We mentioned, in a previous article, the Turner Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Turner was a small manufacturer that existed from 1931 to 1979. In the world of microphone makers Turner was a small outfit but they sold a lot of mics in their day. Turner also supplied mics for other equipment manufacturers like Collins Radio Company also of Cedar Rapids.
One of Turner’s most popular microphones from about 1940 through the 1950s was the model 22. The model 22 was a bullet shaped unit with a distinctive “fin” on the top. This mic was a relatively inexpensive but solid quality model designed for PA systems and recording. The model 22 had a swivel mounting and came in brushed chrome with a stainless steel wind screen. Many people who used CB radios, back in the day when CB was all the craze are familiar with Turner’s CB base station 250 series mics that also featured the snazzy “Buck Rogers” spaceship like fin.
The model 22 was omnidirectional and came in two versions, the 22X which had a crystal element for use in high impedance systems and the 22D which was a dynamic unit. The dynamic model was priced higher than the crystal unit and was available in both high and low impedance versions. The low impedance versions came with a three pin Amphenol connector to allow for a balanced line connection.
Modesto’s very first radio station, KTRB, was a user of this very Turner model 22. An early photo taken in the KTRB studio shows a model 22 attached to the control room boom. In many other photos on this website you will see the Turner 22 in use. In later years KTRB used this mic mainly for remote broadcasts like man-on-the-street type interviews and for sports and parades and other outside of the studio programs during the Bill Bates ownership era.
Long time KTRB announcer Andy Anderson explained to me back in the late ’50s, when I used to visit the station, that the reason the station used crystal mics on remotes was that crystal mics had a “rising characteristic.” This meant that the higher audio frequencies were emphasized which overcame the losses in high frequencies on the long telephone line lengths when broadcasts originated far from the station’s studios. KTRB even used a model 22 in the station’s ham radio shack upstairs. This setup was used to gather weather information for Bill Bates’ morning show.
The Turner Company had a fascinating history : Click here for The Turner Microphone Story