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Active Ribbon Mics Ribbon Microphones
Old 29th August 2007
Gear Addict

Active Ribbon Mics

I've become more interested in these mics lately. Right now I use AEA ribbons, which I love. Problem is I'm very anti limiting/compressing, so often I have problems getting a hot enough sounding master, even after EQing out a fair amount of low end and level boosting.

Which of the active sounding ribbons would you say are most faithful to the sound of "real" ribbon mics?

Old 29th August 2007
Lives for gear
Crash's Avatar
I have no first hand knowledge but I have heard the Sontronics Sigma active ribbon is pretty faithful to what an old school ribbon sounds like. I believe if you do a search, there are some clips on here somewhere of this mic.
Old 30th August 2007
Gear Addict
hle144's Avatar

I got a pair of Royer 122. Ribbon mics that take 48v, what is the world coming to?

Love them. Ribbon characteristics with lotsa gain. I stay away from compressing to tape as well and the Royers get nice and hot.

I am very curious about the Royer 122v, tube ribbon mic.
Old 30th August 2007
Gear Maniac

Bluegrasser, what pre are you using? I had the same problem until getting the AEA TRP. I found the TRP really improved the ribbon sound on every non active ribbon I own. Go to the AEA site and download the .pdf article on matching preamp impedance to ribbons. I think it is in the TRP manual.

I own the Blue Woodpecker (which I just got, have only used it a couple of times) and the Royer R122V (tube ribbon). Both have a much more open mid and high end than the R121 or the R84 or R92 (I own those as well). The Woodpecker puts out a LOT, but it is much noisier than the other ribbons, so there is that trade off. The 122V definitely puts out more than the R121. I'm glad I have both the 122V and the 121 as they are a very different sound.

Another to consider is the SF series by Royer. I use the SF12 for mandolin and banjo. A banjo playing friend who has been recording since the late 50s (Harley Bray of the Bray Brothers) likes the SF12 more than any mic he has tried, including a LOT of ribbons over the years. What the SF12 records is just as I hear that instrument in the room.

The Woodpecker has a sound more like a condenser, but still has a cool ribbon vibe. The 122v has a rich, clear midrange that has to be heard! It, along with the SF12 are my favorite mics by far.
Old 3rd September 2007
500 series nutjob
pan60's Avatar

i did not find the Woodpecker to be noisy unless it was cranked!
now, that is very easy to do as this mic is hot!
hot, hot, hot, lots of gain.
the fact is i had to use the pad on the pre i am using to test the mic just to get it in the ballpark of some condensers i was comparing it to.
pad it or turn the gain down.
Old 4th September 2007
Gear Head


Search no more, I’m serious!
Golden Age Music index

Kind regards
Old 4th September 2007
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by andytheswede View Post

Search no more, I’m serious!
Golden Age Music index

Kind regards
Interesting stuff, Andy. Do you work for them? How can I obtain a price list on the mics. Thanks.
Old 4th September 2007
Gear Head

no i dont work for them, just a really satisfied costumer.
go to the pro section and click on the pricelist tab on the left,,eh i'll give ya a link

they have an active ribbon with tube inside, f_ck_ng great sounding piece of tool to have.
Old 7th September 2007
Gear Addict

Looks like that tube ribbon mic is only $399. Or am I reading the price wrong? Might be worth a gamble at that price.
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