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What can you tell me about the AEA R44 sound? Ribbon Microphones
Old 16th May 2007
  #1
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Question What can you tell me about the AEA R44 sound?

compared to, say, other AEA ribbons, Coles, etc. i'm seriously thinking about this mic from one sound clip i heard recently. i have some high end ribbons that i love but nothing that compared to this one sound clip. were my ears deceiving me or do these mics really sound that fantastic. i record mostly acoustic instruments of all kinds. anyone have anything to share? any insight would be greatly appreciated.

bill
Old 17th May 2007
  #2
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2 words .... buy it .

Its that good ... really.

jls.
Old 17th May 2007
  #3
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I also lust after an R44. Have a R84 and R92. Love 'em both. Hear great things about the R88, which I also lust after. Stereo, of course. And voicing is supposed to be somewhere between R84 and R92. R44 will probably be out of my price-range for some time. Any budget alternatives that are modeled on the sound of RCA 44?
Old 17th May 2007
  #4
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Fletcher's Avatar
The R-44 is pretty faithful to the old RCA mics... but with a higher output and less self noise. They're clearer than the Coles 4038, thicker than the Coles 4040, totally different from the Royers and Crowley and Tripp mics.

If you can swing it on a money level I think you will find one of the R-44's to be a very valuable tool in your arsenal of microphones.

Peace.
Old 17th May 2007
  #5
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Jamz's Avatar
Hi Bill

I've been eyeing 44s for a while now. I was distracted last year when a beautiful RCA 77 came up on Ebay and I had to buy it. Still want a 44. Emailed Wes about his 44s
and you might be interested in his thoughts comparing them to the original.
Wes said it was OK to post his words.

“All the parts interchange and the sound is the same as the first ten years (1936-1945) of production.* We can get more flux in the gap with modern magnets, so we have more output.* We've been servicing the RCA 44 for 25+ years now, and this started out as a project to have spare parts.* RCA had discontinued production in 1955, although they had enough stock to carry sales through 1956 or 57”.

“*The 44CNE is mechanically and sonicly a direct copy of the RCA 44 except for the graphics on the transformer case.* You might want to read this article comparing AEA and RCA: http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_audio...soc/index.html
Old 17th May 2007
  #6
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thanks, guys. i simply must audition one. and i know that when i do i'll be buying it. just have that feeling.

jamz, i suddenly crave a guinness.

bill
Old 17th May 2007
  #7
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Microphone Clips and Audio Samples at ***************.com

The "Jam Room Sessions" allows you to hear the R44 alongside a lot of other mics. Not the be all end all to make a decision on, but hope this helps. All R44 mics are built to order, and can take up to 6 months to build and ship. Auditioning one = probably not the easiest thing to make happen but could be possible to line up.

I've never heard a sweeter top end on a ribbon and more vibe than the R44 period. The closest thing to it = the R84.

War
Old 17th May 2007
  #8
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thanks, war. the original sound clip that turned me on to these mikes was from you. i already have an r84 and a crowley & tripp studio vocalist (and love 'em both) but, my goodness, thr r44 seems to be one helluva mic.

bill
Old 17th May 2007
  #9
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henryrobinett's Avatar
The AEA 44 is an awesome mic. Incredible. If it were in my budget I would have bought one long ago. I recorded a CD for a jazz singer where we started off using an RCA77dx and ended up switching to the AEA44. I had that mic for about 2 months. It was hard to let it go . . .
Old 17th May 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Another option to consider is an original 44B/BX. I had AEA overhaul mine, including a cosmetic restoration, and it's a great mic. I understand the R44 has a hotter output, but I've never had a noise problem with my RCA. And I got my RCA for about $1400, so even with the work AEA did on it, it was still about $1500 less expensive than an R44.

Rick
Old 17th May 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricknroll View Post
Another option to consider is an original 44B/BX. I had AEA overhaul mine, including a cosmetic restoration, and it's a great mic. I understand the R44 has a hotter output, but I've never had a noise problem with my RCA. And I got my RCA for about $1400, so even with the work AEA did on it, it was still about $1500 less expensive than an R44.

Rick
thanks, rick. i thought of that and it's a great idea.
Old 17th May 2007
  #12
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Beautiful mics! I kinda wish I had bought a pair when they were less expensive, but Wes is always kind enough to rent them to me when I need them. He showed me an old machine they bought in the UK, which is used to mill the R44 grilles if I remember correctly. Not cheap. These mics are fantastic on trumpet if you want it to sound like a classic old record. I like R92's too.
Old 17th May 2007
  #13
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
thanks, guys. i simply must audition one. and i know that when i do i'll be buying it. just have that feeling.

jamz, i suddenly crave a guinness.

bill
It's a shame we don't live closer Bill. I was given 3 cases for my birthday a few weeks ago.
Old 17th May 2007
  #14
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I'm waiting for mine on order from AEA. I've never used the AEA r44, but I use the old RCA 44's all of the time. I was assured by many people that they (AEA r44c) are very close to the originals.

