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MICROPHONE OF THE MONTH APRIL 2018

ARDENTE MC

 

 

Ardente Acoustic Laboratories, maker of this month' Mic of the Month, was a U.K. manufacturer from London, best known for their hearing aids. But the product range consisted of much more:
Marine Sound Equipment; Public Address Equipment, Mobile and Permanent; Intercom Systems; Aeronautical Installations; Group Hearing Systems for Churches, Cinemas and Schools, Audiometers and Intelligibility Indicators. The company was founded around 1930 by R.H. Dent and remained active well into the 1960's. The founder cleverly changed his name into the better sounding 'Ardente' , the extra E at the end made it sound even a bit exotic.
For their Public Address amplifiers targeted at dance bands the company also supplied microphones. Some of these were made by other firms, like Lustraphone, but others were of their own make.

The most beautiful of those is this Ardente MC (Moving Coil) dynamic, from shortly before World War Two.

The inside is very much like a loudspeaker: a paper cone with copper windings that move inside the gap of a magnet, not nearly as sophisticated as the Western Electric dynamic microphones of that age, those had light-weight diaphragms made of duralumin.

The outside however is of another magnitude altogether: not many microphones look this good. It was clearly made to shine on stage together with the performers that were utilizing it.

The design is from the transition period when microphones were no longer supported by springs inside a ring but it could still be used in the 'old way' since there are four 'ears' provided. The beautiful A and R at the front of the microphone of course refer to their maker.

This is one of the types that feature in my book Witnesses of Words. More information about that can be found at www.witnessesofwords.com

wow cover

 

Ardente MC
Vera Lynn with Ardente
Ardente 1937 ad

Above: the beautiful Art-Deco styled Ardente MC

Middle, Left: U.K. singer Vera Lynn in front of an Ardente MC, around 1937, and Right: a 1937 ad for Ardente P.A. products

Below: 1939 ad for Ardente hearing aids

Ardente hearing aid ad

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