Reslo/Vox "RB Series" Ribbon Microphones - 1961-1966

British rock bands in the early 1960s often did not own their own PA system. This was true for most of the bands in the Mersey scene, including the Beatles. Rather, many of the local venues provided a sound system for the bands. This was the case with the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool who rented their sound system from a local sound contractor, Alpha Sound. The Beatles used this sound system when performing at the Cavern.

Alpha Sound provided three Reslo vocal mics to the Cavern Club. Rather than using a traditional dynamic cartridge, these Reslo mics utilized a thin strip of corrugated aluminum, or "ribbon," to pick up the sound. This ribbon was quite fragile and subject to tearing if subjected to stress.

These Reslo ribbon microphones were offered in high, low and mid impedances. They were designed with a two-sided wind screen and a bi-directional response characteristic that allowed two vocalists to sing simultaneously on either side of the mic. This was particularly suited to the Beatles who frequently shared mics on stage.

JMI negotiated a deal with Reslo to offer their ribbon microphones as a privately labeled Vox product. In addition to the Reslo "RB" (RBH, RBL. RBT and RBTS) models shown on this page, Vox also offered the Reslo CRH, PR and RL1 ribbon and PD dynamic microphones. Vox/Reslo microphones first appeared in the "Aids to Music in the 1961" Vox catalog. They also appeared in the 1962 Vox product catalog, the 1964 JMI Vox Price List, the 1965 "Pop People with the Pop Sounds" catalog and the 1966 JMI Vox Full-Line Product Catalog, among others.

The Youtube video embedded below details the history of these microphones at the Cavern Club. The video also offers some interesting insights to the Beatles' early use of the Reslo ribbon microphone.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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