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Royer Labs R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone

Phantom powered mono ribbon microphone with -15 dB pad and bass roll off switch
MFR# R-122 MKll

Product Description

The Royer Labs R-122 MKII is an updated version of the world's first phantom powered, active ribbon™ microphone. Unique electronics package gives the R-122 greater output than standard, non-powered ribbons, and places a perfect impedance load on the ribbon element, greatly expanding the number of preamps the mic operates well with. The MKII also features a switchable 12db pad and high-pass filter.

Before the R-122, all ribbon microphones were passive devices. Tracking strings, acoustic guitars, vocals and other quieter sound sources required pre's with a lot of gain and a high input impedance. With the R-122, gain and impedance issues are a thing of the past, letting you use more pre's with great results.


Conventional ribbon microphones need high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers to record softer sound sources. The R-122 is as sensitive as a condenser microphone, allowing you to use practically any mic preamplifier or board pre's to record even the quietest sounds. The R-122 contains a fully balanced, discrete head amplifier system utilizing a specially wound toroidal transformer and ultra-low noise FET's. This system is extremely quiet, can handle 135 dB SPL, and brings the R-122's sensitivity to 37 dB! Go ahead and plug an R-122 into any preamp with average gain - you'll get full Royer performance and enough level to drive any recording medium.

The R-122's higher sensitivity does not create additional self-noise. All of the R-122's increased sensitivity comes from its large, specially wound toroidal transformer - that wonderful thing called "free gain." The phantom powered circuitry provides impedance conversion only, adding no noise of its own.

Impedance Matching

The R-122's active electronics put a perfect load on the ribbon element at all times, allowing the R-122 to deliver 100% of its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic pre. Due to its low-impedance output, R-122's can be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss. In addition, the ribbon element can't be damaged by phantom power, miswired cables or electrical glitches.

Patented Offset Ribbon Technology

The R-122's proprietary offset ribbon transducer (Patent # 6,434,252) is the first of its kind, positioning the ribbon element closer to the front (logo) side of the microphone. This arrangement gives the ribbon more room to move within the prime magnetic field while maintaining full frequency response during high SPL recordings. It's an integral piece of the magic of all Royer R-series microphones.

Product Specifications

Condition New
Package Contents Includes protective wood case and mic sock
Length 8.12 in
Diameter 1 in
Unit Weight 0.68 lb
Tube or Solid State Solid State
Transducer Type Ribbon
Polar Pattern Bi-Directional / Figure-Eight
Number of Microphones Single Microphone
Impedance 200 Ohms
Frequency Range 30 Hz - 15 kHz
Sensitivity -36 dBV/Pa (15.8 mV)
Max. SPL 135 dB

Product Reviews

5 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (3)

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The person who described this microphone’s sound as “darker” to amateur ears is true. My first impression was an SM57 was very bright and this Royer was dull. But in stereo, they complimented so well it popped. On Acoustic. So it seems it completes a frequency spectrum in this pairing. Alone on Acoustic its nice. On an Amp I find it smooths out harsh frequencies of some amps that the SM57 picks up. So thats cool. I like the combo on Acoustic better so I need more time to arrange it on amps to find The Spot or better placements. Its also true that the preamp is less affecting the tone on the 122 vs the 121. I had this on a BAE DMP, UA 6176 and an input on the UA Apollo Quad (no plugin) and it all sounded quite similar unless I jacked up the tubes on the tube gear, but that made the sound too fat. All in all, 100% worth it on Acoustic for me. Guitar Amps will take some time to form an opinion, but its a keeper. I wouldn’t get this as my first mic. Ive used a cheaper Se VooDoo with great effect, but this mic grows on me and will stay. So its not been any head-over-heels honeymoon but a steady growing respect for a piece of gear that has its place and sits well, esp in harmony with a brighter mic. As to cost, thats always subjective. I think there are cheaper mics you can get great results with. The money in higher mics like Neumanns & Royers etc seem to go into being more robust manufacturing for a working studio. I only use it for home so it should last. That said, the ribbons, as tough as these aluminum ones are compared to other more fragile materials is still rather fragile. Original owners get 1 free re-ribbon in a certain time period. So I would recommend buying new unless you know how to treat one and then buying used are prepared to have it immediately reribbon’d on principle. My first pro mic was a U87ai and worth every penny (used) but I still lacked good acoustic recordings. This completes acoustic recording desire but still needs that brighter mic to complete and balance it. Put that way this is more a luxury than necessity for a home amateur. But its a solid upgrade to recorded tone for acoustic instruments at the very least which is why I got it over the 122: versatility. Id also get this if you have a shittier preamp that won’t make a 121 sound good any way you use it.

By Dennis B on November 10, 2022

Incredible ! Had a bass player with 2 cabs
2x10 and 1x15 w/ horn. Set the mic 2' from the front. What a warm, round sound I captured. Every nuance perfect. Great job Royer, incredible mic.

By Tom D on October 14, 2022

Really loving this mic! Has condenser like response because of the phantom power. Incredible on acoustic guitars and use the pad and you can record the most powerful loud amp cabinets! Really versatile mic! I am looking forward to using it on horns and stand up bass, violins, and cellos! Wish I had the money for 2!

By Evan W on September 5, 2021

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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.
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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.
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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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