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Still tempted to try AEA R84 besides my Schoeps
Old 19th January 2007
  #1
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Talking Still tempted to try AEA R84 besides my Schoeps

I record my acoustic instruments (violin, viola, flutes, guitar, ethnic instruments etc.) in my mid size studio room. I always use some Schoeps stereo pair for that. I still wonder whether (a pair of) AEA R84 could bring a completely different (yet the same level of) sound quality, which may be prefered in some cases.

I already tried a pair of Royer SF1, but to me it sounded a bit flat and 2D. Also the output was extremely low. But most probably AEA is a different animal ... The output is also very low, bit the TRP preamp could help.

Does anyone have an experience with Schoeps vs AEA on acoustic instruments ? Could AEA be prefered in some cases (while recording a single instrument in a studio) ? Or can it be even combined ? (like a pair of Schoeps with AEA for an extra smoothness ...).

Sometimes I feel that Schoeps could handle my violin in a smoother way ...

Maybe AEA 84 is too dark for subtle acoustic music ?
Old 19th January 2007
  #2
Hi Ivo,

You could try out Royer SF-24.
It's an active stereo ribbon (more output, no need to worry about impedance matching, long cable runs etc..)
A cheaper alternative is the passive SF-12..

Good luck in your search, and let us know what you find out!
Old 19th January 2007
  #3
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorganN View Post
Hi Ivo,

You could try out Royer SF-24.
It's an active stereo ribbon (more output, no need to worry about impedance matching, long cable runs etc..)
A cheaper alternative is the passive SF-12..

Good luck in your search, and let us know what you find out!
I already tried a pair of SF1 (=SF12), but felt Schoeps sound quite better ... (more 3D, details, music ...)
AEA may be different

Seems I may have AEA R84 here to try next week ... (I am a man of action heh )
Old 19th January 2007
  #4
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i recently purchased an r84 and a trp and love the way they sound on acoustic guitars, mandolins, etc. very warm and woody. the r84 is dark but sounds great with a little eq. i never heard a mic take eq as well as the 84. i also have the r92 which sounds great on acoustics. the 84 shines in the lower frequencies, the 92 shines more towards the top end. both, i think, are quite worthy. i also tried a royer, a coles, and a crowley & tripp. didn't like the royer or coles for soft acoustic playing. the crowley was wonderful. so many mics, so little time.
bill
Old 19th January 2007
  #5
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
the 84 shines in the lower frequencies, the 92 shines more towards the top end. both, i think, are quite worthy.
Hmm, so for violin, flutes etc. R92 could be even more suitable ?
Old 19th January 2007
  #6
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there's a fellow slut named JAMZ (Jim Salamone) who has extensive experience with ribbons on the instruments you are talking about. look him up on a search and pm him. nice guy. very helpful.

bill
Old 20th January 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Hmm, so for violin, flutes etc. R92 could be even more suitable ?
This might be of interest:
http://www.wesdooley.com/pdf/PR_Turt...ng_Quartet.pdf
Old 20th January 2007
  #8
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Plush's Avatar
At this house of Schoeps, we also use the R84. In direct comparison the R84 is picking up the wooden sound of the cello or violin and less of the scratchy string sound on the violin. Top end on the ribbon is restrained and somehow dull sounding.

Depth is restricted with the ribbon because the room is less well resolved than is done by the condensor mic.

Ribbon sounds very good on bass fiddle, all brass--especially tuba.

I find the ribbon R84 to be good, but its usage is specialized.

Just try it and see.
Old 20th January 2007
  #9
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Hmm, so for violin, flutes etc. R92 could be even more suitable ?
Responded to your email.

