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Beyer m160 / Royer 121 comparisons Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd May 2006
  #31
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Mozart's Avatar
M160 or Royer 121?

Ok Guys,
I might need help on this one. It is time for me to buy some ribbon mics. I'd like to get matched pair if possible, but also spend less money

Mainly, I'll be using the mics for recording guitars, Overheads and Grand piano. I'm thinking between two Beyer M160 or Royers 121. First two are more than a half price cheaper than the Royers. Are the Royers worth more than double? (sound wise?) Has anyone compared them directly on various sources?

Here is my mic list so far:

- Neumann UM 57(OLD TUBE)
- Neumann U87Ai (x2)
- Neumann KM184 (x2)
- Avenson Audio STO-2 Pair OMNI
- AKG C-414B-ULS (x2)
- AKG C-451B (x2)
- AKG C-460B
- AKG D-112
- AKG D202ES
- AKG D222
- Sennheiser MD441-2
- Sennheiser MD-421 (x4)
- Sennheiser E-602
- Sennheiser E-604
- RODE NT1A (x2)
- RODE NTK (TUBE)
- Audix i5
- Audix D6 (x2)
- Audix F10 (x3)
- Audix F12
- Shure SM7B
- Shure SM57 (x5)
- Shure SM58 (x4)
- Shure Beta 52
- Oktava MK-012 (x3)
- MXL 990 (x2)
- MXL 991 (x2)
- MXL 603 (x2)
- SONY ECM-959DT
- Yamaha SUB KICK
Old 2nd May 2006
  #32
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

That is a bit of a tough call. I've owned both for years and definitely prefer the R121's over the M160. I tend to use the R121's as my "go to" mic for guitar cabs. Not too big on any ribbon for piano.
Old 2nd May 2006
  #33
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

The Beyers are fine, and I love 'em on acoustic guitar and even overheards. BUT, there's nothing an M160 can do that a Royer cannot do, including piano. The 121 is an amazing and essential ribbon. If you find a used M160 used on EBay or somewhere for short money, it's a nice addition to any collection. Nowadays, however, a Royer or pair of Royers are more than just an extra flavor you use occasionally, they are must-have mics.
Old 2nd May 2006
  #34
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

M160/M130 sound fantastic on piano.

Wasnt blown away by the sf24)?) on the keys.
Old 2nd May 2006
  #35
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Tousana's Avatar
 

I own a pair of Beyer 160's and have tried the Royers. Personally I think they are two different animals. Both of the mics have multiple uses, but if you are only using the ribbons on gtr. cabs and don't want to worry about blowing ribbons go with the Royers. Just a thought.
Old 3rd May 2006
  #36
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i have both a 121 and a pair of 160s.

i use the 121 for guitars, room mic on drums, sometimes kick, sometimes vocals. i use the 160s for overheads.

they are completely different because of the patterns. 121s are figure 8 and 160s are hypercartioid. 121 is a single ribbon with a kind of built in wind deflector, so it can take more spl than the 160s. the 160s are great spot mics and have two ribbons in each (that's how they get to be hypercartioid). 160s can also be great on guitar amps but can be stretched or damaged more easily.

how can you decide? i couldn't, but if i was only able to buy one or the other it would have to be the 121. ridiculously good microphone.

best,
rlnyc
Old 3rd May 2006
  #37
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wilcofan's Avatar
 

Quote:
BUT, there's nothing an M160 can do that a Royer cannot do
Not true. In a mid role the M160 has a drastic drop in room ambience compared to any figure-8 ribbon.

I don't own a pair of M160's but I'd guess their directionality would make a similar effect in even spaced.
Old 3rd May 2006
  #38
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studjo's Avatar
 

If I had to decide between those 2 I'd go with the Royer 121. I love my pair of 160 too but I use em mostly on sources where I could take a 414 or similar - it doesn't sound the same of course but it would work.
The 121 on the other hand does something to guitars, kick and percussion stuff that I never heard in any other mic.

As allways you'll need both - but first the 121 than the 160

Jo
Old 3rd May 2006
  #39
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

Did not tried the royer, but love the Beyer. It's a fantastic mic. By the way not offensively, but I have found that many of us started some snobbery about royer, although I know they are awesome.
Regards Tamas Dragon
Old 3rd May 2006
  #40
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studjo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamasdragon
By the way not offensively, but I have found that many of us started some snobbery about royer, although I know they are awesome.
Regards Tamas Dragon
if you watch these forums for a little while, you'll realize how some brands are being hyped to no end and after a year they'll get pissed over. I think it has much to do with people's dreams of working with a certain piece. They think it's the magic bullet till they bought one and realized that it's the skillset - of course they won't admit it and just say the new piece of gear blows.

(dunno if all this is true but get the impression sometimes)


Jo
Old 3rd May 2006
  #41
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Both are great..
but I'd lean in the Royer direction.
Especially for really loud guitar stuff..I've had the 160's fold under extreme SPL.. The 122/21's can take a beating with loud cabsthumbsup
Old 3rd May 2006
  #42
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rlnyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter
there's nothing an M160 can do that a Royer cannot do.

as another poster has pointed out, this is WAY not true. the beyer was developed with TWO ribbons inside, so that one cancels out the back end of the figure 8. this yields a tight hypercartioid, making it just about the only ribbon mic with anything other than a figure 8. as a result, it has excellent rejection of sounds which are out of the pattern area. that means that is presents much less room sound and shows a tighter soundfield, making it a good choice for things where you need rejection of rear sounds.

your milage won't vary on that aspect.

best,
rlnyc
Old 3rd May 2006
  #43
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Tom VDH's Avatar
 

I own both, it's true that the most versatile would be the R121, and I use it on guitar cabs all the time.
BUT, I love M160s, mines are brighter than the 121 (they're from the 60's and 70's), they sound amazing on acoustic guit and percs, they get picked by musicians 90% of the time, but they can't take high SPL, and have a very low output level, which means that it's nice to have a R121 around in that case.
Beyers are cheap though, a lot cheaper than a Royer, so I guess you'd be best having both 'coz they're both very good and complementary.

