[AMRadio] Crystal Mic Elements

cemilton at aol.com cemilton at aol.com
Mon Dec 10 20:12:17 EST 2007

Some of the mic elements available for a "reasonable" (read this cheap) 
price perform fb and others do not.  It's often a matter of checking 
them through a good amplifier and watching the upper and lower levels 
of response.  I'm fortunate to have an original D-104 that sounds great 
and meets the specs it was originally designed for.  That said, I've 
had more than one of the "MOUSER" elements along with some old Rat 
Shack (aka Radio Shack) crystal elements that sounded just as good as 
the original D-104.

I have a JT-30 Astatic and a Turner S22X(3) with the original elements 
that are still performing nicely.  Wouldn't think of converting them to 
a condenser or dynamic mic.

And, without condescension intended, the human voice is the beginning 
of a microphone sounding good.  Some voices just plain sound crappy, 
regardless of the mic used.  No external device will improve that 
situation.  I speak from having listened (and engineered) any number of 
announcers in AM broadcast radio.  We hams ain't much different.  
That's why some of the best audio reports come from simple mics like 
the D-104 and an even simpler 2-stage amp using 12AX7's in something 
like a DX-100 or the Viking II.  The difference is often in the voice 
of the operator.

Well, enuf of my comments.............


73 de W4MIL
Palm Coast, FL

Oh, BTW, a very Merry Christmas to y'all.  And a better 2008.

-----Original Message-----
From: SBJohnston at aol.com
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Sent: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 7:03 pm
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Crystal Mic Elements

So far I've not found the crystal mic elements from Mouser, "Kobetone" 
to be really good enough to replace the D104 element, or even the 
elements in
crystal mobile mics.  I don't think their diaphragms are big enough.

The original D104 is prized because it has good low-end response, and a
preemphasis rise in the upper-midrange.  You can use it with an 
otherwise flat
transmitter and get decent results without any extra EQ gadgets.

Rather than use a sub-optimum crystal element to replace a bad D104, 
consider using one of the $1 consenser elements in the head and use 
external EQ,

or maybe a circuit in the base of the G-stand, to get the rising 

A side note:  For a real bargain in a pro-quality mic look at the 
C-1 as shown at  http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=C-1
$40 is *very* cheap for such a good-sounding mic.  But keep in mind its
response is essentially flat, not like a D104, and it needs 

Steve WD8DAS

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