|[AMRadio] D-104 modifications|
bguyger at sbcglobal.net
Sat Aug 28 14:40:45 EDT 2010
FWIW and this may have been mentioned and I missed it, if so sorry, but Bob Heil
makes a D-104 replacement element. It's dynamic not crystal, but it does sound
good. He actually made two types one with a flat wideband response but dropped
it because the one with a communication mic frequency response made more sense
for this mic.
From: D. Chester <k4kyv at charter.net>
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 12:50:56 PM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] D-104 modifications
I'm not really worried that D-104 cartridges will become unobtanium any time
soon. They seem to be all over the place at every hamfest I attend, and the
going price is usually between $35 and $50. Probably less than what Astatic
would charge for a new cartridge if they were still in the business. Plus
you get the head and stand to boot.
Some will have crapped out elements, so it's kind of like buying a tube at a
hamfest if you don't have some way to test it.
The worst case I have seen is one that I picked up for a few bucks. It has
output, but sounds terrible. Like a recording of a tin can telephone played
through another tin can telephone.
I opened it up, and someone had punched the diaphragm full of holes, so that
it looked like a salt shaker. Later, I was told that was a common
"modification" by the CB crowd. No idea what they were trying to
I still have that element, along with another one with a crapped out
crystal. I have thought that some day I might try to see if I can dissolve
the wax or glue that holds it together and try to swap the diaphragm in the
crapped out one with the damaged one in the good-buddy mic.
Rochelle salt crystals can be made at home from baking soda and cream of
Look at this beauty: http://www.seawhy.com/xlrs.html
The only reason that I could think of that salt crystals could not be
obtained is that no-one is manufacturing them commercially for phono
cartridges and microphones.
It would seem that someone would go into the business of building
after-market replacement cartridges identical to the originals, just like
automotive parts, if there were much demand for them. If the damand is that
low, that means that the mics should be widely available for a song for many
years to come, or until all the existing crystals are finally crapped out
due to age.
I would never think of sending any of my antique heads to Astatic or whoever
owns them nowadays for a replacement cartridge. It wouldn't surprise me to
get back a different one, a new good-buddy version. They might just swap
out the microphone for a repaired one they have on the shelf, and you would
get a whole replacement microphone, and they would fix the old one later to
swap out to someone else. Even if I got the original one back, I'd be
afraid they would manage somehow to screw it up.
This message was typed using the DVORAK keyboard layout.
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