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AEA's "The Ribbon Mic Pre" - Reviews? Ribbon Microphones
Old 23rd June 2006
  #1
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AEA's "The Ribbon Pre" - Reviews?

Anyone care to share their thoughts on the AEA Ribbon Mic Pre? From what I gather, it is out on the market (though I can't find a price for it). Am anxious to hear about it.

- What did you pay for it?
- Where did you get it?
- What ribbons have you used with it?
- Impressions? Comparisons?

THANKS!
Old 23rd June 2006
  #2
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warhead's Avatar
 

It's not out yet, they are finalizing things now as I understand it. The most info you could probably hope for at this point is to call AEA and ask someone there for info as they're probably about the only folks who have heard it.

War
Old 23rd June 2006
  #3
There is a short list of people who have heard it. Not the production units, but the final preproduction units that Wes took to Paris. I had a limited time with it (less than a week). You can read my comments here:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showth...+ribbon+preamp
Old 23rd June 2006
  #4
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
I had a limited time with it (less than a week).
So what did you think of it?

-R
Old 23rd June 2006
  #5
I liked it. My comments are in the thread linked above.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #6
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Since somebody wants to have the discussion in this forum I took the liberty of copying your comments. I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws.

Is this all you had to say?

_______________________

In his own forum, Lynn Fuston wrote:

<<Well, Wes showed it at AES in Paris so I guess it's OK to mention it now.

Initial feedback from early listeners has been very positive. Those include the likes of Shawn Murphy (Star Wars), Alan Meyerson (Pirates of the Carribean), and Michael Bishop (classical engineer for Telarc) that I know of.

You can read more about it in the Owner's Manual that is posted online here:

http://www.wesdooley.com/aea/library.html

For the quality, the gain, the speed, the price, this is likely candidate as a "must have" for studios with ribbons. Did I mention that it's lightweight enough that you can hang it on the mic stand right by the mics and then run line level however far to the control room. Major plus in high gain situations.>>
Old 23rd June 2006
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
Since somebody wants to have the discussion in this forum I took the liberty of copying your comments. I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws.
Thanks for quoting its entirety. I don't have a problem with you quoting me, but I would request that you ask first next time.

Those are my comments on the TRP so far. And the official name, as I understand it from Wes, is "The Ribbon Pre" (TRP) instead of the "Ribbon Mic Pre" (RMP) so as not to be easily confused with another stereo preamp commonly referred to as the RNP.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #8
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john caldwell's Avatar
Rennee tells me that Wes has recently decided to make the unit rack-mountable, so another two weeks has been added to the expected ship date. I'm first in line to get mine from Alto, so Renee suggested that 10 days might see an arrival at my place. Will update here if things change or if I do receive a unit..

John-
Old 23rd June 2006
  #9
Gear Head
 

For the quality, the gain, the speed, the price, this is likely candidate as a "must have" for studios with ribbons

I would like to point out that this preamp would also be great with any mic that does not require phantom power, not just ribbon mics. The fact that it has a direct coupled input stage might make a difference (sonically speaking) with any high quality externally powered condenser mic, or with dynamic mics as well. At least, that's what I've experienced. YMMV.

Cheers,
Old 23rd June 2006
  #10
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
Thanks for quoting its entirety.
I know you said you had it for a week, but I couldn't tell from your comments if you had actually heard it.

-R
Old 23rd June 2006
  #11
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
Has anyone had a chance to run M150's through it?
I am tempted to get 6 channels - wish there was an 8ch version.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #12
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john caldwell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm
Has anyone had a chance to run M150's through it?
I am tempted to get 6 channels - wish there was an 8ch version.
Would be only two rack spaces for 8 channels. Likely be very appealing.

I'll be trying mine on M160's to be sure, although the R88 and R84 are my main interest right now.

John-
Old 24th June 2006
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
I know you said you had it for a week, but I couldn't tell from your comments if you had actually heard it.
Yes, I listened to it. But not in sessions. I was giving it the shakedown. Checking levels, switches, gain steps, indicator values, etc. Mine was more of a critical "what's right or wrong, comments from an end user, functionality, kick the tires, offer suggestions" evaluation than a "sit down and compare it to other preamps I have heard" listening evaluation. It's very quiet and has lots of gain. I only tried it with two different ribbons and not any other type of mics, as Fred just suggested. I can't wait to get it back for good and put it through some more paces. I was impressed though.
Old 24th June 2006
  #14
Here for the gear
 

The Ribbon Pre "TRP" availability

AEA demonstrated The Ribbon Pre (TRP) along with their ribbon mics at Camp TapeOp Con last weekend. Another two TRPs were used in the "Pot Luck Studio" workshop. These demos were from our stock of fifteen production prototypes that Lynn refers to.

