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Hello all. I have recently purchased a set of Neumann KM184 mics and a set of Royer R-121 mics. The problem is that I can really only keep one set, but I don't know which ones to choose. Obviously they both have their own sound and ideal purpose. Can anyone please give me some advice on this? Is there a good reason to keep all of them? Thanks much!


RemyRAD Tue, 05/09/2006 - 17:31

Well, I'm definitely a ribbon lover but you have to also consider in what applications you're going to use these things in? Ribbon microphones are extremely fragile in comparison to all other types, i.e. condenser/capacitor and dynamics. If you're going to make any live recordings with these things and you happen to go outdoors, I would never use a ribbon outdoors. The first big breeze that came along would kill them.

And since I like microphones in pairs, I would go with the Neumann. More versatility, more rugged, more universal.

Ms. Remy Ann David
professor at the Virginia Analversity of audio engineering
and part-time bad news TV audio engineer

Davedog Tue, 05/09/2006 - 17:39

Since it sounds like you have a pair of each, I would keep the pair of the Neumanns and one of the Royers. Or one of each and get a nice Large Diaphram Condenser...A U87 or something like it.

Hey Remy...YOU should get ya one of those Royers. Its a ribbon....yeah....its not subject to the problems associated with the RCAs and the Beyer 160's and such. You can stick em on a guitar cab and go nuts.

anonymous Tue, 05/09/2006 - 18:49

Davedog wrote: Since it sounds like you have a pair of each, I would keep the pair of the Neumanns and one of the Royers. Or one of each and get a nice Large Diaphram Condenser...A U87 or something like it.

Oh yeah -- I didn't noticed he said had a pair of each. Yeah, keep two 184s, one 121, then get a good LDC. That's a good idea.

AudioGaff Tue, 05/09/2006 - 22:36

They are so much different from one another that you can't clearly argue that one pair is any better than the other. Keep the pair that you think you'll get the most use out of, and that compliment what you already have. If it were me, I'd keep the pair of 184's or at least find a way to keep one of each.

The Royer ribbons are far from fragile. There not like a 57 that you can bounce of the floor, and then pick up and use, but they also are not like the real old school ribbons were where you had to handle them like wet toilet paper.

Cucco Wed, 05/10/2006 - 14:13

Wow, am I the only one who says dump the Neumanns and keep the Royers???

If I had the choice to live with only one pair out of the 2 you've got now, I would go Royer all the way. The 184s are, at best, decent mics which are relatively over-priced. They are also one-trick ponies. For stereo mic'ing, you're limited to XY, ORTF or NOS.

The Royers on the other hand - with a pair, you could -

XY, ORTF, NOS, AB, Blumlein, MS or just about any other combination. Plus, you can use them as great vocal mics, guitar close ups (both acoustic AND electric), overheads, drum close-mics, orchestral mics (both main and spots), heck, just about anything else.

Of the above, the only ones I could see the 184s doing are drum overheads and acoustic guitar. Everything else, there are far better mics for the job.

Just my $.02...


anonymous Wed, 05/10/2006 - 14:44

How about this :)

Sell them both and buy yourself a couple of DPA microphones, doesn't matter which ones, you can get the lavaliers if you like; they put Neumann to shame. I used to be a Neumann "follower" but since I discovered DPA my collection of Neumanns are sitting quitely in the bottom drawer somewhere. And here's the kicker: they cost a fraction of the price of a Neumann mic.

I promise you: in 10 years every studio in the world will own their own set of DPA mics and more importantly: use them all the time!

anonymous Wed, 05/10/2006 - 16:59


After reading your posts and combining all the good advice, I decided to rationalize my thoughts into allowing me to keep all of them. Good things have been said about both types and together they seem like they could cover a lot of recording applications, so I'll just have do what I can to make it happen. Oh, Niliov, thanks but I'm not ready to make that move at this point in time.

Once again, thank you all very much for the advice!