Now, how can you possibly judge the merit of this microphone if you not only haven’t built one yourself, but haven’t made the slightest effort to even inform yourself about it? The SF-2 was eventually released in 2012. Ribbons need clean gain. Is there any possibility to compare/describe also some of the vintage mics… RCA, WE… especially I’d like to know where the russian Oktava ML-17 sits in this kind of shootout. Before this experience, I was not aware how directional these microphones’ figure-of-8 polar pattern really is. The one factor I see missing in all the dialog posted is probably where the real difference in microphones is actually significant. Some people like to do Civil War reenactments. For example, the 44 has a lot going on at 12kHz. +20dB & an excellent Nagra transformer). Mono Kit Room Mic. Shootouts are always more interesting when you throw in a couple of very affordable mics, because sometimes they have you in for a surprise. And that’s probably true for some of the less expensive mikes. These two mics, in the words of Corey Burton, would “pull the mustache off your face.” We had serial numbers 5 and 6, which differed only in the type of corrugation on the ribbon. Several months ago I saw an Electro-Harmonix ribbon mic for sale at a musical equipment store, though I remember it looking an awful lot like the Oktava ribbons, which makes me suspect it was a rebranded Oktava. Also, the idea of putting acoustic treatment behind the microphone (to emphasize the front side of the mic) was a breakthrough for me. The engineering argument gets really old quick. I’m such a fan of the classic, well balanced 44. @Pete, thanks for the nice comment. Each is best suited for which ever mood and impression you intend to express. Can you please help me here, this is an important resource to me, thanks. At the end of the day, no one who enjoys music cares how you made it: they just care that you did and did well. It has the shortest ribbon of the bunch too, measuring less than one inch in length. Lastly I’m very intrigued by that mysterious Royer proto. I doubt that there is anything you can get out of a ribbon that you couldn’t get with a good capacitor mic and some EQ. I saw it in the picture. A real shame the MXL R77L didn’t make it in. Besides, I ended my previous post stating that I would try a ribbon mic, so your telling me to try one was totally unnecessary. VERY curious to know pricing and release dates. No, they’re trying to stabilize the impedance that a preamp will see. Try some for yourself. Great audio OCD fun! Sounds & looks fantastic. The 10,001 and it’s new cousin the AEA KU4 were wonderful. We’re getting ready for a revised ribbon mic test, to showcase a couple ribbon mics you know and a couple you almost certainly don’t. (Hint: not gonna happen. The JRS-34 is available in active or passive styles; ours was passive. The Karma Audio K6 was the least expensive active ribbon mic in this test (street price ~$200). Their sonic signature was more tangible because of the consistency that the active electronics afford. The RCA KU-3A, aka the “10001,” is a rare and cherished vintage mic from the 1940s, still in weekly use by voice actors who seek to emulate the sound of old animations and movie sets. I doubt anyone reading this could listen to an album they didn’t know anything about and accurately say which microphones were used to record it. @alan – If we can find one, we certainly will! And it really does capture some of the mojo of the unobtanium RCA 10001. You can buy one of these and be certain that it will put a new color into your palette. And let your fear and your prideful guard down a little so that maybe you can enjoy living and laughing a bit more. Cool that you included a KU3a, but there’s almost zero opportunity to buy one, while 77’s and 44’s are available constantly, so it’d be useful to have them in the mix. The most important characteristic to me of ribbon technology is its ” relaxed” abilities (ribbon recordings take eq well). Your mic placements and room seam to be top notch and I must admit that I thought that even the cheapest of them all never sounded bad. As you move up in frequency there aren’t any holes or other sonic weirdness like some of the others. Did we overlook anything else? -Saj. He’d swapped the stock transformer for a Lundahl, and upgraded the wiring to Mogami. People are using sampling rates of 96 kHz and above to record these mics that barely have a useable frequency response past 8000 Hz: why? Cascade sells these complete for $399, including shockmount and metal flightcase. The Royer Labs R-121 is perhaps the best-known passive ribbon microphone on the market. Update: Here is the Cardioid ribbon mic shootout. I can’t overstate what a joy that is. The Royer Labs R-122V is the tube version of the R-122. And I love not using them at times as well. They’re necessarily going to pay more for their uniforms than I would for a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt. We had four engineers and five performers; we recorded saxophone, drum overheads, two guitar cabs, two acoustic guitars, and three character voices. For historic reference? Ironically, I learned in the 48 hours prior to this test of two new ribbon mics coming on the market soon. From an electronic engineering point of view this makes perfect sense. For their generousity and expertise, I am deeply grateful. Ribbons transduce sound in a fundamentally unique way — that’s why people use them. The samples the guy has up on his site are amazing, and they were done using mostly inexpensive preamps in acoustic environments that were less than ideal. If you want to waste your money on hocus-pocus, well hey, that’s your call, it’s your money. The guys at the music shop were blown away at how natural and open it sounded. A few mics didn’t make the photo, for various reasons: the AEA R84, the RCA KU-3A/10001, and Ryan Canestro’s Apex 210. How do you know that you couldn’t get by with only 2 or 3? I put him on a SM58 and he sounded great. This shootout has generated more talk about ribbon microphones in a few months than I ever expected to have over a lifetime. Posted in Microphones, Shootouts | 42 Comments », Previously: The $60,000 Ribbon Mic ShootoutNext: Ribbon Shootout: Clean Guitar. I think a lot of people are, either consciously or not, using ribbons to combat the sterility of digital, when what they ought to be doing is going back to analogue tape. Looks like a mono version of the SF-24/SF-24V! Or maybe a cheaper set of ears could do it even better? I’d be very happy to use the Samar Audio MF65 in a wide variety of recording situations. It was modeled after the other non-bidirectional ribbon here, the RCA KU-3A/10001. FYK, apart of the Cloudlifter, Triton Audio from the Netherlands manufacture the FetHead (+27dB of gain) http://tritonaudio.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category§ionid=4&id=17&Itemid=33, and don’t forget the excellent Sanken HAD-48 (+40 dB of gain, if you please) http://www.sanken-mic.com/en/product/product.cfm/4.1005600. The SE Electronics RNR1 is the result of the Siwei Zou/Rupert Neve collaboration; the mic has two Neve-designed transformers and active electronics. Let them be excited to share what they’ve learned. It sounded good or great on most everything. This technique has made ribbons infinitely more useful to me in my work. There are valid reasons to keep a few dynamics in one’s mic cabinet, but outside of one or two stereo miking techniques, there’s no good reason that I can see for ribbons. Ribbons take EQ well. But you can’t put a ribbon mic right on top of the instrument like you would a ’57, in many cases, because the ribbon’s strong proximity effect can create unwanted bass boost.