Also, you can check out (if you haven't already) Bill's thread RE: ribbon mics on Acoustic Guitars. There are some audio samples if interested.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/99946-ribbon-mics-acoustic-guitar.html
Old 20th January 2007
  #10
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
there's a fellow slut named JAMZ (Jim Salamone) who has extensive experience with ribbons on the instruments you are talking about. look him up on a search and pm him. nice guy. very helpful.

bill
I'm blushing.
Old 20th January 2007
  #11
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I love my Schoeps, and my R84. Great tools. You should demo the R84. I think it's a KILLER spot mic on a trio with spaced pair Schoeps. thumbsup
Old 20th January 2007
  #12
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I´ve been trying to decide between an r88, a pair of C & T
Prosceniums (expensive) or a pair of Coles 4040. The r88 is
said to be well balanced between the r84 (more low freq.)
and the r92 (more high freq.).
Old 20th January 2007
  #13
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I've got a pair of Crowley and Tripp Prosceniums (www.soundwaveresearch.com ) that I'm enjoying. Still getting to know them but have found that they are more detailed than many of the vintage designs. They pick up more good high frequency components so that is likely hand in hand with detail. In any case they are well made. Very worth a listen for anyone interested in a "natural" sounding ribbon that is still creamy as opposed to a "vintage tone" one. I plan on having lots of both .

I like the R84s as well for many things but they are darker and more "vintage-y" than the Prosceniums.

-Silas
Old 21st January 2007
  #14
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Jamz's Avatar
While doing overdubs with the band "Four:24" they brought in a young lady to do some violin. We layered a few takes. Each take I used a different microphone. Maybe this will help a little as well.
It was her first time recording. She was a trooper
Old 21st January 2007
  #15
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Thanks, Jim ! R84 sounds the most pleasant to me from all the four. Gefell was a bit thin and shrill, RCA also thin with a kind of not very pleasant timbre. I suppose it was a single R84 ?
Can you also place R84 as a spaced AB pair for a single instrument ?

Good news: thanks to Wolfgang from www.morphon.de I will have a pair of R84, R88 and TRP preamp here next week, so I will have a first hand experience ...
Old 21st January 2007
  #16
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Thanks, Jim ! R84 sounds the most pleasant to me from all the four. Gefell was a bit thin and shrill, RCA also thin with a kind of not very pleasant timbre. I suppose it was a single R84 ?
Can you also place R84 as a spaced AB pair for a single instrument ?
Yes. It was a single R84. All single mics. I had the 3 mics hovering around her head and each pass I turned a different mic on LOL! It got the job done.

The 295 is a little thin. The R84 is warm and smooth. The 77 is a little mid rangy. It worked when combining the 3. If I had to choose one is would be the R84.
BTW The 84 and 77 went through the TRP and the 295 went through the Pendulum MDP-1 with jensen tranny.

I had the R88 set up but did not use it.

I have used a spaced pair of 84s as room mics on drums...very good.
I've also used a space pair of 84s in remote work. Typically, choral. Also as a back up pair on a seperate system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Good news: thanks to Wolfgang from www.morphon.de I will have a pair of R84, R88 and TRP preamp here next week, so I will have a first hand experience ...
Good luck and have fun.
When I was choosing I ended up buying R92, (2) R84s and the R88. I do not consider it redundant one bit. It also eased my headache when attempting to choose
Old 21st January 2007
  #17
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Ivo, please audition the Coles 4040 if you can as well, with the TRP. This is a stunning combination.
Old 21st January 2007
  #18
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Ivo, please audition the Coles 4040 if you can as well, with the TRP. This is a stunning combination.
That would be quite difficult to get now ...
Someone mention Shinybox 46 ribbon, which is very cheap and supposedly very good (not that dark and vintage) for acoustic instruments. Anyone tried it ?
Old 21st January 2007
  #19
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Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
That would be quite difficult to get now ...
Someone mention Shinybox 46 ribbon, which is very cheap and supposedly very good (not that dark and vintage) for acoustic instruments. Anyone tried it ?
I have an original 46 that I modified by:
- removing the perforated blast-shield surrounding the ribbon motor
- replacing the stock bobbin transformer with a Lundahl

Both made a difference in the sound, but removing the blast-shield was dramatic.

