For many decades Ribbon mics have been used by engineers for their extremely natural sounding reproduction of source material. The nature of their performance differs greatly from condenser mics, which by comparison sound very ‘up front’ and lack the harmonic depth of a good ribbon.
Even at the high end of the market, the customary roll-off of almost all the top end frequencies has always been a major drawback. The frustration with all ribbons is – depending on the model – little or no performance past 7-10KHz, which is why condenser mics dominate the recording market.
The traditional appeal of the condenser then has been the assumption of consistent frequency response from 20Hz to 20KHz. The pay-off of course is that these mics require a certain degree of circuit board magic to achieve this, since the taughtness of the diaphragm – compared with relatively slack ribbon membranes – means condensers tend to be more ‘coloured’ in their sound.
Traditionally engineers using ribbons, however expensive, have had to accept their significant limitations or have had to augment the recording with a condenser mic to capture the high frequency absent from the ribbon output.
Such compromises have meant that ribbons have never been very widely accepted or used as a first choice for recording.
Not any more!
Rupert Neve’s new custom circuit design now allows high frequencies to be captured and output from the capsule for the first time ever in pristine detail. Standard performance of the sE Electronics RNR1 is an unprecedented 20Hz to 25KHz – three times the frequency range of even the best available competitor ribbon mics on the market today!
More than this, Mr Neve’s hand-wound custom input and output transformers create huge amounts of headroom and effectively lower the noise levels by using gain stages to amplify the signal. The slight dip in the frequency response from 16-25KHz in the RNR 1 can therefore be effectively flattened if required, producing an almost perfectly flat response, way beyond what human ears can perceive. This is crucial in making the RNR-1 by far the best performing ribbon mic in the world today.
The RNR1’s faithful reproduction of fine harmonic material across the frequency spectrum results in the unparalleled capturing of real sound. Indeed its ability to capture modulation from infinite harmonic frequencies normally masked on any recording assures its revolutionary status and exemplary reputation.
‘Recent developments in the way that humans perceive sound are demanding significant advances both in performance and the philosophy of audio processing. That which was “good enough” for light-hearted amusement fails to satisfy the thoughtful listener – in fact deficient sound quality has been shown to result in frustration, even anger. The experienced listener is aware of incredibly small sound pressure levels that in many cases are beyond the conventional range of hearing.'
'I have worked for some time on the designs for a new range of microphones – the concepts of which are actually already being implemented in our own Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console – namely utilizing Discrete Single-Sided Circuits and my custom designed transformers.'
'This new approach to analogue sound processing needs extreme care in its manufacture, as well as meticulous alignment of the embedded discrete op-amps and the delicate microphone elements. The association with Siwei Zou and sE will provide an ideal partnership in terms of their masterly and enthusiastic commitment to innovation and quality that have also been my own hallmarks for more than 50 years.’
‘I have, for many years, admired the work of Mr. Neve, and now that we have a chance to work together I am able to realise a quality level in microphone technology that no other manufacturer has managed to achieve. The excellence we have worked so hard to achieve in production, design and capsule technology at sE, coupled with the best transformers this product area has ever seen, plus new cutting edge circuit board design – which surpass anything I have ever heard before – means we are now able to produce high end mics, at a fraction of the cost of some other high end brand models, but which have a sound and performance quality the likes of which this market has never seen before. This is a truly exciting time for sE and me personally.’
- Acoustic Operating Principle: Electrodynamic pressure gradient with active electronics
- Generating Element: 2.5-micron aluminum ribbon
- Polar Pattern: Figure 8
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 25KHz
- Sensitivity: -32 dB (referenced 1v/pa ±1dB)
- Equivalent Noise Level: 15dB (A weighted)
- Output Impedance: 200 Ohms balanced
- Rated Load Impedance: 1000 Ohms
- Max SPL: >135dB
- Connector: Male XLR 3 pin (Pin 2 Hot)