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10.11.2002
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
AEA brings opulent “large ribbon” sound back to broadcasting

For all the golden-voiced broadcast announcers who lament the disappearance of their beloved RCA ribbon microphones, fret no more. Audio Engineering Associates (AEA), the closest you can get to RCA these days, has updated the ribbon classic with a new design.



The AEA R84 Large Ribbon Geometry (LRG) microphone uses a ribbon element to produce exceptional headroom and an intimate performance with smooth highs and extended lows.

Introduced last week at the AES convention, the AEA R84 Large Ribbon Geometry (LRG) microphone uses a ribbon element to produce exceptional headroom and an intimate performance with smooth highs and extended lows.

When used with the human voice, the R84 produces that intimate, warm, detailed sound reminiscent of the classic RCA 44 ribbons first manufactured in the 1930s. This versatile microphone also works well with a wide range of instruments.

At a mere 0.00007 of an inch, the ultra-thin, low-tension ribbon element of the R84 offers a quick response with a variety of sounds. It is capable of handling better than 165 dB SPL at higher frequencies.

Noting the ever-dwindling supply of vintage RCA 44 ribbon microphones on the open market, AEA president Wes Dooley began a 20-year quest to acquire the know-how and expertise necessary to recreate the much-coveted RCA microphone.

His first product, the R44, manufactured by hand at AEA's facility in Pasadena, California, faithfully reproduces the 1936 original's every detail. “Our ribbon microphones evolved from our creation of accurate replacement parts for the classic RCA studio ribbons,” said Dooley. “In the process we brought a legend back to life.”

The new AEA R84 is supplied in a complete system that includes a shock mount, 6-foot mic cable and sturdy foam-lined carrying case. Weighing-in at less than two pounds (0.9 Kg) and measuring eight inches (30 cm) tall and 2.7 inches (7 cm) in diameter.

For more information visit www.wesdooley.com/PR-20021005.html.

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