[AMRadio] Crystal Mic Elements

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Mon Dec 10 16:21:18 EST 2007

I understand that Astatic will replace the mic element if you send the old 
mic back to them for repair.  They will charge you for the new element plus 
installation fee, likely to be as much or more than the element itself.  I 
wouldn't send them one of my pre-1937 1-inch thick mic heads though.  They 
might not re-assemble it with all the original hardware, they might damage 
it or worse still, the old mic head might be considered a 'core replacement' 
and I would get back someone else's new style head with a new element in it. 
One option would be to send a spare usused later model head and when I got 
it back, swap it out with the one in my older version.

A  spare mic head should be no different whether kept "n.o.s" in the 
original unopened box or installed in a microphone.  I don't think 
connecting a microphone to a rig could cause any additional wear and tear on 
the microphone, other than possible damage from being dropped.  I have 
several D-104's with good elements and they all work OK.  The last time I 
bought a  new element from Astatic was sometime about 1990.

I once saw a Japanese reproduction D-104 at a hamfest.  It looked identical 
to the original, except for the name plate, and the screws that hold the 
head together which were phillips-head instead of slotted.  Of course, I 
have no idea if the element inside was the same thing.  If so, they might 
still have replacement elements, but I wouldn't count on it being identical 
to or as good as an original Astatic.

As popular as those mics have been ever since 1933, you would think that by 
now someone would be manufacturing low-cost after-market elements that would 
be identical to and as good as the originals, just like they do automotive 

Don k4kyv 

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