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Best. Mic. Ever. Ribbon Microphones
Old 28th June 2017
  #1
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jnorman's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Best. Mic. Ever.

Okay then, I have owned DPA 4011, 4006, 4091, 4061, Neumann km140, km184, Gefell M300, Sennheiser mkh40, mkh20, Schoeps cmc62, cmc64, AEA R84, Royer r-121, SF12, Coles 4038, and a large number of other condenser and ribbon mics, trying to find the best spot mic for woodwind and string instruments.

I may have finally found what I have been looking for. I just bought an AEA Nuvo N8 active ribbon, and tried it today on a flute solo in conjunction with my normal ORTF pair of cmc64s. From the first listen, it is clear this is a special mic. Even in mono, compared to the stereo Schoeps, it comes across as extremely smooth and balanced, clean across the upper frequencies without any strain and none of the edge that condensers give with the upper register on the flute.

This may be the single best mic I have ever used. I will post some samples soon, comparing it to the Schoeps mk2 and mk4.
Old 28th June 2017
  #2
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That is High Praise Indeed

Dear JNorman,

Much appreciate your comments and feeling of Wow! that your message so beautifully captures. It is obvious that we live in a second golden age of ribbon microphones with so many high quality choices.

I had a similar experience when I first heard the Samar MF-65 about 3 years ago, it felt just so right and special; And, while I still put up a Schoeps pair up at every session, the ribbon recording almost always comes out ahead. I have also compared it to a bunch of high end condenser mics (many on your list and the Sanken CU-44, which isn't on yours) but these ribbons with their extended high end and natural tone just sound so much better.

Enjoy your N8, and I really do look forward to your samples.

Warm regards
Baithak
Old 28th June 2017
  #3
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boojum's Avatar
Jim, the search is over! You must be very happy but I bet there are some mic dealers who are not.
Old 28th June 2017
  #4
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Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Jim, the search is over! You must be very happy but I bet there are some mic dealers who are not.
Sounds like the audio equivalent of locking eyes with a stunning beauty from across the crowded room...all sorts of imagined possibilities blossom in the heat of infatuation. I think Jim's still in the starry-eyed romance phase...lets give it a few more outings (dates) in the field to test the long term compatibility factor ! The head vs the untamed heart
Old 28th June 2017
  #5
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No doubt it's a good mic! It's the newness of hearing a slightly different frequency response and character which make a new mic seem the best.
Old 28th June 2017
  #6
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Love and Microphones, can both make for 'fickle friends'
Old 28th June 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
No doubt it's a good mic! It's the newness of hearing a slightly different frequency response and character which make a new mic seem the best.
Or a new pair of speakers...or headphones...or cables (if you're an 'audiophile')
Change or difference can elicit this....and it's probably the primary motive behind relationship affairs as well (difference = better) ! This course dignifies Schoeps CMC mics as the Juliette Binoche/Emmanuelle Beart/Catherine Deneuve of the microphone world.....
Old 28th June 2017
  #8
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
...trying to find the best spot mic for woodwind and string instruments.

I may have finally found what I have been looking for. I just bought an AEA Nuvo N8 active ribbon, and tried it today on a flute solo in conjunction with my normal ORTF pair of cmc64s. From the first listen, it is clear this is a special mic. Even in mono, compared to the stereo Schoeps, it comes across as extremely smooth and balanced, clean across the upper frequencies without any strain and none of the edge that condensers give with the upper register on the flute.
Interesting. The N8 rolls off the high end fairly aggressively; SOS says -6dB/octave above about 5kHz. So, it's really rolling off the overtone series. And it appears to start rolling off the bottom end at 200 Hz or maybe a bit above. Which doesn't matter a bit for flute probably, but might for cello and some of the lower woodwinds.

If that kind of roll off is what you need, then it's no surprise at all that you prefer this to mics that are flatter, from the venerable Schoeps omnis all the way to the Coles 4038 ribbons.

