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Coles 4038/AKG 451

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Doug Ring, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Hi folks, new guy here: jumped over from the Digidesign User Conference.

    Questions regarding these mics, which I have a few ancient examples of.

    Does anyone know if the ribbon in a 4038 goes slack with time? The two I have must be over 30 years old, and though they still sound good, there's a sort of "crinkly" sound as if the ribbon was rearranging itself if you're careless/stupid enough to blast them with a 'P'. I thought it would be stretched too tight to do that. Anyone know if I could get new ribbons for them in the UK?

    And the 451s: I have several bodies and a greater assortment of capsules. They're possibly 30 years old too, but half of them suffer from squeaks, pops and 'motorboating'. Do they have a finite life, or is there a way to resurrect them? I know they don't like cold and moisture, but that shouldn't be a problem in my mic cupboard. I heard a rumour that filling the bodies with MS4 grease cures this; anyone tried that?

    Thanks for any replies.
  2. sign

    sign Guest

    The 451 is a real classic IMHO. It is probably true the mic is sensitive to a high level of humidity.

    The 'motorboating' may be caused by bad contact between the capsule and its body.

    I have had this problem also and it can be solved if you unscrew the (very) little 3 screws which hold the cap (CK1) and very carefully clean the capsule's contact surface.

    Be careful and don't use any liquid for you can destroy the capsule.

    Lately I was thinking about putting some (very little) kind of 'electro kit' on the contact surface. Electro kit is a silver containing kind of 'glue'.

    Anybody out there with some experience on the subject?
  3. Hi

    Here is the web page for Coles. They should be able to re-ribbon your 4038s. I have been meaning to have mine done for a while but have never got around to it.


    Graham K
  4. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Thanks guys.

    Han, you're a brave man, or you must have the hands of a surgeon! These days I can hardly SEE the screws on on a CK1, let alone unscrew them. Youth is indeed wasted on the young.

    GK from Glasgow...hmm. I'm in Edinburgh: do we by any chance work for the same organisation? Oh, and thanks for the link.
  5. Hiya

    Yeah I'm in Glasgow. Working in the studio of a music school (RSAMD) doing mainly classical archive type recordings, sessions and freelance stuff. How about you? Can I guess? Are 4038s a clue?

    Graham K
  6. sign

    sign Guest

    Originally posted by Doug Ring:
    Thanks guys.

    Han, you're a brave man, or you must have the hands of a surgeon! These days I can hardly SEE the screws on on a CK1, let alone unscrew them. Youth is indeed wasted on the young.

    Well, you're right about the hands, I very much like to unscrew them for you :)

    Youth?? I'm from 1943 dammit!
  7. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Hi Graham, there is a Graham K who works for my lot in Queen Margaret Drive in Glasgow - that should answer your question :) . So, yes - the 4038s are indeed a clue. Well, we don't work for the same people, but nice to meet you anyway. Sounds like a good number you got there at the RSAMD. What do you mainly record on? Are you a tape or a DAW man?

    LOL, Han. I'm a '54 vintage myself, so I was giving you the benefit of the doubt!. You must have worked with valve consoles in your time, I guess? They were just being phased out when I started in this business. We used to have a spare amplifier warmed up and ready in the bay at all times, with an elaborate change-over arrangement so that you could replace a noisy or just plain dead amp at the flick of a couple of switches. They used to sound really nice with 4038s, but we probably weren't hearing much detail with the valve power amps and ancient speakers of the day.
  8. sign

    sign Guest

    Yo Doug Ring

    Actually I started recording in the mid eighties with a Teac model 2A 6in4 'board' and a Teac/Tascam 3440 4 track, so I didn't have the tube problems you mention.

    But it went a bit 'out of hand' as you can see on the website.

    So you're from '54 or age 54? I guess you are a real classic yourself :D
  9. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Ha ha! Born in "54.

    So you started as a hobby then, Han, it sounds like. How come you have experience of 451s? They were on the way out by then as I recall.

    Maybe your web site will tell. Off for a look there right now.
  10. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Alright, just had a look. Nice one! I'd certainly consider recording with you if I lived in NL. You've got the creativity/technology gap nicely straddled IMHO.

    So tell me how you happened to acquire your 451s?
  11. sign

    sign Guest

    Thanx a lot for the kudos, yo it's all for the music and indeed it started as a hobby :)

    How I got the 451s? I exchanged them for an old Jap engine which I had found in the scrapyard, no joke! :D
  12. Doug Ring

    Doug Ring Guest

    Ah yes, well mine sometimes sound as noisy as an old Jap engine! I must get the Servisol out :)

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