These rather disturbing photographs are of bad magnets inside a T-Bone RB500 ribbon microphone.
|Failed magnets in a T-Bone microphone|
The coating around the magnets had peeled away, allowing the rare earth magnets to oxidise and expand. This process of course destroys the ribbon too. The magnets can be replaced, but may not be worth the expense.
I have seen a few microphones that look like this, and the worrying aspect is that it seems to happen spontaneously, possibly because the coating on the magnets was not of high quality, or perhaps they were scratched or cracked on installation.
Nearly all manufacturers now use neodynium magnets for their microphones, and I fear a epidemic in the future.
Many thanks to Andrea Cappellato for sharing the photos of his microphone.