It's hard to explain how great these mics sound. Very smooth, but not muddy. The bottom end on these mics are like no other. I find the Coles too cloudy for my tastes. The 44 is ballzy. It picks up sub harmonics that most mics can't reproduce. But the top end is still defined.

Not sure if my lingo makes any sense to you or not... what I'm saying is that if you can afford it, GET IT! It's a great tool.

Old 18th May 2007
  #15
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StefanColson's Avatar
 

I spend alot of time in a studio that has:
an AEA 44CX
a vintage RCA 44BX
(2) Coles 4038
(2) AEA R84s
(2) Royer R121s
(2) Shinybox 46s (with Lundhal trannys)
(4) Beyer M160s
(2) Beyer M260s

The AEA 44 is the usual winner on trumpet (unless a modern, commercial sound is necessary, then the Royer typically wins), Alto sax, vocals (tends to get more mileage than the other ribbons on vocals, for me anyway), solo violin (though the Coles usually do the job without complaints), and "Old timey" guitar (an old Gibson hollow body through a little victoria tube amp usually). It's one of the few mics that I find myself trying to use more often. The AEA and vintage sound very similar to me, and the higher output and non-vintage nature (read: I don't get nervous every time I take it out of the case) are choice.
Next to the 44, I get the most mileage out of the R84s and Coles, though for guitar amps the Beyers and Shinybox are killer. I don't get the Royer hype, about the only thing I like it best on is commercial/modern trumpet.
Old 18th May 2007
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanColson View Post
Next to the 44, I get the most mileage out of the R84s and Coles, though for guitar amps the Beyers and Shinybox are killer. I don't get the Royer hype, about the only thing I like it best on is commercial/modern trumpet.
Fully agree with Stefan, my R-121 usually finds its use pretty much on Hi-Hats and guitar amps only...

I love the R-84 but I can't wait to get the R-44 since I've heard incredible sounding samples of that mic...

Good luck !

Olivier.
Old 18th May 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz View Post
It's a shame we don't live closer Bill. I was given 3 cases for my birthday a few weeks ago.
jim,

is guinness any good in a bottle or can? last one i tried was a draught in a can and found it to be quite bitter compared to the real thing. but that was a few years ago. maybe they've improved them? happy birthday btw.

bill
Old 18th May 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanColson View Post
I spend alot of time in a studio that has:
an AEA 44CX
a vintage RCA 44BX
(2) Coles 4038
(2) AEA R84s
(2) Royer R121s
(2) Shinybox 46s (with Lundhal trannys)
(4) Beyer M160s
(2) Beyer M260s

The AEA 44 is the usual winner on trumpet (unless a modern, commercial sound is necessary, then the Royer typically wins), Alto sax, vocals (tends to get more mileage than the other ribbons on vocals, for me anyway), solo violin (though the Coles usually do the job without complaints), and "Old timey" guitar (an old Gibson hollow body through a little victoria tube amp usually). It's one of the few mics that I find myself trying to use more often. The AEA and vintage sound very similar to me, and the higher output and non-vintage nature (read: I don't get nervous every time I take it out of the case) are choice.
Next to the 44, I get the most mileage out of the R84s and Coles, though for guitar amps the Beyers and Shinybox are killer. I don't get the Royer hype, about the only thing I like it best on is commercial/modern trumpet.
thanks for the insight. excellent commentary. wes dooley/mercenary audio are sending me a 44 to demo for 10 days. its in the mail! can't wait. i will post when i can give some feedback. thanks to everyone for the info.

bill
Old 18th May 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVP View Post
I'm waiting for mine on order from AEA. I've never used the AEA r44, but I use the old RCA 44's all of the time. I was assured by many people that they (AEA r44c) are very close to the originals.

It's hard to explain how great these mics sound. Very smooth, but not muddy. The bottom end on these mics are like no other. I find the Coles too cloudy for my tastes. The 44 is ballzy. It picks up sub harmonics that most mics can't reproduce. But the top end is still defined.

Not sure if my lingo makes any sense to you or not... what I'm saying is that if you can afford it, GET IT! It's a great tool.


your lingo makes perfect sense to me. sounds like the 44 is like an r84 only more ballzy. exactly what i'm looking for. i love my 84, but wtf, why not get the best!
Old 18th May 2007
  #20
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Jamz's Avatar
Sometimes. Close enough for me most times. Saves a trip to the pub and a chance I may get someone that doesn't know how to do a good double pour.

Have fun with the 44. Thoughts and comments will be required

Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
jim,

is guinness any good in a bottle or can? last one i tried was a draught in a can and found it to be quite bitter compared to the real thing. but that was a few years ago. maybe they've improved them? happy birthday btw.

bill
Old 18th May 2007
  #21
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Bill, that's probably the same R44 demo mic in those clips I provided before, if Wes is shipping it.

War
Old 18th May 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Bill, that's probably the same R44 demo mic in those clips I provided before, if Wes is shipping it.

