Turner 33d Microphone

I bought this microphone on an Ebay whim. $35 dollars for something that looked this cool seemed a bargain whether it worked or not. Little did I know how useful it would be and how much its purchase would turn me on to other vintage Turner gear.

The Turner company doesn’t exist anymore, but in its heyday it crafted some of the most visually stunning art deco microphones ever made. Turners were mid-priced workhorses, not high end mics. This particular mic came in two flavors: the 33d and the 33x. Ours is a 33d, the dynamic version, and the 33x was a crystal mic (we mistakenly though ours was a crystal mic for some time). Here’s a description of the mic culled from Radio Master: Official Manual and Buying Guide for Electronic and Radio Equipment, eleventh edition, 1945, pg. 40.

33d Dynamic – Same appearance as 33x with balance line cable on low impedance units to eliminate noise pickup. 200, 500, or hi-impedance complete with 20 ft. cable set and diagrams
List Price: $25.00
50 ohm model List Price: $23.50


The sound of this mic is all retro and low-fi, but not so much as to be unmusical or distracting. We found it sounded great on vocals and was surprisingly effective as a room mic for the drums. On our song Sandy Strange you can hear the vocals switching between the 33d and a modern Rode K2 microphone and the contrast is quite pronounced. Architects of Fear, another song on our album, was done entirely with the 33d.


Sadly the Radio master book doesn’t provide any technical specifications and we’ve not been able to dig them up anywhere else. We have no idea what the specs of this mic are.

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