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Bang & Olufsen Fantone Ribbon Mic
Old 25th April 2003
Gear Nut
drummerman15's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Bang & Olufsen Fantone Ribbon Mic

Anyone have any info on this Mic? I was recently in NYC and happened upon one in a music store for about $500. Looks like a Royer 121 and I almost pulled the trigger on it just because I knew I would be pissed if I missed the chance to get a great mic at a great price. So, is it great, average or rubbish? I can't find any info on the net.
Old 26th April 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
i think its called a "fentone"... its kinda what the R121 was based on i think. i have the BM5 which is like the SF12. $500 is a good deal if its working. if the ribbon is blown, a new one can be installed.
Old 26th April 2003
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Did it have a rounded top? (aka the probe-BM4) which is supposed to be like the the prelude to the 121, or was it flat (looks more like the royer 121, known as the BM6) which is the prelude to the SF-1? Actually, the think the BM6 could be turned into a stereo ribbon BM5.

Check the pin out connector, specifically the threads (which will probably be 5 pin). Check the ribbon. Toggle between the "Talking" (low cut) and "Music" settings. If all seems cool, it would be a great addition to your mic collection at less than half the royer (although more fragile).
Old 26th April 2003
Gear Nut
๐ŸŽง 15 years
B & O / Fentone mic

that's a B&O BM-3 or BM-4 - identical except the -4 has an impedance selector switch to strap the secondary on the output transformer for 50, 250 or ~50k ohms (for plugging into a guitar amp).

fen-tone was a japanese company (i think) who distributed these mics along with some of the weirdest looking (and sounding, from what i've heard) dynamics ever. in the us, some were also distributed and branded by dynaco, makers of tube home stereo kits.

the shape of the mic is the inspiration for the royer 121, but everything inside it - the magnets, the ribbon, and the transformer - is different from the royer. not worse, but different. i have one and like it. the output is lower than a royer, but not unusably low.

stephen sank will do his 44bx mod on it, installing rca 44 ribbon in it, which supposedly changes the sound to something close to the rca mic. see his website for more info on the mic and the mod.


i think $500 is a bit much, but not inappropriate if you try it and love it. be absolutely sure you get the cable, which has a proprietary screw on connector that is similar to (but not exactly compatible with) an xlr. and the stand mount is quite helpful too.

Old 29th April 2003
Gear Nut
drummerman15's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Thanks for all the info. I decided to pass on the mic and opt for the Royer instead (no way you can go wrong there). If anyone's interested, I saw the B&O mic at rogue music in NYC. www.roguemusic.com
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