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Title: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 30, 2011, 12:13:10 am
Hi, I have a church that I work with every now and then that has a problem that i have not come across before (even with old beat up 58's).
The church owns several AKG D3800 (tri power series) mics that are approx 10-12 years old and get regular use during a number of services throughout the week.
Over the years the metal around XLR connection on each mic has worn and now will no longer lock, allowing the cable to fall out (even with new cables and connectors) or the connection to become intermittant.
I have suggested that the time may have come to retire these workhorses but they are in general, still in good order and $$$ are always an issue.
I have suggested using black tape and taping between the base of the mic and over part of the cable connector but they are not to keen on that.

Any suggestions would be greatly recieved

Cheers
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Chris Carpenter on March 30, 2011, 01:43:14 am
Hi, I have a church that I work with every now and then that has a problem that i have not come across before (even with old beat up 58's).
The church owns several AKG D3800 (tri power series) mics that are approx 10-12 years old and get regular use during a number of services throughout the week.
Over the years the metal around XLR connection on each mic has worn and now will no longer lock, allowing the cable to fall out (even with new cables and connectors) or the connection to become intermittant.
I have suggested that the time may have come to retire these workhorses but they are in general, still in good order and $$$ are always an issue.
I have suggested using black tape and taping between the base of the mic and over part of the cable connector but they are not to keen on that.

Any suggestions would be greatly recieved

Cheers

Not a long term solution obviously, but I always gaff tape the base of the mix to the xlr connector. Even with brand new equipment, enthusiastic performers have accidentally unclipped mics from their cable during my productions. Also, if you use matte gaff tape, its hard to tell its even there from the audience's perspective. Like I said, not a long term solution, but this definitely works until you have the budget to have the mic repaired/replaced. Just plug in the xlr, then wrap one layer of gaff spirally around the base of the mic/top of the connector.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 30, 2011, 01:52:40 am
Thanks for the suggestion but they are not to keen on the idea of tape, even if it is next to invisible.
cheers
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Gareth Marsh on March 30, 2011, 02:09:43 am
Hi, I have a church that I work with every now and then that has a problem that i have not come across before (even with old beat up 58's).
The church owns several AKG D3800 (tri power series) mics that are approx 10-12 years old and get regular use during a number of services throughout the week.
Over the years the metal around XLR connection on each mic has worn and now will no longer lock, allowing the cable to fall out (even with new cables and connectors) or the connection to become intermittant.
I have suggested that the time may have come to retire these workhorses but they are in general, still in good order and $$$ are always an issue.
I have suggested using black tape and taping between the base of the mic and over part of the cable connector but they are not to keen on that.

Any suggestions would be greatly recieved

Cheers


Does the lock actually click up when you insert it or does it never click up?

I've seen a lot of mics that with certain types of connectors the locking part wouldn't actually go in far enough to hit the slot on the mic and hence doesn't lock.

Maybe this is the same issue?

If not then maybe you could wrap the end of the connector with a thin layer of tape to keep it in with a bit of extra friction? You wouldn't see that from the outside of the connection.


Gareth
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 30, 2011, 02:18:03 am

Does the lock actually click up when you insert it or does it never click up?

I've seen a lot of mics that with certain types of connectors the locking part wouldn't actually go in far enough to hit the slot on the mic and hence doesn't lock.

Maybe this is the same issue?

If not then maybe you could wrap the end of the connector with a thin layer of tape to keep it in with a bit of extra friction? You wouldn't see that from the outside of the connection.


Gareth

No nothing wrong with the mic cable connector latch, there is just nothing much for them to latch onto anymore.

I had wondered just before actually about taping the cable connector, good idea thanks.
Also wondered about gluing in a thin metal shim to try and replace some of the missing metal from the mic.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: luis Markson on March 30, 2011, 03:17:14 am
What is their problem with tape? If the worn part of the mic is not replaceable, then that is their only option.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 30, 2011, 03:38:44 am
What is their problem with tape? If the worn part of the mic is not replaceable, then that is their only option.

I'm with you on that one. I think they feel that it will look a bit tacky.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 30, 2011, 03:53:50 am
I'm with you on that one. I think they feel that it will look a bit tacky.

It can look tacky (or nicely done but obviously an economic move), or it can make for embarrassing silence... or they can pray for $800 and buy some new mics.

