[AMRadio] D104 element Rebuilding

Jim Candela jcandela at prodigy.net
Wed Nov 15 11:49:58 EST 2006

Many years ago my Astatic 'Rochelle salt" crystal element died from prolonged exposure in my garage. The output from it was low, and distorted. With a burst of curiosity, and desperation I took the bad element apart. Prying off the aluminum diaphragm was delicate with a razor blade, and inside the piston was disconnected. I recall that Astatic used some sort of glue or glyptol to  secure the piston. I reassembled using candle wax to secure the ends of the piston (tilting hot candle), and the diaphragm was reattached to the base with automotive gasket "form-a-gasket". My methodology was far from ideal, and the use of wax was used only because that is what I had at the time.

The result? The damn thing worked WONDERFULLY, and sounded great too!! This was in the winter, and I enjoyed the microphone until summer when the garage got hot (Texas heat). Apparently the wax softened, and the mic output went way down. I ended up replacing the element since AES carried them at that time.

YMMV, but it worked for me...for a while!


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