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MICROPHONE OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY 2017

TURNER 51 D

 

 

Once again I want to direct your attention to one of my favorite manufacturers
of microphones: The Turner Company, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The small but inventive company, which is also renowned for their embalming
machines (a different branch of sports, but non the less an interesting fact,
see the article about the Mic of the Month June 2015, the Turner 34X, for more info), made some of the most striking designs ever.

The omni-directional 51 D dynamic is definitely one of them: it was launched
in 1952, and has a great Space Age look, it might even have been the inspiration
for 'Robby the Robot', the brute from outer space that starred in the movie
'Forbidden Planet' (1956), together with a young Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis.

Turner made a lot of cheap models, but this is not one of those, even though
it was less expensive than the 1950's chrome colored model 50 D 'Aristocrat',
which was later also available in black, as the 50 D TV.

The 50 D's had the same design, but a red band around the head of the capsule,
instead of the yellow band on the umber grey coloured 51 D.

With a price tag of $ 85, the 51 D was in the upper price range of Turner, and
more expensive than most of their directive ribbon/dynamic microphones as well.
The Aristocrat had better specs: 50 - 15.000 Hz frequency range and costed $ 125,
but was produced during a short period only, until about 1955
The 51 D remained in production for at least 15 years, in both low and high impedance versions, originally 60 - 13.000 Hz, but after the demise of the Aristocrat, the 51 D was made with the wider 50 - 15.000 Hz frequency range.

Both these models were some of the first that could be used in hand, detached from their stand, and were intended for Broadcast, PA and recording.

These Turner models are incredible hard to find these days and there is little information available on the web, so I hope to provide some useful info with this month' favorite.

 

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

wow cover

 

Turner 51 D
Turner 51D ad Turner Aristocrat
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