The English county of Yorkshire has a long and illustrious history of steel manufacturing and precision engineering. Based in York, Extinct Audio are an enthusiastic new company offering beautiful, high quality, hand-built ribbon microphones.                                                                                                                            .The Viking Extinct Audio's BM9. The Box...The Viking Extinct Audio's BM9.

Although the design and styling of The Viking, Extinct Audio’s BM9 pays tribute to the legendary Danish ribbon microphones of the 1950’s and 60’s, it has a unique British character and tone all of its own. The transformers are hand wound at the workshop in York and the ribbons are individually fitted and tuned by Dr Stewart Tavener who has more than a decade of experience restoring and repairing 1,000s of vintage ribbon microphones. The Viking also features an extremely strong magnetic field, giving high output and low noise.

The Viking Extinct Audio's BM9..The Viking Extinct Audio's BM9. Back view.

My own microphone collection divides up into 4 distinct categories:-

  1. Microphones with historic significance or a special place in the development of audio technology; e.g. Marconi-Reisz, STC4017.
  2. Microphones which are good for particular purposes; e.g. AKG D112, Sennheiser e945.
  3. ‘Oooo shiny!’ Microphones purchased for no good reason other than they look cool! (Though occasionally they turn out to be useful!) E.g. Electro-Voice EV664, EV644.
  4. Serious workhorse microphones that will produce fantastic results in a wide range of situations; e.g. AKG C414, Oktava MK-012.

I must confess that when I opened that gorgeous wooden Viking box my instinctive reaction was category 3……. ‘Oooo shiny!’ The nickel finish on these mics is superb. They really look and feel great.

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of recording opportunities to try out The Viking on a range of acoustic instruments. Here below are links to a selection of sound clips from these sessions.

CLICK ON EACH to listen.

  1. Vocal and Tenor Saxophone. Peter Gill and Edi May.
    Peter Gill Vocal
  2. National Steel Guitar and Vocal. Pete Atkin.Pete Atkin. National Steel Guitar and vocal
  3. Anglo Saxon Lyre. Andrew Glover-Whitley.Anglo Saxon Lyre Andrew Glover-Whitley
  4. Chinese Walking Stick Flute. Andrew Glover-Whitley.Andrew Glover-Whitley Chinese Flute Walking Stick
  5. Breton Bombard. Andrew Glover-Whitley. (blowing this thing can lead to burst blood vessels!)Andrew Glover-Whitley. Breton Bombard in Bflat
  6. Rock Flute. Andrew Glover-Whitley.Andrew Glover-Whitley Rock Flute
  7. Tenor Saxophone. Edi May.Edi May Tenor Sax

In Conclusion. 

The Viking, Extinct Audio’s BM9 is a superb, hand built, ribbon microphone, in the finest tradition of Yorkshire craftsmanship and engineering.  It produces an extraordinary level of fine detail. The low end is rich and full. It is a joy to work with and has definitely joined category 4 in my collection……… though I still can’t help going ‘Oooo shiny’ every time I open the lid of the box!

For more information about Extinct Audio visit: –


Extinct Audio BM9 Directivity response plots

P.S.  Buying a Stereo pair was inevitable!

Extinct Audio BM9s. My custom Stereo Mount under construction

Custom mount under construction. using a pair of Rycote Universal Shock Mounts.


  1. Absolutely beautiful recordings. I love Ribbon mics like this but I’m always so scared of breaking them!


    • Hi Ben, So glad you like the recordings. It is a great sounding mic and amazingly versatile. I have just taken delivery of a second one!
      Ribbon mics do require a bit of care in handling and placement. However, if disaster strikes and you do manage to stretch or break a ribbon it is reassuring to know that Extinct Audio grew out of one of the most expert repair services in Europe! So, looking on the bright side, if you blow the ribbon in your BM9 it can be sent back and repaired for a reasonable charge and returned to its original specification, as good as new.


  2. The Peter Gil recording is fantastic! So nicely and naturally recorded and such a wonderful performance. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Martin, I think you have the best examples of this microphone online.
    I’m hoping you might be able to steer me in the right direction.
    For years I’ve been recording with a Rode Classic II microphone through a UA1176 all has been fine. I’ve always craved a ribbon microphone for that smooth vintage tone , I sing and play guitar.
    Seems to be a few around these days all competing , AeaR84, Coles 480, etc.
    For a vocal mainly would you recommend the BM9, ? , it sounded lovely on Peters vocal.
    Hope you can help
    Dominic Halpin


    • Hi Dominic, For vocals I would thoroughly recommend the BM9 it is certainly the best ribbon mic I have used in recent years. I took a listen to some of the tracks on your website and I think the BM9 would very much suit your voice. It gives a superb blend of classic warmth, texture, and fine detail. I think it would really capture that full, rich tone of your voice. Yes, there are a lot of very good competitors around but I have used my BM9s on everything from the Anglo Saxon Lyre to a Symphony Orchestra and it really is a stunning performer!
      All the Best


  4. Have been on a quest for years to find a great ribbon for spoken word with enough clarity, high enough signal to not be noisy, and cardioid instead of fig-8. Alas, thus far, nothing seems to work. Voiceover for audiobooks is so exacting in terms of noise floor requirements, and clarity of performance, that I just have not heard one that works on all fronts. Tried the AEA R84, the KU5a, Røde NTR (super susceptible to RF noise), one of the Samars, and a few others (Shure SM33), and while Extinct looks like a contender, it being passive, needing a booster like Fat or Cloud, really scares me.


    • The Extinct BM9 is pretty quiet in terms of self noise. I use mine either with a FetHead or a Focusrite Twin Trak Pro preamp and have never had a problem even with very quiet sources. Definitely my favourite ribbon mic. However, it is not a cardioid. Good Luck!


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