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The American Microphone Company was particularly innovative and produced very tasteful models.
The DR 332, from 1950, is a wonderful example.

It was the budget-friendly version of the similar looking DR 330, which had far better specifications (40 Hz - 15 kHz vs 50 Hz - 8 kHz for the DR 332) and was intended for broadcast use, both radio and tv.

Both types had two elements; dynamic and ribbon, combining these resulted in a directional recording pattern. This operating principle was based on the Western Electric 639 (mic of the month October 2015), but the Americans were much more compact, 'Full Vision' designs behind which speakers and singers remained clearly visible.

The anodized housing was black, but turned dark purple over time, the gold cloured grille hides the ribbon element, underneath and upward facing is the dynamic capsule (all similar microphones had the dynamic part facing forward).

The dynamic element in the DR 332 is the same as that of the sleek D22 (mic o.t. month July 2015), the superior DR 330's capsule came from the D33.

The professional version could also be configured, by changing linkage bars behind the type shield, to be used as a dynamic omni, or as bi-directional ribbon. Both models could be set to 50, 250 and 40.000 Ohms impedance.

American was the first company to supply their microphones with the XL-3-II 'Latch-Lock' connector, a predecessor of the XLR-3 connector.

The DR 332 and its counterpart, the bi-directional R 331, which only contained a ribbon element, were intended for PA use, they were made until about 1960.

My copy was overhauled in 2017 by Stewart Tavener, of Xaudia, and has been delivering great audio, recording electric guitars and vocals, ever since. The dynamic element no longer works, so it has actually become an R 331. That's fine, because the ribbon part is much better sounding than the dynamic capsule.

In terms of frequency range, the microphone is comparable to the RCA 74B Jr, which is often twice as expensive on the second hand market; in several respects therefore the DR 332 is a very attractive vintage model.

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

wow cover


American DR332
American 33mics ad

Top: the elegant DR332 & 50's ad

Bottom: sound, Elvis with DR332 & DR 332 spec sheet & R 331 ad ca 1960

The sound of the DR332

DR332 Electric Guitar recording

Elvis & American DR332
American DR332 ad
R 331 specs