I bought this beautiful BBC Marconi type A microphone from my friend Adrian Kerridge (of CTS/Lansdowne/Cadac fame) a few years before his sad death.
Although one of the most iconic mics in broadcast history, very few remain for the simple reason that it was BBC tradition to gut and gold plate these mics to award to retiring announcers and staff. The result is that not many still exist and even fewer remain in working condition.
I bought mine from Adrian shortly after the closure of Lansdowne Studios – I couldn’t resist. I had Wes Dooley of AEA re-ribbon it and it now gets regular use at SNAP, where Marco rates it highly for a variety of uses, hardly surprising as from what I can glean it was the BBC’s version of the ubiquitous RCA DX44 (I have two of these at Snap – I’ll post some history on them soon).
I’m always cynical about the value placed on rare mics. I’ve seen these advertised (and sold) for £5-£7k and advertised (but not sold) for £10k – an awful lot of money, but I guess the value lies as much in the rarity and antique value as the usability, as with so much rare and vintage audio these days. I don’t much care – it’s staying in my collection and more to the point, get frequent valued use.
For more information on the BBC Marconi Type A click here.