MKL-101 History


Occasionally, to the request of our clients we made, so called, combined microphones, for instance, a vintage valve amplifier from a microphone we combined with a modern capsule and PSU. This way the idea of making MKL-101 occurred.

As a basis for designing the microphone we took famous in the past NEUMANN CMV-3 (Telefunken ELA M 302), but we changed the way of fixing the microphone head, also the way of fixing the microphone to the microphone stand, and some sizes of the body so that  the NEUMANN company would not accuse us of copying their vintage microphone quite famous in the past. As before NEUMANN tried to accuse us that we copied the design of some microphone of theirs to make our MKL-100 (VM-100) that is made for us by the "OCTAVA" factory.

Then, to make an amplifier, we decided to use a traditional diagram of  a valve amplifier with a transformer output with an obligatory condition that the amplifier shall be made in retro-style and at the same time meet the modern sound requirements. Knowing about great popularity of NEUMANN amplifiers made on the "V-series valves" (U-47, U-48 - valve VF14) it was set to create something similar in appearance. We studied practically all the famous types of amplifiers made on vintage valves within 1928-1946. As a source of information we used  a manual of the famous German author Lange - that is 11 volumes - 500 pages of electric diagrams each. Finally, we have chosen the valve Telefunken EF12 (EF12k), and designed our own amplifier on the basis of this valve.

The next stage was - a transformer, that would fit the valve cascade of the microphone amplifier based on the valve EF12, on the one side, and also conventionalized in appearance as vintage, on the other. After trying lots of vintage transformers we stopped on W.S.W. (Siemens) transformers. It is rather difficult to make a replica of such a transformer now.

In the microphone head we decided to use the capsules that were made in the former USSR by a state enterprise "LOMO". It is necessary to note those were the best microphone capsules made in the former Soviet Union. Using vintage capsules, we just replace the membranes (the new membranes are made of a thinner mylar!).

The power supply unit we designed before, and we used it to pack up a set with various vintage microphones. This is a universal PSU for all valve microphones with an adjustable anode (polar) voltage - from 50V to 90V - and incandescence voltage - from 3.5V to 6.5V. It is made so that the PSU could be used with valve microphones which amplifiers are made on low incandescence voltage valves, such as , for example, amplifiers on Telefunken AC701k valve as well as with amplifiers based on standard incandescence valves up to 6.5V.

The adjustable anode (polar) voltage allows to use the PSU with microphones which capsules use various polar voltage - from 50V to 90V. Beside, the PSU is 110V/220V switchable. It can be done by changing the position of the fuse. It is necessary that it shall be done when it is disconnected from the mains!!!

Only after that the PSU cover can be removed and the fuse position changed.

In appearance the PSU is also made in retro-design though you would not find any vintage part inside it.

Thus, that is the story of MKL-101. Unfortunately, because of a limited quantity of vintage valves and transformers that we have managed to get we are planning to make a limited quantity of such microphones - about 50  - 60 units only.


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