Mélodium  Mélodynamic 75A (1948-1958)

Melodium 75A

Made in Paris between 1948 and 1958 by Mélodium Société, 296 rue Lecourbe 15eme.

Although visually the design harks back to the 1930s it has a surprisingly modern sound. This is borne out by the frequency graph, which shows a smooth response from 50 Hz to 10 kHz.There is a presence lift of 5db at around 4.8 kHz which lends clarity and crispness, particularly to speech and vocals.

The 75A boasts a very light duralumin diaphragm and voice coil (30mg), giving good transient response. It is also claimed that the microphone is impervious to wind, making it an excellent choice for outside broadcasting and sports reporting.

The grill design featured in the technical leaflet above was used on the earlier models.

Melodium 75A Grill

 Melodium 75A Side view

If you buy a Mélodium 75A it is worth noting that it has very low impedance (10 ohms) and will require the services of an appropriate preamp.

Also, the plug socket on the 75A is peculiar to Mélodium!  (N.B. The earliest models have 3 screw terminals.)

Melodium 75A Plug socket

N.B. Right hand pin is ‘hot’. Left hand pin ‘cold’. Centre pin is earth.

Melodium 75A locking plug

These Mélodium locking plugs are very hard to find!  (They also fit the 42B ribbon mic.)

Melodium 75A Locking plug

Famous Users.

The Mélodium 75A was employed extensively by French broadcasters and was used by many famous entertainers and politicians, including the singer Edith Piaf and President Charles de Gaulle.

President Charles de Gaulle.

‘Non’

 

Even with this slightly creepy, wax works figure of Edith Piaf, at Musée Grévin in Paris, the Mélodium 75A takes stage centre!

CLICK HERE for a short voice recording using the 75A

 


 

17 responses to “Mélodium  Mélodynamic 75A (1948-1958)

  1. Thanks for this. I had been trying to identify a microphone used at the Arc en Ciel in Saigon in 1966 that appeared in some old snapshots I have. It makes sense that it would have been a French mike!

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  2. Have just seen those great photos of Karen and the mighty Melodium 75a. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VWKfkzrjL-8/VCrdcisZRJI/AAAAAAAABI8/JO7vwjFJDNU/s1600/66saigon1a.png

    P.S. That is the early version of the 75a with screw connectors.

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  3. Mike I have a Melodium 55A in good condition uses same connector as the 75A. Can you help me find a 3 pin connector as I want to record with the mic. Thanks.
    Mike Read

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    • Hi Mike,
      I have the same problem! I too am on the hunt for a connector. At the moment I have it working with 3 small crocodile clips soldered on to the lead. This arrangement stays in place pretty well to record but would be very risky at a gig! I think that even in France these plugs are very rare. I will keep searching and will certainly let you know if I strike lucky. Meanwhile, I notice that the pins appear to have the same spacing as an IEC mains plug and I have been thinking that I may have a go at cutting the plug to shape with a Stanley knife and wiring it to a mic lead. It may not work but I’ll let you know how I get on with that. The original plugs have a latch on them, which is another problem……….
      Anyhow, if you have any bright ideas let me know!
      All the best
      Martin

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      • Hi Martin thanks for the reply. Thought of doing the same with a mains plug. Never see the connectors on Ebay. My other 75A & Cable (3 screw connectors) I found in Versailles attached to a contemporary floor stand rusting away (guess 1952). Now cleaned and both mic and stand are beautiful. Mic has a chrome/brass finish and the very heavy stand is made of steel and brass. Must have come from a venue of some sort.

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  4. Raffaele Stefani

    Hello Martin, I’ve found a NOS 75a, with the three pins output, but no plug was available.
    Any clue on the plug-type name (was thinking to do a 3d printed one)?

    What preamp are you using with it? I think the lowest one I have has 150 input impedance. Should I build a special buffer to adapt?

    Thanks

    Raffaele

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    • Raffaele Stefani

      I’ve now read the other conments, did you ever tried the IEC plug adaptation?
      Is it similar to the J typer or the N type?
      Thanks

      Raffa

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    • Hi Raffaele, When I bought mine I didn’t have a plug and weighed up the possibility of using a slightly modified IEC. I was just about to start work on it when a friend returned from France with a genuine Mélodium plug for me. (Lucky me!) However, I can see no reason why a modified IEC would not work. Certainly worth trying. As for the preamp I use a Focusrite TwinTrack which has variable impedance and goes down to 60ohms and the mic seems perfectly happy with that. Might be worth experimenting with an adapter. Good Luck!
      Martin

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  5. I realize this is something of an old thread, but I just purchased a Melodynamic 75A in somewhat rough-around-the-edges shape and I wanted to disassemble it to correct a few problems and hopefully clean it up a bit. Can anyone steer me in the right direction?

    Thanks kindly.

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    • Unfortunately the 75A may prove to be difficult to take apart. As far as I know the collar which holds the grill in place does unscrew. However, it is held in place by a metal pin which you will need to carefully remove or drill out. Once inside, the capsule should just slide out. Good Luck!

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  6. thanks kindly for your help.. I may just leave it as it is, and focus on making it useable before making it pretty.

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  7. I’m back again, I’ve managed to put together the beginnings of a rear connector to let the mic use an XLR connection without making any permanent changes to the body of the mic, I know the three “nuts” on the back of the microphone are how its connected as well as the wiring contacts, but I’m not sure which is which? with the exception of the center I think being ground. I was hoping I could ask for more assistance on this.

    Thanks again.

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  8. I use the Boissy AMO720 preamplifier – a solid state rackmount (Vero KM6) module made for and used by Radio France between the 1980s and the 2000s. High end broadcast equipment fully transformer isolated with built in DBX2150 dynamics. I found the Melodium amazing. Surprisingly hot output no need for a step up transformer, very low noise due to its very low impedance. I found it magic on electric guitar it enhances exactly what you want to hear and cuts out the rest and it smooths out the spring reverb like no other microphone I know.

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    • They are lovely microphones but I don’t have all that professional kit. The first one I acquired was a shining 55A, rare compared to the 75A. Then from Versailles a 75A on a super heavy original steel and brass stand which needed decades of rust removed. Like to imagine Piaf used that one ! As you know the Cannon connectors are difficult to find and eventually I had to buy a job lot of 4 75As to get the 4 connectors. One of those is fitted with a converter which adapts the 3 terminals to accept the Cannon plug. More recently I found one of these adaptors brand new in its original box.

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  9. Melodium connectors are rare but can be found if you are patient and lucky. I managed to find three so far, my other Melodiums are connected with spade connectors directly to the screw terminals, you just need to remove the adapter and set it aside. Which is not such a bad idea because the connectors are a pain to work on, many small bits and pieces that beg to be lost, very tight fit and often rusty. But you can’t fault the quality and workmanship, they were build to last 250 years. The casing is solid copper!

    I recorded classical flute with an ORTF pair of 75A, amazingly sweet. They filter out the strident overtones, breathing and key noises yet capture the room acoustics really fine. Tried also on bass drum (in front of the resonant head), floor tom and electric bass with surprisingly good results.

    My favorite dynamic mic

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