Cadenza mic XLR modification

Cadenza ribbon microphones are quite common, but there seem to be more microphones than there are connectors for them. The mics were originally supplied with an integrated stand & connector, which was ideal for desk recording, but not very effective for hanging over a drum kit.

This mic was missing its connector, so here is a chop-job to convert to XLR output….
The connector was removed from the mic and the bottom thread cut off and filed flat. Then a piece of brass rod was machined to fit snugly into the base of the mic, and this was bored to accept a standard three pin XLR insert.

The XLR has the added advantages of making a good earth connection, and also gives a way of mounting the mic on a stand as it can be slipped into a standard mic clip. I think elongating the base  makes the look more elegant too.

Making a spindle for winding pickups

Next week we will be making a few single coil pickups for Stratocasters, so I quickly made this simple little spindle tool to help with the job. It was machined this from 15 mm brass stock on the new mini-lathe, which arrived earlier this week. Below is the roughly machined spindle, before cleaning.

The pickup bobbin slips onto the 3mm post, supported by the wide shoulder, and is locked in place by a square of flatwork board, screwed into the side. This prevents the pickup from slipping on the spindle, without interfering with the wire as it is wound on. The barrel was turned down to 8 mm to fit the Meteor coil winder, although it could equally well be used on a power drill chuck.

It will certainly be much quicker and more accurate than screwing the pickup to a block of wood, which was my previous method.

SC2 Mini-lathe

The mini-lathe is here!

Delivery was a little late due to the snow and ice, but it finally arrived on Tuesday. After unpacking and cleaning off the excessive quantities of grease, I made a couple of quick jobs as part of the learning curve – the best way to learn is by doing, even if it involves a few mistakes.

First up was to machine this  little spindle to hold bobbins for the coil winder. The spindle is in two parts, and is made from 10mm diameter aluminium rod. The lathe is very handy for making little tools like this.

Then I used the lathe to replace the broken connector on this B&O microphone. The old connector was cut off, the hole widened and threaded to take an XLR output. Finally I can get this mic up and running! 🙂

B&O BM3 with XLR output

The lathe is a useful addition to the workshop, and is already proving its worth. It needs a few tweaks to set it up and take some of the slack out of the slides. Luckily, have excellent information and guides to setting up these machines.