condition: excellent make / manufacturer: Wollensak Optical Co model name / number: B-162-4 Microphone
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1960S Wollensak Optical Co B-162-4 Microphone,This microphone is completely untested. Please carefully examine the photos for the condition and what is included with this sale. Comes only with what is shown in the photos."
doing the history. So, Dieder Wollensak was stuck to his own devices and came up with the Wollensak mic around 1963 after about 15 years of hardcore tinkering. This may be the greatest unknown mic outside of the "know" circles. Unfortunatly, Wollensak commited suicide after the initial production of about 5000 mics, and the original schematics were burned before he hanged himself. He was distraught over the fact that his greatness was being marginalized and the 15 years of dire poverty did not help.
So, lets look at the mic. For starters, there is virtually no self noise. This is due to it's cadmium bromide resistors, FET triode reduced algorhythn transistors, and mercury sputtered diaphram. The mercury (his own breakthrough) sputtered diaphram gives the incoming sound source an almost liquid buyouncy. The fact that mercury is a liquid (made stable by Dieder's sputtering technique) makes all incoming energy (sound) elastic, therefore reproducing more accuratly the sound source. So, in a way, it is almost like a ribbon mic in the natural give and take of energy. The advanced resistors and transistors offer an exceptioanal electronic translation of the natural output of the mercural diaphram. While it is a cardoid mic, it's off axis response is like god had planned it that way. Imagine the fullness of a omni, but with the precision of a hypercardiod. Freakin' mindbending!!!!
A lot of mics sound good on one vocal style, but not another. This is never a problem with the Wollensak. Baritone opera to the highest note of the sopranina, from Tom Waits gravel to Rap exclamation this mic excells. Many of you may have struggled with the soprano sax in terms of the right mic. No problem for that horn. Upright bass? Ron Carter owns 2 of them! John Cage and Morton Feldmann would only use these for their recordings. They were especailly fond of how quiet these mics are. Steve Albini swears by them. John Lennon and Phil Spector used these mics exclusively for the Imagine LP. This was George Martins favorite mic. All of you folks have it wrong about Bono using the sm57/58 for his voice. According to Brian Eno who has worked on most of their albums, it's the Wollensak. Rudy Van Gelder? Of course. Elvin Jones said it was Rudy's go to mic on the drums.
Due to it's mercury diaphram it takes to compression and auto tune like no other microphone. You can put it in front of a Marshall cab at 10 and have no SPL issues. The mics that National Geographic uses to record whale songs are just a modified version of this mic. These really are the secret weapon of engineer's in the "know".
The funny think is that most folks have no idea about this mic, and it sells on eBay for like $300 bucks. Crazy!
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