Back in the 1960s Philips invented a truly awful (even worse than mp3!!) system for reproducing sound ….. The Compact Cassette, which rapidly became hugely popular with the great unwashed, undiscerning, record-copying masses! Originally designed for low-grade speech applications it was left to the genius of Japanese manufacturers to develop it into a more-or-less acceptable means of reproducing music!
The most successful of these Japanese manufacturers (in terms of quality) was undoubtedly Nakamichi, who produced a range of cassette decks which came very close to the technical specifications of up-market reel-to-reel recorders. Needless to say the Nakamichi models were not cheap. (I paid £850 for mine in 1989) However, because these machines were fairly portable they attracted a following amongst both amateur and professional sound engineers for stereo location recording.
Because the Nakamichi recorders did not supply phantom power they produced a number of high quality, small diaphragm, electret condenser mics, including the excellent CM-300, that ran on a 9v battery. See cm300user manual PROBLEM………. THE RECOMMENDED BATTERIES ARE NOW OBSOLETE! I have seen it suggested that an ordinary AA ( 1 ½v ) battery will do the job. That is fine if you don’t mind a greatly reduced output, increased noise, and a mangled frequency response ! (Though, if you are still recording on to cassette maybe it doesn’t matter!!!) This mic does need 8 to 9volts to function properly! A trip down your local photographic store or electronic shop will solve the problem with a couple of camera batteries. A 4LR44 lithium 6volt and a CR2 3volt lithium . Together these turn out to be the right length and wrapped with a bit of insulating tape or rubber bands can be made to fit perfectly in the battery compartment. These are nice sounding mics and well worth the trouble!
15th October 2012 NEWS FLASH UPDATE ON THIS POST Just had an email to say………….. THE SMALL BATTERY COMPANY IS NOW RE-STOCKING THE ORIGINAL 9volt BATTERIES. http://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/sbc_a1611.htm