My DIY Ribbon Microphone Plans are a fully-illustrated, step-by-step method for building a professional ribbon microphone. With purchase, access my video tutorials online to watch the process in real-time. The plans include a materials list with links to online stores so you can purchase the parts directly.
NOTE: There are no shipping charges for plans and videos, but a high-speed internet connection is strongly recommended.
Click Here to view and order my DIY Ribbon Microphone Plans.
My DIY Microphone Kits come complete with all the parts necessary to build an Austin Ribbon Microphone, my True Blumlein™ Stereo Microphone, or my Austin Mic Pre (AMP). Kits include fully-illustrated plans, and my Microphone kits include video tutorials, enabling them to be assembled in just a few hours with common workbench tools. Click Here to learn more.
NOTE: International Kits are shipped US Priority Mail, insured. Buyers are responsible for paying any import taxes added by your country. Please read the International Shipping Policy and contact us for details before ordering.
“Crystal clear, very interesting and accurate too.”
“The finished mic sounds as good as my RCA 44.”
“I gotta say, Wow! Those measured better than a few pro mics I’ve seen!”
“WOW Fantastic GREAT PLANS. Will also help on restore of old ribbon mics.”
Well, “best” is always an opinion, but I will try to explain: Every transformer I offer is a world-class, audiophile component – not the $6 Chinese knockoffs found in low-end imports. They all sound great, and each one has its own characteristics:
- Model 1 OTA-2: My dual-bobbin, high-nickel OTA-2 transformer is designed and made in the USA especially for Austin Ribbon Microphones. The BEST for midrange electric guitar cabinets. Great for vocals and horns. Strong high-end, really great response throughout the entire range. The only reason it’s less expensive is because I have them made in large quantities. Far and away the top seller.
- Model 2 Cinemag: The best high end of the bunch, and nearly equal low-end to the Lundahl. Sibilant, yet not brittle like a condenser. awesome for full-range instruments like piano and drums. It’s the only transformer that is shielded in a Mu-Metal can to help reduce magnetic hum from nearby equipment. It has the longest wires, and therefore, it’s the easiest to install. The Cinemag is my personal favorite of the 3 transformers I offer.
- Model 3 Lundahl: Lundahl transformers are imported from Sweden and have very short, fragile wires, making them the most challenging to install. However, they have the best low-end response, due to the physical properties of the core. Theoretically, it delivers sub-sonic response that is +2dB better than the Cinemag below about 30Hz. Great for double-bass and baritone vocals, whith a smooth and responsive top-end. (Thurl Ravenscroft would have loved this model.)
Yes. In the mid-2010’s, I thought of the concept, made a few models for myself, and used them in my garage shop to make and repair audio cables and solder wires. My grade-school daughter started using them to hold weird-shaped rocks while making jewelry for her friends, and everyone who saw it told me to sell them. I debuted them a couple years later at my booth at the NAMM Show in 2018, and that’s how it started. Now, RadioShack.com is the exclusive distributor of the “Original Hot Holder” for Audio, and I have a “PRO” model and one for DIY Guitar Pedals. They are all still made here in San Diego by local job shops, with supplies from local vendors.
A normal microphone preamp should suffice for most applications. For recording quiet things, you’ll need more gain, so a dedicated low-noise, high-impedance Ribbon Mic Preamp is be best.
Check out my Austin Mic Pre (AMP) Kit. An ultra-low-noise, high gain microphone preamplifier kit designed exclusively for Ribbon Microphones.
YES!! I will hand-assemble and ship you a completed microphone in a wooden cigar box case for an extra $200USD.
(Note: Add $300 for an assembled True Blumlein™ stereo ribbon microphone.)
Please Contact Me for more information.
Yes. I have DIY Ribbon Mic Kits HERE. They start at $235 with FREE shipping to any USA address. (CA residents add 8% Sales Tax)
Yes! – I repair vintage and modern ribbon microphones. Starting at $100, but final pricing depends on an assessment of the issues, the model of the microphone, and what needs to be done (or un-done!). Please use the contact form to get a hold of me. Also, if you download my tutorial and are not afraid of a challenge, you can probably figure out how to repair it yourself!
Probably not, but feel free to ask anyway. Usually they’re already out, being lent to my friends or being used in my studio. I only have a few.
Naturally, I recommend my Austin Mic Pre (AMP) Kit. An ultra-low-noise, high gain microphone preamplifier kit designed exclusively for Ribbon Microphones. However, any low-noise, high-gain, high-impedance preamplifier designed for ribbon mics – like the Grace M101, AEA TRP, or True P-Solo Ribbon – will help your Austin mic sound its best.
NONE! AUSTIN Ribbon Mics are completely passive. Phantom Power may fry the element of these and most ribbon microphones. To be safe, do not use Phantom Power!
Sometimes. Any time you can feel a breeze from whatever you’re recording (voice, bass, clapping, kick drum) then YES. If it’s loud like a guitar amp, that’s fine, but a blast of wind from a “Popped P” vocal can damage the delicate ribbon.
YES. Custom powder coat colors and textures are available starting at $45, and you can get as many custom-colored mics as you like for that $45. (2-stage colors are $90) I use professional powder from NIC Industries. It takes about 3 weeks for a custom color, and my local machine shop will powder coat your mic with any NIC color you pick. Occasionally I will have raw Brass bodies (un-coated) available at no extra charge. Please contact me for more information.