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Royer 122 VS. Royer 121
Old 15th November 2005
  #1
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True North's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Royer 122 VS. Royer 121

I own a pair of Royer 122's - has anyone here compared the 121's to the 122's - just curious if there are any notable sound differences between the two, thanks.
Old 15th November 2005
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Depends on the mic pre... the 121 will sound different with different mic pre's [due to loading issues] and the 122 will sound about the same.

The 122 seems to be a bit more "focused" on the top and bottom, the 121 seems a bit wider with some pre's and larger with others.

It's a taste thing... kinda like whether you prefer maple walnut to pistachio ice cream [they're both ice cream and they both have nuts... but they're different tasting nuts]
Old 15th November 2005 | Show parent
  #3
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digitalson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i thought the only difference was the 122 used phantom power and had higher gain
Old 15th November 2005 | Show parent
  #4
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Jamz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalson
i thought the only difference was the 122 used phantom power and had higher gain
Sure! and as a result...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
The 122 seems to be a bit more "focused" on the top and bottom, the 121 seems a bit wider with some pre's and larger with others.
If you can't compare hands on check out the Royer demo CD it's free.
You can also pick up 3D Audio's Ribbon Roundup CD. A 121 and 122 follow each other during the recordings for comparison.
Old 15th November 2005 | Show parent
  #5
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DaveH's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a pair of 121s and have been checking into the 122s

There is “impedance matching circuitry” in the 122s this
WILL change some of the sonic characteristics between the two.

If their impedance matching circuit “works” there would be “less” sonic change attributed to the mike when the 122 is connect to various preamps.
(Any sonic difference would depend more on the preamp side of things).
(Not a mismatch”condition).

And “more” sonic change would happen as the 121 is connect to various preamps, due to impedance mismatch in the 121.
Then the secondary difference is due to the preamp “sound”.

As I have not been able to study this impedance matching circuitry in the 122 in detail
I am not sure if “this circuit itself” attributes to the sonic “differences” of the 122
or the “impedance” matching “function” with various preamps is the more important factor.
(The later is most likely of greater importance).

This was an eye opener for me in using the 121s.
I have “heard” sonic differences when connecting this mic to different preamps
and did not initially attribute this to “impedance mismatch”. (My bad).

(This does not cover the difference in sound that may result from the built in
preamp of the 122). (That’s were the gain comes from).

Wow, I hope this makes sense but I am trying not to turn this from an
audio discussion to an EE circuit design discussion.

After writing all of this the Gearslut motto of "just listen" comes to mind
Old 16th November 2005 | Show parent
  #6
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121 is a little darker than the 122... it seems many prefer the 121 on guitar cabs while other instruments on the 122 (sax, clarinet, etc.)
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation ➡️
121 is a little darker than the 122... it seems many prefer the 121 on guitar cabs while other instruments on the 122 (sax, clarinet, etc.)
Is this a typical sentiment? Anyone please chime in if you are generally in agreement with this or not.. I'm curious. Thanks.
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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BLUElightCory's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a lot more experience with the R121 than the R122; that said, I really don't think they sound terribly different when used with a good preamp.

The R121 is more sensitive to the preamp used, so if you've good a few nice pres laying around I'd go with the R121.
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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six_wax's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
121s seem to take more volume. Internal amp circuitry in 122 seems to limit the headroom in my experience. Anybody confirm this?
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
121s seem to take more volume. Internal amp circuitry in 122 seems to limit the headroom in my experience. Anybody confirm this?

I've wondered about this, too. I borrowed a 122 a couple years ago and it would sometimes distort on loud electric guitars but my 121 seems to have no problem with them...
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotekells ➡️
Is this a typical sentiment? Anyone please chime in if you are generally in agreement with this or not.. I'm curious. Thanks.
Yup, this is my experience too. We've had a 122 for ages, and got a pair of 121s recently, so the topic is quite fresh in mind.

I have a much easier time getting guitar sounds with a 121; I also prefer it for OHs and drum room (especially mono front-of-kick). The 122 is cool for the aforementioned "other instruments", although it wouldn't be a first-choice for me.

I do prefer the 122 on acoustic guitar quite a bit; its higher output and tendency towards being brighter (I say "tendency" because like Fletcher said, the mic amp has a LOT of impact on the 121's tonality) make it a bit more acoustic-stringed-instruments-inclined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by six_wax ➡️
121s seem to take more volume. Internal amp circuitry in 122 seems to limit the headroom in my experience. Anybody confirm this?


It can also cause problems at the preamp end. I've taken to keeping a few of those Crane Song adjustable inline pad thingies around for just such occasions.
Old 25th January 2010 | Show parent
  #12
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have had both. They sound the same except you can get more gain with the 122's.

It's pretty much what you expect.

Personally, I liked the 122's over the 121 due to the fact I am recording piano and I don't like putting the mics over the strings.

If you have loud sources or are going to sing into it - the 121 is your ticket. Royer is a stellar company!
Old 25th January 2010 | Show parent
  #13
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano ➡️
I have had both. They sound the same except you can get more gain with the 122's.

I've had them both as well, and as mentioned a few years ago when this thread started the loading of the R-121 when used with different pre-amps will net different results while the R-122 will have a more consistent character due to its internal amplifier [upon which "loading" from the front end of various pre-amps will have less effect].

If you're running them both through the same pre, they'll still sound different. If you're running them both through a "not that great" pre, then yeah, they'll probably sound about the same as the pre-amp will be the "similar weak link" in the chain.

Peace.
Old 25th January 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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thedoner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation ➡️
121 is a little darker than the 122... it seems many prefer the 121 on guitar cabs while other instruments on the 122 (sax, clarinet, etc.)
I've use both extensively, and I find this statement to be pretty accurate.
Old 25th January 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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_Ludovico's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What about the 122V?
Old 26th January 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 15 years
we, too, think they sound different, and wanting a ribbon for recording violin we chose the 121 as more organic and a bit sweeter sounding, which fits with some of the other interpretations above...
Old 26th January 2010
  #17
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tmcconnell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My experience

I auditioned them side by side for a couple of days in my studio with a bunch of nice pre's, and our Symphony's engineer.

I agree with what Fletcher said, but... in the grand scheme of things they are very, very, similar in tone. I bought a 122 for myself because in the general chaos of setting up a session, its one less thing to worry about. I worry anyway, so I added an RPQ to the equation and now, at least, there's an obvious solution for the r84's and 121's on a quiet source. (ps The RPQ's phantom-less channel also works wonders on Tube mics).
Old 26th January 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell ➡️
...I bought a 122 for myself because in the general chaos of setting up a session, its one less thing to worry about. I worry anyway, so I added an RPQ to the equation and now, at least, there's an obvious solution for the r84's and 121's on a quiet source. (ps The RPQ's phantom-less channel also works wonders on Tube mics).
That's intersesting. Do you prefer the R121/RPQ over the R122/RPQ combo? Do you use the EQ while tracking (with the R122)?
Old 26th January 2010 | Show parent
  #19
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ludovico ➡️
What about the 122V?
Unbelievably good, velvety sounding mic!! One of my personal drop dead favorites!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell ➡️
ps The RPQ's phantom-less channel also works wonders on Tube mics.
Unless the "phantom-less channel" has a different topology than the implied "channel with phantom" they should work equally well as [with only one exception I know of] "tube" mics have output transformers [just like ribbon mics] and transformers block DC [which is what phantom power is... +48volts of DC].

Peace.
Old 26th January 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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swafford's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH ➡️
the Gearslut motto of "just listen" comes to mind
HAHAHAHA. I think you mean "just buy it."
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