- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Astatic D-104 Help

Reviews Summary for Astatic D-104
Astatic D-104 Reviews: 68 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $90.
Description: The Liliypop Mike
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Astatic D-104.

Page 1 of 7 —>

N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 19:04 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 4 d104s always get great audio reports
Very cool looking mics too
WC3O Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 18:41 Send this review to a friend
What a mic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just loves my D-104. Iíve had it since I was a lowly CBer, back in the day. I still use the very same D-104 today! When I ran Kenwoods (TS-820 and TS-440) I would receive unsolicited comments about how good it sounded. When I bought an ICOM (IC-746) I couldnít make it sound good no matter what I did, including impedance matching, so I didnít use my 104 for that time period. When I bought my Yaesu FT-920, the 104 sounded ok but not great. I decided to install a Heil HC-5 element in the head (Before anyone offered a kit I used cardboard and glue) and I was back to sounding great! I still use it today with my FTDX-5K. Most people donít know this butÖ The D-104 was custom ďengineeredĒ specifically for the radio amateur. If you check the typical slouching ham in a chair, feet up on the desk, the D-104 lines up perfectly with the mouth when resting on the typical radio amateur beer belly. I tell ya, itís just genius. The D-104 is perfect for long, meaningless monologues on 80 meters in the middle of the night. Talk about the latest procedures youíve had done (New knee, bad eye, etc) and ALL your current medications. I plan on using my 104 until I canít talk no-mo. My 104 is non-amplified with a straight cord. All the felt is long gone from the base plate. What a mic.
KG4RUL Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 15:40 Send this review to a friend
A Starting Point for a GREAT Mike1  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was able to purchase a D-104 with the 'G' stand for a reasonable price. I replaced the original mike element with a Heil HC5.1 element and the cord with Heil Wire. I split the radio end out into a 3.5mm Plug for mike audio and a 1/4" plug for PTT. Now I have a classic looking mike with modern innards and great sound. You could call it a microphone 'resto-mod'.
SV9DRU Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 15:04 Send this review to a friend
Quality where it counts !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Probably the best sounding mic (unaided by any elaborate "preamp - equalizer" device), with emphasis on the right speech audio frequencies to achieve maximum intelligibility.

As already mentioned, its qualities can only shine when properly terminated on the grid of a tube, as originally designed for, or the gate of a simple FET matching circuit, before "hitting" a present era solid state mic preamp.

This mic has been around for a very long time and still very popular due to its great performance, ergonomics and looks. Mine when not in the shack, sits as decoration piece in the living room!

Marinos, sv9dru / ki4gin
K6LO Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2018 03:45 Send this review to a friend
Properly applied - great  Time owned: more than 12 months
Often mistaken for a "CB Era" mic, the D-104 has been around since the 1920's. Connected to a high-Z transmitter or PROPERLY impedance matched to a modern rig, the crystal element is capable of clean, crisp, real communications quality audio. Great mic when properly understood and applied.
WW1I Rating: 0/5 Jul 10, 2018 20:42 Send this review to a friend
CB era junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Anyone that has the first clue about good audio knows the D104 audio as shrill. These D104 mics were junk during the CB era and they are junk now. Worst audio I have ever heard. I can identify D104 audio in one second. . If you have one, please toss it in the trash and save us all the punishment to listen to its shrill, brassy, sharp, way too much treble, fingernails on a chalkboard audio.
W4KVW Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2017 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Love the Punchy Audio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using these microphones for over 50 years on Ham Radio & CB radio & have NEVER had a bad one.I have many different models in my collection (26) at the time of this review.The GOLDEN EAGLE,SILVER EAGLE,NIGHT EAGLE,the TUG-8's, TUG-9's,& TUP9's & they all work GREAT.I plan on adding many more to my collection if at all possible.I use a D-104 desk microphone more than any other microphone.I Love my HEIL PR-20 on my ICOM 7600 but most every other radio has a D-104 attached to it.The most BEAUTIFUL microphones EVER made in my opinion & the have GREAT audio if adjusted properly so get you one or more & see for yourself.ASTATIC D-104 desk microphones work great on Amateur radios & CB Radios.It does sometimes require more than plugging in a microphone & most all of today's transceivers have some type of built in EQ adjustment so take some time & use it & stay away from outboard EQ boards which are a huge ripoff & put you in the 24/7 radio check club & require you too wear headphones & listen to yourself all of the time.
K5UJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2017 10:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent ham radio mic  Time owned: more than 12 months
The D104 a.k.a. D-Wonderful, is a great microphone if you know how to use it. My experience is limited to my unamplified Astatic D104 made circa 1937 with a crystal element. This was a mic made for ham radio. In fact, the D-104 was introduced decades before CB radio as an inexpensive solution to the microphone problem hams faced in the 1930s. In those days, hams often used carbon mics that produced poor readable audio with the modulation methods of the day. The D-104 changed everything with a high voltage.output and wide frequency response with a rise at 3 kc followed by a roll off of ~ 20 dB. The microphone design resulted in clean clear audio with enough output to make them testable directly into the vertical input of an oscilloscope. By the way, the D-104 model number technically refers to the mic head--the base doesn't matter. Mine is on a floor stand; it's still a D104.

To get the best performance, you have to pair the D-104 with the right audio load impedance. The original D-104 was intended to be used with a tube speech amplifier using a grid resistor of 5 to 10 megohms. This matched load allows for the passing of bass audio down below 100 cycles (if the operator has that deep a voice) and the coupling capacitor values are around 0.1 mfd in the audio circuits of the transmitter. To pass high sibilance, bypass capacitors should be low value, around .001 mfd.

I have no experience using a modern D-104 that has the transistorized pre-amp, but a regular D-104 will not work well at all with a modern plastic radio's low impedance audio input. As is the case with an old Vibroplex bug, the good old D-104 works great if you know how to use it and its high output can really drive an old transmitter's audio input stage.
N1KDO Rating: 4/5 Nov 2, 2017 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Impedance Matching!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Fun and highly retro, these mics work well into a very high-impedance input.

I put W9AC's common-source buffer (see his QRZ page, great!) into a D-104 that I bought at a hamfest for $35 and I use it with my KX3, just for the hilarious juxtaposition of using something so old and clunky and chrome-y with something so new and black and modern. This arrangement actually sounds quite good.

Those that complain about "screechy" audio likely have an impedance mismatch.
KC2QYM Rating: 3/5 Nov 2, 2017 06:31 Send this review to a friend
When is a D-104 not a D-104  Time owned: more than 12 months
The trouble with some reviews is that the D-104 that the reviewer has may not actually have the Rochelle salt crystal element that was within the original D-104. Many of these mics are retrofit with electret condenser elements which change the entire sound of the mic. Unless you inspect the enclosure of the microphone you pick up at some hamfest or via ebay, you may not be buying the original article. Therefore, these mix and match elements may be in the D-104 enclosure but it's a totally different microphone. The original D-104 produced ear bleeding high, screechy audio which is perfect for high noise, QRM, DX situations...but not recommended for rag chews unless you want your friends to clear off prematurely.
Page 1 of 7 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.