front of every single ribbon.

What do you think?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It’s going to change the sound significantly. I remember AEA did a different version of their R84 with more protection inside at one point. Another option is to replace the silk lining inside the cage if it’s wearing out, that could help out a bit. Personally, I would just purchase a better pop filter if it was a problem.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
A pop filter needs space to effectively work. If you place a pop filter right up to the grille of a mic, you will still gets pops. Just think about how it works. And like andersmv said, stuffing a mic with foam will affect its frequency response, especially in the upper range.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahstlz ➡️
[. . .] What do you think?
I own an AEA A440 and - for the same reason - have wanted to try putting a sock over it.

The problem is that I mostly wear flip-flops. . .so top-drawer hosiery options are pretty thin.

Even when I "had shoes for church and schoolin' and stuff", I mostly didn't wear socks. Socks just don't quite fit me.

But, I've considered picking up a pair of Tommy Copper compression socks - I mean, adding a bit of compression sounds right - and the copper should improve EMC grounding if any EMI is afoot. At least, that's where I think I stand.

Sadly, Tommy Copper doesn't seem to have much of a toehold with the pedestrians in Gearspace. And some here say that all socks stink.


Have any of you tried Bombas?

Ray H.

Footnote: Connie | Laura Linney, The Mothman Prophecies. 2002
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➡️
It’s going to change the sound significantly. I remember AEA did a different version of their R84 with more protection inside at one point. Another option is to replace the silk lining inside the cage if it’s wearing out, that could help out a bit. Personally, I would just purchase a better pop filter if it was a problem.
Thanks, that was the information I was looking for. My 74 doesn't even have the silk lining. I'll try how the sound changes, if I add it.

My thought was just to have it easier to set up and maybe even forget about single pop filters in front of the ribbon mics.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate ➡️
A pop filter needs space to effectively work. If you place a pop filter right up to the grille of a mic, you will still gets pops. Just think about how it works. And like andersmv said, stuffing a mic with foam will affect its frequency response, especially in the upper range.
Thanks. Haven't considered this. Good point.

Well, I get it, there's no shortcut here.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
I own an AEA A440 and - for the same reason - have wanted to try putting a sock over it.
B) !!!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahstlz ➡️
Thanks, that was the information I was looking for. My 74 doesn't even have the silk lining. I'll try how the sound changes, if I add it.

My thought was just to have it easier to set up and maybe even forget about single pop filters in front of the ribbon mics.
If it's the later 74b model, there should be silk inside the grill. Do you have a really early A version or something? If you want to experiment a bit with how silk lining inside will effect the sound and plosive, get some pantyhose and put about 2 layers of them over the mic and compare. That will be pretty close to silk and give you an idea of what to expect.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➡️
If it's the later 74b model, there should be silk inside the grill. Do you have a really early A version or something? If you want to experiment a bit with how silk lining inside will effect the sound and plosive, get some pantyhose and put about 2 layers of them over the mic and compare. That will be pretty close to silk and give you an idea of what to expect.
Mine is actually a MI-4010-A, predecessor of the Type 74-B. Like this one:
http://www.coutant.org/rca74b/mi4010.jpg

Cool tip with the panty. I'll try that!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahstlz ➡️
Mine is actually a MI-4010-A, predecessor of the Type 74-B. Like this one:
http://www.coutant.org/rca74b/mi4010.jpg

Cool tip with the panty. I'll try that!
Cool, I always wanted one of those original ones! Ya, a lot of the earlier RCA's were designed like that. My 1932 PB-90 has a really thin later of material around the grill on the inside. It doesn't really do anything acoustically, it was probably there just to stop debris and metal filings from getting sucked inside by the magnet. I think your model is like my PB-90, it has another grill inside right up against the ribbon with some heavier silk for protection.

In your case (since you have an older/original model), I would suggest not adding anything to the inside. If you're hell bent on finding some sort of internal solution, contact ENAK microphone repair and ask Clarence or Luke for some suggestion or even send it in for a checkup if you want to put some money into it. It might be as simple as replacing some of the silk lining on the inside that's gone bad.

Have you ever had it repaired/re-ribboned or anything? You could be having some plosive or popping issues because the ribbon is sagging/loose and needs to be replaced. Regardless, I would contact ENAK.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➡️
Cool, I always wanted one of those original ones! Ya, a lot of the earlier RCA's were designed like that. My 1932 PB-90 has a really thin later of material around the grill on the inside. It doesn't really do anything acoustically, it was probably there just to stop debris and metal filings from getting sucked inside by the magnet. I think your model is like my PB-90, it has another grill inside right up against the ribbon with some heavier silk for protection.

In your case (since you have an older/original model), I would suggest not adding anything to the inside. If you're hell bent on finding some sort of internal solution, contact ENAK microphone repair and ask Clarence or Luke for some suggestion or even send it in for a checkup if you want to put some money into it. It might be as simple as replacing some of the silk lining on the inside that's gone bad.

Have you ever had it repaired/re-ribboned or anything? You could be having some plosive or popping issues because the ribbon is sagging/loose and needs to be replaced. Regardless, I would contact ENAK.
There's actually nothing inside at all in front of the ribbon. Maybe there has been at some point. It has just been serviced by Stewart Tavener from Xaudia in the UK. I guess that's the number one address over here in Europe. It had a bad (too thick) ribbon inside and he replaced it. Sounds really good now, though the level is way lower than later models.

So far I've just seen one picture from the insides of another MI-4010-A and that actually shows a silk screen glued to the magnets directly in front of the ribbon. I think that's how it should be.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahstlz ➡️
There's actually nothing inside at all in front of the ribbon. Maybe there has been at some point. It has just been serviced by Stewart Tavener from Xaudia in the UK. I guess that's the number one address over here in Europe. It had a bad (too thick) ribbon inside and he replaced it. Sounds really good now, though the level is way lower than later models.

So far I've just seen one picture from the insides of another MI-4010-A and that actually shows a silk screen glued to the magnets directly in front of the ribbon. I think that's how it should be.
Ok, in Europe Xaudia is probably one of the best bets. Ya, there should be something inside there, I'mm looking at some other pictures online that seem to confirm that. If it's just a metal grill and an exposed ribbon, I'm not surprised you're having issues singing into it.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
I own an AEA A440 and - for the same reason - have wanted to try putting a sock over it.
I'm an audio snob, so it would have to be a TUBE sock.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
So I’m not saying to be careless, but if it has a silk screen, it’s pretty safe. My buddy has a 77 and when he replaced his dented grill with a new AEA grill (all parts are designed to original specs so you can swap new and old), we were amazed at how well the silk worked at stopping gusts of air from entering the body. Like you can put your mouth an inch away from the grill and blow and you basically don’t feel any appreciable air flow on the inside of the grill (we were messing with the grill when not attached to the mic).

If it doesn’t have a silk lining, I would look into adding that (I think it’s basically silk that is glued to the screen) and not add any additional foam or filter.

-B
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