Universal Type "G" Condenser Microphone
|Shown here is
an early 1930's Universal Model "G" condenser microphone
mounted in a custom housing. It is part of a complete portable
public address system made for use in mortuaries.
The condenser microphone provided very high quality sound, but it required a high gain amplifier mounted within inches of the microphone element itself. Thus, all condenser microphones of the day (such as the RCA unit) tended to be mounted in bulky cases such as this (about 6 inches high, 6 inches deep, and 5 inches wide). Inside is a two-tube amplifier using type 75 and 76 tubes. Power was supplied through a multi-conductor cable. The housing is wood, covered with suitably somber black leatherette.
While it looks fine on the outside, the quality of the construction of this microphone housing, the amplifier inside, and the power amplifier that it went with is among the worst I have ever seen in a commercially made product. Somehow, the fact that this system was used for funerals is appropriate, as its shoddy construction and dangerous design could easily kill the careless user.