The phrase “vintage microphone” usually prompts images of a beveled, rectangular device with a radio or TV station's call letters emblazoned on its top or side. These are the big mics Bing Crosby sang into, or that Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air used to scare the bejeezus out of millions of people with their broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" on October 30, 1938. Microphones, good ones anyway, make things real.

In fact, realism is exactly what a German electrical engineer named Georg Neumann was striving for when he came out with his bottle-shaped CMV3 condenser microphone in 1928. In 1932 he upgraded the mic by releasing the CMV3a, which allowed users to swap out the mic’s heads to pick up sounds from a single-direction (as in a cardioid microphone), two-directions (sometimes called figure-8s) and all directions (omni). After World War II, Neumann rebuilt his Berlin factory and by 1949 he’d released the U47, which was distributed internationally by Telefunken and favored by recording engineers throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Artists as varied as Frank Sinatra and The Beatles used the U47 in the recording studio.

While Neumann was pushing microphone technology in Europe, RCA was doing the same in the United States, especially during the 1930s, the golden era of radio, when it released a number of bi-directional ribbon microphones, including the Photophone and Velocity models. These ribbon microphones take their name from the .0001-inch thick piece of corrugated aluminum (the ribbon) that’s placed between the ends of a horseshoe-shaped magnet. Another iconic ribbon microphone of the prewar period was the BBC-Marconi Type A, which was designed by a BBC technician named Dr. Alexander and manufactured by Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co. of London.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)



Testing 1, 2, 3. Stan Coutant's tribute to the vintage mic is clear and vibrant. Start at the table of contents fo… [read review or visit site]

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim Tripp's showcase of radios from the 1920s to late 1950s, organized by style and theme (wood, console, plastic, … [read review or visit site]

The Radio Attic's Archives

The Radio Attic's Archives

This photo gallery of over 7800 vintage radios, categorized by manufacturer and model number, is a group effort wit… [read review or visit site]

Alan Voorhees' reference resource for vintage radio collectors includes a photo gallery, article library, PDF archi… [read review or visit site]

This vast archive and community of radio collectors features over 120,000 radio model listings and 350,000 photos a… [read review or visit site]

Phil's Old Radios

Phil's Old Radios

This extensive collection of antique radios includes beautiful photos and detailed historical descriptions. The sit… [read review or visit site]

John Pelham's collection of wood and plastic radios from the 1930's and 40's. What sets this site apart is the deta… [read review or visit site]



Steve Erenberg's extremely wacky and well-done collection of vintage mad-scientist devices and contraptions. Writte… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Microphone Collection: Rca, Shure,astatic, EvStunning Vintage Shure Sm56 Unidyne Iii Sm57 Sm-57 Type Dynamic Mic No Reserve!Vintage Old Rca Bk-5a Art Deco Radio Best Sounding !! Ribbon Antique MicrophoneVintage 1920s Old " Universal " Carbon Pre Depression Era Microphone & StandVintage Old Rca Art Deco Mid Century Radio Studio Ribbon MicrophoneExtra Special Rca 74-b Ribbon Microphone Rca 77d Vintage Professional Studio Ribbon Microphone LqqkRca 77 D Ribbon Microphone Rare, Great Condition!! No Reserve!!!!!Neumann U47 Tube 1959 Vintage Microphone Estate Find No Issues Checked Out 100%Mint Rare *** B&o * Bang & Olufsen Bm5 # Stereo Ribbon Microphone ***Vintage 1940s Old Antique Webster Art Deco Classic Type MicrophoneVintage Sennheiser K3-u Shotgun Condenser Microphone +2 Me40 & Me80 + ShockmountVintage Astatic Jt-30 Crystal Harp Microphone - Tested &working Great!! Clean!Vintage Nos 1983 Shure Sm56 Unidyne Iii Shock-mount Pistol Grip Microphone + BoxRare Vintage Russian Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphone Oktava Mk-13m Look! Vintage Shure 440sl Controlled Magnetic Bullet Harmonica Ham Radio MicrophoneGalaxy Pluto Cb Radio $1 No Reserve As Is Parts Repair Vintage Cobra MicVintage Astatic Silver Eagle Mic & Box Microphone Desk Cb Ham Radio Old CrystalRca Velocity Junior 74b Ribbon Microphone With Desk StandVtg Turner Microphone M+3 Model A66002 Cb Short Wave Mobile Radio MibNeumann U67 Original Vintage Tube Mic Set W/stephen Paul 3 Micron ModificationsVintage Astatic K-2 Microphone With Original Mic Bag And BoxVintage Electro Voice Re11 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone XlrVintage Original Smith Miller Mic Ironson Yellow Dump TruckViolet Design Globe - Vintage Dynamic Cable Professional MicrophoneVintage Mic Shure 546 Unidyne Iii Microphone 545 SinatraElectro-voice Cardyne Ii-model 731 Microphone - Vintage For Parts Not WorkingVintage Astatic 77 MicrophneVintage 1950's Electro Voice 644 Dynamic "shotgun" Microphone Old W Ev Stand2-groove Tubes Mp-1 Mic Preamps W/power SupplyNice Vintage Sennheiser Professional Microphone Mic - Dynamic - Model Md421-u-5Vintage Turner Ssb +2 Transistorized Microphone Cb Ham Works.Vintage Art Deco Rca Bullet MicrophoneVintage Neumann U67 Microphone W/original Power SupplyVintage Akg C-414 B-uls MicrophonePair Vintage Altec M53 Microphones Condenser 201a 42a CardioidVintage Guyatone Gp-24 Guitar Pickup Microphone In Orig Box And Packing Works Akg D 1000 E Vintage MicrophoneVintage Ge Em10a Microphone With Shure Brothers Controlled Magnetic TransducerVintage 1960's Era Electro Voice Slimair 636 Dynamic Microphone Working Old Vintage Heil Outstanding Working Microphone Model Pr780 Heavy Metal Table StandVintage Turner "cd" Crystal Microphone - Non Working. No Dents.Vintage 1950's Electro-voice Model 611 MicrophonePair Vintage Altec M30 Tube Microphones Condenser Cardioid Tested No PsVintage Altec M49 Microphone Parts Only Not WorkingMtv Music Television Mic Microphone Flag Spring Break Daytona Vintage 1992 NewVintage Astatic Corp. Model 77 Microphone Without StandVintage Turner "bx" Crystal Microphone - Non-working. Original Brown Paint.Vintage Midland Model 44-861 Portable Cb Radio W/ Mic And Antenna Untested As-isNib Rca Look-a-like Pill MicrophoneHoly Cross Turner S500g Gold Professional Dynamic Microphone With Cross EmblemShure Sm7b MicrophoneVintage Electro Voice Dynamic Cardioid Microphone Heavy Metal Model 664Altec 201b (akg 451) Condenser Microphone Cardioid Austria Exc VintageVintage Shure 315 Microphone With Box Antique Old Rare Collector Mic Mid-centuryVintage Marshall Mxl V77 Tube Microphone System Complete In Carry Around BoxTruly Vintage Microphone Shure Electrovoice ? Studio Used Band Guitar Music CordVintage Realistic Trc-431 Cb Radio 40 Channel Base Station With MicrophoneVery Early Rca MicrophoneWorking Vintage Astatic Silver Eagle Microphone Untested

