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Ribbon mics?? What to get???
Old 1st June 2006
  #61
Lives for gear
 
six_wax's Avatar
 

Threw a set of m160s up as OHs for the first time the other day... unbelievable. I usually can't get away with the R121s b/c the room is so cavernous (F8 vs. hyper)... I was just stunned at how easy it was to get my "dream overhead sound". The Chandler TG2 may have helped, but the m160s went from "nice mics" to "can't live without 'em" in about 60 seconds.

Anybody shot out the ShinyBox mics with any of these big boys? I wonder how they hold up in court...
Old 2nd June 2006
  #62
Lives for gear
 
Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartMac
And as per usual for Gearslutz, I have the entirely opposite view. I recently shot out a host of ribbon mics (R121, AEA R92, AEA R84, Coles 4038, Sigma, Crowley and Tripp Studio Vocalist, Beyer M160) and the C+T was probably my least favourite. I really wanted to like it as well, because it's beautifully put together (and comes in a great box), but sonically it just didn't really work for me. There wasn't a single source that one of the others didn't sound significantly better on, and the Coles 4038 was simply in another league (IMO, on this day etc etc etc......)

But then again, I prefer the AEA R92 to the Royer R-121 on almost everything too, especially electric guitars!
I have to say that from our collection (both Coles, Royer, AEA, Sontronics, the ususal vintage fare...) the C&T mics always win out for our clients (we have the Vocalist, precenium and the Naked yey). I personally feel that even the C&T naked yey is a better sounding and more versatile mic then the Coles and is way better then the 121 (which is a bit of a 1-trick pony (?)

Yuri
Old 13th June 2006
  #63
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Ok. I'm seriously considering a pair of M160's now.....what's the scoop on 260's?? How do they compare to the M160 and are they still made???
Thanks,
Sean
Hi Sean.

The M260 is surprisingly bright for a ribbon mic, and at the same time surprisingly thin on the bottom. There isn't much happening below 200hZ. The M260 was tuned for vocal use and to be used as a voice / interview mic for the most part. It is a great sounding mic and worthy of consideration if you want a smooth ribbon sound with some more high end sheen to it, and don't rely heavily on low end response from your overhead sounds.

Hope this helps.

War
Old 13th June 2006
  #64
Lives for gear
 
brendondp's Avatar
 

Hey all,

Interesting to hear some reports on the Crowley and Tripps.

The 4038 has been on my short list forever, but my interest has now been piqued by the C & T's.

For the price of one 4038, one could buy two C & T Naked Eye's, yes?

Hmmmm....

I guess with anything like this there will be those who love/hate one particular mic over another, but $750 sounds like a great deal.

My brain says "yes" to the C & T's, but my heart desperately wants a 4038. (And yes, I'm sure they don't sound the same...)

Still, does anyone else feel my pain?

Cheers,

bdp
Old 13th June 2006
  #65
Lives for gear
 

Thanks War,
Ever try a M260 with a Stephen Sank RCA ribbon mod?? I keep seeing these pop up for sale. I'm not really interested in a ribbon mic tuned for vocals as I'm quite satisfied with what I have already for vox. The M160 does get a lot of praise so I'm keeping an eye out for one or two of those, but what I like about the ribbons I have used was the sense of space they capture from their fig 8 pattern, so I've still got my eye on the Coles and the Royer. It seems like the 121 is still the most popular on guitar and the Coles is the classic for OH and drums in general. But which coles now that the 4040 has been thrown in the pot?? And I'm still lusting after the SF-12 from hearing it on the Royer CD. And those AEA mics 'shure' look marvelous....pun intended. At this point I really need to buy and try a few to narrow the field for myself. Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread!!
Sean
Old 13th June 2006
  #66
Lives for gear
 

Oh.....and brendondp.....I definitely feel your pain.


