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Got the Royer R-122, want to get another ribbon: AEA R84, Coles 4038 or C&T NakedEye
Old 14th June 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Jacklynn's Avatar
 

Got the Royer R-122, want to get another ribbon: AEA R84, Coles 4038 or C&T NakedEye

I usually use the Royer R-122 for just about everything at the moment. I am looking to get another Ribbon that would give me the best possible options but with the fuller, more classic Ribbon mic tones you hear on old Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline recordings.

I have had a bit of expereicne with a borrows Coles 4038 which I am leaning towards for that classic warm tone but would love to be made aware of opinions from people who have used the Coles as well as these others.

I would like to try micing a drumset with my Royer R-122 in front of the bass drum and I would like to find a mic that would complement as a single overhead. Thos Coles sounds fantastic so far but will the AEA R84 or the Naked Eye sound better as an overhead or not?

Thanks!
Old 14th June 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 

Calssic ribbon tones?

R84 all the way for me. Cost-effective and rich in tone.

The 4038 obviously. just more expensive.

don't know the C&T stuff yet
Old 18th June 2006
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Jacklynn's Avatar
 

Listening test

Yesterday I had the fortunate opportunity to listen and do an A/B comparison of the Coles 4038 and the AEA R84.

What I noticed overall is that the Coles is warmer, thicker, darker and has this very smooth rich and instantly recognizable midrange. Not sure how versatile this mic may be but it sure has character and is a lot different than the Royer R-122.

The AEA R84 sounded a lot more open in top end above 5K. It seemed to have a lot more gain on tap and the sound was thinner. it had a smooth midrange but was to my ears a little more generic and less vintage color than the Coles. To me it almost sounded like a large diaphram condensor with a smoother midrange? Anyone else think this?

Anyway, I am still confused and do not know which one to get. It's obvious that the R84 is more versatile out of the box due to having an extended frequency range but the Character of the Coles melts you and makes you feel like you are recording in a studio in the 1940's or 50's.

Right now I am just asking myself, is it better to add top end to the Coles if needed with a decent EQ or would it be better to cut top end on the R84 when wanting it to sound more like the Coles?

Help me decide if you have experience with these please!
Old 19th June 2006
  #4
Gear Guru
 

I can't remember the last time I wanted to cut the top end off a track recorded with the R84!
Old 20th June 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Jacklynn's Avatar
 

Which Mic is closer in sound to the original RCA 77DX Ribbon mic?

Coles 4038
AEA R84
Crowley & Tripp Naked Eye

Also, If you had the Royer R-122, a Pealman TM-1 Tube condensor, and an SM57, which of the above three mics would you buy to round out the collection for having the best of different flavors and versatility? Thanks.
Old 20th June 2006
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacklynn
Which Mic is closer in sound to the original RCA 77DX Ribbon mic?

Coles 4038
AEA R84
Crowley & Tripp Naked Eye

Also, If you had the Royer R-122, a Pealman TM-1 Tube condensor, and an SM57, which of the above three mics would you buy to round out the collection for having the best of different flavors and versatility? Thanks.
The Naked Eye is not on there but with questions like these, you might want to listen to the Ribbon Roundup CD before dropping your money on another ribbon.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/catalog

You can read a lot about my comparisons with the R84, 4038, and 77DX (and more) here.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=972

Also, if you want something that sounds like a 77DX, buy a 77DX. I have Royer 122s, R84s, R92s, RCA 74B, several Chinese ribbons, and I just bought a 77DX last month. There's nothing out there that even remotely resembles it. But don't take my word for it. Listen to it on the Ribbon Roundup CD and see which other mic you think comes close. And you can buy 77s for between $1500-2000, so why settle for something else.

Honestly, I use my R84s and R122s (in that order) more frequently than I'll ever use the 77DX, almost everytime I'm in the studio.

For vintage vocal tones, I would say the R84 or a 44 if you have more money. If the Naked Eye sounds like the other C&Ts I've heard, it will be very useful but not for that sound.
Old 21st June 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Lynn has created the simgle most important element: a great opportunity to A/B the mics and provide the listener with an opportunity to make a definitive opinion that will stand up to the actual product.

Having said that, I love both the Coles and the AEA...given a choice, I'd buy the AEA. I love its character and have NEVER been unhappy with it. I have chosen NOT to use Coles an a few instances after trying them.

My $0.02....
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