The new "mx" version of Shinybox mics has a new ribbon that is more corrugated which strengthens the ribbon.


I have monkeyed around with it on guitar, but I'm not quite there yet -- I still have condensor ears

I have used it on banjo. Good combo there, but I prefer an Avenson STO-2.

I got really nice results using the Shinybox on Uilleann pipes about 1.5' in front of the chanter, as well as button accordion.

I can post a clip of each if you like.

I'm going to try it on fiddle in the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping for some good stuff there.

- Jim
Old 22nd January 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
While doing overdubs with the band "Four:24" they brought in a young lady to do some violin. We layered a few takes. Each take I used a different microphone. Maybe this will help a little as well.
It was her first time recording. She was a trooper
you can always count on Jamz for two things. Music samples and wetting your thirst for some Guiness. Damn that's a sweet looking avatar.

bill
Old 22nd January 2007
  #21
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
you can always count on Jamz for two things. Music samples and wetting your thirst for some Guiness. Damn that's a sweet looking avatar.

bill
Not me, I prefer water any time heh
Old 23rd January 2007
  #22
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
you can always count on Jamz for two things. Music samples and wetting your thirst for some Guiness. Damn that's a sweet looking avatar.

bill
Aah! Yes! a nice cold pint. Every now and then a tasteful addition to water.
My son took that picture while we were dining at an Irish pub in Richmond, VA this past summer. He's either starting to think about beer or he's a photographer in the making
Old 23rd January 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
Aah! Yes! a nice cold pint. Every now and then a tasteful addition to water.
My son took that picture while we were dining at an Irish pub in Richmond, VA this past summer. He's either starting to think about beer or he's a photographer in the making
let's hope its both.
Old 25th January 2007
  #24
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Yesterday I was having a nice day with R84, R88 and TRP. R88 looks absolutely stunning, best looking microphone I have ever seen

I made lot of various samples of various instruments in various microphone settings (also changing DAV and TRP preamps) - always directly comparing to Schoeps in the same situation.

I was very much impressed by the mellow sweet sound of the AEA ribbons and the stereo imaging of R88. I felt - will I ever use Schoeps again ?

But after some time, with some break and after the initial excitement was settled, I listened again to all that and made and compared again more samples ...

I don´t record any brass, piano, drum overheads, electric guitar etc. (which seems to be the main application field for ribbons)

Just my solo acoustic instruments of various kinds where the utmost performance details and emotional subtleties are the main thing.

I could not help, but I again simply felt that Schoeps (the MK21 or MK2 pair) sound superior and more appealing to me in all cases in the end. More "state of art" sound, more details, more "hifi", more emotions, more 3D, more "professional".

If I try to describe it rather "poetically" - if we want to reproduce a plant, the ribbons concentrate rather on the stem and leaves, while Schoeps focus directly on the the flower and let it fully blossom (having the stem and leaves less pronounced). My music and approach is more about a"flower".

Also (maybe even more exact parable) - the ribbon sound is sweet, mellow etc. - but a bit dry, juiceless it seems. Condenser sound has more juice and water (although not that heavy candy sweet sometimes).

I am sure that for brass instruments, saxophone etc., it may be better alternative than Schoeps. Also for making some nice blended "impressionist" sound colours of string etc. sections, where too much subtle details are not needed and welcome.

But for a subtle, intimate, highly detailed personal performance where the music sometimes oscillates between sound and silence, is full of contrast and details, Schoeps are overall better choice for me it seems.

Blending the sound of ribbons and condensers to get the best from both worlds, seemed to be another great option. Yet, I could not help, either it is not possible at all, or I did not set the right microphone positions, but trying to mix the sound of more than two (matched) microphones always brought some alien touch. It always sounded good, but when switching back just to a stereo pair, always much better ... I wonder whether there can be some positions where combining more microphones could bring a sonic advantage.
Maybe it is also a question of room - in a big hall or church it certainly works, but in a mid size studio room, I never found anything better sounding than a simple stereo pair.

