KY6R Mic and Key “Shootout”

The three microphones L-R are the Astatic D-104, probably the #1 mic that hams used with the KWS-1, the Shure 51B “Sonodyne” – used mostly by recording artists like Nat King Cole, Turner 99 – the oddball of the three, I don’t know what it was used for in its day.

The three keys L-R 1960 Vibroplex, 1943 Vibroplex and Begali Intrepid bug.

I am going to guess that the Sonodyne and 1943 Vibroplex will win the contest. The contest will be which mic sounds best on air with the KWS-1 and which bug feels the best keying the rig. In a little while I will pick up the Hallicrafters TA-1 “TO Keyer”, and so maybe an Iambic paddle will win over the bugs. Since keyers weren’t yet available commercially in 1955, the Gold Dust Twins operators who did use CW probably used a Vibroplex Bug.

Whatever I don’t end up using I will sell – all are very marketable – especially since I cleaned them up and restored what could be restored. I’m not a pack rat and like to have one good “representative” set of gear for its time period.


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