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benb 19th February 2013 03:27 AM

Panasonic WM-61A Mic Capsule to be discontinued
I've seen innumerable references to this capsule for use in measurement mics and general DIY audio use over the years (see my post earlier today in "Sound Quality Vs Measurements" of a recording made with it), and I recall it being a replacement for an earlier Panasonic model that was discontinued and was also popular, and the one that got the original "Linkwitz Mod." Here's the Linkwitz page, the older one was WM-60AY:
System Test

I just got this from Digikey, and looking on their site ALL the Panasonic mic elements are being marked as "Limited quantity available, not recommended for new design" as is the WM61A, or "Obsolete Item."

Obsolete Parts Notification

You have purchased the following part number(s) from Digi-Key within the last two years. [I forget the exact date, I only got two, and STILL Haven't done anything with them] The manufacturer has announced this part(s) will become obsolete. Please click on the link below for more information on possible substitutes.

Manufacturer Details
Manufacturer Part Number: WM-61A
Digi-Key Part Number: P9925-ND

For substitutes, please click here
Obsolete Part

The replacement part is by PUI Audio and in the same price range:
POM-3535L-3-R PUI Audio, Inc. | 668-1391-ND | DigiKey

I've ordered two of the replacement type to try them out.

Oh, and I've ordered 100 WM-61A's. That's more than enough for me to play with, and maybe they'll end up going for big bucks on ebay and can go toward my retirement. Digi-Key Stock shows 12,514. It could be interesting to see how fast that goes down.

davidsrsb 19th February 2013 04:43 AM

This was a common part in fixed line telephones. They must have made 10s or even 100s of millions over the years

fualcr 19th February 2013 05:34 PM

great for you to post this. This is too bad. Please let us know how the substitute part compares with the original WM-61A... i will be watching this thread!

fualcr 20th February 2013 04:07 PM

OUT OF STOCK @ Digikey. I watched the stock go down throughout the day. 12k, 6k, 3k, 0! It's the end of an era! No more Linkwitz mod, no more WM-61A.

benb 20th February 2013 09:58 PM

Wow ... there's still sellers on ebay, 2 for $7 to $10, 20 for $50, 40 for $90. Buy'em now if you wan'tem. No doubt these will get bought up and the next ones be listed at substantially higher prices.

davidsrsb 21st February 2013 03:28 AM

When I designed telephones these cost tens of cents each in bulk

Andrew Eckhardt 21st February 2013 03:44 AM

You'd think that it would be discontinued because of something cheaper that's higher performance. Oh well?

benb 21st February 2013 08:52 PM

I've heard about MEMS microphones in the last year or so, I think they're taking over voice-band (cell phone) applications, which has certainly been by far the biggest market for electret condenser mics.

davidsrsb 21st February 2013 11:03 PM

They are discontinued because full size fixed line telephones are obsolete. As benb say we now have MEMS microphones, and I remember Nat Semi coming out with a noise cancelling chip. In cell phones the last thing you need is an omnidriectional microphone, your mouth is too far away from the phone

teleman 22nd February 2013 09:51 AM

Wow ... there's still sellers on ebay, 2 for $7 to $10, 20 for $50, 40 for $90. Buy'em now if you wan'tem. No doubt these will get bought up and the next ones be listed at substantially higher prices.

....Just avoid buying those from the "far east" sellers as most seem to be "fakes"! I bought these from different sellers over the last 3-4 years & found the sound quality & freq response far from that of WM61a! The FET's too are biased at higher positive voltages & don't sound at all like the originals!

I am trying to compile a list other similar small electrets.The biggest challenge would be the noise fig; as I yet to come across any cheap capsules with more than 62dB as that of the WM61a!

Sadly, many of us are definitely going miss these, but I hope something similar if not better will turn up!

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