MXL R40, Good Deal at $70?

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Drone
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MXL R40, Good Deal at $70?

Post by Drone » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:00 pm

Really all I'm asking is in the subject.

I've been told a Fig 8 mic might be a useful addition to the arsenal. Then I read this months review on the CAD D82, so I went looking and I saw the R40 is reduced below the Nady budget ribbon, is it bad, going out of style or what?
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Post by vvv » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:08 pm

I have a couple, and like 'em well enough, after tearing out the windscreen and packing the body with cloth - I think I hadda tighten one ribbon, also.

FWIW, I have a NOS R2 that seems to be a little brighter - mebbe a thinner ribbon?

And I have a MXL what looks like the Royer - it's cool, nice form factor, and who doesn't like fake Rolex's?

My best ribbon is a Shiny Box 23L - a definite step up but a very different mic what with the headshell and the tranny ...

The R40/R44's are quite usable, especially nice as room mic's on drums and amps, IMHO.

That said, they're usually available on the E-bog for quite a bit less. I think I paid US$35 for one used, US$40 for the other new.
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Post by floid » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:14 pm

I paid ~$40 for a gently used R40, and managed to find a pair of new RSM-5s on blowout for $60. They have the same motor, but due to some combination of foil/tuning/transformer/basket the RSM sounded better stock to my ears. I re-ribboned the R40 and one RSM that also got a Lundahl. I'd like to give the R40 a Cinemag. All three are useful, tho I'm usually using either the upgraded RSM or my trusty Shinybox 46c.
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Post by Drone » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:29 pm

Aren't they really easy to bugger up?

I worry if I hit the eBay, I'll end up with one someone dropped or something?
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Post by floid » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:55 pm

That's definitely a consideration. But bear in mind they are made with thick ribbons - which means more durable but less sensitive. And from what I've read and experienced, factory tuning is all over the place anyway - no guarantee a new one won't clank, like one of my RSM's did.

As vvv mentioned, pulling the inner mesh and damping the body helps. I used a piece of old (clean) sock to avoid deteriorating foam.
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Post by Michael_Joly » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:28 pm

floid wrote:"...And from what I've read and experienced, factory tuning is all over the place anyway - no guarantee a new one won't clank, like one of my RSM's did...
The factories building these mics do not pre-condition the ribbons to prevent loss of tension, ribbon sag, "woofy" sound, low sensitivity and clanging ribbon noise.

During the development of the mic now known as the Coles 4038, BBC Engineering discovered a ribbon installation technique which prevents future loss of tension and ribbon sag. I use this technique in own ribbon mics and ribbon mic mods btw.

Progressive ribbon sag accounts for the widely varying user reviews of the same model of inexpensive ribbon mic - some have ribbons that have not started to sag, others have ribbons that are beginning to sag, others have ribbons sagging 80% out of the magnetic gap when the mic is held horizontally. The problem goes beyond wrong initial tension of the ribbon during manufacturing - it is the propensity of these ribbons to sag over time that causes mic-to-mic variation.

And yes, use of 6 micron ribbon material (despite the marketing claim that 2 micron material is being used) reduces sensitivity compared to thinner material. A $70 ribbon mic will record sound and be fun to use. But it is unlikely to have high sensitivity (within the ribbon class of mic), flat and extended frequency response, nor offer consistent results over time.

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Post by Drone » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:16 am

Well given the knowledge the MXL's can be had used cheaply, plus the fact I'm all thumbs and would not want to attempt to retension or repair a 2 or 6 micron ribbon, I think I'll leave this for just now.

Maybe I can just duct tape two dynamic cardioids together and achieve a figure 8 :shock:
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Post by vvv » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:25 am

We'll be needing pictures! :lol:
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Post by Drone » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:33 pm

I actually found a blog where someone did this with a couple of electret cardioid elements, I should go back and see how they managed to get one out of phase with the other, seeing as electrets are polarized.
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Post by vvv » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:20 am

Interesting.

Also, not be "that guy" or a "spellin' Knotsee" but "friends " mebbe should be "friend's" in yer signature.

At least, my OCD says so. :twisted:
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Post by ShinyBox » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:56 am

Michael_Joly wrote: And yes, use of 6 micron ribbon material (despite the marketing claim that 2 micron material is being used) reduces sensitivity compared to thinner material.
To me, the thicker ribbon makes the microphone 2 dimensional and slow. Retension to your hearts content, it still blows IMO. Jacking the transformer to get additional output from said ribbon just colors it all shades of wtf.

I've yet to see a ribbon come in from over there that is done in a manner that I would consider correct. You can hang whatever secret sauce you want on it, but at the fundamental level, there is a proper way to make and install a ribbon.

That said, for $70, it passes audio, and you might find something you like it on.

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Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:47 pm

not saying you should get one, but they are down to $60 now. and they are a pretty blue so you know they don't suck!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ribbon-m ... on&index=1

of course you could get one, use it for awhile, send it off to get modded and then decide if it is worth it...
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Post by Andrew707 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:33 pm

I had one for a while. Never actually used it because it came with a messed up ribbon element. Bought it on a whim when it was $60 and didn't even open the box until it was too late to return. :roll: Well, I don't do that anymore, though I do still buy cheap stuff on a whim, occasionally.

Case in point: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/condense ... 17&index=1

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Post by ott0bot » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:11 am

ooops
Last edited by ott0bot on Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ott0bot » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:15 am

Andrew707 wrote:I had one for a while. Never actually used it because it came with a messed up ribbon element. Bought it on a whim when it was $60 and didn't even open the box until it was too late to return. :roll: Well, I don't do that anymore, though I do still buy cheap stuff on a whim, occasionally.
Same here, scored it cheap, but the ribbon was saggy on mine too and nearly unusable. . I did some modification, but lost patience with the re-ribboning process. I have some 2 micron ribbon, just needed to cut & correlate it properly, then attempt re-tension...or just send it to Mr Joly for a full mod...but it's a bit much to pay at this point in time.

My recomend is to avoid cheap ribbons unless you have the tools, patience, and skill to re-tension the ribbon. It's challenging.

just spend the extra hundred and pic up a mic from Cascade, at least they have some degree of quality control in the US, instead of shipping you crap direct from China. I'm sure the ribbon was fine last year in Shaghai...

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