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DanDaMan
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#1
14th February 2011
Old 14th February 2011
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Coles 4038 mic

Hello my fellow slutz,

I was just wondering what peoples opinions are on this mic, because I'm thinking of getting one myself soon. The sources I would be using the mic on would mainly be acoustic and electric guitar at the moment.

The reason I ask is because I have never used one before and I just want to know what people who have used them think of them. Anyone out there recommend these little beauties?
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14th February 2011
Old 14th February 2011
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We are fortunate to have a respectable selection of mics. While we prefer other mics for acoustic guitar duties, the 4038 is a consistent go to mic for electric guitar cab (I personally love them blended with a 57) and which also sees use on OH. Great mics that you very likely will be quite pleased. If you decide that the 4038 doesn't suit your needs, resale is relatively quick and painless.
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DanDaMan
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14th February 2011
Old 14th February 2011
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Thanks for the input mate, means a lot.
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14th February 2011
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The 4038 is a fantastic mic for drum OH duties, even if it's just a mono OH that you blend in with your normal stereo selection. The 4038 captures the cymbals in a fantastic way, really smoothing them out. They do lack a bit in the high end, but the mic takes EQ like a champ. I would definitely recommend picking one up if you're on the fence. I have never used it on acoustic, but on electric it's very good.
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14th February 2011
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one of my fav mics on a lot of sources. Sweet in all the right ways.
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DanDaMan
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14th February 2011
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Cheers for the replies guys. Keep 'em coming.
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14th February 2011
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hey
i have pair. and i really love them. but thats not on guitars. actually, i tracked acoustic guitar with them for a bit. but that was a very brightsounding taylor. now, that was a perfect match. on a martin it did not work as well..... since it sounds good in the first place. taylors are unusable pieces of sh_t to me. even the customs and all of them.
seriously, if its about guitars you can do a lot better. guitars are more u67 or km54 to me. thats the classic tone you know from your dads record collection. not 4038s. but they are still amazing for OHs and very bright guitars.
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15th February 2011
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I scored a pair in Nov for $1500. Awesome on OHs, room mics, guitars, strings, etc. Very smooth, will tame harsh cymbals like a good ribbon mic should.
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16th February 2011
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4038's get a matched pair! 2 is better than 1... #1 drum OH, room mic, violins, cello, horns, mandolin....

if source is bright and you wanna tame it, 4038!

takes eq like a champ, killer signal, won't fall apart on you like when you eq a cheap mic.

abbey road uses them i think....
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16th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigfrog View Post
4038's get a matched pair! 2 is better than 1... #1 drum OH, room mic, violins, cello, horns, mandolin....

if source is bright and you wanna tame it, 4038!

takes eq like a champ, killer signal, won't fall apart on you like when you eq a cheap mic.

abbey road uses them i think....
Abbey Road does use them indeed
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16th February 2011
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IMO they excel as drum OH's, room mics and are pretty good with acoustic instruments. You'll have to be careful with close mic'ed disorted electric guitars since they don't handle high SPL's like royers do.

...oh and I have a matched pair in excellent condition up for sale in the classfields
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16th February 2011
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I love these mics! Also- they create the trumpet sound you hear on MOST major motion picture scores. (After the player of course! LOL)

Killer on drum room....

Get a pair for sure. They are fragile, so treat them with care. but they will be an investment you will not regret.

R
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16th February 2011
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They're OK on acoustic guitars.

I think they work best on super bright acoustics. In that they will reduce any harshness in there.

But they are unlikely to give you that kind of finger noise/pick noise sensual details thing that a SDC mic will. You might not want that, but I do: I like to hear the frrrrkkkk of pick on string.

Put it this way, if were recording very sparse arrangements - just vocals and a bright-sounding acoustic guitar, say – a Coles might work well.

But if that acoustic was going to be sitting in the mix with lots of other elements I really wouldn't use a Coles. You'd end up having to EQ out all the wonderful but unusable body. And, while Coles are forgiving of substantial EQ, there are limits, and they don't provide that "bite" that you might want from an acoustic guitar recording in my experience.

I use my Coles on my voice more than anything: it's good at warming up a vocal, or removing any nasal qualities.

I often think a Coles, correctly placed, would sound great on double-bass or cello.
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16th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
They're OK on acoustic guitars.

I think they work best on super bright acoustics. In that they will reduce any harshness in there.

But they are unlikely to give you that kind of finger noise/pick noise sensual details thing that a SDC mic will. You might not want that, but I do: I like to hear the frrrrkkkk of pick on string.

Put it this way, if were recording very sparse arrangements - just vocals and a bright-sounding acoustic guitar, say – a Coles might work well.

But if that acoustic was going to be sitting in the mix with lots of other elements I really wouldn't use a Coles. You'd end up having to EQ out all the wonderful but unusable body. And, while Coles are forgiving of substantial EQ, there are limits, and they don't provide that "bite" that you might want from an acoustic guitar recording in my experience.

I use my Coles on my voice more than anything: it's good at warming up a vocal, or removing any nasal qualities.

I often think a Coles, correctly placed, would sound great on double-bass or cello.
Depending on the genre they may sound spot on. Here's a clip of an acoustic guitar recorded with two 4038's in an AB setup. The guitar was VERY bright, no condenser could touch it.

..and they also need distance, twice as much than any other mic I've ever used, in this clip the mics were about 6 feet from the guitar.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 4038 clip.mp3 (1.24 MB, 415 views)
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16th February 2011
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That's interesting to hear, thanks. Next time I record with the Coles I'll back off a lot more.

That must have been one hell of a bright guitar: on my acoustic the bottom strings sound bassier than that even when I've recorded with my AKGC451 and shelved some of the bass.
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Coles 4038 has the sound of a mic that is not full range. That is highly desirable. This is exactly what you want in a good ribbon mic.


The mic sounds wooly, thick and with a restrained treble. It is a magnificent mic.

Here it is the main cello mic and main violin mic.

It is not the mic you would use to record gtr. if you want it bright and forward.
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16th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
That's interesting to hear, thanks. Next time I record with the Coles I'll back off a lot more.

That must have been one hell of a bright guitar: on my acoustic the bottom strings sound bassier than that even when I've recorded with my AKGC451 and shelved some of the bass.
Placement is key with ribbons, if you get that right what you record will sound very close to the instrument in the room.
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