[AMRadio] Mic for KW-1

VJB wa3vjb at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 21 15:43:13 EDT 2009

Hi Jerry, I'm looking forward to hearing you on your KW-1.

A couple of questions and some advice regarding mic selection --

1. Is the speech amp modified or stock?  If it's stock, take the time to explore how to by-pass the speech clippers as a first order of business. They add a tremendous amount of distortion and ruin an otherwise decent grade of audio.

2. Do you plan to use some external audio processing ?

Both these questions are important in mic selection if you're to obtain the level of audio a decent mic will offer.

If you have a lot of audio energy in the lower register of your voice ("bass"), then you actually do NOT want a microphone that exaggerates that level of energy. You want a really bright microphone, or a flat microphone that can be tailored with the use of external equalization and compression.

I'm not talking about Dog X-Ray speech processing -- but refer you to some of the used AM broadcast transmitter processors that are ideal for higher quality voice communications like we radio hobbyists enjoy.

A high quality compressor will preserve your low end response, and will move other parts of the audio spectrum up in level so that you have a louder, more balanced distribution of frequency response. The chunk of voice energy, in other words, will be broader within whatever parameters your transmitter and audio chain are capable of passing.

That said, you can spend $99 for a Shure SM58 and get 90 percent of the way there. It's a rugged dynamic microphone, low impedance, intended to be used with a balanced mic-line mixer, such as the $79 Behringers that seem to be everywhere.  They include some blunt EQ which might be fine. 

You need something to bridge the high impedance, unbalanced input of the KW-1, while also having something to match the level and EQ you wish to have through a compressor.

I'm running a 1946 Collins 300-G, using a broadcast microphone and broadcast audio processing.  Sounds like this, as recorded near Chicago from my home near Annapolis.


Let me know if I can help further?



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