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Xaudia offer microphone re-ribboning and repair services.

2010/02/12

Vintage Vandals

I seem to spend half my life looking for unusual bits to get old things working again, either for my projects or for other people. Which is why seeing this kind of thing drives me nuts.


Can I make a plea for all sane people out there not to break up vintage microphones and other equipment unnecessarily?

On ebay at the moment there's a nice classic RFT CV7049 tube microphone sold without the hard-to-find connector, and then the connector for the mic sold separately just to try and make an extra couple of bucks (same seller of course). It's like selling a classic car and the wheels separately. And it's not the only example - you can find half a dozen similar things going on at any time on ebay. What’s the obsession with breaking up sets of vintage equipment?

I'm not even sure the sellers strategy works - Surely the two things belong together, and are ultimately more valuable as a pair? I certainly would bid more for a bit of vintage equipment knowing that at least the bits are there for us to get it up and running. And I would shy away from buying something like that, only to lose the connector to another bidder.

Once these things get broken up it's really hard and expensive to bring them back together again. It's just destroying antiques really.

The other thing that occurs to me as I write this, is that if a microphone or some other thing is broken up in this manner, one should assume that it is also broken in a functional sense. The equipment cannot be tested by the new owner and verified as working if, when purchased, it lacks a capsule, tube, connector or some other hard-to-find yet vital organ. So if it is broken up, it’s broken down. And one should bid accordingly.