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The STC 4037A/Coles 4037A is a slim and lightweight omnidirectional dynamic microphone from the mid-1950s. It was intended for unobtrusive TV use, hence the black shrivel non-reflective enamel, but also for radio interviews outside the studio and for vocals and backing vocals with big bands and pop groups. It was given the nick name 'the Stick'. The element was derived from the famous STC 4021 'Apple & Biscuit'. Four holes at the bottom of the shaft communicate with a low frequency equalising tube and should not be covered.

There was also a slightly shorter 4037 B (136mm versus 213mm of the 4037 A), which had a slightly more limited bass response, that didn't affect its usability for voice recordings. The diameter was just one inch. There were wind shields for outdoor use, although I've never seen them anywhere myself, one is shown on the right.

The microphone can handle high sound pressure levels and is also excellent for recording snare drums and guitar amps. The frequency response is 'sensibly flat', between 30 and 12,000 Hz, with a retro sound. Amongst others they were used in the studio for recording by the Beatles, Phil Collins and the White Stripes. 4037's were also part of the microphone collection used for PA sound, in the Royal Albert Hall.

It is the only dynamic type that survived the transition of production from STC to Coles in 1972. It was made into the late 1970s and has been used by the BBC throughout that time. Later Coles only produced ribbon microphones, that is still their specialism.

With this microphone, the era in which dynamic omni microphones were used for professional purposes, would come to an end. Their single remaining use would be for interviews. Subsequently, directional microphones became the norm, partly due to the increasing use of monitor loudspeakers on stage, for performing artists.

These and many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words. More information about that can be found at

wow cover


Josephine Baker

Top: the sleek Coles 4037

Middle: Josephine Baker, performing in Paris, with a STC 4037, ca. 1973

Below: sound, info sheet, and wind shield

Listen to the sound of the Coles 4037A

STC info sheet p1 windshield