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AEA R88, 4038, Chandler Redd Ribbon Microphones
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
AEA R88, 4038, Chandler Redd

I'm looking to buy a high quality multi purpose mic either as a stereo mic like the AEA R88, a matched pair of 4038's, or possibly a pair of Chandler Redd microphones. I want the microphones to excel at recording drums in a large room as either overheads or room mics. Just curious what peoples thoughts are who have used them all. Also, if I decide to go the tube mic route instead of ribbon and buy one Chandler as a mono overhead and later buy a second down the road in a few months for a pair, should I be concerned they are not matched? Thanks
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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withintheflux's Avatar
Howdy.

I happen to own all 3 of those mics.

I'd go with the R88 (or 2 N8s or 84s). I have only have the coles for a little while, but I've found it less useful that the R88 for acoustic guitar and piano, etc. It seems to have more character. I've used the R88 on numerous sources and it's always a nice image of the source.

The Redd is very smooth and hi-fi. it is VERY detailed. I typically roll off highs for almost all sources (others think Im nuts). For my own sensibilities I'd choose a ribbon for drum duties. Especially if you have a nice sounding room.

All great mics!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by withintheflux View Post
Howdy.

I happen to own all 3 of those mics.

I'd go with the R88 (or 2 N8s or 84s). I have only have the coles for a little while, but I've found it less useful that the R88 for acoustic guitar and piano, etc. It seems to have more character. I've used the R88 on numerous sources and it's always a nice image of the source.

The Redd is very smooth and hi-fi. it is VERY detailed. I typically roll off highs for almost all sources (others think Im nuts). For my own sensibilities I'd choose a ribbon for drum duties. Especially if you have a nice sounding room.

All great mics!
Thanks for the feedback. Have you heard the Redd as a pair? Would you still lean towards the R88 over the 4038 for drum overheads?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
I love 4038 for overheads and kick. Nothing else is the same.

However, a 4038 is a one trick pony. Not as useful as any of the other mic's if your locker is small. Since you sated multi purpose, get an 88 or 121.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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withintheflux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanderwestcoast View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Have you heard the Redd as a pair? Would you still lean towards the R88 over the 4038 for drum overheads?
Haven’t heard the reds as a pair in my space but gearslutz member Paul_G has posted stereo drums samples in the longer Redd thread. Check it out.

My suggestion was based on the premise that you want a versatile mic/mics that also excel at recording drums. If your main focus is drums, perhaps you should really consider 4038s.

Hopefully Paul G will chime in. He is digging the Redds on drums.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Thread Starter
Cool....I'll try and look it up.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanderwestcoast View Post
Cool....I'll try and look it up.
I'd also suggest the AEA R88.. really a great mic. Need a good preamp and a good room of course.

for drums in general, while I like the 4038 and on some stuff is really fantastic, I believe the R88 could be more versatile..has a little bit less character..so to say.. R88 is a little bit more "polite"..

the price is really great for that mic.

if you're thinking at shelling out 10k on a pair of redd's I'd then consider a pair of Neumann U67 reissue at that point...fantastic on OH and on just ANYTHING else.. and less "bright" than the redd.. although the redd could be a winner as Paul G proved.



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
A pair would be much more useful then a stereo mic. Been using 121 for a about two years. Sounds good but are a bit harsh in the mids and are very colored. Got a pair of coles a couple of weeks ago and initially i like them more. Much more natural sounding then the 121. And you instantly hear the sound of 1000 records in a good way!

If you have the cash like Cheu said a pair of u67 would cover pretty much everything.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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andrew montreal's Avatar
Intersting responses. I bought a pair of Coles a few months back. Used on drums, marimba, bass amp (from a few feet), piano, room mics, and even lead vocals. All sounded amazing and classy. They are very special. The low-end reach is incredible. Sure they need EQ in some of those cases, but not all. That being said I haven’t used an R84 in a long time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
The coles 4038 pair I own is the opppsite to a Redd. I adore the Redd on vocals, acoustics etc. love Coles on drums. I don’t much like high end detail on drums so I don’t use Redd for it. If u want that, the Redd would be great. Don’t know the R88
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the info everyone.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew montreal View Post
Intersting responses. I bought a pair of Coles a few months back. Used on drums, marimba, bass amp (from a few feet), piano, room mics, and even lead vocals. All sounded amazing and classy. They are very special. The low-end reach is incredible. Sure they need EQ in some of those cases, but not all. That being said I haven’t used an R84 in a long time.
Don't get me wrong, the coles on drums are dope..and also on gtrs, piano and vocals (or certain vocals at least)..

my impression when comparing it with the R84 was that the coles was more coloured and when you start to compress it (on drums) it goes rather fast toward a certain direction.. that not always suit the material..

but it's a lovely mic..
the R88 while more "limited" on positioning and "less versatile" than two mics, offers an incredible image and it's rather fast to setup if you have a great bulky stand.



