Wes Dooley, a specialist in ribbon mics of all kinds, has now restored the 44 type microphone to its rightful position in the studio. After tracking down the engineers who designed and built the original RCA 44, AEA acquired ribbon material, made the tooling and custom machined all the parts necessary to build the original RCA 44 B/BX design to its original specifications, just as it was in the 1930s.
After years of painstaking work, AEA has again begun production of the most important ribbon mic of all time: the AEA R44C.
The authentic sound, look and feel of the 1936-38 RCA 44. A museum quality replica hand made by AEA using 1.8 micron ribbon material originally manufactured by RCA.
Black and silver "radio" finish with bright polished chrome grill, yoke and cushion mount. Museum grade version features details such as a bronze investment cast yoke rather than the factory zinc yoke.
R44C parts are interchangeable with the original RCA 44B and BX. Supplied with hard wired two meter XLR output cable, shock mount / mic stand adapter, and AEA 44 VC vertical case for proper shipping and storage.
AEA R44C Features :
- An accurate reproduction of the original RCA Ribbon Mic with Vintage style and sound
- Built from original RCA-stock ribbon - Uses the same ribbon material as the original
- A single diaphragm Figure 8 ribbon Bi-Directional microphone
- Precision crafted and hand assembled to the highest studio standards possible
- High null-axis rejection
- Custom AEA Transformer lends to Classic sound
- High SPL capability, max level of 140dB plus above 200Hz
- Low Self Noise
- Consistent polar response
- Operable in high humidity environments
- Sounds equal to or better than the original RCA 44
- Use with lower gain microphone preamps
RCA 44 ribbon microphones have remained an essential part of studio life well after RCA stopped manufacturing them in 1955. The sound and response of the 44 B/BX were unlike anything else available, and was cherished for its smoothness, forgiving nature and unique tonal balance. As collectors began to buy up the supply of RCA 44's through the 90's, the availability of this wonderful ribbon mic to the studio was greatly endangered.
The 44 was RCA's best microphone from the 1930s into the '50s. Is AEA's R44 that good? Both listeners and measurements say that the R44 is better and AEA has been listening to both users and ex-RCA engineers for over 25 years.
They start by using only ribbon material originally manufactured for RCA. This is the best way to ensure that AEA's R44 ribbon mics are as close as humanly possible to vintage RCA 44s.
Next, they use modern magnet technology which is much more robust than period magnets.
AEA also combined the original American undamped ribbon design with the British RCA 44 innovations that lower the weight and hum sensitivity. The R44 design runs contrary to all current ribbon microphone manufacturing.
It is large and heavy when other microphones are smaller and lighter. The internal ribbon element is by far the longest and its resonance tuning the lowest of today's ribbon microphones. It is a pure undamped ribbon design, an approach that has been out of production for over 50 years while remaining in continuous studio use.