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What should i do with these RCA ribbon mics

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by thepilgrimsdream, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. thepilgrimsdream

    thepilgrimsdream Active Member

    I recently acquired

    3 RCA 77-D Ribbon mics

    1 RCA WNAR mic

    I am going to be getting them restored, but are they really worth keeping or should i sell them on ebay?

    I kinda am afraid to keep them. What would you use them for?
     
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Nice how much are you going to put into them? Those mics would be great for a warm vocal.
     
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    First my guess is that WNAR are radio call letters, not the model number for the mic. Here is some info on RCA model numbers.

    Back to the main question: these are great, highly sought after studio mics. I'd use them on all kinds of acoustic instruments - strings, acoustic guitar, mando, sax. I'd use them on guitar cabinets. All kinds of drums and percussion. And of course, warm vocals. I love ribbons and these are the ones that set the standard. If you decide to restore them and use them yourself they are certainly "worth" it if their sound is one that turns you on.

    On the other hand, there are arguments against keeping them. You can fund a pretty nice collection of mics by selling them. This would obviously make sense if you really didn't like their sound. No reason to keep something you don't like - especially when there are people out there will to pay a premium price for it. You say you are afraid of them - why? Is it just unfamiliarity? the fact that they are fragile? expensive? There are a lot of people who use these as real working microphones - not museum pieces. But they are more fragile than other mics - even modern ribbons are more robust. If your studio tends to be hard on equipment these might not be a good choice. And then there is the fact that the "vintage vibe" has an actual market value. If it does not mean much to you or your clients, maybe you are better off letting someone pay for it.

    If you decide to sell do a lot more research. You want to know exactly what you have and what the going rate is for it.
     
  4. thepilgrimsdream

    thepilgrimsdream Active Member

    I listened to one and it was pretty sweet, the others dont have any connector at the end of the cord. I know someone who knows one of the original RCA repairmen who is in his last years, so it would be pretty sweet if i could get them all tricked out by him. I am considering selling one. I am basically running them direct into the profire 2626 right now. Here are the mics i have right now

    2x Shure SM57
    Shure 5155A
    Shure SM77
    Shure SM58
    Audix i5
    2x Audix D2
    Audix D4
    Audix ADX51
    Audix D6
    AKG C 414 XLS

    So i dont really have anything with mojo other than the RCAs. I am considering selling one so i could get a cool preamp or another high end mic. What would you do if you were me?
     
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I think I would service/refurbish all the mics, then sell one of the 77s, and see what the balance of funds is. After that I'd experiment with what you have for a while so that you really know what you have and what you need to make it work before jumping the gun on a sale. You have to decide if you want to build your recording rig around these ribbons or just have one or two as a particular color. One problem here is that from what I read, the 77s have a low enough output that you will a lot of preamp gain on quiet sources. All depends on what you are using the mic on. Guitar cabs, percussion, horns might not be a problem. Guitars, quiet vocals might be. So you may need a better preamp to make a serious evaluation of the mics on some sources. (An AEA TRP is next on my shopping list.)
     
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    BTW, what model is the WNAR mic? Have you looked at pictures? Can you post pics?
     
  7. thepilgrimsdream

    thepilgrimsdream Active Member

    I just looked it up, and its a RCA 74B. I could get between $300-$700 for it probably, I am planning getting them all restored. I think I'm going to keep 3 and sell one. I am very much interested in a good preamp right now, do your recommend the AEA TRP for ribbons? It looks absolutely perfect for what I am doing, that way i could run them stereo as drum overheads or anything. Cause I want to record drum using some condensers, cause of phantom power.
     
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    The AEA TRP has been recommended to me and it seems ideal for my purposes and perhaps yours. Search the archives. It has been discussed before.
     
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    You need a clean high gain pre (70dB), and you do not need phantom power the AEA pre is what you need. But there are plenty of choices out there....Daking, gordon, neve portico 2 etc..
     
  10. thepilgrimsdream

    thepilgrimsdream Active Member

    Yeah, lots of clean gain and NO PHANTOM POWER. It seems perfect, i want my ribbons to be separate so there is no chance of anyone running phantom through my ribbons
     
  11. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Nahhhhhhhhhhh, just sent Phantom through 'em. When they don't work anymore send them to me.

    I heard they were over rated anyway. I'll dispose of them for you at no charge.
     
  12. thepilgrimsdream

    thepilgrimsdream Active Member

    haha, you wish :)
     

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