The Turner Model 77 (1950)
hybrid ribbon velocity/dynamic cardioid microphone
The Turner 77 is one of the most unusual microphones ever designed. Its striking yet elegant art-deco styling belied the fact that it was in fact made in the 1950s. Perhaps it was designed for use at funeral services, a throwback to the days when Turner manufactured embalming equipment before it began making sound systems for funeral parlors as a sideline in the 1920s… and a few years later, microphones. Inside, the Turner 77’s sophisticated two-transducer array used phase cancellation to produce a cardioid response pattern, very much like the Western Electric/Altec 639A/B… with a bi-directional ribbon element mounted above a uni-directional dynamic element.
The Turner Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa had once been the world’s leading manufacturer of pressure embalming machines. In 1925, David Turner’s father was Cedar Rapids’ leading mortician. His funeral parlor was often filled to overflow capacity with mourners, and it struck David that technology held the answer. He urged his father to install an electronic public address system to carry the minister’s words to the farthest corners of the Turner Chapel. Six years later, after demonstrating the system at a mortician’s convention, the Turners began producing PA systems in a spare closet of their mortuary, and less than a decade later was one of America’s leading microphone manufacturers. Over the next thirty years, Turner produced some of the most stylish and innovative designs in the storied history of the American microphone.
All photographs seen upon this page are provided by Trevor Cousineau.
An ad from the fifties. Price is shown for historical purposes.
Microphones seen upon this web site are not for sale.