MOTM: GEC BCS2370 & 2373 ribbon mics

GEC BCS 2373 and 2370 microphones

This pair of rather handsome ribbon microphones by General Electrical Company are our microphones of the month for July & August.

The mic on the left is labelled with the model number BCS2373, and was the ‘studio’ model, with a single layer mesh grill, and thumb screw terminals. Like many early studio ribbons, this one has a 30 ohm output impedance.

On the right is the 2370, with a more robust housing and a curved body. These were probably used as ‘lip’ microphones for sports commentary and broadcasting in noisier environments. Indeed, one of our customers sent in a very nice example that came complete with its original handle.

GEC 2370 with handle

These mics were available with different output transformers for different applications. I’ve seen two examples of the 2370 – one had a 10K ohm output, the other measured 600 ohms impedance.

Although they look rather different from the outside, they are twins under the skin – both have identical motor assemblies, with cylindrical pole pieces attached to a large horseshoe magnet, held in place by the magnetic field along The design of the microphone is described in this patent from 1947. All of the GECs that I’ve seen have held their magnetic field well over time. The only real differences between these mics are the output transformer and the body.

As usual, after all these years they benefit from a good clean and a new ribbon. Particularly as this one arrived with a ribbon made from a fag-packet! Both mics are now working well and should provide some good service for years to come.

* Thanks to Santiago Ramos for additional information.

Addenda – one of these came up recently for sale complete with original box. The owner was kind enough to share this photo of the label.