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Royer Ribbon Condensers

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Jay Hudson, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Jay Hudson

    Jay Hudson Guest

    I read somewhere that Royer was introducing some condenser ribbons.
    Does anybody have any info?
    Fletcher?
     
  2. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    Check the Microphone Technique board. Fletcher posted an answer that references and talks a little about them.
     
  3. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Royer is not introducing a "condenser / ribbon", at least not at this point. Altec / Western Electric came out with a "ribbon / dynamic" mic 40+ years ago, but since then I haven't heard of anyone coming out with a dual 'element' mic.

    Royer is coming out with a ribbon mic that has an onboard amplifier that is powered by standard 48vdc phantom power. This does not a condenser mic make.

    "Condenser" is another word for 'capacitor', which is how a condenser mic works. As the diaphragm moves, it changes the capacitance in relation to the backplate of the capsule. Royer has no such arrangement in their new product.
     
  4. Jay Hudson

    Jay Hudson Guest

    Thanks for the education.
    Since it had something to do with phantom power I assumed it had something to do with condenser.
    Have you used one yet?
    How does the sound compare with a standard
    Royer ribbon?
     
  5. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Haven't had the opportunity to use the new Royer yet, but the press releases touts the increased output compared to the original Royer mics. I have had a R121 for a year and a half or so, and, although I have had NO problems due to low output, I could see where increased output could be useful in some situations. One obvious example would be when using the mic at a distance or as an "ambient" mic. Currently, when I use my Royer on low volume sources, I do find myself turning the preamp gain up kinda high, particularly when compared to a modern condensor mic with high output, like a Neumann KM184. I don't know if that is the primary reason for the new mics, but it is one significant reason. With the advent of cheap condensors, even low budget home studios have become used to having high level mic output signals. Personally, I use dynamic mics a LOT in my work, (MD421 more than any other mic), so I am used to working with lower output mics.
     
  6. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by Austin Hudley:
    How does the sound compare with a standard
    Royer ribbon?


    A little more consistant from preamp to preamp, with a bit more clarity on the top, and slightly better definition on the bottom.

    It don't suck...but I only had it for like minutes...there are only 4 built at this point so it didn't get the usual "workout"...I tried it on a couple of guitar tracks and a vocal...I'm looking forward to having more time to play with the thing...hopefully sooner than later...
     
  7. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Fletcher,

    Do you think that the higher output of the new Royer's will cause the preamp to be more prone to clipping? I find that when using most large diaphram condensers on guitar cab I tend to use a pad between the mic and pre...but with the ribbons the opposite seems to be a benefit for this application (although I can see the benefit for quieter apps). Will they still be making both versions?
     
  8. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    I have rarely found myself using an external pad on most mics unless I'm going into a 'fixed gain mic pre' like a Langevin AM-16 or similar, so I'm probably not the right guy for your question.

    Yes, it does have a higher output than a typical ribbon mic. No, it's not as ridiculously high an output as the recent Neumann releases, but it does require less M-P gain than a standard ribbon mic.

    I reckon it depends on the mic-pre whether an external pad will or won't be necessary.
     
  9. Originally posted by Fletcher:
    I have rarely found myself using an external pad on most mics unless I'm going into a 'fixed gain mic pre' like a Langevin AM-16 or similar, so I'm probably not the right guy for your question.

    Yes, it does have a higher output than a typical ribbon mic. No, it's not as ridiculously high an output as the recent Neumann releases, but it does require less M-P gain than a standard ribbon mic.

    I reckon it depends on the mic-pre whether an external pad will or won't be necessary.


    do you know, do royer modificate (used) 121 to phantom-versions or is the mike a complete new design.
     
  10. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Location:
    Nashville TN
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    Josephson makes a dual element condenser mike. It's interesting because the figure-8 and omni elements are brought out separately so you can mix them into whatever directional pattern you want.
     
  11. michaeloomis

    michaeloomis Guest

    Anybody know what the phanton-powered Royers will be selling for. I'm assuming the price will be substantially more than a 121, Yes?

    Michael
     
  12. Originally posted by Michael Loomis:
    Anybody know what the phanton-powered Royers will be selling for. I'm assuming the price will be substantially more than a 121, Yes?



    $500 is added to the price of a passive Royer ribbon to get the price of an active Royer ribbon. For the R-121A $1495 vs $995 for a R-121 (list). Likewise for the SF-1[A] you have $1575 vs $1075, and the SF-12[A] at $3175 vs $2150 (2 sets of electronics there).

    The active version guarantees you will have enough gain (with any reasonable mic pre) even for quiter sources like acoustic guitar, etc. It also guarantees proper impedence matching that you might not get with an otherwise good mic pre, meaning you get the fullest possible sound. Other than that, you shouldn't expect any sonic tradeoffs between the active and the passive.

    For folks who love their Royer and take it with them on the road and plug it into an unpredictable set of mic-pre's over time, the active versions will be exactly what they need. But in the studio, my first impression is that you would be better off buying the passive version and putting the $500 you saved into a better single channel of a decent mic pre that will not only be able to give you the most from the Royer but also allow you to plug other mics into it according to the need of the moment. But that's just the opinion of someone who has no clout in this context, whereas what I said about pricing and sonic tradeoffs were what I heard from John Jennings at Royer.
     

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