NAMM 2021: Melodium 42Bn ribbon microphone, a 1940s classic brought to life
There’s vintage and then there’s museum-tier stuff. A French manufacturer offers an improved replica of the Melodium 42B ribbon microphone – originally built in Paris during the 1940s.
Melodium 42Bn ribbon microphone
The original 42B ribbon mic was manufactured between the late 1940s to late 1960s by Melodium. The people behind Kerwax Studio in Brittany, France really loved using it. So they bought the rights to the abandoned brand and spent several years working on a new and improved model to replace it. The result is the Melodium 42Bn.
The original model is notably large, its construction featuring 4 AlNiCo 600 magnets and a bespoke step-up transformer that changed impedance and acted as a passive filter. The new Melodium 42Bn honors the original design while introducing improvements to the motor, the mechanical construction, a custom-wound transformer with higher output impedance, and a traditional XLR plug for use in modern studios. The team left out the passive filter system, however, as they felt it no longer belonged there.
The Melodium 42Bn is boutique in and out. The microphone is hand-assembled with most components being locally sourced. It also ships in a hand-made wooden box. The spec sheet is as follows:
- Principle: ribbon velocity
- Polar pattern: figure of 8
- Ribbon: pure aluminum 2.5 µm
- Magnets: AlNiCo 600
- Magnetic field strength: 4400 Gauss
- Sensitivity: -50dBV @1kHz re 1Pa, open circuit
- Output impedance: 300 Ohms
- Connector: XLR-3M
- Dimensions: 320 x 140 x 50 mm (12 x 5.5 x 2 inches)
- Weight: 2.7kg (4.4 lbs)
Price and availability
The Melodium 42Bn costs EUR 2520, VAT excluded. The package includes the microphone, an aluminium stand adaptor, a brass microphone mount, and a galvanized steel screw.
- Melodium 42Bn ribbon microphone: Melodium
- Melodium 42Bn matched pair: Melodium
- Melodium 42Bn ribbon microphone package: Melodium