Sean
Old 13th June 2006
  #67
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Thanks War,
Ever try a M260 with a Stephen Sank RCA ribbon mod?? I keep seeing these pop up for sale. I'm not really interested in a ribbon mic tuned for vocals as I'm quite satisfied with what I have already for vox. The M160 does get a lot of praise so I'm keeping an eye out for one or two of those, but what I like about the ribbons I have used was the sense of space they capture from their fig 8 pattern, so I've still got my eye on the Coles and the Royer. It seems like the 121 is still the most popular on guitar and the Coles is the classic for OH and drums in general. But which coles now that the 4040 has been thrown in the pot?? And I'm still lusting after the SF-12 from hearing it on the Royer CD. And those AEA mics 'shure' look marvelous....pun intended. At this point I really need to buy and try a few to narrow the field for myself. Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread!!
Sean
Never tried a Sank modded ribbon myself.

I know I said it was tuned for vocals and that's why it was more open up top and lighter on the low end but...doesn't mean it can't be used on other sources like drums etc. The M160 would be an overall better choice though if you want a directional mic. sE Electronics actually makes a nice ribbon called the R1 which has a bit more bite in the high end (particularly off the rear) and it has a hell-a-fied warranty (3 ribbon replacements in 5 years) which is also attractive. Very nice sounding mic and can be had new for about $600 each. I reach for it first on guitar cabs lately (typically the rear of the mic) and the R84 typically gets my room mic done for me on drums.

I've never been a big fan of the 4038 in comparison to the R84. The R84 just has a smoother, broader response and is less woofy in the low end also.

War
Old 13th June 2006
  #68
Gear Addict
 
joninc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Thanks War,
I like about the ribbons I have used was the sense of space they capture from their fig 8 pattern, so I've still got my eye on the Coles and the Royer. It seems like the 121 is still the most popular on guitar and the Coles is the classic for OH and drums in general.
i am in the same boat - pining for a coles because the drum room sounds and stuff - they are so right for that. but what else are they good for?? i need to limit myself to buying versatile gear that will see a lot of use and not just be a one trick pony. that said i am not looking for a ribbon mic for vocals - more like m/s stuff, electric, bass, piano, drums etc...

i have used a royer 121 and it was awesome for electric guitars and pretty decent on acoustic too. didn't like it on vocals at the time although my tastes have shifted a bit since then so who knows now if i might....

thoughts?
Old 13th June 2006
  #69
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
sE Electronics actually makes a nice ribbon called the R1 which has a bit more bite in the high end (particularly off the rear) and it has a hell-a-fied warranty (3 ribbon replacements in 5 years) which is also attractive. Very nice sounding mic and can be had new for about $600 each. I reach for it first on guitar cabs lately (typically the rear of the mic) and the R84 typically gets my room
"Very nice sounding mic and can be had new for about $600 each".
I`d like to know who`s selling the R1 for $600?
That`s $250 less than the FontEnd Audio discount price.
Old 14th June 2006
  #70
Lives for gear
 
GearHunter's Avatar
 

Quote:
am in the same boat - pining for a coles because the drum room sounds and stuff - they are so right for that. but what else are they good for??
Maybe the best electric bass sound I ever got was with a 4038. We had the Coles in front of a vintage Ampeg B15 and the bass was a mid '60s Fender Jazz, I think. We took a DI as well and I don't think we ended up using much, if any, of the DI in the mix.

I know some people are scared of putting the Coles in front of a big bass sound like that, but well, we didn't have the amp cranked, and we had no problem at all. heh
Old 14th June 2006
  #71
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc
i am in the same boat - pining for a coles because the drum room sounds and stuff - they are so right for that. but what else are they good for?? i need to limit myself to buying versatile gear that will see a lot of use and not just be a one trick pony. that said i am not looking for a ribbon mic for vocals - more like m/s stuff, electric, bass, piano, drums etc... snip
thoughts?
IMO,

The 4038 is hardly a "one trick pony". It exels as drum room mic, but it's killer on brass (trumpet/bone/tuba) strings (violin/viola/bass) and dobro, banjo, even gtr cab (with pop-screen in front of the grill!) as well as piano, etc. etc. etc.