Recent News: Microphones

Source: Google News

Bankroll Fresh "Poppin Shit" Video
HotNewHipHop, February 6th

Bankroll Fresh is the night's headlining act, and he takes to the vintage microphone to drop some knowledge on what it means to be a gangster and a gentleman. Coming shortly after he put out his own film, "Take Over Your Trip," in which he starred, the...Read more

See Ashley Monroe's Soothing 'From Time to Time' at Sun Studio, February 4th

Surrounded by photos of the blues and country legends who recorded there and singing into one of the studio's vintage microphones, Monroe's measured performance shows she doesn't need state-of-the-art studio polish to make an emotional connection...Read more

Somewhere in the middle
Mountain View Voice, February 4th

The play opens on a sparse set (designed by Kuo-Hao Lo), consisting of a cold blue sky, the silhouette of rooftops, two framed windows, a park bench and a vintage microphone. We meet a character referred to as the "Mechanic," beautifully performed by ...Read more

Baker's Orange Doors opens doors to the musical mind
Cranbrook Daily Townsman, January 29th

With this new board all the scenes can be pre-programmed.” Bueckert says these new advances, plus a wonderful acoustic live room, several treated iso-booths and a comprehensive microphone collection have been getting the school attention from far and ...Read more

The Background Characters That Make The Force Awakens Come Alive
The Mary Sue, January 28th

Voiced by David Acord, GA-97's mouth looks and sounds basically like a vintage microphone ripped straight from the '40s and '50s (on our world). Alerting the Resistance to the location of BB-8, GA-97 is responsible for aiding in the eventual rescue of...Read more

Shuyler Jansen 'The Long Shadow' (album stream)
Exclaim!, January 20th

Edmonton-bred singer-songwriter Shuyler Jansen recently relocated to Vancouver and is revving up to release his latest LP The Long Shadow later this week. But before it officially hits shelves, Exclaim! is giving you an early listen to the album in its...Read more

Zayn Malik Goes Shirtless In Sexy New Italian Vogue Cover Shoot — See Pic
Hollywood Life, January 11th

Within the same hour, L'uomo Vogue posted another picture and soon after a third, but fans are already demanding more! The latest snapshot of the singer shows him more covered up than before, in front of a vintage microphone with a blurry, black and...Read more

Preview: Atlanta History Center's “Atlanta in 50 Objects” is as Eclectic as it ...
ArtsATL, January 11th

A vintage microphone, for example, from WSB is paired with a photo showing silent screen legend Rudolph Valentino during a 1923 broadcast from Atlanta. (Allegedly, it was the first time he was heard over the radio.) And there is definitely a sense of...Read more