War
it very well could be, warren. i wonder if the 44cx might even be a better choice for me. wes describes the sound as "a little bit more forward" which is typically what i like in a mic. also, the extra 6db would be nice to have as well.

bill
Old 18th May 2007
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

That's the only R44 I've spent time with (CNE) so cannot comment. Wes of course = nicest guy in the ribbon mic biz.

I sure didn't wish anything was different about it when it was here.

I could have used a bib every time we tracked something with it, for my drool.

War
Old 18th May 2007
  #24
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actually, war, they're sending me the 44c and not the 44cne, for what its worth. i'll certainly let you know what i think of it.

bill
Old 19th May 2007
  #25
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The thing I love about my 44 is that you don't need to up too close to get a great proximity effect. Great great warmth without all the bad stuff you get when too close ... ie siblance ... breathing ... mouth noises ... ect ect ect.

I usually have the singer about 1 foot back ... and it still sounds super huge. I'll eq out some low end and add shelf up around 11k and its done ... smooth as silk.

js.
Old 19th May 2007
  #26
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
actually, war, they're sending me the 44c and not the 44cne, for what its worth. i'll certainly let you know what i think of it.

bill
Hell it could have been a C now that I'm looking at pics of it!

War
Attached Thumbnails
What can you tell me about the AEA R44 sound?-r44c_full.jpg  
Old 21st May 2007
  #27
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damn, that's a nice picture war. i received the 44c this past weekend and its even more impressive looking in the flesh. my god, what a huge, awesome looking microphone. this sucker must weigh 12 lbs.

anyway, i got a chance to try it a little on my 6 string, 12 string, mando and octave mando, as well as on some vocals. i compared it a crowley studio vocalist, an r84, and a shinybox with the cinemag transformer (the model number escapes me at the moment. 46mxc i think).

so far i can say that the 44 tops my list. as warren said earlier, it has a vibe and a top end like no other ribbon. also, as someone else stated earlier, you don't have to get up close on this mic for it to sound huge (which eliminates much of the frustrating eq'ing that must be done when close miking some sources). i like that alot. i have all week to audition this puppy so i'll get a chance to know it better in the coming days.

hats off to the studio vocalist and the r84 for holding their own against this giant of a microphone. in every instance they performed excellently (i actually preferred the crowley on my voice). also, the shinybox is a helluva mic for $450. a small step below the crowley and the r84 but quite impressive. it just lacks a little of the vibe the others offer.

i don't know yet whether or not i'll keep the 44c. for my purposes the other mics serve me quite well. if i were making money at this i think i'd probably buy it. i'll give it all week though. my heart wants it badly. my wife? well, you know.........
Old 21st May 2007
  #28
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Jamz's Avatar
Wow! Thanks for that giant pic War.
OK. I just put the box of kleenex away...crying or otherwise

Bill
I understand your situation RE: wife. I for one will look forward to more of your slutty user comments. Thanks for dredging up the sleeping interest.
Damn you Bill!! Damn You!! LOL!

Cheers!
Yes, I'm enjoying a pint...no, not as good as tap but always refreshing after kleenex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
damn, that's a nice picture war. i received the 44c this past weekend and its even more impressive looking in the flesh. my god, what a huge, awesome looking microphone. this sucker must weigh 12 lbs.

anyway, i got a chance to try it a little on my 6 string, 12 string, mando and octave mando, as well as on some vocals. i compared it a crowley studio vocalist, an r84, and a shinybox with the cinemag transformer (the model number escapes me at the moment. 46mxc i think).

so far i can say that the 44 tops my list. as warren said earlier, it has a vibe and a top end like no other ribbon. also, as someone else stated earlier, you don't have to get up close on this mic for it to sound huge (which eliminates much of the frustrating eq'ing that must be done when close miking some sources). i like that alot. i have all week to audition this puppy so i'll get a chance to know it better in the coming days.

hats off to the studio vocalist and the r84 for holding their own against this giant of a microphone. in every instance they performed excellently (i actually preferred the crowley on my voice). also, the shinybox is a helluva mic for $450. a small step below the crowley and the r84 but quite impressive. it just lacks a little of the vibe the others offer.

i don't know yet whether or not i'll keep the 44c. for my purposes the other mics serve me quite well. if i were making money at this i think i'd probably buy it. i'll give it all week though. my heart wants it badly. my wife? well, you know.........
Old 21st May 2007
  #29
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that's the best part about living back east, you can start drinking earlier than i can. damn you, jim. damn you!!!!!!
Old 21st May 2007
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Jeff A. Roberts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billgennaro View Post
damn, that's a nice picture war. i received the 44c this past weekend and its even more impressive looking in the flesh. my god, what a huge, awesome looking microphone. this sucker must weigh 12 lbs.
If they (44BX/AEA44) weighed 12 pounds I would sell a lot more mic stands.

FYI: my 44BX weighs 7.1 pounds.
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