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CBS NYC equipment, historic inventory #'s Condenser Microphones
Old 28th March 2016
  #1
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CBS NYC equipment, historic inventory #'s

I have a beautiful sounding Neumann tube mic from the mid 1960s with matching CBS NYC inventory numbers scratched into the power supply casing and bottom of the mic housing. Since a lot of famous recordings happened in that time frame at the Columbia/CBS NYC studios, I am trying to find out if it might be possible to track down what the mic was used for back then. If anybody has any suggestions/contacts, would greatly appreciate. Thanks in advance for any helpful info.
Old 28th March 2016
  #2
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CBS had a few studios. The main 7th avenue studio on the church on 30th street. They both closed in the '70s. Ed Rak, or the now defunct Clinton studios in NYC bought some of the mics and a Steinway D piano. Charles Osgood, of CBS Sunday Morning fame, also bought a Steinway D piano from the 30th street studio and moved it to his house in France.
The house engineers were Fred Plaut, who died in the mid 1980s, Frank Laico worked as a staff enginner at Columbia. I don't know if he's still living.

Also, your mic may have come from a TV or radio studio?
Old 28th March 2016
  #3
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Columbia and CBS

to the best of my knowledge, 1960's Columbia Records inventory was never marked CBS.
Do the research on the 30th Street studios, you will see CRI markings.

Up until the major corporate re-organization, Columbia Records had significant autonomy;
the studios were referred to as Columbia, not CBS.
Old 11th January 2017
  #4
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A couple additions to Andy's comments, which I just now saw and so am now dredging up this old thread:

There were multiple engineers at Columbia studios, including Fred and Frank, and most of them worked interchangeably at the multiple studios. Jim Reeves' excellent website has an historical section where you can see names and pictures of people and gear: Vintage Sessions

The 7th Avenue studio was at 799 7th Avenue and was Studio A, which was sold in the 70's to Phil Ramone and partner(s) to be A&R Studios.

Studios C (famous large one) and D (small, nearly unknown one) at 30th St were sold and torn down in late 1982/early 1983.

There were also multiple studios at 49 E. 52nd St.

Frank died in 2013 after a long full life and after being rediscovered in the early 2000's and receiving a portion of the appreciation of his legendary achievements that he so richly deserved.

I just learned a couple of weeks ago about the Osgood connection and was blown away then. You knew it months if not years ago....

You can read more in my thread on the Steve Hoffman forums, which is unlinkable in this otherwise wonderful forum, based on past experience.

Search for "History of CBS Records' 30th St Studio", and it should be the first link after Wikipedia.

And Cathode is correct. Since lots of the gear at the studios was there for a long time, most if not all of it said CRI rather than CBS.
Old 11th January 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaileycastle View Post
I have a beautiful sounding Neumann tube mic from the mid 1960s with matching CBS NYC inventory numbers scratched into the power supply casing and bottom of the mic housing. Since a lot of famous recordings happened in that time frame at the Columbia/CBS NYC studios, I am trying to find out if it might be possible to track down what the mic was used for back then. If anybody has any suggestions/contacts, would greatly appreciate. Thanks in advance for any helpful info.
Sorry, forgot to reply to you!

What is the number on it? Pictures that I have seen have only 3 digit numbers, written with what looks like a Marksalot on the mic itself, and come to think of it, I've only seen that on M49's, not on the other ones. So maybe that "inventory" system was only used on those mics?

Good luck, and cool that you have it!
Old 30th January 2018
  #6
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sorry for the long delay in replying. the bottom of the power supply has the original Gotham Audio Corporation sticker with the NYC address. On the top of the power supply and on the bottom of mic housing are inscribed 'CBS-13-050-0730 NYC RN'.
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