Good on ya for your persistence. Just goes to show that the solutions are out there if you'll just keep looking for them. Enjoy, and I look forward to some samples and comparisons. And it will be interesting to hear how well the N8s do as spots for other instruments like woodwinds and strings.
Old 28th June 2017
  #9
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hughesmr's Avatar
I have some N8s on my wish list. Mainly choir spots behind orchestra when I need the isolation, and also for solo spot duty (violin, flute, female vox, etc). Congrats on the find!
Old 28th June 2017
  #10
Old 28th June 2017
  #11
I had a couple N8s...that were stolen. grudge. They are very good mics. Just a classic ribbon sound similar to the 44. Smooth and warm without sounding muddy. I have several recordings of them in blumlein on different ensembles of every imaginable instrument family. If anyone is interested I could create a N8 only mix of a few things.
Old 28th June 2017
  #12
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Old 29th June 2017
  #13
Gear Addict
N8 is one of my most used mics these days, along with the N22 and R88. Lovely-sounding mics and being active, they're convenient with portable recorders when you're running on battery power only.
Old 30th June 2017
  #14
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Uncle Russ's Avatar
Another ribbon mic, one you might consider comparable, is the Royer SF-2 or the stereo version SF-24. Both use phantom power. The better model ribbon mics from both manufacturers are simply superb (and the two companies are only about 20 minutes apart).
Old 1st July 2017
  #15
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My new fav is the TLM170.
Old 1st July 2017
  #16
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Plush's Avatar
Schoeps MK 2 or Coles 4038.
Old 1st July 2017
  #17
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jnorman's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Plush - I will post a head to head clip of the N8 vs the Schoeps mk2 soon.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #18
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Old 2nd July 2017
  #19
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Old 2nd July 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Was the Schoeps doing all the heavy lifting?
Some of it no doubt. This seems to be a growing trend in these high end vocal recordings, an additional centre mic slightly forward of the usual shoulder spaced pair. Mini tree sort of thing. A slight precedence effect might be favourable.

But there were quite a few TLM170's in the orch as well. Someone at Decca has a lot of these mics.
Old 3rd July 2017
  #21
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Was the Schoeps doing all the heavy lifting?
Her voice is doing the heavy lifting.
Old 3rd July 2017
  #22
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jnorman's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
"making you question your whole life up to this point"...
Old 3rd July 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Her voice is doing the heavy lifting.
beautiful lady, sublime voice
Old 3rd July 2017
  #24
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomdavids View Post
...making you question your whole life up to this point.
Again?
Old 3rd July 2017
  #25
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Last edited by David Spearritt; 4th July 2017 at 12:36 AM..
Old 4th July 2017
  #26
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Plush's Avatar
She is a Tartar Princess, just like my wife.
Attached Thumbnails
Best. Mic. Ever.-irina.jpg  

Last edited by Plush; 26th August 2017 at 01:20 PM..
Old 26th August 2017
  #27
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Old 26th August 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Absolutely. Her new CD is wonderful and been on high rotation here. The Cossack Lullaby is beautiful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNhHiKReN48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcytt2FPjQ

Sorry for the derail Jim, back to the N8.
While the singing and performance is sublime, am I the only one who finds the reverb behind her voice a bit "obvious", a bit too opulent and not of contiguity with the surrounding orchestra ?

I should qualify also, referring only to these linked two YouTube renditions of 'Cossack Lullaby', not the 'Song of India' in post #18 , which sounds fine (if a little too close)....strange there should be such a discrepancy between the two songs, if from the same CD ?

Last edited by studer58; 29th August 2017 at 10:43 AM..
Old 27th August 2017
  #29
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esldude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
While the singing and performance is sublime, am I the only one who finds the reverb behind her voice a bit "obvious", a bit too opulent and not of contiguity with the surrounding orchestra ?

I had the same feeling listening to that.
Old 11th September 2017
  #30
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Al Rogers's Avatar
 

A fellow N8 owner here. It's a monster of a microphone!!!

PS. Now you need an N22 or better yet... a pair I have some nice condenser mics that cost more than double what these mics sell for. The N8 and N22 are my favorites.

Last edited by Al Rogers; 11th September 2017 at 03:59 AM..
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