Micdoctor's Journal: Latest Keeper 55

August 30, 2004

When I first saw this 55 on eBay, I was not overwhelmed. Photo not that great, description says foam rotted, but you can buy kits on eBay almost all the time (gee, I wonder who makes those?).

Still, I bid on just about every 55 that comes up on eBay, just to keep current with what the "going rate" is. Also, this mic came with a cable with the amphenol 3 pin on one end and a switchcraft screw-on on the other end, making the deal worth a few extra bucks. I could fix it up and re-sell it, if nothing else.

So I bid on it, and won it for a reasonable price. When it arrived, it was well wrapped, but once unwrapped, I was not psyched like usual. It was grungy, and rattled from rotted mount, and the foam was shot.

I plugged it in right away to a Tube MP preamp into a Peavey amp, and it sounded just like out of the box. After a "Check 1-2-3", I started singing "Feelings..nothing more than feelings.." I tried all the H M L positions, with equal sound quality, but of course, different characteristics.

Instinctively I went into the "mini-furb" mode, getting out the spray cleaner and Goof-Off grunge remover. After a few minutes of some serious rubbing, a different mic emerged. Aside from a little finish bubbling, it was in excellent condition.

Next came the mini-screwdriver and "going under cover". The face removed, more foam came out, but the cartridge and interior were almost as new.

After carefully removing the internals, I scraped all the remaining foam out of the rear of the shell, and cleaned the inside of the shell and all the grille slots.

At this point I stopped for the "before" set of photos. I even stuck a red silk/foam front filter in to see how it would look. Gorgeous! But not permanent. I had other ideas..

For the final refurbishment steps, I took out the old shock mounts, that were shrunk from dry rot, but not yet disintegrated, and replaced them with a set that I had just made. For the lining, I selected a silk that I purchased almost a year ago, an abstract animal print in blue and black. I carefully adhered the foam filters to the silk to get the orientation of the pattern how I wanted it on the front and back views. A little spray adhesive inside the shell, inserting of the filters, reassembly, and it was done. No broken wires or cursing. Micdoctor couldn't have been happier.

The finished product, shown below, has been given a "keeper" status (for the time being). If you would like one of your own, or have an eBay mic that needs an "Extreme Makeover", parts and services are available.

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    Art Graham
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