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RCA 77-DX vs Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphones
Old 8th September 2007
Gear Addict

RCA 77-DX vs Coles 4038

I will buy either one (maybe two) new Coles 4038 - or one vintage RCA 77-DX in perfect condition.
which mic would you prefer for various sources like drums, horns, acoustic guitar, vocals...
If the RCA 77-DX is "like new", would it sound better than the Coles you think?
The RCA seems to be more desired for some reason.
- maybe just because it's "vintage"...?
or does it really sound that amazing?
Old 8th September 2007
Gear Addict
hle144's Avatar

+1 for Coles me. The Rca mic sounds a little moldy to me. Not very versatile. I would not use those Rca for overheads, especially for the more modern sounds.

With the Coles; overhead choice #1, brass, piano, strings, occasionally a vocal.
I also have a Stc 4033, I use for acoustic bass and outside kick mic.

If I can get a good deal on a pair of the new Coles 4040,...Happy family...

Yeah, Coles sound that Amazing...IMHO
Old 8th September 2007
Lives for gear
themaidsroom's Avatar

coles 4038
Old 8th September 2007
Gear Nut
Moofie's Avatar

+1 4038's.

I have two I've owned for years and I literally use them on EVERY session, overheads, horns, Leslie cabs, gtr, piano blah blah blah....

I also own a mint 77-dx that I use when nothing else works (which is not often).
On horns it's a no brainer but apart from the odd vocal and some occasional guitar, it sits in it's case. Most unlike it's big brother the 44-BX (also in my cabinet) which comes out as often as the 4038's.

My 2cents.

Old 8th September 2007
Lives for gear
r0ck1r0ck2's Avatar

the rca goes for soo much because of it's history in film/tv/radio..

stuff like this.

it sat on johnny's desk for example..

that's not to say that it's not a cool mic.. as it most certainly is..
but you're competing with lawyers who want a show piece for their desk..dig?

the rca has a really interesting way of creating multiple patterns..

Old 8th September 2007
Gear Nut

I'd go with the Coles. I have a RCA 77-DX re-ribboned by Enak that doesn't get used nearly as much as the 4038. I also agree that the RCA 44-BX is more useful and desirable than the 77.

Old 9th September 2007
Gear Nut
wirerecording's Avatar
The Coles is my first call ribbon. I have pairs of RCA 77's, 44's, and coles. The 44 has a weight and "woody" tone that is very identifiable, while the 77 has less of the 44's weight, but nice smooth mids. Neither RCA accels in the high end although they take hi freq EQ pretty. Also they both seem a little "slow" in their response. The Coles have it all as far as I'm concerned, deep tight low end, smooth mid and very smooth top end.

the mics compare easily because they all get reworked by Clarence @ ENAK about every year or two.

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