AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone
The AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone is the second member of AEA's NUVO series of microphones. Rooted in the RCA tradition just like other AEA ribbon microphones, all NUVO microphones are designed to offer a fresh approach to the ribbon transducer.
AEA N8 NUVO Phantom-Powered Ribbon Microphone is the second member of AEA's NUVO series of microphones. Rooted in the RCA tradition just like other AEA ribbon microphones, all NUVO microphones are designed to offer a fresh approach to the ribbon transducer and represent Wes Dooley's take on the evolution of the ribbon microphone.
Following the successful N22 model designed for singer-songwriters and project studios, the N8 sounds distinctly different despite having a similar appearance to the N22. In designing the N8, Wes Dooley and the folks at AEA set out to create the most open and natural sounding ribbon microphone ever made. Conceived to render acoustic spaces as faithfully as possible, the new N8 microphone excels in capturing drum overheads and rooms, strings, classical ensembles, and orchestras. As such, it is the ideal complement to the N22 microphone. But even when used up close, such as on guitar and bass amps, the N8 delivers exceptional clarity and warmth while also taking EQ extremely well without ever being harsh.
By employing a similar design philosophy as used on the popular R88 stereo ribbon microphone, the N8 achieves an astonishingly open and natural sound that lets AEA's famed Big Ribbon truly shine. The aluminum ribbon in the N8 is identical to the flagship R44 model in its dimensions and tuning, putting it in direct lineage of the iconic RCA 44 type.
The N8's unobtrusive size and the "stealth" matte black finish is ideal for orchestral and TV work, where microphones need to be easy to position and more or less invisible. The N8's phantom-powered electronics and a custom German transformer complete the package and deliver exceptional low level detail and optimal distortion performance, even when driving long cable lines in remote recording situations. Just like all other AEA products, the N8 is 100% manufactured in Pasadena, CA.
AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone Features
- Aluminum ribbon in the N8 is identical to the flagship R44 model in its dimensions and tuning
- Designed to be the most open and natural sounding ribbon microphone ever made
- +48 Volt Phantom Powered Active design
- Unobtrusive size
- "Stealth" matte black finish
AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone Specifications
- Operating Principle: Pressure gradient microphone
- Directional Pattern: Bidirectional or Figure-of-8
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Maximum SPL: 141 dBSPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)
- Output Impedance: 92 Ω broadband
- Recommended Load Impedance: 1.0 kΩ or greater
- Powering: P48 phantom power, 7 mA
- Polarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure at the front of the microphone.
- Connector: XLR-3M
- Off Axis Response
- Polar Pattern: Native bidirectional pattern
- Horizontal: Level changes with angle, frequency response is consistent, 35 dB null at 90 / 270
- Vertical: Level changes with angle, reduced HF response above and below 0° / 180° axis, 35 dB null at 90 / 270
- Transducer element
- Ribbon Thickness: 1.8 μ (0.0000018 m) of pure aluminum
- Ribbon Width: 0.185 (4.7 mm)
- Ribbon Length: 2.35 (59.7 mm)
- Included: Storage / shipping case, microphone stand clip, custom protective mic sleeve, user manual
- Optional: Matched stereo pair
- Limited Warranty: One year parts and labor, shipping not included. Three year extended warranty if the product is registered.
- Height: 8.83 (32.4 cm)
- Width: 1.62 (4.1 cm)
- Depth: 1.62 (4.1 cm)
What We Think
"The AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone is a surprise, but welcome addition (in hindsight) to the already vastly versatile AEA product lineup. It's sort of the microphone that you didn't know that you needed - but once you used it, you never knew how you got by without it.
Those already familiar with the neo-classic AEA R88 mkII (and mkI) Stereo Ribbon Microphone appreciate it's smooth translation and definition complimentary to maintaining sharp intelligibility of instruments within it's stereo spread. This proclivity for making instruments sound their best made this voicing the natural choice for creating an 'instrument specific' NUVO series microphone.
So, the best way to think of the N8 NUVO is as an active single channel R88 - which is also very affordable. But one particularly beneficial change to the voicing is a bit of taming in the lower registers. The idea that I've found to be consistent with the NUVO series (N22 and now the N8) is that there really isn't any broad strokes of EQ necessary. In fact - they're about as perfect sounding a microphone as you can imagine. The bottom isn't left to go on for days, and the top of the N22 sounds more like a phase-perfect-blended condenser + ribbon. And there's no onboard equalization trickery, sorcery, or other such tomfoolery to make it all happen. The active circuitry certainly plays it's part, but it's role is more to make these mics work with a broader range of mic-preamps - but they certainly will sound their best when paired up with the RPQ or RPQ500 ribbon preamps from AEA (which are really pretty great with any microphone).
Singer-songwriters who play acoustic guitar really should sit up and take notice of these mics. An N22 together with an N8 and RPQ is an incredibly comprehensive and easy setup for getting very balanced and usable tracks."
- Front End Audio
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