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Xaudia offer microphone re-ribboning and repair services.

2014/02/18

MOTM: Gaumont-Kalee Type 1492 ribbon mic

This month's MOTM is the Gaumont-Kalee model 1492,


….made by British Acoustic Films Ltd. 


Both GB Kalee Ltd. and BAF Ltd. were subsidiaries of the parent Rank Organisation, which owned various other companies associated with the film industry, including Odeon Cinemas.


Back to the microphone - this specimen comes in a nice wooden box, and although is painted in a rather drab shade of mustard yellow, there is something pleasing about its proportions and utilitarian design. The grill has a coarse outer later and a very fine layer of woven wire inside.  It is designed to sit on a boom mount, like this (nicer looking) gold-painted example from Pinewood studios. 


Sadly we don't have the mount, but as this shares a connector with the Reslosound mics, we can use a Reslo stand mount for it. None of the other parts are common to the Reslos, so they must have just sourced the connector from them.


Inside, the mic is a fairly conventional figure-8 ribbon mic, but has added baffles both sides of the ribbon, and thick wires run from the top ribbon clamp, giving some blast protection along the way.


The ribbon motor uses tapered triangular pole pieces, which compensate for the decrease in magnetic field with increasing distance away from the two block magents, and ensure a more even magnetism along the length of the ribbon.


And of course there is a suitable transformer in the base to convert to a sensible impedance - in this case 50 ohms. The mic sounds rather nice, rich and dark close up - it may make a vocal session very soon!