That said, some tapes don't look as ugly as others.  In the Expo biz they use a tape called "heavy clear" that kind of reminds me of Marley floor tape.  It's a bit like electrical tape, but clear rather than black.  With some neat and careful trimming it might not call attention to itself whilst maintaining the connection.  It would need replacing every time the mic was plugged back in.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 30, 2011, 04:13:56 am
It can look tacky (or nicely done but obviously an economic move), or it can make for embarrassing silence... or they can pray for $800 and buy some new mics.

That said, some tapes don't look as ugly as others.  In the Expo biz they use a tape called "heavy clear" that kind of reminds me of Marley floor tape.  It's a bit like electrical tape, but clear rather than black.  With some neat and careful trimming it might not call attention to itself whilst maintaining the connection.  It would need replacing every time the mic was plugged back in.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc

Sounds interesting, i'll look into it.
Part of their problem is that they don't really have a dedicated sound team so a different person would be doing the taping each time (therefore different results each time).
I would like to get them onto some new AKG D5 or D7 mics but they have already splashed out in the last year and replaced almost their entire system in both the main church and hall (hence a good reason to replace the mics' as well) so the funds are a bit depleted at this point in time.

(edit for spelling)
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jim Le Gros on March 30, 2011, 06:46:27 am
In the UK This would be known as a thoroughly dodgy bodge!

In the lack of any any funds or interest in a visual compromise, Try using an adhesive to glue the outer shell of a good female XLR connector into the base of the microphone, the adhesive should be minimally applied and carefully kept away from the pins, There were some specific 2 part adhesives around that had an electrically conductive quality to them (Found in specialist electronic suppliers: Try Farnell etc), this should assist the screen in making a reasonable contact. The result will be Mic with a permanently attached XLR cable of a length chosen by yourself!

Also, a bit of Heat-shrink sleeving, slid over the lower section of the mic body and permanently covering the first 2/3rds of the XLR Connector (if the Neutrik type), will also help to hold the connector in place. It should look quite aesthetically acceptable as it is commonly available in Black or Translucent. And bonus there are some Heat shrink sleeving around that have an adhesive layer on the inner of the sleeve, further strengthening the bond of the sleeving. Cut a bit of sleeve away where it presses down over the connector button.

If it doesn't work, then they will have to bite the bullet and buy a decent replacement!  :)

Jim.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Geoff Doane on March 30, 2011, 08:55:32 am
For a last ditch solution to the problem, try several different brands or series of XLR connectors.  There are subtle differences between Switchcraft, Neutrik X, and Neutrik XX series, for instance.  You might find one that still latches adequately.  Neutrik also makes a female connector that has a locking ring to prevent it from being unlatched (NC3FX-SPEC), although that counts on the latch still working.

Sennheiser 421s always seemed fussy about this, and my E-V RE-20s never seem to latch fully with X-series connectors (although they're never hand held, so it's not much of a problem).

GTD
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Chuck Simon on March 30, 2011, 08:57:59 am
I would suggest you poke a screwdriver through the diaphragm of the mic and claim that they mysteriously quit working.  Time for new mics! ;)
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Chris Carpenter on March 30, 2011, 12:58:14 pm
Hi, I have a church that I work with every now and then that has a problem that i have not come across before (even with old beat up 58's).
The church owns several AKG D3800 (tri power series) mics that are approx 10-12 years old and get regular use during a number of services throughout the week.
Over the years the metal around XLR connection on each mic has worn and now will no longer lock, allowing the cable to fall out (even with new cables and connectors) or the connection to become intermittant.
I have suggested that the time may have come to retire these workhorses but they are in general, still in good order and $$$ are always an issue.
I have suggested using black tape and taping between the base of the mic and over part of the cable connector but they are not to keen on that.

Any suggestions would be greatly recieved

Cheers
Also, do the mics have a locking screw hole like shures? If so, just use that every time. It would be annoying, but that could hold the cable in place and not look out of place.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Jonathan Goodall on March 31, 2011, 02:30:57 am
Thanks for all the great suggestions.  New mic's are the best route but I'll give some of these ideas a whirl in the meantime.

Cheers all.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: Chris Gruber on March 31, 2011, 07:50:04 pm
Thanks for all the great suggestions.  New mic's are the best route but I'll give some of these ideas a whirl in the meantime.

Cheers all.

SM58's 1 at a time.
Title: Re: Worn connections on mics, any suggestions?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on March 31, 2011, 08:40:10 pm
Are they willing to pay to have them fixed?  If so, take the mics to a jeweler and have them braze on a bit of metal to replace the worn off bit.  A little touch up with a file and they should be fine.

If they're not willing to pay then they deserve broken mics.