We have just acquired a classic ribbon microphone in the form of the Beyrdynamic M260 N circa 1965. The seller said it was rattling and might not work so, personally, I wasn’t holding out much hope. This is an interesting microphone in that it’s polar pick-up pattern is hypercardioid as opposed to the usual figure-8 associated with most ribbons, this is to do with the way the ribbon is mounted in the microphone. It’d great on guitar cabs, hi-hats and sounds of a similar nature and boasts a flat frequency response from 40hz to 18khz.
Top removed to reveal the ribbon element
After bit of research I discovered that the windscreen comes apart in the centre, revealing the ribbon capsule. Upon opening it was fairly obvious what was causing the rattling sound, the plastic peice which protects the ribbon had come loose. I managed to carefully unpick the entire piece to reveal the ribbon sat in the centre of the magnet. The ribbon looked in very good condition, no marks, dents or anything.
Cleaning up the magnet. Ribbon visible
Next I very carefully cleaned the magnet each side of the ribbon to remove some of the rust. I use isopropyl alcohol and a swab, being very careful not to get any particles on the ribbon.
Re-assembly of the capsule.
Next some superglue was supplied to the outside of the magnet, again being careful to get it nowhere near the ribbon. Only using the minimal amount. The plastic cover was then re-fitted and the small pieces of tape re-attached.
Beyerdynamic M260N Repaired
The repaired microphone was then tested. The microphone does not have the standard XLR fitting of a modern microphone instead having a Klein Tuchel type connector, fortunately I already have and old AKG which used the same connector so was able to borrow the lead for testing the microphone.
More information on this microphone model can be found here, at the excellent Martin Mitchell’s Microphones.
The second episode in Systems Integration: XLR Patching.
The studio has four wall boxes, only two of which are in the same room. I wanted to create an effective way of getting these wall boxes to the sixteen mic pre’s in the console, so I opted for an XLR patchbay, because of slight danger of using a jack style patch chord with phantom power (the power briefly connects to the wrong side first). As the studio will be used by a variety of engineers and I also have some vintage ribbon mics, I wanted to make sure the patching was as logical as possible.
A great bulk of thee effort, involved with building this, was in bolting the XLR sockets into the patch panel, each socket requiring two tiny bolts and self-locking nuts. This process, in itself, took a good couple of hours to work through all 96 fixings.
Once that was complete, I had to de-solder all the tails that previously occupied the end of the cables before I could move onto soldering them to the new sockets.
Once this was complete I cable tested every single socket on the panel and wall boxes for continuity and polarity. Finding just two minor errors which were very easily corrected. It pays to be methodical with these things.
And, here it is, the finished panel, all labelled up. The bottom panel is the 16 mic pres in the Audient, and the top is the wall boxes. Of course, this also means I have effectively created a “wall box” in the Control Room too.
Should be incredibly easy to route signals from now on.