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Not all microphones are technically complicated products, sometimes they are even almost childishly simple in terms of construction and technology. This microphone of the month is one of them.

The American C6 crystal microphone , from 1939, made in Inglewood California is very simple: a modest exterior containing a crystal element.

Like all crystal elements, it is based on the patents of the (US) Brush company that had developed this design in the Twenties of the last century, but this is a very good sounding version which has stood the test of time and still produces a nice strong signal.

Nowadays harmonica players are the most eager users of this type of microphone, to them it is equally important how such a model rests in the hand ('can be cupped'); no problem, the small C6 fits perfectly in the hand. Many harmonica players could do a murder for this fat sound.

Like some other microphone makers, American also released a dynamic version of this model: the D 6, with a higher price ($ 26 instead of $ 16) and a slightly more intricate designed grill.
Undoubtedly, there were a lot more sold of the crystal version, because in use, for PA, Ham radio or paging, there will have been little difference between the two versions.

The stand in the picture is made by Astatic (another fervent maker of crystal microphones), and consists of a metal base and a wooden handle that can be lifted to use the microphone hand held.

Many more microphones feature in my book Witnesses of Words, more information about this unique book can be found at:

wow cover


American C6
C6 close


Top: the modest C 6

Middle: C 6 close up

Below: 1939 ad for the new C 6


Hear the sound of the C6

C6 ad