RCF is a well-known Italian manufacturer of quality audio gear, mainly PA equipment. Allsound was RCFs international audio gear brand, and they sold bass and guitar amps and microphones under this name. Winston is a brand of Klemt Echolette which was bought by Dynacord which famously licensed many well-known AKG mics and painted them gold, which, of course, has earned them a place in the highest echelon for all serious vintage microphone enthusiasts.
Why am I telling you this? Because the RCF 1612 has also been marketed as Winston DM 100 and, if you can believe the rumors on the world wide web, under the Allsound brand. This is new to me, because up to now I only knew of Sennheiser and AKG mics getting OEM’d by Dynacord and Echolette – ok, I’ll better stop here. But all nerddom aside, the RCF 1612 / Winston DM 100 is a different beast and a really good microphone. It’s from the 60s, it’s pure space age goodness and looks awesome in any respect, and it’s not even painted gold – it’s pure, luxurious chrome-sparkling (if polished, I guess) metal and weighs a little over 400 grams, really hefty.
The Winston DM 100 has an on/off switch which suggests that it was designed for stage applications, the 1612 doesn’t have one. Sometimes you can find the RCF 1612/I version which comes with the kind of fixture that old Shure 55s have and which Electro Voice calls a “stud”. I have no idea how to call this, but I won’t call it a stud. It’s a metal fixture with a screw that can be used to move the microphone on its y axis which also features an on/off switch. A stud, yeah. I know. The microphone also has a small galvanized plastic button in the middle of the grille which seems to get lost quite easily – our specimen doesn’t have it anymore, for example.
To connect it (if you didn’t get the XLR version or a pre-made cable with it), you might have to improvise a bit. Like many Italian microphones, the Winston DM100 has an inverted small tuchel DIN connector, so you’ll need to use the part of a DIN cable that normally plugs into a mixer (maybe the end of another microphone cable you have previously cut off) on the mic side. It also has two different impedances: Between Pin 1 and 2, there’s 200 Ohms, between 1 and 3, there’s “Hi-Z”, without any further information specified.
Anyway, how does it sound? Very smooth, it has a kind of bright and silky ring to it that sounds vintage and contemporary at the same time. The RCF 1612 was designed as a high quality stage and live sound reinforcement mic and has a strong presence boost and a slight low-end rolloff. It sounds very charming for voice work, and it really invites you to SCREAM INTO IT like an Italian football reporter in the 1960s IF A TEAM JUST SCORED A LATE EQUALISEEERRRRRR – it seems to take this screaming well, without getting harsh or overly present. Definitely recommended – the only problem with it seems to be that its price tag has been steadily going up in recent years. I’ve read that somebody recommended it for toms and bass cabinet – might give you a quite funky sound, not too much low end, nice and crispy attack. Never tried it, but that’s what I imagine.
- Variable impedance: 200 Ohms or “Hi-Z”
- weight: ~400g!
|Style:||(5 / 5)|
|Sound:||(4 / 5)|
|Uniqueness:||(5 / 5)|
|Usefulness:||(4 / 5)|
Trash:Gold ratio – 1:3