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Golden Age Project R1 Mk3 Active Ribbon Microphone

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

Price: $229.99 & FREE Shipping
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by pixelproaudio in easy-to-open packaging.
  • Unmatched natural & musical sound of a classical ribbon microphone combined with the constent sound quality offered by addition of active electronics
  • The typical large and mellow ribbon sound quality with a very smooth top end and an extended low end
  • A Bipolar/FET descrete low-noise amplifier with a low impedance transformer less output stage, powered by standard 48V phantom power
  • It raises the level and isolates the ribbon and gain make-up transformer from the outside world
  • Removable microphone cable and padded case included
  • Switchable -10db pad and 100hz low cut filter
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$229.99 & FREE Shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by pixelproaudio in easy-to-open packaging.


Product Description

The R1 Active MKIII is a very cool mic that combines the best of two worlds; the warmth of a ribbon and the stability of a F.E.T. buffer ampilier. This means that you can use the R1 Active MKIII with long cables and virtually any pre-amp featuring 48V phantom power. A clean and clear sound, yet warm and punchy is what the R1 Active MKIII will deliver in most cases. We love it on drums, as an ambience mic or in pairs for O.H. pickup, but it sounds great on most instruments. The R1 Active MKIII is in fact a very versatile mic even suitable for some sensitve vocal recording! And even more so now when the mk3 version includes switches for low cut and 10dB pad.A stunning realism with the feeling of being-thereThe typical large and mellow ribbon sound quality with a very smooth top end and an extended low end. A fast and life-like transient reproduction.An ultra-high SPL capability, 160 dB SPL (1% THD @ 1000Hz) and a very high sensitivity for a ribbon microphone, similar to many condenser microphones.Type: Large ribbon geometry, pure aluminium, 2 um thick, 50 x 5 mm size with active electronics.Polar pattern: Figure 8Frequency response: 30 Hz 18 kHz +/- 3 dBSensitivity: -42 dB (0 dB = 1V/Pa) @ 1 kHz.Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted per IEC 268-4): < 18 dB typical.Maximum SPL (<1% THD @ 1 kHz): 160 dB. Output impedance: 200 ohm, balancedRecommended load impedance: > 1000 Ohms. Dimensions: 69x185 mm.Weight: 1 450 g.

Product Information

Item Weight 3.2 pounds
Product Dimensions 14.7 x 8.3 x 5.6 inches
Shipping Weight 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B0050DIHAC
Customer Reviews
3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #73,450 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
#30 in Musical Instruments > Recording Equipment > Microphones > Ribbon Microphones
Date first available at Amazon.com July 18, 2012

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Judd on January 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
Length: 6:42 Mins
Microphone Reviews are tricky because the usefulness of a review depends on whether or not you plan to use the mic for the same things the reviewer uses it. So to avoid that issue, my review is based on recording the following:

- Voice-over for both male and female voices that tend to have a bit of sibilance and are not especially dark or deep
- Violin and other acoustic higher register instruments such as mandolin that tend to sound harsh when recorded

For these two main groups, the Golden Age Project R1 Mark III Active Ribbon microphone performs really well, much better than equivalently priced large diaphragm condenser microphones. In fact, because these are the two main things I record, this is my go-to mic almost all of the time and my two other condenser mics and dynamic mics are seeing a lot less use.

Why? Two reasons:

- Bass response--this mic has a warm low end that flatters most voices and most of the higher register stringed instruments like violin. Additionally, you can back the mic away from the instrument a little bit more and still retain the low frequency capture, unlike most affordable large diaphragm condenser (LDC) mics which tend to lose low frequency response pretty quickly once they're moved back from the source.

- High Frequency roll-off--This mic differs from almost all of the less than 500 USD LDC mics in that it does not seem to have a "presence peak"--that annoying "feature" of most affordable LDC mics where the higher frequencies get a pretty significant boost which often results in highlighting sibilance (that annoying "ssss" sound in some peoples' voice) or making an instrument sound shrill.

Because the R1 Mark III is phantom powered (thus the "Active" in its name), it is easy to use with pretty much any pre-amp. This is a unique and welcome feature because ribbon mics typically require pretty beefy pre-amps with quite a lot of gain to work well.
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Some mics are great for some applications, and not for others. A particular model may be great for one singer, but not so great for another.
This mic just wasn't right for me.
It DID deliver on the promise of taming the excessive highs and sibilance often associated with budget large diaphragm condensers, and it definitely had a bit of the classic ribbon flavor.
But, I found the mid-bass too colored and slightly exaggerated in an undesirable, inarticulate way for my vocals.
I tried two different preamps. With an ART Digital MPA II (the PRO MPA II with onboard A/D) with Tung-Sol tubes, there was an excessively bright spot in the upper midrange that made singing naturally difficult.
With the Golden Age Project Pre 73 Mk II (unmodded), the upper midrange problem was gone, but the high end was a bit too rolled off for my taste. With the low impedance switch engaged on the GAP, there was more high-end articulation.
I can see where this mic could be great when seeking a particular tone on an instrument or vocal, or for a singer whose voice is has different tonality than mine. But for me, it would have been something that is only right once in a while in special situations as opposed to something that would see a lot of use in my studio.
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The 1st reviewer made valid points which I agree with. I mostly use my MK3 for miking a Gretsch 5 watt guitar amp. This may sound like I'm "gushing" however, the sound through this mike to my recorder is "bigger" then what the amp produces. I guess you could say the mike "colors" the sound, in my case, this BIG round sound it great!
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I'd give it 4.5 stars, mainly because the self-noise is a more than I would like it to be. But that is it's only flaw. I also have owned a Royer R121, a couple of AEA Nuvo N22's, the Cascade X-15 stereo mic, Avantone CK-14, and the cheepy MXL R144. And I'd say this and the N22 are my favorite. This has a bit more character, while still sounding natural, and has a more pronounced proximity LF lift that is more in line with my experience with almost every other microphone. Responds to HF EQ boost very well, and the noise can be dealt with using a gate, at least on louder sources. But don't think you could get a pair of these and record classical guitar in a recital room without it sounding like a tape recording from the 50's. It simply has too much self noise. You'll have to pony up the bigger bucks to get a quiet ribbon mic. But with that caveat being understood, this is, HANDS DOWN, the best ribbon microphone under $300.

Update: also discovered that the backside of the ribbon has a more pronounced HF boost like the R121. Nice for more blunt voices like my own, not so great for edgy voices. Don't expect to record twins on both side and have it sound the same. :-)

Update Jan 2016: Having lives with them for a while longer, I have found that for some reason, self noise is most audible with headphones, but not nearly as much through my studio monitors, even in my quiet room. I would even say you could get away with recording solo instruments like classical guitar, if you don't mind your recording sounding a little but like analog tape. I hate to cross promote a product at the risk of sounding like there's a back-door angle, but since I purchased the Waves NS1 noise reduction plugin, these have become so much more useful for solo recordings...
Read more ›
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