I'd hate this mic to be thought of as a one-trick pony - it isn't necessarily the 'silver bullet' for everything, but it sure as hell sounds great on many, many sources (in the right context)

Also - I don't own one, but have tried the Sank modded M160(DX): it does have an extended top freq, and a bit less bottom - the output is also lower, so that sometimes is a problem with really low level sources. It sounded very nice indeed on voice, and on alto sax and guitar, and was a different flavour to the other darker ribbons. However, I'd be looking for an already modded one - according to a few customers, Mr Sank has been very ineffective in getting things done promptly in his shop, so whatever that is worth to potential customers.

regards,
Old 14th June 2006
  #72
Gear Nut
 
jeff deff's Avatar
 

I have been using an Oktava ML52 ribbon with great results. I modified it by switching out the transformer with a Lundhal and altered the metal grill as per the modifications discussed in a Tape Op article and stuff I read on rec.audio.pro. Also, I had it re-ribboned by a gentleman who goes by Marik on prodigy forums. The mic sounds excellent and I did a shootout with the ML52, R121, Soundelux iFet7 and an Earthworks on upright. The Royer and Oktava sounded almost identical. This mic is one of my favorites for electric guitar and drums. With all the work done on it the cost was still under $500. Also, I have a better understanding of how ribbon mics work after having done this modifications.

I use a Beyerdynamic M260 that I had re-ribboned as a mono drum overhead and it works great. I also use it frequently on vocals and snare drum. Beyerdynamic M500s (also re-ribboned) are another favorite of mine on guitar when used in conjunction with a Josephson C42.
Old 15th June 2006
  #73
Lives for gear
 

'Maybe the best electric bass sound I ever got was with a 4038. We had the Coles in front of a vintage Ampeg B15 and the bass was a mid '60s Fender Jazz, I think. We took a DI as well and I don't think we ended up using much, if any, of the DI in the mix.'


Thanks Gearhunter,
I think this just might seal it for me. I picked up an ungodly sounding B15 not too long ago. The 4038's performance on drums are well documented. So really the only consideration left unresolved for me is electric guitar. Everyone always praises the 121 for it's ability to handle high spl's, but assuming the amp you're recording isn't turned to 11, and there is no danger of blowing the ribbon, is the 121 still a better choice on electric guitar? I've pretty much decided to get an M160 or two when funds allow as they seem like good versatile mics to have around for not that much $$.

Sean
Old 15th June 2006
  #74
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
I picked up an ungodly sounding B15 not too long ago.
Sean
never heard a B15, ( when in proper working order ) that was not just ungodly sounding!
Old 15th June 2006
  #75
Gear Addict
 
joninc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60
never heard a B15, ( when in proper working order ) that was not just ungodly sounding!
amen
Old 15th June 2006
  #76
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by threm
"Very nice sounding mic and can be had new for about $600 each".
I`d like to know who`s selling the R1 for $600?
That`s $250 less than the FontEnd Audio discount price.
Yes, it is. We cannot advertise that price.

War
Old 21st June 2006
  #77
Gear Addict
 
joninc's Avatar
 

so i got my 4038 today - any tips for a newbie?

windscreen for just about any application?

anyone use it on things other than drums or amps?
Old 21st June 2006
  #78
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Be careful if you use a Stedman filter with it...the metal pop filters will stick to the 4038! It will scare the crap out of you if it happens during a take..."POW!".

One tip, back vocalists off of it pretty good as it can be a bit woofy in the low end. Same with amp mic'ing...watch the woof.

I use pop filters on ribbons 100% of the time for safe measure.

War
Old 21st June 2006
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Ok, let's change the question a little bit. If you could only have one mic to pull double duty being a mono compressed drum room mic and then electric guitar mic overdubs, regardless of price, would you chose:
1. Coles 4038
2. Royer 121
3. Beyer M160
4. Other ribbon, if so which one

Thanks
Pick any one of you're fine with comprimising one of the tings you want to do.

The Coles can not be beat in the room.

The M160 beats the Coles on a guitar amp.

I just got a pair of 121s and haven't used them enough yet, other than to say that they don't beat the Coles on the room.

