Lomo MKE-271

The Lomo MKE-271 (sometimes also found as Lomo MKE-100 without the fixed cable, or as Oktava MKE-271) is an internally polarised electret condenser microphone made in the USSR from the 1970s until the early 1990s. Because of its long-running production, it’s rather common, and schematics for its internals can be found quite easily. It usually comes with a case, a desktop stand and a manual, and its housing is made of metal.

Lomo engineers went on to found Nevaton and continue to produce high-quality microphones. [photo by moontune13, Minsk] 

The Lomo MKE-271 has a small three-pole DIN connector which you can either adapt or cut off and replace, as it requires batteries to run anyway. The original Soviet batteries are not available anymore, but can be replaced by LR1 (LR10) batteries. In case you are interested in modding the mic to accept P48 phantom voltage, there are some schematics on GroupDIY for you to use, and there’s an accompanying discussion thread as well. Another very sensible mod will be replacing the electrolyte capacitors in the circuit, as they probably have dried out over the years.

Like many other electret mics, it is recommended for close miking guitars or other acoustic instruments, drum overheads or hi-hat. Notably, though, Russian electret condenser microphone designs weren’t intended for the mass consumer market, as were most other 70s and 80s mics from Japan – allegedly, Russian engineers didn’t have access to the cheap electronics components that flooded the market in the 1970s and used the electret condenser technology to build serious studio microphones. In many ways, the Lomo MKE-271 and its version without the fixed cable, the MKE-100 are predecessors to more recent Octava mics such as the MKE-2, and they relied heavily on vintage German made microphone technology in their designs.

Specs!

  • Frequency range: 50 – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity in a free field at 1000 Hz:  no less than 2 mV/Pa
  • Impedance 100 Ohms
  • Requires 3V of internal power (two 1.5V LR1 batteries)
  • Size: 20,4 cm x 2,6 cm

Quote from an auction text:

Vintage pro studio condenser microphone LOMO MKE-271 (made in the USSR). LOMO mics are used by best studios in the world and lots of pop-rock stars made their albums using LOMO mics (Pink Floyd, Nirvana and so on)
LOMO MKE-271 is great for acoustic instruments and vocal.

2 Comments
    • Hi Eduard! I have actually never used one, the “objet trouvé” category is for information found on the web and stored here, mainly from online auctions – so I can’t rate it, I’m sorry. It’s supposed to be a very good electret microphone, though.

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