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RCA ribbon mics
Old 12th July 2004
  #1
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echorec's Avatar
 

RCA ribbon mics

So, I want to get myself one of these. Which is your favourite and why?

Thanks.
Old 12th July 2004
  #2
Gear Addict
I like the BA11. It's the last ribbon RCA made but it came out when condensor mics started to catch on. You can find them for $500 - 1000. It's also a bit hotter than your average ribbon mic which is useful. Other alternatives are the B+O bm3 with the Sank rca ribbon mod was so close to my RCA 77B1 that i sold it. People seem to like the new AEA 84 ribbon. I'd check that out too.
Old 12th July 2004
  #3
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echorec's Avatar
 

Thanks, what about the 74B? I see them sell for not so much money.
Old 13th July 2004
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by echorec
Thanks, what about the 74B? I see them sell for not so much money.
I love them on upright basses, especially those basses with gut strings.
Old 13th July 2004
  #5
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echorec's Avatar
 

Thanks,

Any other favourites? The only one I haver used extensively is the 77 model. How does the 44 compare to the 77?
Old 14th July 2004
  #6
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lowswing's Avatar
 

what about the bk-5a?
Old 14th July 2004
  #7
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David R.'s Avatar
 

I'm a huge fan of the 77dx. You need to get it re-ribboned by someone who gives a damn. Has to hve the red meatball logo.

They sound great, look great, and inspire singers because of it.

Why are you looking for specifically the RCA? There are some other fine ribbon mics out there now.
Old 16th July 2004
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I find the 44 to be a bit more 'hi-fi' than the 77 - 77 has a definite roll -off on the high-freqs - but in a nice way of course!

Just recently picked up a ?PB?-90 - which sounds kind of in between a 44 and 77.

There are *lots* of diff. RCA mics out there. I feel sure there is a complete list floating around somewhere out there on the WWW...
Old 19th July 2004
  #9
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echorec's Avatar
 

Thanks guys, do you know the difference between the 77D & 77DX?
Old 19th July 2004
  #10
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echorec's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by David R.

They sound great, look great, and inspire singers because of it.

Why are you looking for specifically the RCA? There are some other fine ribbon mics out there now.
Hi David,

I think you answered the question yourself. I love the sound of these ribbons but the look & inspiration factor adds to its value if you ask me.
Old 19th July 2004
  #11
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chessparov's Avatar
 

The 77D was cardiod pattern only.
That model version was used by Sam Phillips at Sun.

Interestingly, Elvis started on the RCA 77D and ended up at RCA mainly using the EV RE15.

For home recording I use the EV RE15 and EV 666 which both share similar characteristis to a RCA 77. Electro-Voice deliberately designed them that way to get more broadcasting stations to replace the RCA 77, as these are more rugged.

Stations used to throw their RCA 77's away when the ribbons broke!
Cheaper to buy a new one or switch to a different make, way back when.

Still want a RCA or AEA eventually though too...

Chris

P.S. Never used a RCA 44, but it's reputed to
have a thicker tone IIRC.
Old 20th July 2004
  #12
Trp
Gear Addict
 

I used a RCA 44 once and it was really thick, warm and had very few highs. I think it featured something like 300Hz, 2-3kHz and started to roll of above 5 kHz. It made a midrange trumpet sound quite fluegelhorn-ish.

Maybe it was just that particular mic (ribbon not okay?), I don´t know. But from what I heard the 44 is darker than the 77.
I read that Leslie Ann Jones uses the 44 on nasal, reedy type of alto or soprano sax, so that would go along my experience.
Old 22nd July 2004
  #13
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echorec's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by David R.
I'm a huge fan of the 77dx. ... Has to have the red meatball logo.

Hi, do you mean that the 77-DX with the grey logo sounds different?
Old 23rd July 2004
  #14
Gear Nut
In particular, which of the RCA mics is generally preferred
for vocals. The 44?

Thanks
Old 15th February 2008
  #15
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LouD.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov View Post
The 77D was cardiod pattern only.
That model version was used by Sam Phillips at Sun.

The 77D has the same multi-pattern selection as the 77DX
Old 15th February 2008
  #16
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by echorec View Post
Hi, do you mean that the 77-DX with the grey logo sounds different?
I believe the 77s with the grey logo designated use for television.
Love my minty 77DX and agree with above post regarding it's ability to help inspire vocalists. An RCA 44BX is high on my wish list.

Check out these links. Might be of interest.
Most specifically: RCA Type 77-DX

*— Microphone Home Page —*
VINTAGE ( Classic ) BROADCAST MICROPHONES [James U. (Jim) Steele]
Ekkeharts'
Old 15th February 2008
  #17
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

The 44 overall KILLS the 77 BUT certain apps can prefer the 77. I own a 44 and turned down 2 77s- I just don't need that many ribbons!

