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Development of a Super-Wide-Range Microphone

This paper describes the development of a low-noise, high-sensitivity microphone with a wide frequency range. Microphones of this kind are needed to provide high quality sound sources for use in studies on the perceptual discrimination between musical sounds with and without very high frequency components. Conventional electrostatic microphones cannot be used for such recordings because conventional methods for expanding the frequency range use a small diaphragm that degrades the S/N ratio. The proposed microphone has a new design in which the frequency range is expanded in two ways, using both the diffraction and the resonance due to the microphone's diaphragm. These effects are generally thought to define the upper limit of the frequency range, but the authors have made active use of them to achieve both a wide frequency range and high sensitivity. The body shape was designed with the help of a scale model study. An omnidirectional, electrostatic microphone that picks up sounds of up to 100kHz with low noise has been developed.

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