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$ 1,482 .00
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Coles 4038 Studio Ribbon Microphone

Renowned BBC-developed studio and broadcast ribbon microphone featuring low mass damped ribbon to control transient response, substantially flat frequency response, and exceptionally low distortion and hum pick-up - includes shock mount mic-to-stand adapter

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.

Each microphone comes in a foam lined rigid plastic carrying case with 4071B three-pin signal to XLR adapter, and a soft cloth protective bag for safe keeping. Also included is the rigid microphone stand adapter for mounting on standard 5/8" mic stands.


  • Low mass damped ribbon to control transient response
  • Substantially flat frequency response from 30 to 15,000 c/s
  • 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
  • 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
  • Black stove enamel textured pain
  • Heavy gauge perforated brass backed by finely woven Monel mesh

Product Specifications

Condition New
Package Contents 4038 ribbon microphone, 4071B shock mount mic-to-stand adapter, soft cloth protective bag, foam-lined rigid plastic carrying case, and rigid 5/8" mic stand mount
Length 7.25 in
Diameter 3.25 in
Unit Weight 2 lb
Tube or Solid State Solid State
Transducer Type Ribbon
Polar Pattern Bi-Directional / Figure-Eight
Number of Microphones Single Microphone
Phantom Required No
Impedance 300 Ohms
Frequency Range 30 Hz - 15 kHz
Sensitivity -65 dBV/Pa (0.6 mV)
Max. SPL 125 dB

Product Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (14)

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She’s a classic, and for good reason. For a task at hand I set up a side-by-side test with another highly regarded ribbon that has an even larger price tag. I found the Coles warmer and quieter, and since I use a Cloudlifter on all of my ribbon mics I had no issue with output level. The only negative was really my fault. Eager to compare my two best ribbons I recorded a glockenspiel with both ribbons side by side. Both ribbons had such amazing transient response that the glockenspiel just came out too “ping-y”. No amount of compression could tame the ping on tracks recorded with either ribbon, and I reverted to a nice tube condenser, saving my ribbon comparison for another instrument. Anyway, despite having some wonderful other ribbons, the Coles has a velvety warmth I love.

By Andrew F on April 5, 2023

There’s a reason why this mic is legendary. Only fault with mine is I didn’t buy two, bank account wouldn’t allow it yet.
Beautiful on vocals, drums, and so many things. Love it and I’ll keep it forever

By David K on May 29, 2022

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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I would like to thank VK for the wonderful sales assistance, service and prices. This was my first purchase with you and it won't be my last. I only wish I'd discovered you years ago!
Matthew R.
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Ryan F.
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.
James P.
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