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This month 'Mic of the Month' is not highlighted because of its tonal qualities, but purely for its great appearance: the Turner 34 X is one of the most striking forms in which a microphone is ever styled. This is pure Fifties Design, the model would not look out of place aboard a spaceship, if the former aerospace optimism had ever come true and tourists could make a trip through the Solar System.

The 34 X is a semi-directional microphone, released in 1947, which was intended for PA use where feedback was a factor of consideration, for paging and for home use together with a tape recorder.
The head can be tilted 90°, for omni-directional use, with people around it. Although the moisture-sensitive crystal element was sealed to prevent it against moisture, which made it fairly reliable, the quality was inferior to that of dynamic elements. While Turner offered almost all of their microphones in crystal and dynamic versions, this model was only available as X, the Turner coding for crystal mics. Most of the 34s that surface these days have an element that does not function any longer, like most crystals.

Still the model appears to many and several microphone makers customize these and equip them with a modern dynamic element. The American Heil company has made a remake:'the Fin' with a good quality dynamic element and four blue LEDs that can light up when in use.

The Turner company, which unfortunately no longer exists, was a stranger in our midst; where other companies emerged from radio-enthousiasts, the origin of Turner lay somewhere else, namely at the funeral parlor of Turner Senior. When in 1925 son David noticed that the funeral services in his father's mortuary were for many visitors unintelligible, he hired an electrical-engineer to design a PA system for them. That worked perfectly and David demonstrated the system in 1930 during a national convention of undertakers before an enthusiastic crowd. Many also wanted such a system and production started. When the available microphones proved to provide difficulty, Turner started to produce these as well in 1931. For many years Turner was an important producer of microphones, mainly for the US market, until it was taken over and became part of the Telex group in 1979. Telex was absorbed into the Bosch group in 2006, which also includes Electro-Voice and Dynacord.



Turner 34X