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Selling and repairing antique microphones
Old 5th August 2019
Selling and repairing antique microphones

A friend wants me to sell some "antique" microphones on Ebay and Reverb for him since his is legally blind and cannot see the computer screen. They are three RCA 44-A ribbon microphones and two EV844 shot gun microphones. They were not stored under ideal conditions and look "antique" in the worst possible way. I have not yet looked at the ribbons to see if they are intact. The wires that change the transformer impedance are all degraded. They also have very strange connectors and one of them has a cord with a "P" connector that is also degrading. I know AEA does re-ribboning and there is also a place in New Jersey that also does reribboning but I have no idea of the cost.

Has anyone else had any experiences with re-ribboning and how would you go about putting something like this up for sale?

Thanks in advance.
Old 5th August 2019
Lives for gear
emrr's Avatar
They will sell for plenty as is, so you have to consider the cost and labor of trying to get them in good shape. Then, you are implying a warranty based on the claim of 'recently repaired and working to spec', do you want that hassle? Weigh the differences, and look at ended/sold auction history, you'll find that many for sale currently are priced 2-3x actual sale average, and they've been sitting there a long time.
Old 5th August 2019
Lives for gear
The trap with these things is spending too much on repairs and then having a sales price that falls short of the desired goal. It might be just as well to disclose their condition as best can and let the buyer handle the repair if the buyer wants them repaired.

But I would discuss how your friend wants to handle this. Does he want to pay for repairs and try to sell them or just put them up for sale and see how it goes? I wouldn't spend anything on repairs without discussing this first with him.
Old 5th August 2019
Thanks for the replies already. I did check the ribbons and they are all intact. Now I have to see if they will produce some sound. I have dealt with ribbon mics before and have done some repairs on RCA 44 BX's and 77 DX's but never anything this old and in bad need of repair/refurbishment. I am going to present my findings to the seller today and we will see what he decides to do. Thanks again for the helpful suggestions.
Old 5th August 2019
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

Both AEA and ENAK have plenty of experience doing barn-find restorations, and if you send them plenty of good photos they can give you pretty accurate estimates for both "working" and "wow."
Old 5th August 2019
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Both AEA and ENAK have plenty of experience doing barn-find restorations, and if you send them plenty of good photos they can give you pretty accurate estimates for both "working" and "wow."
I want to contact the seller before I make any decisions as to what to do next. I really appreciate your thoughts. I know Wes from previous contacts and I am sure his company would do GREAT work.

When I took the front and rear covers off the microphones to check the ribbons I noticed that all the wiring had deteriorated to the point where some of it is contacting the microphone shell. Also most of the cloth that is inside the shell has deteriorated badly. This probably means I really cannot plug them in to check them. Bummer.

Thanks again for your help.
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