According to George Massenburg, putting a 57
and a ribbon on a guitar amp gives you tone options at mix time that negate the need for EQ. With the 57
aimed at the sweet spot near the center of the speaker and the ribbon off to the edge a bit more, you get your lows and your highs on two separate channels.
Ribbon mics can have an enhanced proximity affect, which makes them tricky to use on vocals. The response graph generally shows a rolloff in the high end compared to condensers that generally show a rise in response in the high end.
Sometimes I'll use a ribbon for an acoustic guitar solo, but use a condenser for the acoustic rhythm part. It's all about sonic space. If you used a ribbon on everything, you could end up with a really "thick" (muddy) mix. If you only use it on certain elements, you can keep the instruments from competing for the same sonic space. Likewise, if you use nothing but bright condensers, you could end up with a mix that lacks warmths and sounds harsh and tinny.
(Contrary to conventional wisdom, I think it's harder to "de-harsh" a track recorded with a harsh mic than it is to brighten up a track that's recorded with a neutral or dark mic. Ideally, you already have the sonic space issue mapped out in your head so you know which mics to choose for which sources, but if the production is fluid, you may not know in advance what elements the final will contain.)
I would say the M160 is more like a 57
than a regular ribbon. It has the presence peak of the 57
, but the high end is a little less harsh.