Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

1960s Calrad DM-12 Microphone Got Back

Calrad mic HLINIn my line of work, I end up using a lot of microphones. Overwhelmingly these days, a mic is a fairly utilitarian cylinder (with occasional exceptions, of course). However when you cast an ear over microphones of the past, not only do you experience microphones with many different aural characteristics, you also get a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Calrad plugWe all recognize the Shure "Elvis" microphone, the classic RCA capsule shaped mic (and its innumerable knockoffs), and I still get email from people wanting to buy the "Bob Barker" microphone I wrote about years ago. I do remember seeing the curvy Calrad DM-12 around years ago, probably at the local Czech polka hall. The mic is unusually... um... sensual for a microphone. I imagine that the DM-12 was designed to be seen as well as heard - though I don't have the proper cord to tell you whether it sounds as good as it looks.

Calrad mic rear 300In poking around online, I couldn't find anyone speaking too much about the actual sound of the microphone, just its looks. Several studios I found will rent these mics to you to capture that "vintage sound", but it doesn't take long to figure out that just because a mic is old, that doesn't mean you're going to get any special results out of it. Several of the vintage mics I have around my office look awesome, but make it sound like I've been gargling chain-saws.

When I record a voice-over, I'm usually alone in a room recording into a stubby gun-metal condenser mic. It does a great job, but there's little pizazz. Maybe a swingin' design like the DM-12 is what I need to give those long recording session a little kick. or maybe I should remember that I just referred to a microphone as "sensual", and call it a day. 


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