I was given one for X-mas a few years ago. It needs a preamp with lots of gain in general. I have used it on electric acoustic and resonator guitars, mandolin, stand up bass and drum OH's. I like it fine. I do not have any experience with other ribbons so I can't say if it is better or what but for the price it seems fine. It is a little dark sounding but that's why mixers have EQ!!!!!!!!!