The R92 beats the M160 on guitars, but it's vices versa on the drum rooms.
(The R92 is designend to have a low proximity effect making it very effective for close miking. This is a very imprtant consideration for mic selection).

I've got not preference between the M160s and the Coles as overheads. They'ye different and both good.

The M260 is a little tubbier than the 160 and has served me well as a mono distorted room mic.

I don't think there's a good answer for the "just one" question, but for "just two" I'd say Coles for the room and any of the others would be a really good choice to fill in where the Coles falls short on guitars. I'd put the 260 at the bottom of the list for the guitar mic.
Old 21st June 2006
  #80
Lives for gear
 

Thanks Mike,
That was really helpful. I'm leaning in the direction of 4038's first for room mics, and if I'm not happy with them on guitars, I'll audition an M160 and a royer and pick my poison. I'll probably end up with all of them eventually, but i think the coles will be first.
Sean
Old 21st June 2006
  #81
Lives for gear
 

Hey Mike,
Once you've had a chance to play with the 121 on guitars, I'd like to know how you think they stack up to your other ribbons in that app.
Thanks,
Sean
Old 21st June 2006
  #82
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StuartMac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Thanks Mike,
That was really helpful. I'm leaning in the direction of 4038's first for room mics, and if I'm not happy with them on guitars, I'll audition an M160 and a royer and pick my poison. I'll probably end up with all of them eventually, but i think the coles will be first.
Sean

If it's purely for electric guitar I personally prefer the AEA R92 to the Royer and the M160. They are all very good there, but I find the R92 easier to work.
Old 21st June 2006
  #83
Gear Addict
 

I personally own an SF-12 and the studio where I work owns a pair of Coles 4038s. I do like both mics, but here are my observations:

- The Coles 4038s are more versatile and generally sound good on most instruments, especially when it comes to sax and piano. Used it on guitar too with great results. Being able to arrange them in Blumlein, spaced pairs, or individual mics is a plus as well.

- The SF12 is a beautiful, very natural-responding mic. I usually find myself adding high end... and, if I remember correctly, there is a bit of a "honk" around 800Hz that I usually reduce.

- Pres I've used with both of these mics... Millenias, GMLs, and APIs. Great River, too, though not recently.

- My two favorite piano recordings were done with each of these mics. One was a jazz recording in-studio... lid off, Coles 4038s directly above the piano, spaced above the high and low strings. The other was a pop-classical performance in a large church with the SF-12, lid at full stick, mic back a few feet from the crook of the piano.

- I like SF12 on trumpet, have not liked it on alto sax. Also have not liked it as drum OHs, but I'm a Heine U87 -> API pres kinda guy now. I have not tried the Coles 4038 as OHs recently (they are always on a horn).

- THE ROOM IS KEY, especially with the SF-12. If you plain to use the Blumlein configuration with the SF-12, you NEED A GREAT ROOM. Lately I have leaned towards recording every instrument in Blumlein or ORTF... as far as isolation goes (and I record jazz groups in with the musicians standing in a circle in the main room, drums in a large booth), I've found I can "set it and forget it" with the Coles 4038s, but the SF-12 sometimes requires some adjustment. However, the SF-12 is easier to position!

They are both great mics... I am hesitant to give you a solid recommendation either way, but I will say the Coles 4038s have gotten more mileage with me. If you go with the Coles, BUY TWO. Stereo is king - you have two ears, record with two mics. If you go with the SF-12... enjoy! And take care of both
Old 21st June 2006
  #84
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
OK.....I want to add a couple ribbons to the collection and need some advice. Uses would be primarily as drum room mics and electric guitar, maybe drum overheads. I'm interested in the Royer SF-12 and the Coles 4038. If you could only have a pair of Coles or an SF-12 for drums and guitars, which would it be? Can these mics handle electric guitars(mostly clean to mildly distorted and not very loud) without a problem or should I budget for an R121 as well, or just get two R121's for room mics and guitars and call it a day. Opinions??
Thanks,
Sean

Coles 4038 is a great all around ribbon. Best I've used as a drum overhead. Plugged into a UA 610 and 1176 it's the best guitar sound I've ever nailed.
Old 21st June 2006
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
Hi Sean.