YMMV...

Best,
Old 3rd May 2006
  #44
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
I have a prototype R-121v on the way... I'll be quite interested to hear how it sounds. I also have an early 121 'prototype' with a 200 ohm output transformer instead of the 300 ohm transformer you normally find in 121's... I prefer that one to my stock one.

In recent years I have found myself using 121's less and less and R-92's and the Crowley and Tripp Proscenium more and more... but that could just be me being bored.

FWIW, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the fore mentioned microphones... and definitely don't think you could ever go wrong with an M-160.

Best of luck with your search.
Old 3rd May 2006
  #45
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

By the way what spl could an m130 and m160 can handle?
Regards Tamas Dragon
Old 3rd May 2006
  #46
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Mozart's Avatar
Hey Guys,
Thanks for your responses, Gearslutz is the best!
I think, I'm also toward 121's regardless the price, I think those are the mics I'm missing in my collection. I was listened to the Royers demo CD over and over, there are some great recordings, So I'm ordering a pair of 121. I like the sound of SF12 too, but pair of the mics is going to be more versatile for me, during the tracking sessions, i can have Royer sound on two sources at a time. I'll look forward to get M160 and eventually SF12 in the future.

Thanks a lot, you made my decision easier,
Mozart
Old 3rd May 2006
  #47
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

By the way what spl could an m130 and m160 can handle?
Regards Tamas Dragon
Old 3rd May 2006
  #48
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamasdragon
By the way what spl could an m130 and m160 can handle?
Regards Tamas Dragon
I dunno, but it's not as much as a 121 I reckon!
Old 3rd May 2006
  #49
An examination of the supplied frequency response plots will show both reaching 16k hz. However, the royer plot is hand drawn over a hand drawn non-log plot. While it shows flat to 16k, I don't hear anything above 8k from them. The Beyers do 16k, if you like that kind of thing.

(I do).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 3rd May 2006
  #50
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

Do anyone know exact spl handling capabilities of beyers?
Old 3rd May 2006
  #51
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Mozart's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
An examination of the supplied frequency response plots will show both reaching 16k hz. However, the royer plot is hand drawn over a hand drawn non-log plot. While it shows flat to 16k, I don't hear anything above 8k from them. The Beyers do 16k, if you like that kind of thing.

(I do).

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

Nothing above 8K???
I just ordered a matched pair....

I'll check on that
Old 3rd May 2006
  #52
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozart
Nothing above 8K???
I just ordered a matched pair....

I'll check on that
Don't let the numbers worry you. Specs are only part of the game and people get way too wrapped up in them. It's about the sound and the 121's have it in spades.
Anyway, they have response above 8k. If you need more just touch up the 121 with a little eq. Nothing to worry about.
Old 3rd May 2006
  #53
Gear Addict
 

Don't worry, just eq those bad boys, they like it
Old 1st December 2006
  #54
Gear Nut
 
Open Sky's Avatar
 

Digging up an old thread, but...

From these posts it seems the top of the m160 is brighter than the 121, but how do the mids and lows compare?
Old 1st December 2006
  #55
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for what it's worth, i use a 260 all the time on my deluxe or princeton and always get a beautiful sound. i have a 121 as well, which usually gets the more rocking tracks. the beyer is a great nuance mic with a lot of depth. (this one re-ribboned by sank).
i don't usually have to eq the 260, but usually have to add some upper mids to the 121.
no problems either way.
david
Old 1st December 2006
  #56
84K
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84K's Avatar
The R121 is a modern legend. It lives up. No question in my mind.
Old 1st December 2006
  #57
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

Beyer, it's fantastic.

Tamas Dragon

Old 1st December 2006
  #58
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamasdragon View Post
By the way what spl could an m130 and m160 can handle?
Well, it could handle Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix so I guess you'll be o.k.

I'm a huge M160 fan, fantastic for distorted guitars, OHs, percussion, acoustic guitar, dobro and lots of other things.
Old 1st December 2006
  #59
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlnyc View Post
as another poster has pointed out, this is WAY not true. the beyer was developed with TWO ribbons inside, so that one cancels out the back end of the figure 8. this yields a tight hypercartioid, making it just about the only ribbon mic with anything other than a figure 8. as a result, it has excellent rejection of sounds which are out of the pattern area. that means that is presents much less room sound and shows a tighter soundfield, making it a good choice for things where you need rejection of rear sounds.

your milage won't vary on that aspect.

best,
rlnyc
True, but there are a number of other respects in which the mics are not interchangeable. Basically, they *sound* different.
Old 1st December 2006
  #60
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M160's seem to vary quite a bit. I dont believe that it's due to manufacturing differences but rather that the mics need to be used and stored in the correct orientation to stop the ribbon sagging. It's something that people often are either unaware of or don't seem to consider with 160's.

I love them on guitar amps, drums, and on acoustic guitars in 'dual mono' with a condensor for example.

J
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