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
From the limited material I have heard online the 4038's have a little more pronounced bottom end than some other ribbons including the R88. But in a good way. I can hear why they are often used on drums among other things.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
My vote is for R88 first. It’s exceptionally versatile, and not being extremely expensive for a stereo mic it’s a good value. Overall I would say it’s a piece that is essential to have in the locker if you record most any kind of acoustic instruments (including drums).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Sorry to jump in with another option, but it's a close relative: the Coles 4050. It's essentially two Coles 4040s that can be mounted together to form a stereo mic. The 4040 is different from the 4038 - it extends out much further on the high end so it's much more balanced across the frequency spectrum, and is very clear while still sounding like the Cole ribbon mic that it is. I have no idea why the 4040 and 4050 seem to have never completely caught on, but they're quite good and very versatile.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Head
 
Stagecraft's Avatar
So I don't have r88 but I do have a RCA dx77. I have the REDD and the 4038's. If it was me I would go with the REDD.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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mattcollen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by withintheflux View Post
Howdy.

I happen to own all 3 of those mics.

I'd go with the R88 (or 2 N8s or 84s). I have only have the coles for a little while, but I've found it less useful that the R88 for acoustic guitar and piano, etc. It seems to have more character. I've used the R88 on numerous sources and it's always a nice image of the source.

The Redd is very smooth and hi-fi. it is VERY detailed. I typically roll off highs for almost all sources (others think Im nuts). For my own sensibilities I'd choose a ribbon for drum duties. Especially if you have a nice sounding room.

All great mics!
I have two out of the three: R88 and Coles 4038.

I would mirror the above sentiments. Whatever you select will be a winner, since you’ll be picking from three awesome mics.

I’d give the R88 the edge over the Coles.

I still want to hear the Redd Mic. Everyone seems to be raving about them.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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syra's Avatar
Redd is too bright for my taste on bright sources such as cymbals so I wouldn’t use them on drums. They sound fantastic on other sources.

R88 is very hifi sounding for a ribbon. Beautiful on most sources if you like that softer ribbon sound with extended high frequency content.

4038 is dark and thick while preserving midrange details. As someone else mentioned you can hear that sound on countless records.

If I could only buy one (or a pair of the same mic), specifically for drum overheads I’d go for the 4038.

I love Royers on electric guitars but for any other source I will 100% always prefer the 4038.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
Redd is too bright for my taste on bright sources such as cymbals so I wouldn’t use them on drums. They sound fantastic on other sources.

R88 is very hifi sounding for a ribbon. Beautiful on most sources if you like that softer ribbon sound with extended high frequency content.

4038 is dark and thick while preserving midrange details. As someone else mentioned you can hear that sound on countless records.

If I could only buy one (or a pair of the same mic), specifically for drum overheads I’d go for the 4038.

I love Royers on electric guitars but for any other source I will 100% always prefer the 4038.
Thanks. What preamps are you using with your ribbons?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
I would have a hard time not using any of these microphones for lotsa things around the studio.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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syra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanderwestcoast View Post
Thanks. What preamps are you using with your ribbons?
For drums neves. For anything else that’s not as loud AEA TRP. I have a few of those. Love them with tube vintage mics too. And if it’s something specific I’m after, I may use old RCA pres (OP6, BA1A).
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

We have about a dozen ribbon mics including an AEA R84, a pair of AEA N22's (modified as N8's) and recently acquired a matched pair of Coles 4038's.

To be frank I dislike most modern ribbons that use various techniques to make them brighter.

Our N22's were anaemic and horrible until I removed the perforated tube that covered the ribbon motor assembly. This, I believe, effectively turns them into N8's and they are now far better. Much better low end and reach and smoother mids and highs.

Also the R84 is an internally equalised mic while I believe the R88 is not.

The same applies to our pair of Rode NTR's. They also use a mechanical EQ to modify the frequency response of the ribbon motor assembly.

However the Coles 4038 is KING!

You need to balance the low end to avoid excessive proximity effect by adjusting the distance to the source, often 18" or so for vocals, but once achieved they are sublimely detailed and smooth.

A little 16khz shelving to taste and voila!

"From my cold, dead hands!"
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowmat View Post
We have about a dozen ribbon mics including an AEA R84, a pair of AEA N22's (modified as N8's) and recently acquired a matched pair of Coles 4038's.

To be frank I dislike most modern ribbons that use various techniques to make them brighter.

Our N22's were anaemic and horrible until I removed the perforated tube that covered the ribbon motor assembly. This, I believe, effectively turns them into N8's and they are now far better. Much better low end and reach and smoother mids and highs.

Also the R84 is an internally equalised mic while I believe the R88 is not.

The same applies to our pair of Rode NTR's. They also use a mechanical EQ to modify the frequency response of the ribbon motor assembly.

However the Coles 4038 is KING!

You need to balance the low end to avoid excessive proximity effect by adjusting the distance to the source, often 18" or so for vocals, but once achieved they are sublimely detailed and smooth.

A little 16khz shelving to taste and voila!

"From my cold, dead hands!"
Tell me about it. Coles rocks! thickest mic in the world.
Old 11 minutes ago
  #24
While I'm not exactly the demographic you're looking for, having both the Coles & the R88, but not the Redds, and knowing the versatility of the R88, I think I would just get the R88 and give it a workout. I find it's easier & faster to work with than the 4038s (or even the N8s, which I also have) as a Blumlein pair. You could always try the Coles or Redds when you've wrung out the R88. Or, buy another R88 if you like the sound but want some space between the channels. Regardless, have fun & let us know what you decide!
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