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R84 Studio Ribbon Microphones

R84 Studio Ribbon Microphones by AEA

TEC 2006 Nominee
Electronic Musician 2006 Editors Choice
PAR Reviewer's Pick 2003

"The Big Ribbon sound in a smaller package"

The R84 is different from other microphones. A listen informs you how different it is: quick natural transients, articulate midrange, and effortless bass. It’s an excellent digital recording tool, as digital processing has different limitations than analog. Classic condenser mics sound great with analog partially because of their aggressive highs and the “tizz” they contribute. This resonant high end is then mellowed by the generational loss inherent to analog post-production.

The digital recording process is more exacting. It’s capable of preserving razor sharp details for generations. So it makes sense to use microphones that fit well into the final mix. Thus studio ribbon mics with their smooth, natural, and easyto-EQ sound have enjoyed a rebirth as digital recording has blossomed.

The R84 delivers a sound that is big and clean. 20 years of ribbon mic service taught us about what users liked, and they like the big ribbon sound of the 44.

Preserving and reintroducing that sound became an AEA mission. Our robust, heavy, and expensive to manufacture 44 series are now in daily use worldwide.

Could we preserve and update this big ribbon sound in a more affordable package? Using new technologies, how much could we simplify? The R84 uses the same big ribbon as the 44, is 5 pounds lighter, and less bulky. Designed for accent and solo work, its bass proximity effect is less pronounced and the upper 10K to 20 KHz octave is stronger than with the 44.

Output sensitivity is good, being +2 dB to a Shure SM57. The R84 is now a standard in large and small studios around the world. An added pleasure for us is how much everyone loves the retro art deco styling.

Product Features

  • Wide-band response from 20Hz to 20 KHz
  • Effortless lows and smooth natural highs
  • Low self noise and high SPL capabilities
  • Handles 165dB SPL above 1 kHz
  • Native-mode single-diaphragm figure-eight
  • High null-axis rejection and gain before feedback
  • Natural sounding reproduction

Why does the R84 sound so different when compared to a condenser microphone?

Classic condenser diaphragms are radially stretched. They typically have sharp, narrow resonances in the 8 to 12 kHz range, the sound quality we refer to as “tizz”. The R84 and 44 use a long rectangular diaphragm that is clamped at the ends and tensioned lightly with a fundamental resonance below 20 Hz. Less than 80 millionths of an inch thick, this ultra low mass transducer has an excellent transient response with few resonances. It’s one of the most sensitive and accurate transducers possible. Many have commented that the R84 records what your ear hears in the studio.

Extreme high frequency headroom and low distortion allows close micing with an R84 without it sounding brittle. Additionally the smooth, non resonant high end provides engineers considerable EQ flexibility. Try it, you’ll enjoy it.

Specifications:

Physical:

  • Weight: 3 pounds in storage case with cable
  • Length: 11.6”
  • Width: 3.9”
  • Depth: 2.5”

Operating Principle (Velocity microphone):

  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to above 20 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 165 + dB SPL above 1 kHz for 1% third harmonic
  • Output Sensitivity: -52 dBv/Pa
  • Output Impedance: 270 ohms nominal
  • Recommended Load: 1.2 K ohm or greater
  • Powering: Not required or recommended
  • Polarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphone.
  • Connector: XLR-3M wired to a 3 meter captive cable

Off Axis Response:

  • Polar Pattern: Native bi-directional pattern
  • Horizontal: Level changes with angle, frequency response is consistent, –35 dB null at 90 / 270 degrees
  • Vertical: Level changes with angle, reduced HF response above and below 0 / 180 degree axis, null at 90 / 270 degrees

Transducer element:

  • Ribbon Thickness: 1.8 microns ( .0000018 meter ) of pure aluminum
  • Ribbon Width: 4.7 mm
  • Ribbon Length: 59.7 mm

Accessories:

  • Included: Custom soft storage / shipping case, and manual.
  • Optional: Any length cable, inquire for price and delivery.

Limited Warranty:

  • One year parts and labor, shipping not included.

Options

DJV Designed for close vocal work and includes greater internal shielding against plosives.
TVV Non-reflective exterior
M Hand Tuning to stereo match a pair
U Custom graphics laser engraved on the trim band

Accessories

84VC Vertcal hard case for a single 84, or choose the 84VC-2 for a pair of 84s.