April has been hectic! We have been repairing microphones, installing a new coil winder, and developing some new & exciting products. And suddenly it is already the 30th and just time for a very brief MOTM.
This month’s mic is a beautiful and very old French LEM ribbon mic, probably from the 1930s….
|Very old LEM ribbon mic
Inside, it is very similar to the smaller Amperite ribbon mics, with a large fibreboard frame supporting the ribbon, and a pair of (rather weak) magnets behind.
|Old LEM mic deconstructed
The mic has a classic design, with brass sides, a folded steel grill and a cast steel yoke. These solid-sided microphones look strange now, but I guess the thinking at the time was that figure-8 microphones didn’t pick up sound (or reflections) from the sides, which allowed for a very simple construction. The ribbon itself is positioned right at the front next to the grill, with a metal plate across the magnets at the rear, so there is some attempt at making the mic more directional.
The transformer had failed due to insulation breakdown, but with new magnets, a fresh ribbon and repaired transformer, the mic has a reasonable output and nice vintage tone. And it looks great!