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Using the AEA R84 with uln8
Old 8th June 2020
  #1
Using the AEA R84 with uln8

Hi everybody,

I own a Metric Halo uln8 and I am considering buying an AEA r84.
I read everywhere that I need a powerful preamp for this microphone.
I have 90db with the uln8. I guess it is enough but has someone some experience with the same combo?

Would it be a better solution to take the r84a version with 48v alimentation and 12db more from the microphone?

Many thanks for your help,

Jean-Philippe
Old 8th June 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I have thier RPQ 500 Ribbon pre-amp.

Fred Forssell designed FET pre-amppre-amp. It really is superb with ribbon mics.

.... actually superb with dynamic mics too!

Highly recommended.
Old 8th June 2020
  #3
Thank you,

Would this RPQ500 be more suited to the r84 than my uln8?
Old 8th June 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Thank you,

Would this RPQ500 be more suited to the r84 than my uln8?
Well it's designed to sound fabulous with AEA ribbon mics and to provide very clean large amounts of quiet gain needed for a ribbon mic to sound great.

Plus it has dedicated filter EQ on it designed especially to bring out the very best in ribbon mics and the sources they record.

Sure, your interface might manage but I doubt it will achieve the results a dedicated ribbon pre can.

Just take the line out from the RPQ 500 and plug it into your interface balanced line input - job done.

They really are great ribbon preamps - maybe get a demo but I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Old 8th June 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Hi everybody,

I own a Metric Halo uln8 and I am considering buying an AEA r84.
I read everywhere that I need a powerful preamp for this microphone.
I have 90db with the uln8. I guess it is enough but has someone some experience with the same combo?

Would it be a better solution to take the r84a version with 48v alimentation and 12db more from the microphone?

Many thanks for your help,

Jean-Philippe
Dear Jean-Philippe,
ribbons in general have a low output, therefore need some decent preamps that are not noisy.

While I never tested this very combo, I’ve used both pieces..
and you’ll be totally fine with the MH uln-8 pres. (They’re low noise, so they’re fine.. and they have quite a lot of gain)

The active versions of these ribbons are mainly meant for people who needs to record very quiet stuff (like classical music), for all the other applications if you have a decent/good preamp it do just fine.

You might prefer a specific make or model to reach your goal, but the uln-8 pres are perfectly capable of professional/great results.
(There might be other boutique pres that might sound “better”, but the uln-8 are pretty good).

You don’t need any booster with these preamps, or any other pres (unless as said you’re looking for the ultimate tone or a specific thing).

I’m not saying that there are not better options/sounding preamps.. of course there are several pieces that will perform better than the ULN-8 pres (like the Avedis MA5, which also happen to have a nice 28k air boost), my point was that you’ll be fine with its preamps, and you’ll not encounter noise or issues with them, which was your question.

Don’t worry and enjoy the ribbons with your uln-8.
On some sources you might want to lift the topend a bit, ribbons take eq extremely well (due to their passive nature), and any good eq hw or software will do.



Cheu
Old 8th June 2020
  #6
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uptheoctave's Avatar
The issue isn't how much gain but how much clean gain.
I don't have the ULN but I do have an R84A (active) and the RPQ500 and a load of other high end preamps.
The RPQ500 is the best sounding preamp with the R84A, there isn't a load of difference with other clean focussed preamps (Grace, Millenia) though.

I do sometimes use it with a Neve style pre, I tend to not like it as much with the API's.

Honestly, I would just give it a go and see, you can always pick up an AEA preamp if you are really unhappy with it with the ULN.
It is an excellent microphone.
Old 8th June 2020
  #7
Hi Cheu,

The fact is that I precisely have to record quiet sources like acoustic double bass, cello, jazz or classic singer, acoustic guitar etc.
So do you think the best would be to take the R84A or the R84 + AEA preamp (or R84A + AEA preamp)?
The best is probably just to test by myself but I have a recording session soon and I hoped to use my soon arriving R84(A?) for this and if I am convinced that another preamp that the ones of my uln8 would be necessary, I will try to find one now.

And about these AEA preamp, I don't understand exactly the differences between the different models.

About the RPQ500, the point is that I have no 500 rack so I would have to consider buying one, which is a bit annoying because I won't probably use a lot of other 500 modules.
However I have an opportunity to buy 2 used RPQ500 at a good price. It could be an opportunity. But it seems to be some older models, they are black. Or is it just a cosmetic difference?

The RPQ2 seems to be the same than RPQ500 but in a rack format. Probably better for me.

But what's the difference with the TRP2? And with the older TRP? I have also an opportunity to buy this older TRP.

Many thanks if you have some answers of advices.
Old 8th June 2020
  #8
anyway, thank you all for your help.

Another question about the AEA preamps. Would they be interesting too for my 2 Coles 4038?
I use them with my Metric Halo uln8. They just sound great, no noise at all. I never have to go upper than 40/45db and the uln8 could go until 90db.
I just read so much reviews where people claim that a preamp special for ribbon is so much better that I am curious to know - and to hear - what I could get more than what I have.
This could be another argument to take these AEA preamps.
Old 9th June 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Coles 4038.
I use them with my Metric Halo uln8. They just sound great, no noise at all. I never have to go upper than 40/45db and the uln8 could go until 90db.
You replied your own question. If you record quiet stuff with the coles 4038 and uln8, and you don’t have noise issues, you shouldn’t have any with the R84 either.

I’d say that while the AEA are a good clean preamps, they’re “similar” to the uln-8. They might be a tad better, but they won’t be day and night (although these things are quite subjective)..

They work well with ribbons (since they are thought for them of course).. the original trp is very much similar/the same thing just without the added phantom power and the eq section of the rpq..

