Samar AL959 Stereo Ribbon Microphone
The Samar AL959 Stereo Ribbon Microphone is a logical transformation of Samar's acclaimed AL95 ‘piston’ ribbon into one stereo unit.
While it would be perfectly possible using two microphones in Blumlein, or MS configurations the AL959 stereo microphone has the very important advantages of having the matched motors in closest possible proximity resulting in perfect phase behavior between both channels, up to very high frequencies. Another benefit is much more efficient setup in live and on location situations where only one unit has to be placed with the single 4 conductor cable (with supplied Y splitter at the end). With its compact and lightweight design, the AL959 sets a new standard in stereo microphones for live, studio, and home studio situations for all users—from artists recording their own material, all the way through to professional recording engineers—whose goal is making the highest quality recordings.
Years of perfecting ribbon transducers, as well as experience in machining and assembling them exclusively in house, have allowed Samar Audio to create a stereo microphone of ultimate performance for a price that is unheard for a completely US-made stereo ribbon microphone. Specifically designed for very smooth, extended frequency response and low distortion, 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 motors are coupled to custom, hand-wound, amorphous-core torroidal transformers, which draw their lineage directly from Samar’s flagship MF65. The transformer ratio and other parameters were specifically matched for this microphone, resulting in very low distortion, noise, and neutral sonics, while its symmetrical design makes it perfectly suited for M-S and Blumlein applications.
Due to its modern design and linearity, the AL959 has a very wide range of stereo applications, especially as a main microphone for orchestral, choir, or smaller groups recordings in classical, jazz, or pop/rock genres. It excels being used on drum overheads, piano, guitar, or stereo room recordings for a broad range of instruments where deep low-end and extended top range are important.
The Samar Audio AL959 comes in an injection-molded, US made carrying case with a microphone clip and Y splitter to convert between 5-pin XLR connector into a pair of 3-pin XLR’s. It features a 1-year part and ribbon replacement warranty (limited to two services).
Samar AL959 Stereo Ribbon Microphone Specifications
- Pickup Pattern: Figure 8
- Ribbon Corrugation: Piston
- Ribbon Dimensions: 1.5”x0.250”x4µ
- Sensitivity: 1.6mV/Pa
- Output Impedance: 250 Ohm
- Microphone Dimensions: 9.500”x1”
- Weight: 232g (8.2oz)
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