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BBC AXB Microphones, value?
Old 4th July 2016
  #1
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BBC AXB Microphones, value?

Hi all, I have a pair if BBC AXB type A ribbon microphones manufactured by Marconi. One is working, the other is non-working. I have to sell them as part of my late friends estate, but have no idea as to what athey are worth, any information would be gladly appreciated.

WB.
Old 4th July 2016
  #2
Deleted 3cb98a6
Guest
Quite a lot but it all depends on the people doing the bidding.
Are these complete with Joke and all?
First off i feel an obligation to mention these microphones are a candidate for many museum that are happy to display even a broken piece.

A carefull taxation here from what i know from years ago as a collector myself and i.m actually adding a NOTE that its better taking this to a pro with a auctioneering background since these are not just mics but a piece of radiohistory. Chamberlains and De gaulles spit could be in there.

Value is mostly determined by the nut who wants them the most and with the cash for them. That in mind...ranging between 7.500-12.500 euros a piece.

A technical assesment of the broken piece would be in order. If its beyond repair that would mean a significant value drop. Since replacement parts are basically non existent.
Old 4th July 2016
  #3
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There are a few people on Ebay trying to sell them for insane money (like 10000USD ... they don't sell and keep getting relisted). The last couple that sold by auction went for like 2500EUR if I remember correctly. There was a gold plated one in Spain a couple of months back that went for significantly less.
I have been trying to get my hands on one of these for years now. Please contact me if you know what you want for yours.

Last edited by morphtec; 5th July 2016 at 05:01 AM..
Old 5th July 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
There are a few people on Ebay trying to sell them for insane money (like 10000USD ... they don't sell and keep getting relisted). The last couple that sold by auction went for like 2500EUR if I remember correctly. There was a gold plated one in Spain a couple of months back that went for significantly less.
I'm trying to get my hands on one of these for years now. Please contact me if you know what you want for yours.
The gold plated ones were the result of the BBC giving them to retired employees, like gold watches. I'm going to hold on to these until I can get some more info and I can determine the condition properly. One has the transformer disconnected for some reason so that's obviously not working. The other one seems fine structurally, but I have to test it. I was told that these mic's require a "bias voltage" from a special preamp, but I don't know if this is just a reference to phantom powering ? But ribbon mic's don't require phantom, so this is confusing.

Old 5th July 2016
  #5
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Those may be field coil mics, meaning no permanent magnet.
Old 5th July 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Those may be field coil mics, meaning no permanent magnet.
then they wouldn't be AXB Type A mics, no?
Old 5th July 2016
  #7
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I wouldn't know. There are such ribbons out there.
Old 5th July 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyburger View Post
The gold plated ones were the result of the BBC giving them to retired employees, like gold watches. I'm going to hold on to these until I can get some more info and I can determine the condition properly. One has the transformer disconnected for some reason so that's obviously not working. The other one seems fine structurally, but I have to test it. I was told that these mic's require a "bias voltage" from a special preamp, but I don't know if this is just a reference to phantom powering ? But ribbon mic's don't require phantom, so this is confusing.

It was this exact microphone actually:
Xaudia Microphone Blog: If King Midas had a microphone...
So not a BBC parting gift.

Maybe your mics were modified? The standard version of the Type A is just a regular ribbon mic (RCA's were to expensive, so the BBC build their own).
Stewart at Xaudia.com is very familiar with these mics - if you need a professional to look them over.
Old 5th July 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
I wouldn't know. There are such ribbons out there.
yes, of course there are - and it might even be possible that OP's mics were modified by the BBC, which would be very interesting.
Old 5th July 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
It was this exact microphone actually:
Xaudia Microphone Blog: If King Midas had a microphone...
So not a BBC parting gift.

Maybe your mics were modified? The standard version of the Type A is just a regular ribbon mic (RCA's were to expensive, so the BBC build their own).
Stewart at Xaudia.com is very familiar with these mics - if you need a professional to look them over.
Thanks so much for your information, much appreciated.
The mic's in your picture are exactly like the ones I have, except these ones aren't gold plated !
Both mic's have transformers in the bottom section, I also looked at the original wiring diagrams, and the wires from the ribbons go through the transformer then on to the terminals. But I need to establish if they need this "bias current" that may explain the use of the transformer maybe ? I want to actually buy one of these for myself if at all possible, and it would be good to get it restored, and use it, in memory of my friend. I would then sell the other one, but all this is hypothetical until I can establsh condition ns value, I need to get a ribbon expert to examine them.

WB.
Old 5th July 2016
  #11
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Stewart is your guy then.
They most definitely don't need any currents if they are as original intended. Almost all ribbon mic designs make use of a transformer. I personally know of exactly one ribbon microphone design that comes without a transformer.
Hit me up if you want to sell the other one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyburger View Post
Thanks so much for your information, much appreciated.
The mic's in your picture are exactly like the ones I have, except these ones aren't gold plated !
Both mic's have transformers in the bottom section, I also looked at the original wiring diagrams, and the wires from the ribbons go through the transformer then on to the terminals. But I need to establish if they need this "bias current" that may explain the use of the transformer maybe ? I want to actually buy one of these for myself if at all possible, and it would be good to get it restored, and use it, in memory of my friend. I would then sell the other one, but all this is hypothetical until I can establsh condition ns value, I need to get a ribbon expert to examine them.

WB.
Old 6th July 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
Stewart is your guy then.
They most definitely don't need any currents if they are as original intended. Almost all ribbon mic designs make use of a transformer. I personally know of exactly one ribbon microphone design that comes without a transformer.
Hit me up if you want to sell the other one.
Hi, I just sent a mail to Xaudia, I'll let you know how it goes. Be good to get a appraisal of their condition, and maybe get them both working.
I'll keep you posted ...



WB.
Old 6th July 2016
  #13
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Looks like I'll get the non-working one restored, I just spoke to Xaudia, and it's going to be worth it. I'll keep you posted.

WB.
Old 6th July 2016
  #14
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Great, feel free to PM me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyburger View Post
Looks like I'll get the non-working one restored, I just spoke to Xaudia, and it's going to be worth it. I'll keep you posted.

WB.
Old 6th July 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
Great, feel free to PM me.

Thank you !

Tony.
Old 7th July 2016
  #16
Deleted 3cb98a6
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I think the wikipedia about these things does mention something like " a special current to function" check it out. I doubt i have misread.
Old 7th July 2016
  #17
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No it doesn't. They are just plain old ribbon mics as Siemens conceived them back in the 20s. Please everyone just stop with those strange mysterious currents talk ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 3cb98a6 View Post
I think the wikipedia about these things does mention something like " a special current to function" check it out. I doubt i have misread.
Old 8th July 2016
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphtec View Post
No it doesn't. They are just plain old ribbon mics as Siemens conceived them back in the 20s. Please everyone just stop with those strange mysterious currents talk ...
I spoke to Xaudia about this powering business, they "do not" require any special voltage. The only other thing I found on Wikipidea was this...

"[1] In 1943, the AXB model was launched, which featured balanced wiring.[12] In 1944, the microphone was renamed the AXBT with the addition of a Ticonal magnet to increase sensitivity by 6 decibels."

WB.
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