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Some vintage microphones are rare.
Here is a unique model I was not even aware of: the bidirectional Beyer M 30 ribbon mic.

The German Beyer company, after a lawsuit filed by chemical giant Bayer renamed Beyerdynamic, is probably the oldest company that makes ribbon microphones. The history of their ribbons, since the Sixties, is well known: they have become an indispensable tool in recording studios with their high quality and modest size. They are also often used by artists on stage (see the Beyer dynamic M260, mic of the month of March 2018).

It turns out that around 1950 Beyer had already released two bidirectional models: the M 30 studio microphone and the semi-professional M 31, both inspired in shape by the famous RCA 77 D.
There are still a few copies preserved of the M 31, but I have not managed to find another M 30. Even at Beyerdynamic they had nothing except a few lines in an old catalog. So they were very happy when I sent a few photos of this M 30.

Although the M 30 had a sky-high price of 700 D Mark (a Neumann U 47 at the time cost 'only' 440 DM, the M 31 was 280 DM), it is less sophisticated than its American counterpart: it lacks an acoustic labyrinth which makes it sound a bit hollow. My M 30 sounds significantly less good than an RCA 77 D, but the condition of the ribbon is detoriorated, so it must have sounded better originally.

The aluminum ribbon is piston shaped, just like those in the later Beyer models. According to the original specifications it had a wide frequency range: 40 - 15,000 Hz, the weight also impresses: 1.5 kg. This one has serial number 24, how many in total have ever been made remains a mystery, but probably not a lot.

Many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words, the only book about vintage microphones. More information about that can be found at

wow cover


Beyer M 30
M30 back side
M 30 side

Top: Front view of the M 30

Middle: Back and Side view

Below: the M 30 opened showing the back of the ribbon

Listen to the sound of this rare microphone

M 30 ribbon
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