There's something special about walking into a recording studio and seeing a big, ole honkin' ribbon microphone hanging down from a stand. Whether the goal is to capture drum overheads, room sounds, or a full orchestra, these microphones scream, "We got this. Let's get down to business."

So with that in mind, we sat down to create the ultimate list of huge ribbon microphones. What were our requirements? We kept it loose, but generally, these mics are all bigger than 11" in length or weigh over five pounds. Oh yeah, and they also have to sound great too! Here we go...


AEA R44C Ribbon Microphone

Who better to start with than AEA? The brand began in 1976 when Wes Dooley and Dick Knoppow visited RCA chief engineer Jon Sank to learn how to install ribbons. AEA would become known as the place to take RCA ribbon mics, and they eventually began creating their own replacement parts.

Around 1998, AEA created all of the parts necessary to make an RCA 44 B/BX; thus, the AEA R44C was born. The R44C is an impeccable reproduction, built to the exact specifications as the original microphone from the 1930s. The mic features a smooth, honest sound that perfectly replicates any number of sources but will particularly shine on horns, strings, percussion, and vocals.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 12.25"

Diameter: 3.25"

Weight: 8 lb.


AEA R84 Ribbon Microphone

In its infinite wisdom, AEA realized that not everyone might be ready for a hulking 44 B/BX replica in their studio, so they decided to create something smaller with the same sound profile. The R84 provides the classic tonality and top end of the R44, but with a slimmed-down profile. Fear not, large microphone lovers. This beauty is still beastly in size and perfect for everything from drum overheads to room ambience.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 11.6"

Diameter: 2.5"

Weight: 3 lb.


AEA R88 MK2 Stereo Ribbon Microphone

Whoever said the phrase, "Go big or go home," might have had the R88 MK2 in mind when they said it. This mammoth stereo ribbon microphone is the perfect solution for not just capturing one source but entire ensembles. The R88 features two large figure-8 ribbons angled in perfect phase at 90 degrees (classic Blumlein configuration) that will make for easy set-up and accurate sounds.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 15"

Diameter: 3"

Weight: 5 lb.


Golden Age Project R1 ST Stereo Ribbon Microphone

In terms of sonic inspiration, the Golden Age Project R1 ST also aims to pay tribute to the RCA 44 and 77. The form factor of the microphone is different, with an appearance closer to Neumann or Telefunken (speaking specifically to the lower half of the mic and shockmount). Coming in at only $599, the R1 ST is more than capable of capturing stereo sounds without breaking the bank.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 13"

Diameter: 2.7"

Weight: 2.5 lb.


Melodium 42BN Ribbon Microphone

If you have extensive historical knowledge of ribbon microphones, you may be familiar with the Melodium 42B. If not, here's the scoop. Charles Bouteleau and Emile Furn designed the microphone in France in the early 1940s. It's commonly thought of as the biggest ribbon mic in recording history.

The Melodium 42B was recently revived as the 42BN by the analog-loving crew at Kerwax. The microphone features the same magnet technology as the original, with some modern improvements, including a new motor and custom-wound transformer. The resulting sound of the mic is exceptionally smooth, dark, and rich, just like a ribbon should sound.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 12"

Diameter: 5.5"

Weight: 4.4 lb.


Mesanovic Model 2S Stereo Passive Ribbon

In a blog full of heavy hitters, the Mesanovic Model 2S may look small in comparison, but don't be fooled. Not only does the Model 2S fit in our sizing parameters, but it also has an incredibly unique sound. Designer Deni Mesanovic has created a stereo microphone with a detailed high end, smooth midrange, and open low end. The transient response is everything you'd want in a ribbon mic, and the slim design makes placement for recording extremely easy.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 11.6"

Diameter: 1.2"

Weight: 1.1 lb.


Ocean Way Audio RM1-B Ribbon Microphone

Weighing in at a whopping seven and a half pounds, the Ocean Way Audio RM1-B is one of the heaviest microphones on our list. It stands out for its unique look and what Ocean Way claims is "the greatest magnetic field strength ever available in a ribbon mic." Designer Cliff Hendricksen's focus on key elements of the mic paid off with improved spectral output, better plosive response, and low sensitivity.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 6.5"

Diameter: 2.1"

Weight: 7.5 lb.

sE Electronics RNR1 Ribbon Microphone

There's nothing quite like the pairing of sE Electronics and Rupert Neve Designs. The fruitful collaboration between two of the best in pro audio gave us several high-quality microphones, including the RNR1. This active ribbon microphone features a high-frequency response extending up to 25kHz and features two of Rupert Neve's custom transformers. It's a beautiful microphone that will find a home on vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar cabs, strings, and so much more.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 10.5"

Diameter: 1.8"

Weight: 1.9 lb.


Stager SR-1A Ribbon Microphone

Stager Microphones out of Nashville, Tennesssee is creating some impressive ribbon mics that blend a vintage feel with modern design. Case in point, the SR-1A! This bulky brute delivers some classic RCA vibes looks-wise and incorporates massive Alnico-V magnets and a long ribbon inside the rugged aluminum housing.

Weigh-In Stats:

Length: 6"

Diameter: 3"

Weight: 7.5 lb.

Jeff LeibovichIf you're looking for ribbon microphones for your studio, we're here to help! Please contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.