Applying the Branding Badge

We have stinking badges. I did a simple design which could be simply laser cut – no fancy engraving, embossing, or painting. The fabrication is done at Osh Cut and I am extremely happy with the result, price and turnaround time. The badges are cut out of soft 0.024″ Nickel Plate. Of all the mics I do, there are really only three diameters. Lets call them small, medium and MXL990. The small ones are for any BM800 style body like our RS series mics, the MXL v250 and the like. Medium is for the standard sized MXL mics like the 440, 550, 910 (and many others). The MXL990 is the unique fat mic. I bend the badges around PVC bending jigs with a regular hose clamp. The badges are sanded smooth with a nice brushed texture.

The badges from Osh-Cut

Do Try This At Home

If you want to do it yourself, I will send you a badge which is pre-bent for your microphone. Attaching it is the tricky part. I’ve been using a 2 part clear epoxy called JB-Weld Clear. You can get it at your local hardware store or on Amazon here. You will need (and should use) a very small amount. I bought the version that has the two part mixing syringe but they also sell it with the epoxy and hardener in smaller tubes that you can mix yourself. The mixing syringe re-seals very well so won’t need to throw the rest away when you’re done. JB weld is handy stuff to have around the house anyway!

Have a look below. If you do not feel confident doing it, I’m happy to do it for you here. It just means another round trip for your mic which of course has its own risks. But feel free to contact me and we’ll arrange it.

Steps

  • Have some alcohol handy so you can clean any epoxy you get on your hands off before you handle the mic (ask me how I learned this).
  • Test Fit – I bend these very carefully, but double-check. If anything, you want the thing slightly over-bent so that the edges don’t rise up from the body. Tweak if needed and look at it from above and below as you hold it against the body. (you might want to lightly apply some masking tape to the body during this phase do you don’t scratch it up)
  • Make sure there is no dust or oil on the cylinder.

Non-MXL990s

  • Remove the body Cylinder
  • Mark the spot. Make sure you are on the front side! For most mics, that will be the side with a notch at the top. See the chart below of where I’ve been placing them for various mics. I put a very small pencil mark on the cylinder where the bottom of the badge will be and mount the badge so it just covers that mark.

MXL 990s

  • IMPORTANT – The MXL 990 is unique because the whole body cylinder rotates and screws onto the frame. Therefore the “front” of the cylinder really depends on how tightly you turn it. You need to make sure it’s at the normal tightness before you decide where the center is. I suggest you loosen and then re-tighten the body as you normally would if you open it to access the pattern switch.
  • Mark a spot in the center (on the front side) 16mm (5/8″) from the bottom. When the bottom of the badge is just covering that mark, there should be about a 5mm (1/8″) gap between the top of the badge and the headbasket.

Epoxy Prep

  • Mix your Epoxy and hardener using a toothpick or other small implement on a piece of cardboard. (now’s a good time to think if anything else around the house is broken. If not, maybe go break something now)
  • Wait a few… I found it much easier to let the JB weld get a little stiffer before applying it. Thick, Maple syrup consistency is pretty good.
  • Using the toothpick, apply very tiny dabs of the epoxy to the badge on the left and right edge and around the letters as you can fit.
mic badge
Mixed Epoxy waiting for it to thicken up a bit
Just a few dabs will do

Deep Breath

It’s really not that hard. The biggest mistake I made early on was to use too much epoxy and it oozed out around the letters and the edges. Letting it thicken up a bit before applying helps with this.

Ideally you want to set the badge exactly at the right place without sliding it around. Most importantly is to set it centered left to right. On non-990 mics, you can use the notch in the top of the cylinder as a guide. Try to avoid setting it too high and then sliding it down. Doing so will leave a little streak of epoxy above the badge which is very visible. If you set it too low and slide it up, the ooze will be below the badge and less noticeable. Again, the idea is to set it right where it wants to be and not slide it at all.

MicrophoneDistance from Bottom of Cylinder to Bottom of Badge
MXL99016mm (5/8″)
RS/4745mm (1-3/4″)
MXL v250 and other BM800 style45mm (1-3/4″)
MXL v57M60mm (2-3/8″)
MXL 910, 440, 550, etc40mm (1-9/16″)