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DIY Ribbon microphones
Old 5th April 2013
Gear Maniac

DIY Ribbon microphones

Hey guys,

I've been meaning to acquire a ribbon mic for a while. The two that interest me the most are the Se Voodoo mics and the Royer 122V. Unfortunately, I won't have the funds for either of these for a while. Recently, I head a podcast promoting DIY microphones, but when I looked into it, the only project I could find is the Austin Ribbon Mic. Does anyone have experience with this kit? What I would really like to do is build a tube ribbon mic like the 122V, but I have not come across any resources to do so. I am fairly experienced at soldiering and electronics, so the DIY option holds some appeal. Suggestions? Thanks!
Old 10th June 2013
Here for the gear

Hey Ps,
A late reply regarding Austin Ribbon Mics. I built the Austin Model 2 kit (Cinemax condenser) a year or so ago and I'm VERY pleased with the quality of my DIY ribbon mic. The build is easy and it takes a few tries to get the ribbon mounted correctly. This is the first ribbon mic I've owned, so I can't offer A-B comparisons with other mics. But, having tested a few ribbon mics at GC, the Austin Model 2 compares with mics that are many times the cost of the kit. I plan to buy/build another Austin Model 2 kit for stereo recording.

Last edited by Vinniedv8; 10th June 2013 at 05:17 PM.. Reason: 1st post blank.
Old 10th June 2013
Lives for gear
kidvybes's Avatar

...nice quality ribbon motor assembly offered here:
DIYAudioComponents - Passion For Ribbon Microphones

...also, check out this forum (there are many threads referring to ribbon mic build/mods):
Old 23rd November 2013
Gear Maniac

Just for a followup... I did complete building three Austin Ribbon mice w/ lundhall transformers. They sound really nice, but are a hellova lot of work! Especially clamping the corrugated ribbons without tearing them... I think I went through 30-40 ribbons between the three mice before I got them all in and taunt. In short though, the product is a really really nice sounding ribbon mic... which out values the raw materials several times over... the tradeoff is the huge investment of time of course. I don't intend to build any more any time soon...

I found that a pair of the Austin Ribbons sounds really nice on drum overheads for 70's funk and also jazz brushwork, but for everything else, sounds too dark for my ear. It, of course, kills it on electric guitar amps. I was using it on a Fender DeVille 212 at 4' in conjunction to a heil PR30 at 8". This gave really nice blending option during mixing. It also seemed too dark for most acoustic guitars, but I found it make a good side mic for M/S (using a Lauten Oceanus as the centre). I haven't had a chance to try it on horns or strings yet... hopefully soon.

In summary, it performs as a good ribbon should. I fully recommend it to anyone crafty, steady-handed, patient, ambitious and with too much time on their hands!
Old 23rd November 2013
Lives for gear
Hendyamps's Avatar

Piece of I have to build one of these ribbon mics to satisfy my newfound curiosity.
Old 24th November 2013
Gear Maniac

It will drive you insane. Especially cutting the ribbons. You will want to throw it at the wall. But totally worth it!

I might recommend getting their kit though... sourcing all the materials proved to be a bit tricky! (and very time consuming)
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