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Experience based comparison AEA R88 MKII vs. COLES 4050 STEREO Ribbon Microphones
Old 13th January 2013
  #1
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Experience based comparison AEA R88 MKII vs. COLES 4050 STEREO

Hi there,
Has anyone here a direct experience with both of them: AEA R88 MKII and Coles 4050 Stereo?

If so, would you be so kind to comment on your impressions or, if possible, even post a comparison sound files?

Recently I saw a post comparing beyerdynamic and coles 4038 on piano, and that was very instructive. ...

Best wishes

R.
Old 13th January 2013
  #2
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Love our R88 but have no time with a Coles 4050 stereo setup
Old 13th January 2013
  #3
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rojaros's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlange View Post
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Love our R88 but have no time with a Coles 4050 stereo setup
Does that mean you have a Coles 4050 stereo, but don't care to use it?
Old 13th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
Does that mean you have a Coles 4050 stereo, but don't care to use it?
haha

No, I was trying to express that I've had no opportuity to work with a Coles stereo config...... however, as I've owned an R88 since'2004, I have used it quite a bit

Last edited by mlange; 14th January 2013 at 04:09 PM.. Reason: lost a decade
Old 13th January 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlange View Post
... however, as I've owned an R88 since '94, I have used it quite a bit
With what preamp? Would you think the R88 is well suited for classical guitar solo? Quiet enough?

Did you have a chance to compare it to R88MKII?
Old 14th January 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
With what preamp? Would you think the R88 is well suited for classical guitar solo? Quiet enough?

Did you have a chance to compare it to R88MKII?
Yes - nice on class guitar. The noise you'll have to be concerned with would be from your preamp.

For clean I'd either use our John Hardy Twin Servo, a Benchmark MPS-420, or a Focusrite Red 7 (for a mono source). I even used our RNP with the R88 for a location recording of a wind ensemble with very good results.

R88MKII comparisons - nope. I'm under the impression AEA only changed the mic's mount, not the mic's ribbons or electronics.
Old 14th January 2013
  #7
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Thanks for the information. I suppose if I'd use it with AEA TRP it should be fine, then...
Old 12th June 2017
  #8
krs
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Bump on this topic!
Old 13th June 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojaros View Post
Hi there,
Has anyone here a direct experience with both of them: AEA R88 MKII and Coles 4050 Stereo?

If so, would you be so kind to comment on your impressions or, if possible, even post a comparison sound files?

Recently I saw a post comparing beyerdynamic and coles 4038 on piano, and that was very instructive. ...

Best wishes

R.
I don't have and have not used the stereo Coles. But, i do know the 88 intimately and i also have and use the R84 and the Coles 4038 a lot.
I have to say that while the Coles is a very special mic, i prefer the Aea's in most situations. The Coles is more natural and transparent and the AEAs are just funky and rich and beautiful. Both mics sharing all the best of the wonderful qualities of good ribbon mics. You will never regret getting an R88. I promise.
Old 14th June 2017
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No coles, but the recent $30k mic shootout on the remote forum compared the r88 to a Royer sf12 and a Samar 373a, as well as various Schoeps, Sennheiser pairs and an akg c426.
Old 15th June 2017
  #11
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Link to $30k mic session comparative clips :
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...t-session.html
Old 4th July 2017
  #12
The R88 is noticeably fatter in the low end. Works great as a room mic on a drum kit, whereas the Coles is cooler for OH duties. Coles is definitely more neutral and "realistic" sounding.

FWIW I prefer the Royer SF24 when in trying for a natural sounding stereo ribbon. And lately, I've been digging the Samar stereo ribbon mic we just got (that company makes awesome stuff IME so far).

Cool thing about the coles is the ability to separate the two mics. I do really love the magnet assembly thingy they have going on with their pair.
Old 11th July 2017
  #13
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Royer, Coles, AEA, etc... are all great microphones. All a bit different, but equally useful depending on what you're looking to do. AEA is a bit richer in the mids, Coles has that British sound that is tough to describe in words, Royer is a bit more tame, but also a bit flatter in its reproduction. All are going to be perfectly quiet. Why? They are passive microphones. If you have a noise problem, it will be because of your microphone preamp that you have driving it. I'd look towards a high-end silent preamp such as the Pueblo, Forssell, or Gordon for it. They are all pres that you can crank and not have to worry about noise for a classical recording.

--Ben
Old 13th July 2017
  #14
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Thanks for all your comments so far!
Old 14th July 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Royer, Coles, AEA, etc... are all great microphones. All a bit different, but equally useful depending on what you're looking to do. AEA is a bit richer in the mids, Coles has that British sound that is tough to describe in words, Royer is a bit more tame, but also a bit flatter in its reproduction. All are going to be perfectly quiet. Why? They are passive microphones. If you have a noise problem, it will be because of your microphone preamp that you have driving it. I'd look towards a high-end silent preamp such as the Pueblo, Forssell, or Gordon for it. They are all pres that you can crank and not have to worry about noise for a classical recording.

--Ben
Just to be clear, the Royer SF-24 and the Samar mic I mentioned are both active. Still quiet as heck, though.
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