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Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphone

Single 4038 including XLR-stand mount adapter and individual plastic case
MFR# 4038

Product Description

The Coles 4038 Studio Ribbon Microphone is a British Broadcasting (BBC) design for broadcasting and recording applications. It is used where a clear smooth wide range frequency response, absence of transient distortion and relatively high sensitivity is essential.

The 4038 is a proven performer, and is in use around the world by broadcasting networks such as the BBC as well as top engineers and studios on hit recordings.

Frequency response of the 4038 is exceptionally flat from 30 Hz to 15 kHz and throughout this range the shape of the bi-directional (figure of eight) polar response is maintained substantially constant both in the horizontal and vertical planes, giving a natural sonic quality with smooth frequency response.


  • Pressure gradient transducer ribbon microphone
  • Substantially flat frequency response from 30 to 15,000 c/s
  • Extremely low (non-linear) distortion
  • Exceptionally low hum pick-up
  • Bi-directional (figure of eight) polar curve shape accurately maintained in both horizontal and vertical planes
  • Excellent transient response
  • Natural clear balanced response to sound signal
  • Body shape to enhance acoustic performance
  • Clear natural high fidelity sound reproduction
  • Smooth sonic textured response
  • All microphones factory tested in free field conditions


  • Ribbon: Low mass damped ribbon to control transient response
  • Polar Response: Bi-directional
  • Magnetic Fields: By use of hum neutralizing wiring and magnetic shielding of the toroidal ribbon to line transformer 30 to 40 dB reduction is achieved in response to stray disturbing magnetic fields
  • Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 15 kHz
  • Impedance: 300 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: -65 dB W.R.T. IV/Pa
  • Distortion: Less than 1% at 125 dB SPL
  • Connection: By means of 4069 3 pin jack plug. Pin 1 positive - Pin 2 negative - Pin 3 screen
  • Body Housing: Made of heavy gauge perforated brass backed by finely woven Monel mesh. Rotating hinge connection allows microphone to tilt through 90° and turned in any direction when either suspended or free standing
  • Dimensions: 7¼" (197 mm) x 3¼" (83 mm) x (61 mm).
  • Weight: 2 lb 6 oz. (1.08 kg)
  • Finish: Black stove enamel textured paint


Each microphone comes in a foam lined rigid plastic carrying case with 4069 XLR adaptor, and a soft cloth protective bag for safe keeping. Also included is the rigid microphone stand adaptor for mounting on standard 5/8" mic stands.


  • 4069 to XLR adaptor
  • Soft cloth protective bag
  • Foam-lined rigid plastic carrying case
  • Rigid 5/8" mic stand mount

Product Specifications

Package ContentsCase, mic bag, jack plug, floor stand plug adaptor, mic to stand adaptor w/ XLR
Length7.25 in
Diameter3.25 in
Unit Weight2 lb
Tube or Solid StateSolid State
Transducer TypeRibbon
Polar PatternBi-Directional / Figure-Eight
Number of MicrophonesSingle Microphone
Phantom RequiredNo
Impedance300 Ohms
Frequency Range30 Hz - 15 kHz
Sensitivity-65 dBV/Pa (0.6 mV)
Max. SPL125 dB

Product Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (12)

write a review

Coles is coles! It’s really nice to have a clean take, natural sound, I have more than 20 years recording and playing different kind of music and I know that the capture of the sound is always a mistery, After of years and years searching I am using that in me personal studio for Trombone recordings and the sound is amazing! 5 stars.
PD : Obviously the preamp is the key! I am very happy with mi AEA (trp2).

By Joel M on June 23, 2021

Such an amazing microphone. (PERIOD!)

By Chad R on June 15, 2021

Top rate, warm sounding, can you record anything with this mic. I'm a sax player and this mic brings out an original sounds that I can only get from this mic. 5* for sure.

By Keyan W on June 8, 2021

Classic mic. Sounds incredible

By Joshua M on May 23, 2021

Wellll, I was prepared to be blown away by this mic, and I do really like it, but I don’t love it. I’ve used it as a room mic, overhead, acoustic and electric guitar. It does have a nice rich natural sound, but it hasn’t lived up to its price tag...and all the hype. I also use a Cascade Fat Head II and I’d be hard pressed to say which one I like better. Seriously

By Ian R on May 11, 2021

The Coles 4038 is my dream microphone for saxophones. I first chose it after doing extensive A/B blind tests at Sear Sound in NYC with engineer Jon Rosenberg. I kept preferring it for saxophones without having tried it before. I've used it ever since, in a variety of studios for soprano, alto, and baritone saxophones (with minimal if any position changes -- it picks up the whole instrument evenly very well in each case). Now I get to use it for home recording. Vintage King staff were helpful and communicative while I waited for the manufacturer to catch up with orders during the pandemic.

By Allan C on May 5, 2021


By Michael M on February 17, 2021

Bill was fantastic and a great help in getting the Coles to me in record time. Loving the mic!

By Riley M on November 1, 2020

Why are you reading the reviews? Just buy them! If you are here then you already know, and if you already know, then there should be no hesitation. Just do it! There will be no regrets.

By Alex on October 23, 2020

My favorite microphone! Warm sound in the mid lows and beautiful color.

By Renato on September 27, 2020

trying to get that perfect mono drum overhead sound, kind a like the al green vibe - starting out with a natuarl sounding slingerland kit tuned real nice, low fat snare, wallet sittin on the head to kill the ring. Put my 4038 right over the drummers head pointing at the snare, as close as I can get without him nailing it with a stick. Sounds rich, full and super lifelike. Im cutting some lo mids and adding a bit of 12k with a 550a running thru a 512c pre. Punchy, big, natural. Blend in some kick, snare and hat to get the perfect balance. Damn nice!

By Chris on May 25, 2017

Super dark, vibey, textural, and fat sounding mic. You can't get that sound any other way! Looks and feels like a heavy duty skillet and you just can't argue that these sound anything less than completely badass on rock records. Drum overheads, guitar cabs, drum room mics are typically where they end up. The only downside is that the mount is a little bit clumsy to navigate, but that's a small price to pay for the sound of this classic mic.

By Steve K on May 4, 2017

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In almost 20 years in Pro audio buying, never did I receive a unit so well packed and exactly as described. Works flawlessly. The whole process has been so smooth. I will never hesitate to do business with you guys in the future and will recommend you to everyone I know.
Martin C.
This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.
The speed of delivery exceeded my expectations! I was VERY pleased that my shipment arrived in time for a scheduled vocal tracking session. The packing insured that my order arrived safely. And the sales staff responded quickly to questions regarding the product.
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