Ribbon mics for recording guitar amps

telecast

Senior Member
Messages
547
Hi all, I'm getting curious about using something like a ribbon mic to record an electric guitar amp. I'm looking for something warm and vintage like without the mid range honk of something like an SM57. Anybody using something like a ribbon on an amp? Any recommendations for around $400? I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?
Of course any suggestions for something other than a ribbon mic are welcome too. Thanks!
 

Hallogallo

Member
Messages
6,477
Hi all, I'm getting curious about using something like a ribbon mic to record an electric guitar amp. I'm looking for something warm and vintage like without the mid range honk of something like an SM57. Anybody using something like a ribbon on an amp? Any recommendations for around $400? I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?
Of course any suggestions for something other than a ribbon mic are welcome too. Thanks!


Check out Cascade ribbon mics.
http://www.cascademicrophones.com
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,306
Altho it's above your price range, my Royer R-121 is the single best piece of gear I've purchased, as far as making it easy to get great guitar sounds.

I think the Fathead is the obvious choice in that price range.
 

Tonekat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,921
If you can find one, a Steadman N90. Not a ribbon either, but hefty EV capsule, really flat response, high sound pressure handling.
 
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DaveNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,772
Hi all, I'm getting curious about using something like a ribbon mic to record an electric guitar amp. I'm looking for something warm and vintage like without the mid range honk of something like an SM57. Anybody using something like a ribbon on an amp? Any recommendations for around $400? I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?
Of course any suggestions for something other than a ribbon mic are welcome too. Thanks!
I have an AEA N22 (active) which I use on my amps which works great, but's it's above your $ target. The new RODE ribbon is well reviewed, as well. I haven't used the others mentioned above - sorry!
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,108
If you can find one, a Steadman N90. Not a ribbon either, but hefty EV capsule, really flat response, high sound pressure handling.

Stop telling people about them! Prices are gonna go up now! (I got a N90 recently, and I like it on acoustic guitar even better than electric! It's the only mic that has ever bumped an Oktava MC012 for me in head-to-head on an acoustic guitar.)
 

Fu Schnickens

Member
Messages
3,147
I second the motion to get yourself a Cascade Fathead. Mic your amp with that and an SM57 and you'll practically be guaranteed a thick, balanced tone. Just makes sure the mic elements (diaphragm and ribbon) are the same distance from the speaker (in phase).

NO PHANTOM POWER TO RIBBON MICS!
 

electricity17

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
963
Not a ribbon mic, but the Heil PR30 is sounding very good on my amps. It's a dynamic mic with a large capsule, and it has a clarity that I don't hear with an SM57. Feels very accurate to the amp sound in the room. I listened to a lot of clips online, and I thought it was the best sounding mic south of the higher priced ribbons. I'd love to compare it with the Royer or AEA ribbon mics at some point, I've heard great things about both.
 

maydaynyc

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,388
I've written this in many posts before but here is a repeat. The Fathead is exactly what you want in terms of sound and price, but if you are willing to pay a little more the beyerdynamic M160 is, IMHO, a perfect ribbon for electric and acoustic guitar, plus a bunch of other things. And it costs quite a bit less than the next step up which is presumably the Royer ribbon mics. I've never used one so I can't comment personally.
 

steelers88

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
805
A few guys here in a similar thread a couple weeks ago recommended a
sE Electronics Voodoo VR1
Right in your price range.
Picked it up and mixed with a 57 have had great initial results.
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,917
I built my own Ribbon mic and it sounds fantastic on guitar speakers (iso-cabinet). It is a kit, but I suggest contacting the company and asking them if they will sell you a pre-built one. I built one in a workshop and I am not sure I could have done it without their onsite help. But they do sell the kits of you want to try. Austin Ribbon Microphone http://diyribbonmic.com/
 

The Opera Panther

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,265
I've been using a Fathead with the Lundahl transformer for a few years now in my home rig. I love it. It's actually easier to get a good sound than a bad one. Stick it a couple inches from the speaker, move closer/further from the cone to taste. That's it.
 

nsureit

Old Guy...but not too old
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,849
You can sometimes find a Beyerdynamic M160 for around $500, or a Beyer M500 for $300. Both good choices.
 
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JCM 800

Member
Messages
6,614
SM-57 and Royer R-121 together has become the new standard for electric guitar recording mics. The Royer is spendy but worth the dough. A great alternative ribbon is the Cascade Fathead.
 
Messages
14,366
Are you sure you want a ribbon mic?


Unless you get very spendy, you may not like the results. I tried a Fathead and pretty much hated it, and for the price of one of those, you can get a world class dynamic mic(RE20, 421, M88, SM7).



The Fathead was very dull sounding, so unless you have something strident you are trying to tame or are always going to use it with something that isn't so dull sounding, you may want to rethink.
 

lenster

Member
Messages
1,144
A few guys here in a similar thread a couple weeks ago recommended a
sE Electronics Voodoo VR1
Right in your price range.
Picked it up and mixed with a 57 have had great initial results.
Yes, I was recommended this as well. Picked one up for Xmas. Yet to use it though.
 

maydaynyc

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,388
Are you sure you want a ribbon mic?


Unless you get very spendy, you may not like the results. I tried a Fathead and pretty much hated it, and for the price of one of those, you can get a world class dynamic mic(RE20, 421, M88, SM7).



The Fathead was very dull sounding, so unless you have something strident you are trying to tame or are always going to use it with something that isn't so dull sounding, you may want to rethink.
This is a fair point. While I like my fat head and used it all the time until I got a kemper, I always used it blended with a 57 or 609. On its own it can be a little dull.
 
Messages
14,366
This is a fair point. While I like my fat head and used it all the time until I got a kemper, I always used it blended with a 57 or 609. On its own it can be a little dull.


Even with the higher end ribbons, a lot of folks pair them with something else.

Most of the time, I am just using one mic at home, so I personally prefer an all-around full spectrum mic.
 

no1yuno

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
548
Not a ribbon mic, but the Heil PR30 is sounding very good on my amps. It's a dynamic mic with a large capsule, and it has a clarity that I don't hear with an SM57. Feels very accurate to the amp sound in the room. I listened to a lot of clips online, and I thought it was the best sounding mic south of the higher priced ribbons. I'd love to compare it with the Royer or AEA ribbon mics at some point, I've heard great things about both.

I use a Heil as well on my cab along with a Cascade Vinjet. I thought the Fathead was too dark. The Vinjet has a better top end to my ears. I flip the phase switch on my mic pre on one of the mics to keep them in phase with each other.
 




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