Of course thats just an opinion (duck for flaming 77 lovers). Plus the client for the orchestra we tracked 2 nights back insisted on his favorite 77 on the lead cello who was the center piece that night for that section. (But on horn nights its 44 time baby!)

horn X through the 44 to an LA2A is
Old 15th February 2008
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

the 44/bx is deffinately my favorite. got to get a good one though. never liked any ribbons for vocals. a re15 is a much better option very undervalued. i would usually put up a 44 on everything, kind of as a integrity check. great mid range and unique charachter. a must have in my opinion. if i had to pick a second place the aea is not bad. the 44/bx is hands down my favorite elec guitar mic.
Old 15th February 2008
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
Some were painted so they wouldn't reflect light on the movie set. Same as the shiny one, otherwise.
Old 15th February 2008
  #20
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Love 44's.especially on vocals with a little pultec,etc to open em up.
great room mic and awesome on horns.
Had mine reribboned/cleaned up by Wes dooley.thumbsup


..
Old 15th February 2008
  #21
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
[QUOTE=chessparov;181603]The 77D was cardiod pattern only.
QUOTE]
As pointed out before the 77d is multipattern.
Infact the best sounding and most even pattern is figure 8.
Old 15th February 2008
  #22
Gear Addict
 

I have had two 77DX's for 20+ years. Great mics, after I had them re-ribboned by Clarence at ENAK.

They do need the right preamp- transformer coupled tube preamps seem to work best. Something with an open top end (probably not a Brick). Low noise preamps with lots of gain (~70 dB) are needed if you are using them for vocals or acc. guitar. They liked to be positioned much differently than most other mics.. In most cases they need to be backed up a lot farther, particularly if they are used in cardoid or bi patterns. They do not sound good into most of the transformerless preamps I've tried.

Once you have some experience understanding and using these they can yield killer results on electric guitar, some vocals (female crooners-whoa!), piano, drum room mics and mandolin. I suspect they would be great on string bass (although the RCA 44 is supposed to be the ne plus ultra here). I have used 44's in the distant past and although they are a different sound (probably equally excellent or better) I thought they were a little easier to use, but maybe a little less versatile.
Old 15th February 2008
  #23
Gear Nut
 
TheBlade's Avatar
 

I have a 44 BX and a 74b.....also a Shure 333.

Out of everything in my mic locker, the 44 BX will be the last one to go.
To me, it's the best ribbon mic ever made, and it's sounds incredible!
Attached Thumbnails
RCA ribbon mics-myrca44re.jpg  
Old 16th February 2008
  #24
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danasti's Avatar
 

KU-3A = WOW!



RCA Type KU-3A
Old 16th February 2008
  #25
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vernier's Avatar
The vernier way ...

Vintage ribbon, tube pre, and analog recorder.
Old 16th February 2008
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
KU-3A = WOW!



RCA Type KU-3A
i agree 100%.
Old 18th February 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
 
wirerecording's Avatar
RCA 44 is my fav of the ribbons. Very wooden and thick in the mids/lower mids. Fathead Newman sax sound. The 77's have similar sound but not as heavy/thick. Top end on both is rooled off, but takes eq nicely. I use the 77 on hi hat, elect gtr, room mics. the 44 is amazing on horns/room mics/piano/vocal. the coles mic are also very nice, more open than either RCA 44/77 and clearer in the lower mids. I have a pair of 44/77/coles and use them a lot

stuart
Old 18th February 2008
  #28
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Jamz's Avatar
Stuart, A PAIR OF EACH!! Love it.
Your description "wooden and thick" while mentioning David Fathead Neuman is spot on. Ever in the Philly area I'll buy you a pint
Old 18th February 2008
  #29
Gear Nut
 

sk-50

The RCA SK-50 is a purty sounding mic and hasn't really got out of hand price-wise yet...
Old 18th February 2008
  #30
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soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by echorec View Post
Thanks, what about the 74B? I see them sell for not so much money.
Amazing drum overhead mic. It's my goto as an overhead for a deep rich lower mids sound. You just need one lurking behind/above the drummer facing the toms.

It gives the toms a big hubba bubba pillowy reflection like Elvis. I don't know quite how to describe it, but it's the one sound I've gotten that actually gave me a ****-eating grin.

I honestly don't really care for it for vocals, but it's a great filler utility mic IMO.

The bk-5 is a workhorse, sounds really good on close sources like violin, guitar (including electric!), anything but bass. I'd be scared to try that.

Sigma said that a BK-5 with the blast shield can give you a kick drum sounds with never-ending ass. I'm paraphrasing him of course. We tried it and my friends weren't impressed though. I didn't get a chance to hear it, but that's the report. I still want to try it again in the kick (with the shield!).

I'd get one of each, but if I had to buy another, I'd probably get a 77DX with the multi-pattern dealy, as if I have $3000.

Actually I take that back, I'd get a 44, and A/B it with my 74b and sell one cuz I need $.
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