Recently we received some vintage microphones that didn’t have XLR inputs. At first I thought they were broken because I didn’t know how you could connect a microphone cord to them. They had what looked like a soldered dot in the center of the connection point. As it turns out many vintage and antique microphones didn’t have XLR inputs until the 60’s. For those that don’t know, a XLR
The Anphenol Connectors are are screw-ons and were primarily in use from 1945 – 1960. After that, pretty much all microphones went to the XLR input as that became the standard.
The way the Anphenol connectors work is they simply screw onto the microphone.
Normally they consist of a 5/8″ Screw-on Connector to 1/4″ Female Jack. Then all that is needed is a double-ended 1/4″ plug cord. One end plugs into the Anphenol Connection and the other plugs into the receiving end of what ever you plug a microphone cord into. Now if you really want to get fancy you could do a 1/4 plug to a XLR, but I haven’t seen any of those.
Helpful Hint: Try to have one of these Anphenol connecters for each of your antique or vintage microphones and screw them down tight. If you only have one to use with multiple mics, the connection could start failing. What happens is when you tighten the connector to the mic, it compresses the solder point and eventually you will have to resolder the dot to it to get the connection back.
Switchcraft carries these Anphenol connectors, and here are a few links to purchase them from.
While searching for the Anphenol Connector I came across a cool site that builds a Anphenol connector with volume control. This is used by harmonica players using vintage microphones with a “Switchcraft” connector.
If you do a search for Switchcraft 332A or Anphenol connector microphone, you should be able to find some.