Audio-Technica Pro4H – best mic of the 80s

An old friend returns

by Steve Hart

Way back when in the 80s – when I was a nightclub DJ – I used a microphone that delivered a really crisp bright sound. It was probably the best mic I have ever used live on stage.

I used it night after night, year and year out. It was a tough cookie and always sounded great.

It was the third microphone I had tried as my career started to take off, and with this one I struck gold.

It was almost impossible to make it feedback – not that you want to do that – and the sound was pristine. If I remember correctly I paid about 25 British pounds for it in 1984 (don’t quote me).

Now and again I had wracked my tiny brain to remember the model and did cursory checks online hoping to recognize it in a photo and catch the model number.

A few weeks back a member of the family was having a clear-out in the garage and came across the body of the long-since broken microphone; Audio-Technica model Pro 4H.

I remember the day it was dropped (long after I had stopped using it) and the capsule damaged beyond repair. It become a toy for my children who would sing into it while pretending to be pop stars.

But knowing the model I checked out eBay for a Pro 4H. What are the chances of a mic bought in 1984 being for sale in 2018? Well, there was one. Unused, still in its box – price US$15 (fifteen dollars). It arrived last week.

I plugged it in, gave it the old ‘one, two, one, two’ and it sounds brilliant – just like I remember. It has a sound all its own; basey and crisp at the same time.

To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll get to use the mic; I have no real need for it – it was an impulse purchase to regain a long lost friend. But should the day come for me to do anything live; I will have my trusty mic with me.

If you are looking for a mic; I recommend you ignore anything new and hunt down a Pro 4H.