Which $500 - $1000 Ribbon Mic?

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
audio school
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:25 am

Which $500 - $1000 Ribbon Mic?

Post by marcojenko » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:32 am

My band will be in the studio this summer, and we're self producing/recording (over a dozen albums' worth of credits between 2 of us). We'll be tracking drums (3 mics for a jazzy kit/player), double bass and fingerstyle acoustic guitar together in a smallish (15'x 25' with high ceilings), but pretty decent sounding room, and overdubbing keys, accordian, electric and pedal steel guitars, and male voices. There will likely be some brass and strings as well.

We have currently available: AKG Solidtube, 2x 414ULS, 2x AT4040, AT4050, AT4047, AT4033, M147, TLM103, plus a bunch of the usual dynamics. I'm considering buying a decent mic to round things out a bit, and I'm thinking about a ribbon. I've really been digging Ethan Johns' drum sounds lately, for reference... I'm likely to sell a bunch of gear after we're done the album, including whatever I decide on buying. I'm looking for something versatile, and sweet-sounding (unlike some of the above). Price point would top out around $1000, or maybe a little more?

I've researched quite a bit over the last week, and I'm looking for some informed advice. Thanks!

User avatar
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by Fakiekid » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:14 am

he Royer r121 or r122 just amaze me at the best of times. back of the r121 with acoustic guitar unforgettable! There amazingly nice over there aswell.


has a lot of different tracks, very good. not sure on US price though, i got mine for around 750 pounds

User avatar
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Maine

Post by JWL » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:30 am

I think in that budget range I'd consider a stereo pair of shinybox or oktavamod ribbons. Though the AEA stuff would be tempting for just one mic. I think the Royer stuff is out of that price range, unless you can find one used.

Mystic Steamship Co.
steve albini likes it
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:33 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Post by Mystic Steamship Co. » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:34 am

I've got the avantone ribbon and it has a cool sound. Its really dark, and matches up well with the bright Chinese condensers I have. Plus you could get a pair for way under $1000. Other than that, If you're going for an Ethan Jons type of sound I'd guess you should go with a beyerdynamic M160 (I know his old man used em, so maybe he does too). If I had a thousand to drop on a ribbon I'd totally get the AEA R84, I've heard nothing but good things, and it just looks so darn cool. :lol

User avatar
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:03 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:12 am

It really depends on the application, the soundsource and your tastes. So many ribbons sound so different from each other. Your question is no different than asking "what's a good dynamic mic for $50-$400" or "What's a good LDC for $1k-$2k"?

It's tough to answer.

I think every studio should at least have one beyer m160... preferably two. I don't use them on every session, but they're pretty awesome.

I've liked the AEA mics for vintage-y sounds. Their version of the 44 does its trick very well for the money.

I'm not a huge 121 fan. I really like the royer sf1 though. It just sounds like a better version 121 without such a tilted frequency response to my ears. I find it to be a much more natural and flexible, but for some reason they're much less popular. Go figure. I think its all marketing. I feel like we already have other mics and and mic combinations that essentially already fill the roles of the 121. The sf-1, on the other hand is fairly unique! It's really nice. Smooth, unhyped, great for clean guitar sounds, percussion, strings and a host of other stuff. There aren't many mics like it.

Then again, most people love the 121. I like it too. It's a safe bet, and you'll probably be happy with it as well.

User avatar
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:41 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Post by musikman316 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:24 pm

Crowley and Tripp Naked Eye Classic...



steve albini likes it
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:34 am
Location: New Mexico

Post by dgrieser » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:00 am

Sank usually has some old mics he has re-ribboned. I got a Shure 300 from him. I'm very pleased with it.


User avatar
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:11 pm
Location: USA

Post by kittonian » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:48 am

You might also want to check out the Peluso R14. Very reasonably priced and a really great ribbon mic, reminiscent of the original ribbon designs with full frequency response.
Joshua Aaron
President/Chief Engineer
AudioLot/AudioLot Studios
Pro Audio Sales & Consulting

Follow us on Facebook For Gear Specials & More

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests