Microphone of the Month – Framez ribbon microphone.

April’s microphone of the month (MOTM) is this glamorous shiny blue ribbon microphone by Framez (not to be confused with Framus!)

This has no model or serial number, but is probably from later 1950s or early 60s. Framez were an Italian brand related to Meazzi – according to one source the name is a contraction of Fratelli Meazzi (trans. Meazzi Brothers), which does sound plausible. Framez / Meazzi also made some cool oddball guitars, and were associated with WandrĂ© Pioli. Fetish guitars have much more information about these guitars.

Back to the microphone! This looks very much like a copy of the RCA 74b ‘junior’ microphone, but us physically somewhat smaller. And it is a pretty good microphone in its own right. The magnets have retained their strength over the years, measuring a healthy 4500 gauss between the pole pieces.  It has a hefty transformer with taps for both low and high impedance, making it suitable for both recording and PA use.

This one arrived with a thick flat ribbon – probably a DIY ‘kitchen foil’ repair. With a proper 2.5 micrometer ribbon installed, and the mic rewired for balanced, low impedance operation, the sound is clear with a strong output, just lacking a little of the low end proximity boost that you find with many ribbon microphones. The ‘low’ impedance tap is 1:45 ratio, which gives around a 450 ohm output with the 2.5 micron ribbon.

I’m actually very impressed with this little microphone, and it looks great too!

Update 23/4/11

We managed to get hold of a Meazzi ribbon microphone for comparison. It’s a little less glamorous, and has a similar ribbon dimensions, but a very different motor assembly.