(Birdcage) microphone

It makes sense to follow my STC (Coles) 4033 mic with some blurb on my Altec Birdcage as both are dual (ribbon and dynamic) element.

Indeed, they also share the same three prong connector and not dissimilar shape. I’ve often wondered whether the two mics might be even more closely related – one made under license from the other manufacturer perhaps – and suspect that one of our clever readers might shed some light on this.

The Birdcage (Altec 639) is a little bulker than the STC but both sound extremely similar and are very useable for retro sounding vocals or ambience. Mine came from Whitfield Street when the legendary studio closed down and from memory I think I paid around £250, as much for a piece of history as for the mic. It’s an attractive addition to the collection though.

It’s worth having a look at the excellent site – a wealth of information on this and other US made vintage mics.


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