Some people (like me) like the Avedis MA5 with the coles (and ribbons in general), and its 28k boost comes handy, but it’s a matter of taste honestly.

There are other pieces that are nice with ribbons.. but it all depends what you’re looking for.

The best thing you could do is test them yourself and be able to send them back to the dealer if it’s not to your liking..





Cheu
Old 9th June 2020
  #10
Many thanks Cheu,
You are right.
I will just test it with my Metric Halo and I will try one day to have a look to these Avedis MA5.

And congratulations for the music on your website, I like it very much, especially this video in the Urbex style.
Do you play the drums or the electronic instruments ?
Old 9th June 2020
  #11
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Many thanks Cheu,
You are right.
I will just test it with my Metric Halo and I will try one day to have a look to these Avedis MA5.

And congratulations for the music on your website, I like it very much, especially this video in the Urbex style.
Do you play the drums or the electronic instruments ?
They’re very talented players.. no it’s not me.. I wasn’t involved in any way (other than maybe suggesting a few things to Brian Quinn, the drummer).
I believe that on youtube you could find other videos under that project named Braun (which is the name of the two players, Brian and Raun).

I co produced his first work/ep/album 16yrs ago or so..
that’s why they’re in my signature..
i don’t have a studio anymore and I’m working less and less.. I do still have some projects on the horizon, but not many.. although I’m always happy if I can work with Brian.



Cheu
Old 9th June 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Hi everybody,

I own a Metric Halo uln8 and I am considering buying an AEA r84.
I read everywhere that I need a powerful preamp for this microphone.
I have 90db with the uln8. I guess it is enough but has someone some experience with the same combo?

Would it be a better solution to take the r84a version with 48v alimentation and 12db more from the microphone?

Many thanks for your help,

Jean-Philippe
I use this mic/preamp combo, it works fine. I've never felt the need for the active version with the ULN8 pres.
Old 9th June 2020
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I also use a R84 with the uln8 and find it works fine
Old 11th June 2020
  #14
Hi,

Thanks to everybody for your help.
I finally purchased a R84 yesterday.
I spent some time to test it and also compared it to my M149 on a baryton classical voice.
I was really impressed by the R84.
So much musical, to my taste should I precise.
It's not a question of quality. But the M149 made me hear all the "defaults" of the voice, the mouth noises, the "s", the "t". Switching to the R84 make suddenly hear just the music and the heart of the sound.
This is all subjective of course. I would never say that the M149 is not good, but the fact is that I just realised yesterday that ribbon microphones are much more in my taste than condenser ones.

About the use with my uln8, it seems ok. I hade to push the gain quiet high, around 44db for this vocal session.
By comparison, on the same voice 25db were enough with the M149.

The fact is that I should compare with the R84A version, or with the AEA preamp to know if there is a significant difference.

However, I see that when I push the gain of the uln8 above 50db, I have the felling that it becomes a bit noisy. But that could be also because I hear very much all the little sounds in my room.
I will test it with my cloud lifter (from Triton audio) to see if there is a difference.

By the way, I am very happy with it and I even think of selling my M149 to take some other ribbon microphones.

Jean-Philippe
Old 11th June 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagietto View Post
Hi,

Thanks to everybody for your help.
I finally purchased a R84 yesterday.
I spent some time to test it and also compared it to my M149 on a baryton classical voice.
I was really impressed by the R84.
So much musical, to my taste should I precise.
It's not a question of quality. But the M149 made me hear all the "defaults" of the voice, the mouth noises, the "s", the "t". Switching to the R84 make suddenly hear just the music and the heart of the sound.
This is all subjective of course. I would never say that the M149 is not good, but the fact is that I just realised yesterday that ribbon microphones are much more in my taste than condenser ones.

About the use with my uln8, it seems ok. I hade to push the gain quiet high, around 44db for this vocal session.
By comparison, on the same voice 25db were enough with the M149.

The fact is that I should compare with the R84A version, or with the AEA preamp to know if there is a significant difference.

However, I see that when I push the gain of the uln8 above 50db, I have the felling that it becomes a bit noisy. But that could be also because I hear very much all the little sounds in my room.
I will test it with my cloud lifter (from Triton audio) to see if there is a difference.

By the way, I am very happy with it and I even think of selling my M149 to take some other ribbon microphones.

Jean-Philippe
Dear Jean-Philippe,
The M149 has probably the hottest output I’ve seen in a microphone.. I’m even surprised that you reach 25db’s of gain..

That’s normal with a low output ribbon amd I don’t think that the uln-8 is noisy at 44db’s.. at all..

Don’t worry too much and enjoy your passive R84. It’s totally fine and I don’t think you need the active version, but for the sake of your peace of mind IF you really need, do a test..



Cheu
Old 11th June 2020
  #16
25db because it was a very quiet song and I pushed quite a lot the preamps.
Old 12th June 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 
myles's Avatar
 

After the fact, but I use a wide variety of ribbons with my ULN-8 - sounds great, no noise.
Old 13th June 2020
  #18
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elamberth's Avatar
Have the m149 and R84. Very different animals. I wouldn't sell the m149 - great, great mic! Very different and they lend themselves to different genres/ feelings/ sounds. If I was recording a classic guitar track or modern (even classic) vocal- m149 all the way. If I keep switching polar patterns and distances from source, and I can often get a great sound. I'm sure you have, but some may try different pre's as well - I find this mic loves the 1073. Tube pre's - not so much success, at least in my place.

Classic jazz electric guitar or vintage vocals - R84. R84 likes the 1073, but loves the Fearn. Doesn't like the U/A 610 for me. Huh.

Your experience may differ....
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