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Used royer r121, any advise before purchasing it?
Old 2nd December 2014
Here for the gear

Used royer r121, any advise before purchasing it?

Hi guys, I'm new in this site and I did a search before posting without any good result.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Adrian. I'm from Argentina.

I've made a home studio for recording my guitar tracks. Unfortunately my country has closed importation and I'm not able to buy a ribbon r121 new from USA.

I've found someone here who sell it new in a site that works here as eBay.

This Saturday I'll be with this guy and test it for my first time.

I've never been with a ribbon in my hands.

I wanted to ask how would I realize if some of it's components are broken or damaged.

Any input will help me a lot!

Thanks a lot!!
Old 2nd December 2014
See if he stores it correctly--- they're meant to be kept upright in the locker.
Old 2nd December 2014
Gear Addict
Bruno B's Avatar

I'll be right back with a reply. <runs to check his R121>
Old 2nd December 2014
Originally Posted by zilla_studios View Post
See if he stores it correctly--- they're meant to be kept upright in the locker.
I need to correct the above, Royer says their mics are the exception and can actually be stored horizontally. General rule of thumb for ribbons though.
Old 2nd December 2014
Lives for gear
Tom Higgins's Avatar
I'm looking into getting a Royer used and I've not had a ribbon before either so I'll be interested to see what comes up here
Old 2nd December 2014
Lives for gear

Email Royer and they will give you instructions on what to look for when holding the mic vertically close to a bright light. If the ribbon hasn't sagged you should be okay. They are very tough for a ribbon mic. With that said, make sure you keep the Royer sock on the mic when not in use especially when moving or walking with the mic. I've had a pair since 1999, one re-ribbon.
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Head
Big Ears's Avatar

There's not much you can tell about the state of the ribbon in an R-121 by from looking at it from the outside (i've just looked at mine in front of a bright light and you can barely see it at all). Obviously if it's got lots of scratches and dents on the mic body that would indicate it's been dropped and bashed so the ribbon would probably be in a poor state too. That said, I got mine new about 6 years ago and i've dropped them and bashed them on occasion but they're still working just fine. They are very resilient for ribbon mics.

One check you can do is connect the mic up and hold it with one of the two magnets facing you then listen through a pair of headphones while you tilt it horizontal away from you then back to vertical then horizontal towards you. If you can hear a banging/clanging sound when it goes horizontal it means the ribbon is touching the magnet and needs repairing.

Also, if you have to crank up your preamp gain really really high to get any kind of useable level that's another indicator that the ribbon is slack, although you do have to turn up the gain higher than normal for most ribbon mics. You might also notice a "thin" low end frequency response with a lack of body if you're recording acoustic guitar. If the ribbon is good, the sound should be very natural, not too bright but with a strong low end.
Old 3rd December 2014
Lives for gear

I simply relayed what Royer told me. You are not looking to see what condition the surface of the ribbon is. You are looking for ribbon alignment inside the mic. If you have good monitoring then listen for low end. If the mic lacks lows it's time for a new ribbon.
Old 3rd December 2014
Gear Maniac

Be careful.
You can't turn on the phantom power when it's plugged in- that's not good for the ribbon and it's very easy to do this on accident.
I've done this two times ("doh!!") but so far the ribbon is ok.
Also, never blow on it. They don't like moving air.
Don't put it too close to a kick, or I understand that even the air explosion from the kick can degrade the ribbon. I've put a plosive filter in front of the mic when recording kick.
Sometimes I will angle it down just a bit, I understand that will help alleviate some of the moving air pressure on the ribbon.
It's supposed to be stored right side up, not laying down.
If it's ever been dropped, or struck, the ribbon might be compromised.

Be careful buying a used ribbon- there's really no way to know if it's been treated well. Make sure the seller is very conscientious about taking care of his equipment
Read the manual, all the info is there.
Old 3rd December 2014
Lives for gear

Though not a good idea, 48v won't hurt the mic. Major issue is mic inputs on T.T or 1/4" bays. When you insert the plug you grind pin 2 and pin 3 against shield.
Old 4th December 2014
Here for the gear

Guys really thanks for all inputs.
He said he bought it and never used it. He has already sent me lot of pics but as many of say, I'll test it on Saturday to see what I find.

I have an akai eie pro audio interface and krk monitors for my recordings.

I've already read the whole manual, but I was really interested on your insides because I've never heard a ribbon and I'm really noob recording.

I was wondering not to identify the lack of low end myself.

I hope all goes fine and make all test that you all suggested me.

Thanks a lot!!
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