The Samar AL95 Ribbon Microphone is a figure 8 passive ribbon microphone and the newest microphone in the Samar family.
Years of perfecting ribbon transducers, and experience in machining and making them exclusively in house have allowed Samar Audio to create a microphone of ultimate performance for a price that is unheard for a completely US made microphone. This makes it perfect solution for home studios, artists, and engineers with budget restrictions, as well as professional engineers, whose goal is making the highest quality recordings. Specifically designed for very smooth, extended frequency response, and low distortions, it is handcrafted and meticulously assembled at the company’s Salt Lake City based shop.
This design was conceived and realized by the company’s founder, Dr. Mark Fouxman. The efficiency of the construction, such as its uni-body design, unique and innovative motor structure and parts utilization, makes for a microphone consisting of very few parts, which is the main factor for such a drastic price drop. However, do not let its budget price give you the wrong impression—this is a high end, no-compromise microphone, which will provide the highest possible level of performance and years of dependability.
At the heart of the microphone is a ‘piston’ corrugated ribbon. Compared to the regular ‘zig-zag’ corrugation, it offers lower noise, deeper, fuller, and more controlled bass response, higher output, lower resonance modes, and very high SPL handling. All those advantages are due to the ribbon motion, which is similar to that of speaker cones. A very important feature of the ribbon is its robust construction and therefore, much lower fragility than conventional ribbon microphones. Due to this, they do not require any special precautions for storage.
The ribbon motor is coupled to an in-house made amorthous-core torroidal transformer, which started its lineage from Samar’s flagship MF65. The transformer ratio and other parameters were specifically matched for this microphone. This optimization has resulted in very low distortion, noise, and neutral sonics.
Due to its modern design and linearity, the AL95 has a very wide range of applications, especially where a deep bass response and extended top are of importance. Also, its symmetrical design makes it perfect suited for M-S and Blumlein applications.
Samar AL95 Ribbon Microphone Includes
- AL95 Ribbon Microphone
- Injection-molded, US made carrying case
- Shock-proof clip
- 1-year part and ribbon replacement warranty (limited to two services)
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I got it and immediately put it to work. I was surprised at how compact this little ribbon is. Well, compact only in size, not in tonal breadth. I immediately did backup vocals. I of course placed a pop screen in front of it, then sang through it. I was immediately impressed at not just how accurate my voice translated on playback, but also how nice the high end sounded. I literally didn't EQ my vocals, save for a high-pass filter at about 165 Hz. Sibilance wasn't an issue, even knowing how these ribbons have a higher frequency spectrum. It translated as less EQ to deal with. Granted, backup vocals is all I've done (from low to high registers), but I plan to record some dobro this weekend as well as acoustic guitar and percussion (tamborines and shakers), so the frequencies will be tested, as well as noise levels and how it holds up to loud vs. soft levels. I have no doubt this little mic will take care of business. I'm already impressed. The pedigree this mic comes from also gives notice that this ribbon mic is a serious contender, ready to make professional recordings.
I'm very impressed with this low cost ribbon mic. Ive recorded it with piano, close to the harp , violin and organ cab. Did quite well with all of them. Does well with mid to close recording. The proximity effect is definitely present with front side of the mic, but not too intense. Back side of the mic is great for grabbing a little more texture and taming the low-end a bit. Nice rich natural sound with just enough high end and not too much low end. I'm certain this will excel on a guitar cab.