AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone


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Product Code: 9999-02556
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The AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone is an active phantom-powered big ribbon mic with figure-8 pickup pattern. It harnesses the AEA's proven JFET amplifier technology which yields an impressive 18dB boost in output and enhances compatibility with various preamps. Remarkably, the A440 offers higher sensitivity compared to most condenser mics, while maintaining an exceptionally low self-noise level.

The AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone is an iconic and high-performance recording active ribbon mic. In the world of music and audio recording, precision and authenticity are paramount. The AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone embodies these qualities, making it an indispensable addition to any professional studio setup. Renowned for its astonishingly quiet operation, the AEA A440 redefines the ribbon microphone experience, delivering unmatched purity and natural response. It effortlessly continues the legacy of AEA's "Big Ribbon" tradition, reminiscent of the classic RCA 44, while embracing modern innovations.

One of the key features of the AEA A440 is its active JFET amplifier technology, inspired by AEA's TRP preamps, seamlessly integrated into the mechanics of their R44C large-ribbon microphone. This innovation results in an impressive 18dB boost in output, providing enhanced versatility when paired with different preamps. Remarkably, the AEA A440 boasts sensitivity levels higher than most condenser microphones while maintaining an impressively quiet self-noise floor.

In terms of sound quality, the AEA A440 captures the classic and flattering "Big Ribbon" sound that made the RCA 44 a legendary recording icon. Its vintage aesthetics and robust build pay homage to the iconic RCA 44BX from the late 1930s. Moreover, the AEA A440's internal head amp is designed to safeguard the delicate ribbon element from phantom power, alleviating a common concern among ribbon microphone users.

Versatility is at the core of the AEA A440's design, making it ideal for a wide range of instruments and vocal applications. Its native figure-8 polar pattern complements the acoustics of any space, enhancing the midrange and low frequencies while smoothing out harsh highs. With an impressive maximum SPL rating of 132dB, the AEA A440 can confidently tackle vocals, electric guitars, and even full orchestras, all while imparting the distinctive ribbon character that engineers and producers cherish.

The AEA A440 is a quintessential recording tool for those seeking a classic sound with modern functionality. Handcrafted in the USA and backed by AEA's commitment to quality, this microphone offers the ideal balance of tradition and innovation. It faithfully captures the essence of the past while meeting the demands of the present, making it a must-have for any studio looking to elevate its recording capabilities.

AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone Features

  • Classic "Big Ribbon" microphone, powered by phantom power for robust output
  • Crafted in the USA, meticulously handcrafted to order
  • Utilizes JFET active electronics inspired by the AEA TRP tradition
  • Exceptionally low equivalent noise level of 6dB(A)
  • Features authentic RCA New Old Stock ribbon material
  • Constructed with investment cast bronze yoke and machined brass parts, avoiding the use of zinc
  • Single diaphragm with a well-controlled, native figure-8 polar pattern
  • Consistent horizontal polar response, both on and off-axis
  • 90-degree null-plane helps reject challenging room acoustics
  • High SPL capability, with a rating of 132dB (1% third harmonic >1kHz)
  • Computer-matched to production reference standards
  • Frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Impressive Signal to Noise Ratio of 88dB (A) (94dB SPL minus equivalent noise)
  • Horizontal and vertical polar response characteristics for versatile recording
  • Requires +48V phantom power for operation

AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone Specifications

  • Operating Principle: Pressure Gradient Transducer
  • Directional Pattern: Bidirectional
  • Frequency Range: < 20 Hz to > 20 kHz
  • Polarity: Pin 2 High for Positive Pressure on Front of Microphone
  • Polar Response: Figure-of-8 Pattern
  • Horizontal: Up to 90 dB Rejection at Right Angles to the Front/Back Axis
  • Vertical: Level Changes with Angle of Incidence, but Frequency Response is Consistent
  • Maximum SPL: 136+ dB SPL (1% 3rd Harmonic > 1 kHz)
  • Sensitivity: 30 mV/Pa (-33.5 dBV) into Unloaded Circuit
  • Output Impedance: 92 Ω Broadband
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 1.0 k Ω Or Greater
  • Phantom Power: P48 Phantom Power, 7 mA
  • Transducer Element Material:
    • Thickness: 1.8 μm
    • Width: 0.185 in (4.7 mm)
    • Length: 2.35 in (59.7 mm)
  • Microphone Dimensions:
    • Height: 12.25 in (31.1 cm)
    • Width: 4.62 in (11.7 cm)
    • Depth: 3.25 in (8.3 cm)
  • Weight w/ Cable: 7 lb 9 oz (3.43 kg)
  • Connector: XLR-3M

AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone Includes

  • AEA A440 Ribbon Microphone
  • Captive 10-Foot Output Cable w/ XLR-3M Connector
  • Vertical Storage Case
  • Zippered Canvas Bag
  • User Manual
  • Manufacturer Warranty

2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    A satisfied customer
    B. Kelley

    Received the A440 microphone right on time. Had a chance to hook up and try it out for about an hour in the studio. Superb, Excellent. Am well pleased. The preformance of this microphone is unsurpassed by any microphone I have used and that is a wide range of mikes. I look forward to using this microphone over a wide range of music. Thanks Alan for being instrumental in me getting exactly what I wanted. I rate you and Front End Audio EXCELLENT on this entire transaction.

  • 5
    Amazing mic

    I'm still in the process of familiarizing myself with the A440, but so far I've been nothing short of amazed by it. Smooth, deep and super quiet. Sometimes the low end can be a little overwhelming, but adjusting the placement and applying a little high-pass filter on the way in and a low shelf after the fact usually does the trick. When I get everything just right on my Taylor 514, it's a beautiful thing. You can actually feel the low notes and the highs are sweet and airy without that metallic "tizz" that I've always heard (and kind of gotten accustomed to) with pretty much every condenser I own. Although I've tried the A440 through all of my preamps (Avalon 2022, LA-610, ISA428), at the moment I'm liking it most through my Grace 101. It's not the ribbon version though, so I'm sure I'm not getting the impedance levels I probably should be using for a ribbon mic. Still, it's a great combination to my ears.

What We Think


The AEA A440 is high-output powerhouse! Scoring engineers have always needed extremely natural sounding microphones such as the RCA 44 or the AEA R44 to deliver exceptional movie soundtracks. However, the extra gain needed when traditional passive ribbons are used as room mics or in a decca-tree formation, often results in noise that is unacceptable. What to do? Enter Wes Dooley and the fine folks at AEA! The A440 is basically the result of AEA creating and placing the quietest and best sounding active preamp ever made for ribbon microphones inside a specially designed R44. The result is a solution for exceptionally quiet and exceptionally musical recordings. Is it for everyone? Probably not. If you're recording drums, then you're probably better served with a pair of R44s and an RPQ. Acoustic guitars, mandolins, and other acoustic instruments will definitely benefit from the A440 and what I call the signature AEA R44 "kick in the gut".

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