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AEA R44 or Coles 4038
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Talking AEA R44 or Coles 4038

Hi all,

Since I record to digital and haven't the budget nor patience for recording to tape, I am looking for a ribbon mic with a big smooth sound to complement my collection of dynamic mics. I have a few high end pres and Apogee converters. Nice sounding room.

I am looking at the AEA R44 (CNE is the most affordable) and Coles 4038. Anyone with experience with both care to chime in? How do they compare? I've used a 4038 a few times and loved it. Never had a chance to use an R44 or an old RCA 44.

I want to use the mic as a room mic and for individual instruments, and most likely some vocals too.

Of course, size and weight are issues and the R44 is a very large and heavy mic. The 4038 is quite heavy but more manageable.

The few sound clips of RCA 44's I've heard were very impressive.

So anyone care to compare?
Old 9th May 2006
  #2
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The R44 has this extended and sweet sound to it that is just enormous. Smooth response top to bottom, silky and full sounding. Great high end presence yet no real sibilance issues with vocals etc.

The 4038 can be a bit woofy in the low end, and rather than a more extended top sound it has a bit of an aggressive sounding bump in the highs which then falls off before you reach any air. Can be sibilant.

The R44 is smoother and silkier and huge sounding, the 4038 is more aggressive sounding and tends to offer its own sound in a noticeable way. The R44 probably weighs 5 times as much! You could kill somebody with it...

War
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Warren! Very useful info. Anyone else?
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No. Al I know is the AEA 44 is one of my very favorites mics. It's everything Warren said it was. I wish I owned it. I had it for about 3 months on loan a couple of years ago. I've beenlusting after it ever since. I've never heard the Coles.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a pair of 4038's and RCA 44's..
They both rock..
The coles seem to do really well with looser micing[drum overheads or in front of kit,room,some guitar stuff]

I like the 44's on slightly closer sources..wonderful for guitars,horns,some vocals..
actually with a decent EQ[Pultec,etc] really,really cool for rock guitars..[anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet..volume within reason] and I've hung a single 44 right over the front of the kit[like a real tight overhead ]with just a kick mic for a cool motown vibe.
I've also used em for room stuff,but they didn't seem to have as much"reach" or focus as the coles .. like for single or stereo drum room.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Welol given that I'd like to know how close the RCA 44 is from the AEA 44, or vice versa.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
newnes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett
Welol given that I'd like to know how close the RCA 44 is from the AEA 44, or vice versa.

FWIW, it says on the AEA website that the parts on the R44C are interchangeable with the RCA 44B and BX.

Just curious, those who've used them, was your experience with the R44C, R44CX or R44CNE as the 1st poster asked about. I'm just wondering if anyone knows how different they are. All it says on the website is that the CX is slightly more forward sounding. The R44CNE is quite a bit cheaper though. Thanks!

Craig.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
timmcallister's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Find a dealer who will sell you both and let you return the one you don't want.

For whatever it might be worth, I did this with a Coles 4038 and an AEA R84 from mercenary. Like War says, the coles has an agressive character to it. I LOVE it! I kept the coles and sent the aea back.

Last edited by timmcallister; 10th May 2006 at 05:23 AM..
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Moofie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Can be sibilant.
Wow, I've had my pair of 30ohm STC4038's for nearly 6years now, used 'em on everything and I would never have thought they could be described as sibilant.

What situations have you found this to be the case Warren?

Cheers

Tom

ps not trying to hijack.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
How about a 77DX?

We're talking about two very different mics here.

The 4038 belongs to the family of short ribbon mics and, as mentioned, shines on stuff like drum overheads/room, horns, guitar amps, but tends to not be so great for vocals, strings, etc...

The 44 has a long ribbon element and sounds great on vocals (particularly male or low) , horns, strings, etc... It doesn't have that killer crunch on drum OH's, and is probably better suited for classical or acoustic applications than the Coles.

You might want to seriously consider an RCA 77-DX. It's got the same length ribbon as a 4038 and excels in many of the same applications (maybe not so much on loud guitar amps), but also has the versatility of having switchable "Music" and "Vocal" settings. The vocal settings (there are 2) beatifully attenuate the bottom end "woof" that an earlier poster spoke of in reference to recording vox with a 4038, and make recording vocals (male or female) a joy. Unlike almost any other ribbon mic, the DX has an adjustable acoustic labyrinth that allows you to change pickup patterns from Omni, cardioid, bi-directional and three additional positions.

All in all, the DX is probably the most versatile ribbon mic you'll ever encounter, and on vocals, sounds best of all the ones mentioned in this thread (IMHO).
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
my experience was the same as tims... had a pair of r84's and a pair of coles...
sent the r84's back (but bought one r92... what an AMAZING mic for the price!!!!

bought the pair of 4038's and LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!
i found them smooth and VERY punchy and natural.

i've owned a real 44 and also had one in recently for a rock album. i do prefer the coles. and you can about by a pair of them for the price of a 44 of i'm not mistaken.
4038's in xy in fron to a kit... yeah baby! also WONDERFUL on the string sections we've been doing!

can't go wrong w/ a pair of coles... they're some of the best mics ever made!
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
ripper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
gooch, have you heard the aea 84's or 92's.

had the opportunity to A?B w/ my dx77 and found them clearer and more open on vocals... well about everything for that matter. and what a great price!

stilled loved the dx77 but got rid of it and got the pair of coles and the r92.

i don't regret it. but the orig 77 LOOKED so cool!!!
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moofie
Wow, I've had my pair of 30ohm STC4038's for nearly 6years now, used 'em on everything and I would never have thought they could be described as sibilant.

What situations have you found this to be the case Warren?
Compared to my AEA R84 it tended to have a more accented sibilant sound (R84 being smoother across the entire range). The 4038 was a little more crunchy on them anyhow, so in some cases I found it can be a sibilant mic. In context of the two ribbons I thought it was worth a mention by comparison.

To put it into an every day context though, the 4038 is certainly not as sibilant as many condensors.

War
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
picksail's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
IMO, there's nothing better for a room sound than a 4038 pointed directly at the drummer's crotch.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My favorite drum sound lately is a pair of Coles overhead through some Daking pre/eq's..with a bit of hi boost for sizzle.really meaty/aggressive sounding..
Often,just the overheads and a kick mic pretty much covers the whole close up picture of the kitthumbsup
I used to do this years ago and recently rediscovered how badass a combo it is
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripper
gooch, have you heard the aea 84's or 92's.

had the opportunity to A?B w/ my dx77 and found them clearer and more open on vocals... well about everything for that matter. and what a great price!
Yeah, you're absolutely right. The 77 is waaaaay more colored and shelved in the high-end, but I just LOVE that sound...
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
for Jazz or Rock or ___ ?

The 4038 is less linear and more aggressive, more 'like tape' if you will.

For AEA, the R84 is more 'like tape' than the huge/hi fi 44. It's lighter and less money too ... have you considered it at all?

Last edited by lucey; 10th May 2006 at 02:52 PM..
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
ah the aul ribbons, great stuff all round really.

the best kind are red, tied here and there around a beautiful blonde woman.

better than tape!

regards,

richie.
Old 26th July 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
i gotta bump this again as im looking for info on the SONIC differences between the R44C and R44CNE.

any experience anyone can share greatly appreciated.

regards,

richie.
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