AEA R84A Active Ribbon Microphone
The AEA R84A Active Ribbon Microphone is an active version of the AEA R84 and is a staple in numerous recording studios because of its unique tonality and classic sound. Its smooth, high-frequency roll-off and reduced sibilance make it the go-to choice for engineers tracking vocals and other instruments that often sound harsh when recorded with condenser mics.
The AEA R84A quickly endears itself to engineers and musicians due to its remarkably expansive frequency range complete with sweeping highs and booming lows.The R84A balanced and manageable proximity effect just feet away from the source bolsters the low end of vocals, drums, and brass. With a ribbon mic as multi-purpose, lightweight, and maneuverable as the R84A, it is well-suited for both close-up and ambient mic applications.
The AEA R84A mic retains the same sonic character of the AEA R84, but with an additional 12dB of output and a stable impedance. This gives a consistent frequency response and greater flexibility with different preamps, including those found in audio interfaces for personal computers. This is great for on-the-road musicians who might have to use a different preamp each night. The extra 12db of output is a huge help when recording quiet sources like vocals and soft acoustic guitars. The active circuitry also prevents noise, interference on long cable runs or when operating near large lighting rigs. The R84A requires standard 48-volt phantom power to operate the active circuitry. The R84A also possesses an 18-carrot, gold-plated grill.
The R84As gorgeous mid-range captures the unique qualities of many instruments with detailed elegance. Its large low end is perfect for beefing up the sound of drum kits or thickening up the bass in thin vocals. Its a mic that works well on practically any voice or musical instrument, making it useful tool in both recording and broadcast studios.
AEA R84A Active Ribbon Microphone Features
- Warm, smooth and detailed classic ribbon sound
- Full and rich tonality with generous highs and lows
- Voiced like the legendary R44 Series but with less proximity effect
- Versatile for both close and ambient applications
- Active R84A version has 12db level increase and is optimized for all preamps
- Made in the U.S.A
AEA R84A Active Ribbon Microphone Includes
- R84A Active Ribbon Microphone
- Captive 10-Foot Output Cable
- User manual
AEA R84A Active Ribbon Microphone Specifictions
- Operating Principle: Pressure gradient transducer
- Directional Pattern: Bidirectional
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Polarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphone
- Transducer Element Material: Pure aluminum corrugated ribbon
- Maximum SPL: 141 + dB SPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)
- Sensitivity: 6.3 mV/Pa (-44 dBv/Pa) into unloaded circuit
- Output Impedance: 92 Ω broadband
- Recommended Load Impedance: 1.0K Ω or greater
- Phantom Power: P48 phantom power, 7 mA
- Connector: XLR-3M
What We Think
The folks here at Front End Audio are extremely excited about this "Active" take on one of the most celebrated and best selling microphones here at Front End Audio - the AEA R84. For years we have recommended the R84 to customers looking for a smooth, beautiful sounding ribbon microphone. However, all ribbon microphones require special consideration when it comes to their pairings with microphone preamplifiers - if you've ever called and talked with us about ribbons, you'll know! To know why the R84A has come about takes a little background...
"Now, in our experience, the Fred Forsell designed AEA TRP and more recently, the AEA RPQ, was always the best performing choice to pair up with the ribbon microphone design. The result is a cleaner, clearer sound that exhibits more linearity in frequency response and a better overall musicality. Other manufacturers had sought to rectify the ribbon mic impedence matching issue by adding an active preamp to the mic body. However, though many of their ribbon elements exhibited decent sounding reproduction characteristics, their internal preamps were designs that were just too noisy to be considered a 'serious' microphone for discriminating professionals.
"Due to the needs of scoring engineers in LA, AEA again teamed with Fred Forsell to design the A440 which now gives film scores excellent, full bodied recordings of orchestral music with very quiet passages. Now that incredibly demanding music can be recorded without requiring additional preamps having to be delivered and setup in advance of sessions for use with AEA R44s or perhaps even original RCA 44s (that have most likely been serviced at AEA by Wes Dooley himself!).
"The AEA R84A opened up new doors of sonic possibility for users who had some wonderful preamps that, due to incompatible impedances, could never really sound good with a passive ribbon microphone. The new AEA active electronics make it possible for these mics to work off of phantom power like a condenser microphone, and now pair with any microphone preamplifier the recording engineer so chooses - tube or solid state, LaChapell or Mackie! - Just so long as it has phantom power.
"The needs of project studio owners are such that simplicity and ease of use are paramount. Ribbon microphones have traditionally been given a bad rap when evaluated in a setting where they are misunderstood and thus, misused. The R84 has always been a problem solver and a sonic elevator for engineers, but now with the ultra-quiet active on-board preamplifier in the AEA R84A, all that you have to do is simply plug it into whatever preamp you have and you get all the magic of the R84 - PLUS you can add whatever character you like from whichever preamp you so desire. This is a breakthrough for studio owners looking to get a whole new bevy of sounds based on AEA's sensitive BIG RIBBON designs at a price that is roughly right in-line with a channel of the TRP added to an R84.
"Recently, we did some tests with the RPQ preamp with the R84A and the A440. I personally found the R84A to exhibit more low-end punch for closer sources (proximity effect) though the housing construction and the magnet structure of the A440 (R44) usually combine to have more of a 'kick in the gut' effect. As a result, the R84A emerges as a first-choice microphone for vocals, stringed instruments, drums, guitar instruments, percussion, and pretty much whatever you want to put the R84A in front of. Combine it with either the RPQ (remember, the R84A requires phantom power) and you've got an unstoppable combination.
"Front End Audio knows and loves AEA like no other and would love to help you bring home the new R84A to your studio, like no other! Give us a call.
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