I will try more today (also on monochord and similar instruments), but overall it seems that I may not increase my microphone collection this time ...

But I am very happy that I finally tried these venerable microphones and I am very grateful to Wolfgang from www.morphon.de to enable me to do this ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
At this house of Schoeps, we also use the R84. In direct comparison the R84 is picking up the wooden sound of the cello or violin and less of the scratchy string sound on the violin. Top end on the ribbon is restrained and somehow dull sounding.

Depth is restricted with the ribbon because the room is less well resolved than is done by the condensor mic.

Ribbon sounds very good on bass fiddle, all brass--especially tuba.

I find the ribbon R84 to be good, but its usage is specialized.

Just try it and see.
Oh, now I can see that you said basically the same in much less words heh
Yes, the depth is one of the main thing which ribbons miss comparing to high end condensors ... and I love and need depth and space ...
Old 26th January 2007
  #25
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

So, Ivo?

What's the decision though? Yes, you love your Schoeps...as we all do!
But do you find a place for the AEA in your arsenal, perhaps if you need a spot mic?

I might not bring out the R84 first, but when it does come out, it sure shines!

Just curious to see if, after listening some more, you see a place for AEA in your kit.

Thanks for your honesty in evaluation.

Best regards,

Jim
Old 26th January 2007
  #26
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Hello Jim.

yesterday I found R88 sounding very nice on classical Spanish guitar, it quite outperformed the Schoeps it seems. For months I tried to find a good sounding Schoeps position for that guitar and was never 100% happy, always a tiny bit thin, hard and edgy (in comparison with what I hear when playing.). Yesterday I put R88 in front of it and suddenly the guitar sounded very full and sweet ... Especially after using a bit EQ (which I was encouraged to do in case of ribbons).
Old 26th January 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

Hello Ivo,

Thank you for your report! But did you test AEA mics with DAV pre? I´m very close to order BG1u, but I wonder does it have enough gain for ribbons (I have Beyer M160 and M130)? I´m also recording acoustic music only (vocs, piano, acoustic bass, marimba, sax, clar,...)

Best,
Jomppa
Old 26th January 2007
  #28
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ISedlacek's Avatar
DAV vs TRP - it is very interesting question. I have both here at the moment and do AB switching all time.
(But please, take everything I share now just as my subjective impressions, nothing scientific, no review).

To my ears TRP sounds nice, but comparing to DAV (and also Pendulum) a bit thin and not having that pleasant musical "aura" as for example DAV. HF on TRP are a bit more pronounced, but when you add a bit of HF to DAV, it is the same open, but has more roundness and general musical "pleasantness" and depth than TRP to my ears.

My main concern was the gain and ribbon low output..With average and even rather quiet sources 66dB of DAV is perfectly all right it seems ...

What more - TRP theoretically has 84 dB gain, but in reality, when you go above say 70-75, the self-noise is already such, that it comes to the same like having less gain and adding gain later.

So for me it would have no point to keep TRP.
Old 26th January 2007
  #29
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Jamz's Avatar
Hey! you could walk away from this without a purchase. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Especially, if you feel you've got it covered.
I've never used Scheps but would welcome the opportunity to try them.
Before you send the ribbons and pre back perhaps you could put a sample or two up.
If you have the time
Old 26th January 2007
  #30
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
Hey! you could walk away from this without a purchase. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Especially, if you feel you've got it covered.
No Jim ... It seems I start having a small love affair with R88 in the end heh On guitar etc. it sounds very sweet. On violin actually too (after using some EQ). Let us see how deep this relationship could be ... For sure I will post some samples ...

The main consideration is whether it is possible to connect both worlds in one recording - the full sweetness of ribbons with the detailed top end and depth of condensers ... I am still experimenting with it ...
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