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Xaudia offer microphone re-ribboning and repair services.

2013/05/23

Oktava ML16 ribbon microphone dissected


Here is an Oktava ML16 from 1968. Back in '68, man had not yet been to the moon, and you could not buy a Russian microphone in Western Europe! 

The early Oktava ribbon mics are nicely designed and generally sound good, although it seems that smoke-free regulations did no apply to old Soviet studios and stations, and the old mics often benefit from a good clean and a service. 

The ML16 is a bi-direction model, and the ML17 was its cardioid partner.


Sometimes it is easiest to strip a mic down completely and build it again from scratch to make sure everything is cleaned, tested and working properly. 

At the top of the photo you can see the brass blasts shield to protect the ribbon, the internal grills and the ribbon clamps. Across the middle are the outer grills, some wiring and the motor and magnet themselves. At the bottom we have the lower housing and the toroidal output transformer.


Then it can all go back together again, and with a new ribbon it works first time!