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Ribbon Mic questions and comparisons
Old 21st July 2014
Lives for gear
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Ribbon Mic questions and comparisons


1. I have searched for and read every thread I could find on this topic here already.

2. I am not in a position to try all these mics and keep the one I like best, so please don't suggest that.

I am hoping for some feedback from owners of AEA 44s, Cloud JRS-34s, AEA KU4s, and possibly AEA 44-As. I'm not ready yet, but I'm considering one of these in the medium range future. Mainly for vocals, looking for that "Big Voice of God" thing and smoothness in the highs. Ideally the mic would sound "old."

I have a very small home studio; in other words, my tracking room isn't great. I have also owned an AEA R84 (a pair, actually), which I loved on drums (even in my small room) and guitar cabs, but which I did not like at all on vocals.

A few specific questions I have are thus:

1. Is it simply futile to attempt to use a mic like the ones I am looking at in a small, less than ideal room? I have come to prefer using ribbon mics on the drums almost exclusively because the null points can be used to such great advantage in NOT picking up what I don't want to pick up, but am I just pissing in the wind trying to get a good vocal sound with them?

2. How do the above mics compare with each other? I thought the KU4 would be my answer since it has a unidirectional PUP, but the sound clips I have heard online suggest that the KU4 also doesn't really sound like what I'm after. It sounds good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't sound as big in the bottom and smooth on the top as the clips I've heard of the AEA 44. Also, how do they compare with the R84, since I do have personal experience with that mic.

3. Does the sound change a lot between the active versions of those mics vs. the passive versions?

Thanks to anyone who can give their 2 cents from personal experience.
Old 21st July 2014
Lives for gear
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I haven't used the active version or the cloud so I cannot help there. The ku4 is much more open and neutral sounding- basically a true, hi fidelity representation. It's one of my favorite microphones ever. But for what you are describing, you want the 44. Nothing else does that. As far as your room, the nulls on a 44 are very deep and very even so if you place it properly you can get away with a lot. Moving blankets are your friend too.....

You might want to try a coles 4038 too. It isn't as silky smooth as the 44 but it has a huge bottom end and a bit of similarity.
Old 21st July 2014
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Overall you are describing the AEA R44C or CE, enormous "girth" and size while maintaining that smooth presence not found elsewhere.

It's figure 8 so using the nulls can make it very tight concerning the room.

There is no comparing, it's the only one driving that sound home!

I would not worry about active or passive, you could always slap a Triton Audio Fethead on there if needed and open it right up.

Old 22nd July 2014
Lives for gear
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Thanks for the replies. The Clipalator suggests that you are correct. The AEA is the only one close to the RCA on there.
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