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Microphone care

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by griz, May 8, 2010.

  1. griz

    griz Active Member

    I have kept most of my mics boxed and in a gun safe with silica gel for years; there is usually one mic hanging and that is covered with a Captain Morgan or Crown Royal velvet bag. I have no desire to buy a mic monster: MIC MONSTERS!

    But my concern isn't dust, smoke or moisture; it is about the diaphragm.

    Even when stored, mics always hear, correct? That means they are in use 100% of the time, correct? This means a mic is getting wear and tear 100% of the time correct?

    Is there anyway to avoid this?
    How often/in what time frame does a mic like a U87 reveal the wear and tear of time in recording quality?
    Or is it possible that time "ages" a diaphragm like wine? (Could it be that vintage mics didn't sound as good new?)

    Does anyone know?
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Deep thoughts.... How many Crown Royal bags have you 'freed up' this week? :smile:

    As a matter of good practice I wouldn't put an expensive mic like a U87 in harm's way by hanging around moderate-high SPL if it weren't in use. Even if it was in use, it had better be earning hazard-pay (enough to replace the element) to justify the risk.

    But in your situation I would think it's mighty quiet inside that safe. I'm betting the wear and tear on a stored microphone is beyond negligible - especially latched inside a form fitting, foam lined, cherrywood box.

    So unless you're down-range from an artillery site, (or TheJackAttack's place) you can cross this off your list of things to worry about. I'd continue to worry about dust, smoke, and moisture (and rough handling).
  3. griz

    griz Active Member

    ...don't drink cheap booze anymore; my tastes run more toward Casa Dragones these days (I'm still trying to mooch a bottle of that stuff from the crusty son of a gun who makes it ;) ...did ya get that uncle Bobby? ).

    That said, I have a lifetime supply of Crown Royal and Captain Morgan velvet bags from the old days.

    Point taken, this is Montana and a thousand pound, fireproof gun safe should be pretty quiet; however, the sound of 125 foot tall fir and larch trees hitting the ground in a logging operation puts a huge, low frequency rumble into the ground ... and, of course, my 50 caliber rifle fire is pretty loud too :)
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I would never put a bag that could contain flyings or thread type of dust over any positively charged mic. A plastic sleeve with a rubber band to seal it is what was recommended to me and is what I use..... even in the box.

    As for time.....my 87 went a lot of years and although wasnt seriously abused, it also wasnt cared for (by others) as well as it could have been. In the end, after 22 years of life, it needed a serious cleaning to restore its good humor.

    Hopefully, my methods will lead to a lot longer amount of time before it needs this again.
  5. griz

    griz Active Member

    I was always afraid to put a plastic bag over the mics because of humidity; guess I'll need to rethink that now. Better late than never.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hey Griz,
    I usually keep a small dessiccant bag inside the plastic sleeve that then covers the mic. Any mic I've bought new I've kept the plastic it came with for that purpose. Anything bought used still gets the dessiccant treatment but is often also encased in military grade SKB 3i series cases so the plastic is perhaps overkill there. Heck, you're only seven or eight hours from me.

    ps @Hawk-nice one!
  7. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I know you're more into the VO recording side of things Griz, but as a tip to the newbies - the Crown Royal bags and the like are handy for over the fan end of a live audio snake when it's in transit. But it's better to befriend a bartender than knock down a bottle just for the bag.

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