Tag Archives: 1950’s Microphone

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.

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.



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



Electro-Voice EV664  …… On The Road Again

In my previous blog post on the EV664 I mentioned that it is one of the few PA microphones from the 1950’s that still sounds good through a modern system. Recently I have taken my 664 out on the road again to use it in a theatre show featuring classic British rock’n’rollers The Buddy Presley Band. Here are a couple of clips from the sound check featuring guitarist Corrado Di Ianni (aka Conrad) using the EV664 for vocals. (The mic on the guitar cab is a 1960’s Philips EL6033-10 set to cardioid pattern).

CLICK HERE for clip 1



The microphone stand which appears in the video is the original Electro-Voice stand which came with the mic. This mic stand is a work of 1950’s genius featuring a simple push-button ratchet mechanism which allows the user to effortlessly raise or lower the stand.  And after nearly 60 years, just like the mic, it still works perfectly.  It is the same stand that appears in the Electro-Voice adverts of the period.

Vintage Advert Electrovoice EV664

Introduced in 1954 the 664 was the Electro-Voice answer to the Shure 55 and even came with a money back guarantee of it’s superiority !

With it’s unusual arrangements of ports,  illustrated in the leaflet above, the 664 was the first microphone to utilise Electro-Voice’s patented Variable-D design.

Variable-D and Beyond – Classic EV Microphone Design and Evolution

The EV664 has a crisp modern sound and I was interested to notice that the frequency response graph for the 664 is actually quite similar to the current Sennheiser e945 !

ev664 v Sennheiser e945.

In addition to its considerable merit as a transducer the EV664 is also one of the best looking microphones ever made. A gorgeous piece of rock’n’roll art!

Electrovoice EV664N.B.  Singers who like to clasp their grubby hands around the mic should be kept well away from the 664. Apart from messing up the proper functioning of the ports they will also leave nasty finger marks!!

STC4037A ‘The Stick’ ! (1955- late 1970s)


After years of lugging around the mighty (heavy & cumbersome) STC4017, BBC outside broadcasters must have been absolutely delighted, in the mid-1950s, by the arrival of the 4037! Designed specifically for the burgeoning new medium of television, the STC4037 was a triumph of British understatement! Even by modern standards it is light (260g) and well-balanced, and its slender, tapered, profile feels very comfortable in the hand. Also the black shrivel enamel finish is non-reflective under TV lighting. The 4037 was so beautifully minimal and unobtrusive (and black) that it soon became affectionately known as ‘The Stick’. ‘The Stick’ came in 2 sizes, the 21.3cm long version, the STC4037A, and the shorter 13.6cm STC4037C. The short version had slightly less bass response but was extremely unobtrusive, all but disappearing in the presenter’s hand.

A couple of TV clips from the 1960s featuring the STC4037  :-

Gwyn Thomas talks to Alan Whicker about the Chip Crisis

A great Liverpool band The Undertakers with 4037 on vocals 

The original box arrived a wee bit bruised and battered!

The original box arrived a wee bit bruised and battered!

STC4037A with 4069A connector and stand adapter

STC4069A connector and  PAS45/14 stand adapter

STC4037A Base of mic

3 pin connector on base of mic

STC4069A Connector

STC4069A Connector

 STC4037A Grill STC4037 Brochure 1961

Click Here For Short Sound Clip.

Meanwhile here is another couple of suggested uses!!

STC4037A the perfect kit overhead!

Crisp snare, nice fat toms, and smooth detailed cymbals, and so much bottom end that the kick mic was nearly redundant! Job done!

Here is a short live clip of this kit with the 4037 as pictured.

Also tasty on double bass!