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Altec "Birdcage" mic?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by anonymous, Nov 3, 2001.

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  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I have the opportunity to buy an Altec "Birdcage" ribbon mic for around $800. I really know nothing about this mic, other than the fact it looks incredibly cool. Looks a little like Darth Vader - about the size of a squared-off softball. My question is: does anyone know about this mic? Is it worth the price, or might I be better off spending a few bucks more and just get a Royer? (This would be my first ribbon mic). I'm assuming it's probably delicate as hell (and yeah, I'll try and remember to turn of the phantom on my preamp), but if the ribbon breaks, will I be able to find anyone to fix/replace it? Anything else I should know?
  2. radioprof

    radioprof Member

    Aug 17, 2001
    I don't currently have one of these but I'm hoping to add one to my collection.
    I used one in the distant past.
    It's a combo mic.
    It has both ribbon and regular dynamic elements inside which can be used separately or together.
    The dynamic cartridge is nothing to write home about.
    In fact, it's pretty nasty.
    The ribbon is ok but not as good as almost any of the RCA ribbons.
    A lot of them were used in radio stations.
    The thing just looks damn sexy and is seen in a lot of old radio photos.
    Probably worth having if you're a collector and probably useful for some things.
    The same mike was made and sold with a Western Electric badge on it and also with a different cage which is black.
    Hope this helps!
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Thanks for the info, radioprof. I'm probably going to pass, based on what you said. I was hoping it sounded as good as it looked, which would be pretty incredible. If you are interested in adding one to your collection at this time, I can tell you that the one I saw was in a special glass case reserved for "exotica" at the Guitar Center in Boston.

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