One production run of fifteen TRPs have been built so far. They are being used in locations as diverse as South Africa, Indonedsia, The White House, France and Belgium. Two additional runs of fifteen will be produced in July. The level of enthusiasm at Camp TapeOp Con was high, so a larger run is scheduled for August.

The TRP is an all JFET minimal path design that was designed for microphones that neither want nor need phantom power. Maxinum gain is 83.5 dB, and minimum gain is 6 dB. The input impedance is above 18,000 Ohms so that narrow ribbon designs such as the RCA 77 and the Speiden / Royer stereo mics see a bridging load and deliver the best bass response possible. Although optimized for ribbon mics, TRPs also work quite well with moving coil dynamic and tube condenser mics.

A TRP does not weigh a lot. AEA is know for tall stands, decca trees, and other on-location recording equipment. So their designs tend to be compact and sturdy, and as lightweight as practical. The Ribbon Pre weighs two pounds and the line-lump PS weighs 1.5 lbs.

Full Disclosure: This reply was posted by Wes Dooley from AEA, who is deeply involved in this project. Which is why he knows the production schedules.
Old 24th June 2006
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the update Wes! Good to see you here.

Is that "White House pre" being used by the President's Own (The Marine Band)?

Am VERY interested to hear this pre. Might give AEA a call if the two July runs aren't already spoken for.
Old 24th June 2006
  #16
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Welcome to Gearslutz, Wes! I look forward to this pre too.
Just based on your other products I know it's going to be realllly good.
Old 24th June 2006
  #17
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Ribbonmicguy's Avatar
Been using the TRP with R92 here for an acoustic guitar session (RnB style guitar licks) and the producer + musician was blown away at how clean the pre is, even at 70-80dB of gain!

Cheers,
Old 24th June 2006
  #18
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MBishopSFX's Avatar
 

AEA Ribbon Pre - the BEST!

The AEA Ribbon Preamp worked exceedingly well in the important role of solo vocalist pickup (w/R-88) on my recent Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus session (Sibelius "Kullervo"). I also had R-84s across the chorus and was wishing I had two more Ribbon Preamps. The chorus director, veteran of many major sessions, remarked it was the best choral pickup we've achieved to date. I know the AEA preamp on the R-84s would have put us over the top!

The Ribbon Pre with the R-88 handled the extremely wide dynamic of Christine Brewer, a soprano that challenges the best of any recording chain. There was no hint of preamp noise in the critical pianissimo passages and the fff moments were wide-open and effortless-sounding. I don't think I'd want to get anywhere near such a session again without the AEA Ribbon Preamp (and 88!).

Congratulations Wes and Fred on producing some really fine recording tools!
Old 24th June 2006
  #19
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
Mr. Bishop
How do you think the AEA might perform on a Neumann m150,
could it compete with our Millennias?
Old 24th June 2006
  #20
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MBishopSFX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm
Mr. Bishop
How do you think the AEA might perform on a Neumann m150,
could it compete with our Millennias?
I don't know for a fact, but I'm sure it'd give the Millennias a good run. I do know the AEA preamp is quieter than the HV3D when working with ribbons. Remember, the AEA preamp has no phantom power for a condenser mic.
Old 24th June 2006
  #21
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBishopSFX
Remember, the AEA preamp has no phantom power for a condenser mic.
That's what I was thinking about.
For our scoring sessions we use 5 M150's up front and a coles 4038 on the trumpets, so 6 channels could cover us instead of getting yet another hv3d.
Old 24th June 2006
  #22
AB3
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These posts do not surprise. I would doubt that Fred and Wes would let the pre on the market unless it was awesome. Afterall, what pre has Fred designed that is not awesome?
Old 24th June 2006
  #23
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allaccess's Avatar
I'm just a rock and roll guy, but Wes loaned me a couple of TRP's and mics for a jazz date the other day, and the combination of an R-84 and TRP on upright bass was unreal. If I recall correctly, the pre was giving me 60-some dB of gain and was silent. I stuck the mic in my favorite spot on the body of the bass and had an instant sound. All in the band and an engineer friend were blown away by the sound! Far surpassed other mics that I've used in such an application, such as an original ELAM 250 and U-47.

When the bass player moved to electric bass, I put the same chain in front of the 2 x 15" bassman cab and it performed flawlessly. The sound coming out of my monitors was exactly what I heard coming out of the bass cab.

The vox ac-15 guitar rig got the other half of TRP and also performed well. this app needed a bit of eq to help the mids, but probably could have been solved with another ribbon mic in the end...

Ryan Hewitt
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