Aston Microphones managed to combine pleasing aesthetics with practicality when it specified a bespoke design of Smalley Crest-to-Crest® type Wave Spring from TFC.
Engaged in the development if its Origin microphone range, Aston designers picked up on the appearance of Smalley Wave Springs from TFC and used them as a protector for the gauze core which contains the fragile capsule. TFC states that nothing much had changed in the microphone world for some time until Aston, now the only mainstream microphone company manufacturing in the UK, decided to shake the tree a bit. Aston's design team were committed to innovation and to ensuring that their products stood out in a crowded market of ‘me too’ products.
TFC says that a major attraction of its spring to Aston's designers was its construction and method of manufacture. Made by 'edge-coiling' pre-tempered flattened round wire, (rather like the popular Slinky® coiled metal toy), Smalley’s Crest-to-Crest® wave springs are produced from a single coil of material to a customers' precise specifications. By including squared shim ends within the design, the spring can provide a full supporting shoulder at each end and, similar to the ground ends on a conventional helical coil spring, enabled the spring to seat axially in the assembly.
When under compression in this application, the spring provides an attractive and durable protective outer 'shell' for the fragile electronics inside, without any detriment to the sound quality of the outgoing signal. Should the microphone be dropped and the spring distorted, the flat wire form allowed the head to be straightened simply by hand within seconds.
The Origin microphone from Aston is a competitively priced large-diaphragm condenser microphone “unlike any other” and is said to reflect the standards of innovation, creativity and precision engineering for which the Aston brand has become famous. A number of top artists including Noel Gallagher, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Kylie Minogue and others (along with engineers and producers) are using them on stage and in the studio.