R88 owners

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permanent hearing damage
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R88 owners

Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:32 am

where are you using these things? i'm thinking about getting one, but there aren't a ton of things i mic in stereo. drum overheads/room or acoustic guitar is all that really come to mind - and i rarely get acoustics in the projects i work on. i'm sure i could put one on a guitar cab here and there, but thinking i might get more use out of buying a pair or ribbons instead. any of you use R88s and only plug in one side once in a while?

i've always wanted 4038s, so that might be the next thing up. i have a ton of modded ribbons (mostly by Joly) that I love - pair of RSM5s and an Apex 205 (which actually sounds to me what i imagine 4038s sound like?). also a pair of M160s. i've used royer 121s here and there and like them, but they seem way more subtle as ribbons than i expected. anything i'm overlooking? I see Coles 4040s seem to come up a helluva lot cheaper second hand than 4038s. anyone have experience with those?

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losthighway
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Re: R88 owners

Post by losthighway » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:11 am

All I can offer is as a relatively recent 4038 owner I've really come to appreciate it. I want another.

It has been a great 'center' mic in my recent drum overheads. It has also made for some brilliant piano sounds, and served well in the auxiliary percussion role.

The talk of sometimes violently eq'ing has been pretty true in my experience. You can cut a lot of low and boost a lot of high (when needed) and it comes together nicely. It's all about the fullness and the attack of it to my ears. The mids are always right where I want them to be.

Also, the cable hardware does suck.

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Re: R88 owners

Post by DrummerMan » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:55 pm

I've had an r88 for around 7 years.

I don't remember what my plan or purpose was when I bought it. I don't tend to do xy overheads. I think I wanted a nice room mic that could be used for, like, chamber ensembles, and also as a drum room mic, or for mid/side duties. I definitely still use it for all those things. But also:

- Yes, I often just use one side as a part of a Glyn Johns drum setup, or as a semi-distant snare mic.. Also a couple times as a vocal mic.

- anything like clapping or percussion where I want to feel the instrument really in a place in a room.

- in front of a set of vibes, or as a piano overhead.

- distance mic when I'm micing any setup of stereo guitar amps, sometimes live, sometimes in a reamp situation.

- maybe the coolest thing I discovered was an accident while I was recording some very mellow and atmospheric accordion, I ended up pointing the bottom (pointy end) at the instrument from about half a foot away. So basically, the instrument was in a dead spot to both elements. The resulting sound was so huge and luscious I couldn't even believe it.

It's a dark, big sounding mic. I use the aea 500 pres and they serve it well. It sounds like you've got a lot of great mics so I don't know if you NEED it, but I don't ever regret having myself. I think if you have need for a dedicated stereo mic this is a very nice option.
Geoff Mann
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Re: R88 owners

Post by digitaldrummer » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:07 am

you might also check into the Cascade mics. I used to have an R84, but I sold it because the Vinjet (w/Lundahl) I have sounded just as good to me and was a fraction of the price. The AEA's are great and very sexy, but you can still get a pair of the Vinjets for under half of a new R88... and IMO a stereo pair is more flexible (as far as placement) vs. having it all in a single mic body.

The stereo Cascade mic (X15) is a dual short ribbon (I have a single version of the same design that I use often on guitar cabs - Nady also produced as the RSM-3 before the law suits). I also have a pair of Fathead's with Lundahl xfmrs... and also very nice, especially for the price.
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Re: R88 owners

Post by Recycled_Brains » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:12 am

I think if you've "always wanted a Coles", you should get the Coles. They are the gold standard for a reason. I can't wait til the day I finally can afford a couple.

Buying a pair of mics, in general, makes a hell of a lot more sense to me than buying a stereo mic if you're on a more modest budget. You can still do a stereo setup, but then you also have the option of using them on separate things, or just not being confined to blumlein only configurations.
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Re: R88 owners

Post by losthighway » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:17 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:12 am
I think if you've "always wanted a Coles", you should get the Coles. They are the gold standard for a reason. I can't wait til the day I finally can afford a couple.
Yeah, I've used a Cascade Gomez for years- pretty much the most souped up Fat Head you can get- don't know why they discontinued it.

Cool mic. The 4038 beats it every time and it's pretty much all the same applications, except I'm more bold about putting the Gomez in front of a roaring guitar amp.

Still the Coles costs about 4 times as much and is only 25% better, but that seems to be the margins in high end audio.

In fact I did an overhead shootout with the Coles, an M160 and the Cascade. I meant to share that here, I should dig that out.

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Re: R88 owners

Post by roscoenyc » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:44 am

For years I've used the Royer SF-12 (stereo ribbon) in a version of the Glynn Johns over the snare and measured the same distance from the snare as the "front" mic. I prefer it to the 'top/side' version.

While the SF-12 is a great mic, the R88 is 'fuller' to me and works even better for me over the kit.
I really like the single point source stereo.

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Re: R88 owners

Post by Recycled_Brains » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:43 am

losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:17 am
Recycled_Brains wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:12 am
I think if you've "always wanted a Coles", you should get the Coles. They are the gold standard for a reason. I can't wait til the day I finally can afford a couple.
Yeah, I've used a Cascade Gomez for years- pretty much the most souped up Fat Head you can get- don't know why they discontinued it.

Cool mic. The 4038 beats it every time and it's pretty much all the same applications, except I'm more bold about putting the Gomez in front of a roaring guitar amp.

Still the Coles costs about 4 times as much and is only 25% better, but that seems to be the margins in high end audio.

In fact I did an overhead shootout with the Coles, an M160 and the Cascade. I meant to share that here, I should dig that out.
25% is a lot, IMO. The cumulative effect of those little upward moves in quality is what makes something go from "good enough" to "fuck yea".
Ryan Slowey
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Dok
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Re: R88 owners

Post by Dok » Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:55 pm

losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:17 am
In fact I did an overhead shootout with the Coles, an M160 and the Cascade. I meant to share that here, I should dig that out.
Okay but as long as you promise it's not going to make me want to sell my M160s, and Cascade X-15 so I can afford to get some 4038s...

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losthighway
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Re: R88 owners

Post by losthighway » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:17 pm

Dok wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:55 pm
losthighway wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:17 am
In fact I did an overhead shootout with the Coles, an M160 and the Cascade. I meant to share that here, I should dig that out.
Okay but as long as you promise it's not going to make me want to sell my M160s, and Cascade X-15 so I can afford to get some 4038s...
I think like most honest shootouts, it makes you realize you could get the job done well with any of them. Really it will make you want to put your M160's on guitar amps (who would ever sell any mic?). They sound kind of bright compared to the others (I would say thin, but they're not actually, only by comparison), I won't speak for the X-15, but the Gomez and the 4038 both have a lot of low end, but the 4038 has a much more present top end.

The biggest take away for me has been that when I put a figure 8 ribbon in the overhead position, I'm more likely to compress it, and the polar pattern brings out the room in a way that makes me not feel like I need a room mic as much. That back end of the figure 8 tends to look out towards a further corner of the ceiling and it gives a nice bloom on a spacious snare part.

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