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Do mics degrade over time?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by took-the-red-pill, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I was at the AT website, and they were talking about how their mics were built to not degrade, and would sound the same down the road.

    Is this BS, or is a cheap mic likely to change sound over time?

    Have any of you ever pulled the mic out of the closet, fired it up, and then compared the tracks to ones you did 10 years ago and noticed a big difference?

    Jest curious

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Sounds like BS to me. But I can see where a mic's sound might change over time depending how it was used and treated. Obviously if it has been dropped 2 or 3 dozen times over the past 10 years that would take a toll.
    And if you never used a pop filter on the mic (when recording vocals) and you used the same mic on lots and lots of sessions. Then the spit and dirt would collect on the diaphram. Yuck! :(
    I had a friend once who bought a mic from me and in a years time the grill was covered in some nasty ass black sh*t.
    Come to find out it was from his Non-stop smoking habits and coffee breath all over the mic. Double yuck! :( :(
    It was soooo bad that the mic would barely work. (weak signal)
    But all that aside. I guess it's possible for a mic to degrade to a certain point. Because nothing last forever, and after all a mic is made up of moving parts. And anything that moves over, and over, and over, again, and again, and again, will surely see the day when it doesn't quite work (move just like it did 10 years ago).
    Just my 2 cents
  3. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    The only thing I've heard of is that if you improperly store ribbon mics, the ribbon can stretch over time and change the sound. I believe you're supposed to store them vertically (someone please correct me if this is wrong).

    On the yuck factor, I remember an article a while back in some industry mag where they took the windscreens out of the inside of some house 58's at some of L.A.'s more popular venues, then did a bunch of tests on them. They found all sorts of nastiness...herpes....fecal matter...etc. I now take my own 58 for doing sound checks, and advise the bands I work with to get their own mics too.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Holy f*ckin Sh*t that is way nasty! I will remember that McCheese.
  5. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Try explaining to your wife or girlfriend that the new herpes infection on your mouth is from a microphone and not the hot groupy....that'll go over like a lead balloon.

    Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to be extra careful!
  6. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Today's lesson brought to you by the Society to Prevent Oral Herpes and Other Communicable Yukkiness.
  7. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    What do you expect with all of that CRAP going into these mics - Fecese is un-avoidable IMO :lol:

    That really does make you think about those Live mics that get slobbered on night after night after night. A good reminder.

    I actually wash out our SM58 Beta57 and Beta 87a's windscreen/inner foam once a year or so (Probably STILL not enough). But the Beta 57's inner foam is a tough one to get back in! It is more like "felt" than foam.


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