The M260 is surprisingly bright for a ribbon mic, and at the same time surprisingly thin on the bottom. There isn't much happening below 200hZ. The M260 was tuned for vocal use and to be used as a voice / interview mic for the most part. It is a great sounding mic and worthy of consideration if you want a smooth ribbon sound with some more high end sheen to it, and don't rely heavily on low end response from your overhead sounds.

Hope this helps.

War
Funny, that's exactly the opposite of what I expereinced both before and after I had mine Sank modded.

Ribbons can lose low end when the've been damaged.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #86
Gear Addict
 

Windscreen for anything that moves a large amount of air... vocals, trumpet, sax, etc.

KEEP THAT CLOTH BAG and keep it on the mic whenever you aren't recording. That means during breaks AND while positioning the mic (you don't want to move the mic around without the cover).



Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc
so i got my 4038 today - any tips for a newbie?

windscreen for just about any application?

anyone use it on things other than drums or amps?
Old 22nd June 2006
  #87
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziegenh5
Ok. I'm seriously considering a pair of M160's now.....what's the scoop on 260's?? How do they compare to the M160 and are they still made???
Thanks,
Sean
The 260's are awesome.
I wish I had my old ones!!

You can find them through some online
outlets at around $275.00 or so.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #88
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
Hi Sean.

The M260 is surprisingly bright for a ribbon mic, and at the same time surprisingly thin on the bottom. There isn't much happening below 200hZ. The M260 was tuned for vocal use and to be used as a voice / interview mic for the most part. It is a great sounding mic and worthy of consideration if you want a smooth ribbon sound with some more high end sheen to it, and don't rely heavily on low end response from your overhead sounds.

Hope this helps.

War
A simple, inexpensive mod will take care of this BTW.


I really dug the Crowley and Tripp when I first heard
them but it seemed like no-one else had heard them yet
or felt the same.

I also like the Royer, Coles and AEA R92 FWIW.
They always come through.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #89
As an Ex Maida Vale BBC Chap

Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc
so i got my 4038 today - any tips for a newbie?

windscreen for just about any application?

anyone use it on things other than drums or amps?
I would say pop screen for Vox, if its too boomy angle it away
at anything up to 45 degs.
Pop screen on Trumpet, Trombone, Bolivian Nose Flute and close proximity horse flatulence.
Don’t mic the sax bell were British! So is the mic. The infernal racket comes out of a sax all over so mic it away from the valves to the left, half way up no pop Screen.
Our colonial cousins always end up with a sax sounding like a big Kazoo, great sax
players like Mr David Winthrop would get quite violent after hearing his Selmer Like that.
The Standard Telephones and Cables 4038 (get it right its only made by Coles under licence) with the right pre is far from a one trick pony the BBC used it for just about everything there is indoors.
As for those punky scallywags and what have you, with there loud dirty guitars the radiophonic workshop boffins down at Chiswick were kind enough to provide cabinet attenuators so that during the worst exesses of metal mayhem the correct number of dB were readily available for the proper operation of the microphone.
This usually resulted in a finer tone due to the reduction of speaker compression.
And as our Mr Rupert Neve had provided a carefully designed adjustable compressor of some repute. We found it unnecessary to have any further discourse with the scruffy ner do well's that argued about this obvious advance.
If they complained that there guitar was not loud enough we gave them beyer headphones powered by good British quad amplifiers and told them to think themselves jolly lucky to have been given the chance to appear on Television or
Radio in the first place. Especially as they were usually unable to provide the producer with the score. Who the devil do they think they are I ask you.
Still toodle pip don't let standards slip.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
PS God Save The Queen.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #90
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey
Funny, that's exactly the opposite of what I expereinced both before and after I had mine Sank modded.

Ribbons can lose low end when the've been damaged.
I'm talking brand new out of the box, and more than one of them. They are even described as being light in the low end by Beyer in literature I've seen. Anyhow, we seem to have had absolute opposite experiences with the same model # but obviously different mics!

War
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