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I must admit: I am a sucker for large old microphones and this month' Grampian MC is one of the really impressive ones. The size, of 150 mm x 95 mm x 70 mm, and weight, of 1528 grams, leave no doubt about that.

It dates from the dawn of microphone design: production started between 1933 and 1936. The shape is somewhat similar to the box condensers of that period.

The MC may be Grampian Reproducers first microphone, although their model MCR was produced around the same time. Both types were moving coil dynamics and had a unique connector' unlike any other.

The label shows this MC was produced in Kew, Surrey, around 1937 Grampian moved to Feltham, Middlesex.

Later the model MC was renamed MCS, as can be seen in the 1945 ad "Personality by PA'.

Although the microphones were omni directional, the slots at the top and sides allowed sound waves to reach the back of the plastic(?) diaphragm, which made them slightly directional at higher frequencies.

The MCR model was the most succesful one and was produced well into the fifties, perhaps even into the sixties. Their operating principle were alike: a huge magnet with a lightweight funnel attached to a voice coil, although Grampian insisted they constantly improved the design of the MCR to modern standards.

Alas both my MC and MCR no longer function, so I am unable to let you listen to their sound.

Both types demonstrate the lack of progression in UK microphone design between the pre- and post war period; understandable since the UK needed a long time after World War 2 to rebuild their industry and economy.

Grampian Reproducers was a well known UK manufacturer of audio products, like loudspeakers, amplifiers, gramophones and recording equipment. Most products were semi professional, intended for PA. Grampian even made a reference to that in their name, by spelling it as GrAmPian (see the MC label).

Grampian's spring reverb units were professional products and could be found in many UK studio's in the sixties and seventies.

These and many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words, the ónly book about vintage microphones in print.

Read more or order at :

wow cover

Grampian MC
Grampian MC back

Grampian ad ca 1940

Grampian MC shield

Top: the hefty shape of the Grampian MC

Middle: back, ad from 1945 & the MC's label

Below: the model MCR and ad from 1953

Grampian MCR

Grampian MCR ad