Panasonic WM-61A Mic Capsule to be discontinued

benb

Member
2010-04-24 1:52 am
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
PANASONIC ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS Description: MIC COND ANALOG OMNI -35DB
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.
 

teleman

Member
2008-07-08 3:24 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.

....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!
 

wintermute

Administrator
Paid Member
2003-08-03 11:43 am
Sydney
I still kick myself that I didn't buy 100 WM-60AY's (instead of just 10). Their noise rating is not quite as good as a WM-61A but they have a much flatter freq response I've never bothered with calibration.

Ah well such is life. I'm sure there will be another worthy replacement that will crop up.

Tony.
 

teleman

Member
2008-07-08 3:24 pm
I still kick myself that I didn't buy 100 WM-60AY's (instead of just 10). Ah well such is life. I'm sure there will be another worthy replacement that will crop up.

No worries....there are many retailers in europe who still have these in stock! Just do a google search & you'll see. Btw, A japanse source informs me that according to one j.retailer, panasonic will be supplying these to the local market for a while. So I've ordered 100 pieces through him! Just don't buy on the e-bay from those far eastern sellers...these are anything but WM61As!
 

benb

Member
2010-04-24 1:52 am

teleman

Member
2008-07-08 3:24 pm
Ooops....didn't notice the prvious post! Anyway I too came across this company called JLI Electronics Inc. that is selling a 6mm electret capsule at $2.16a piece wait for it....with the part No; JLI-61A! The specs too are uncanningly similar to that of Panasonic WM61A!

I may buy a few & try them out. If any of you guys have tried these, then it would be great to hear how good these really are!

Here are the specs of this capsule;

Type: Electret
Pattern: Omni
Dimensions (mm): 6.0 x 3.5
Sensitivity (dB): -34 +/-4dB
Sensitivity Reduction (dB): -3dB @ 1.5V
Frequency Response (Hz): 20-20K
S/N ratio (dB): >62
Impedance (ohms): 2.2K
Current (milliamps): 0.5mA
Standard Voltage (Volts): 2
Maximum Voltage (Volts): 10
Capacitors: None
Termination: Solder Pads

JLI
 
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Is this a good thread to engage in some discussion about interpreting my results obtained with 3-4 attempts to modify, then outboard, an ECM capsule in a digital camera to improve the video's audio?

I'm on version 2.2 or maybe 2.3 now (lost track). There is either further improvement to be made, or I'm wasting my time...

I was almost pleased with it yesterday, considering I made a recording outdoors of some street musicians on a very windy day by a busy intersection...challenging conditions, but that's the purpose of the project...some indoors, some outdoors. Both environments offer challenges...indoors typically having drums and amplified bass that overload the camera.

We actually have two cameras that are in the same seris and I hope similar, but comparing the modified and unmodified recording adds another level of frustration.

I found a service manual for a 3rd model online and base my assumptions on the camera circuitry on this...better than nothing.

Maybe I'll wait before dumping more details here. I hope it's interesting to someone. I tried two mods on the original ECM capsule, then let it hang out of the camera for fear the camera wouldn't survive a third surgery, then replaced the ECM, then made a couple bias changes, then a best guess circuit analysis to up the size of the coupling/dc-blocking capacitor. That's where I'm at today, comparing the unmodified camera one model down the family tree and the modified bigger brother model. I'd be happy to share the findings, pitfalls, mistakes made, etc. because it has been interesting , to me, at least. This camera is probably not going to be able to travel in an airport anymore, however... ;O(
 
Probably not the best thread for a discussion of camera mics and mods. A limiting factor with camera mods may be the quality of the ADC. It's unfortunately very common for digital recorders to fail to provide a clean power supply for the ADC analog stuff, so that recordings are marred by low-level whines and glitches picked up from the power supply. (Zoom H4N review here: Zoom H4n Review)