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I'll keep this brief...
I lost a Beyer M130 and 1 of 2 M160's I have owned for several years. It happened in a bizarre way that makes me sick to even think about.
Now I want a figure-8 ribbon to go with the lonely M160. I COULD just buy another M130, I have about $1K to play with for a new mic. However, I have been reading that Beyer no longer services these mics, and I don't want to pour $600 down the drain on one if the manufacturer doesn't back them. I have been looking at the new active ribbon from A-T (4081), or, there's a used Royer R-121 on my local CL for $1K /w. the shock mount. And maybe I should simply scrap the ribbon thang altogether (for M-S) and go with my pair of A-T 4050's (1 in cardioid, 1 set to "8")...any suggestions?

Related to this is the fact that I have my heart set on a True P2a pre, and in the M-S mode "locks" the gain settings of the 2 channels together. I lost the original pre/M-S decoder a friend built long ago when I lost the Beyers. I had a P2a 6 years ago or so and miss it terribly, but that M-S feature may preclude my using 2 dissimilar mics. This was not a problem with my original pre/decoder. Feedback?


TheJackAttack Tue, 04/03/2012 - 21:12

I was going to suggest an m130 until I read your post. Honestly if I wasn't going to match a Beyer with a Beyer, I would go with a Royer all the way. I can't say enough good things about them. The only alternative and it is a lessor one would be the Avantone. I am sort of not enamored with the AT ribbon though I can't put my finger quite on why.

Boswell Wed, 04/04/2012 - 03:42

Sorry to hear about the loss of the M130 and an M160. That must have been a bitter blow.

My feeling would be to replace the M130 with another one to go with the remaining M160. A quick look around US internet suppliers shows M130s going for around $550, which is just over half of the amount you are thinking you might spend. The worry about Beyer not servicing the M130 must apply to the M160 as well, so I don't think you are in a worse state by going that way. A new M130 would restore a working M-S ribbon pair and give you a bit of time and some change to ponder what you should spend on next.

My reading of the True P2A pre-amp manual is that it is only the 12dB gain range switch that affects both channels together. The variable gain controls function independently as expected, and with M-S mode selected, they become "mid" and "width". In my usage of M-S, I almost always record the raw M and S separately for later decoding, but I do decode at the event just for monitoring. If I'm recording on one of my HD24XRs, I use an insert cable to take the S channel balanced output to the L and R inputs of a stereo channel on my monitoring mixer. The M output goes to a standard mono channel. The mono channel gain then gives me the mid level and the stereo channel gain gives me the width (it needs an additional 6dB to compensate for the splitting in half).

BobRogers Wed, 04/04/2012 - 04:55

You might contact Wes Dooley to see if he plans to service Beyers. Of course, he might try to sell you an AEA, but I don't think they have any low profile mics like the Beyer or the Royer. If that's the RSM-1 shockmount, that's a pretty good asking price for the Royer - if you trust the seller to be reasonably careful with equipment.

JoeH Wed, 04/04/2012 - 08:04

For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of the AT-4081, but I use it primarily on winds and brass in an M/S rig. It also looks good on camera (very slim & trim). I plan to try it on more things in-studio, but for now, it's holding its own. The AT-4050's work beautifully in an M/S configuration, but that's one potentially big setup. Fine if you have the stands and the room to do it, but clumsy for tight situations, as they take up a lot of real estate just making it happen.

As for lost mics; maybe we could start a thread called: "How I lost my mic".

No matter now obvious or tedious, I make sure everyone does an "idiot-check" before leaving a venue. It's FINE to go back inside and find nothing, but those times when something IS still sitting there more than justifies it.

About ten years ago now, I lost an AKG 422. I'll never know exactly how/when it happened, because it took almost three weeks to discover it was missing from its case - which still had the matrix/power supply & cable. It's possible "I" left it behind, on a cushioned church pew, having gotten distracted by a question from a client, or it's possible the box was rifled by a curious student at the next event - a high school musical we were recording - or something else entirely. By the time it was discovered missing from its case, it was long long gone. ;-(

Recently, my video guy/associate discoved his camera-mount shotgun mic was missing; similar situation in that he hadn't checked the case in the last 2-3 jobs, and now doesn't know where he lost it......sigh......

Painful stuff.

moonbaby Wed, 04/04/2012 - 09:47

Thanks, I had read a post by Joe H. here about using the 160 with the A-T 4081, and that got me thinking. I have read fairly mediocre reviews on the 4080 (folks say that is too "wooley" on a lot of sources), but the 4081 gets better comments.
Plus, I like my other A-T's - their build quality is very high in my book. But I will more than likely stick to Beyer or Royer in the end.
Thank you, too! I never used the M-S in the P2 when I had it before. Then, I was mainly recording acoustic/bluegrass music, plus live big band gigs, so I used it on stringed instruments and soloists. I was concerned that in the M-S mode, there would be little level-matching ability between the 2 channels, but I'll probably end up with aother M130, so that would be moot.
That's a great suggestion; I will contact Wes to see if AEA plans to do Beyers...I am surprised that no one has started to do that, but it is a small market. I would really like to keep the Beyer rig alive.
Yeah, I will be doing small ensembles and soloists at a few ofthe local music schools around here. The A-Ts are too bulky to rely on them.
I like your idea on a new thread: "How I Lost My Mic". This time it wasn't EXACTLY theft, but the jury is still out on that. I loaned the mics to the guy who had the preamp, for a recital recording. Sadly, he had a heart attack in his car and DIED on the side of the road - with the gear - in the car. This was about 6 weeks ago. His widow is adamant that she has no idea as to where ANY of the gear is. I really don't feel comfortable pressing the issue with her. I tried the police, the EMT's who answered his 911 call, and the tow truck driver who hauled the car away, no dice.