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AEA A440 High Performance Phantom Powered Ribbon Microphone in the RCA 44 Tradition

 
  • Dale #:

    AEA-A440
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Description

The A440 is the quietest high-performance ribbon microphone ever produced. It combines all of the warmth and beauty of the classic 44 with a signal so hot, you&'ll have to experience it to believe it. As with the rest of AEA's Big Ribbon microphones, it needs very little EQ, takes it nicely w... Read More

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Description

The A440 is the quietest high-performance ribbon microphone ever produced. It combines all of the warmth and beauty of the classic 44 with a signal so hot, you&'ll have to experience it to believe it. As with the rest of AEA's Big Ribbon microphones, it needs very little EQ, takes it nicely when you want it, and is free of resonances in the audible range. The A440 is unlike any other microphone on the market today, and no professional studio should be without one. Like its passive cousin, the R44CX, the A440 is based on the RCA 44BX, but is phantom powered and uses a custom-made German transformer. The active electronics are inspired by AEA's acclaimed TRP JFET preamp technology, providing a consistent sound immune to preamp loading. The A440 uses the same RCA NOS (new-old stock) ribbon element, only 1.8 microns thick, which is hand-cut from material originally manufactured for RCA. It features a museum-quality shell with a durable bronze investment cast yoke. Umber paint and a red medallion on the transformer case, and a bright nickel finish with polished brass accents are the icing on the cake for this piece of beauty.

Features:

  • Phantom-powered Big Ribbon with 18 dB more gain than the R44
  • Extraordinary build quality
  • Custom German toroidal transformer
  • Quietest ribbon microphone ever made

RCA 44 ribbon microphones remain an essential part of studio life more than 50 years after manufacturing ceased in 1955. Their open sound and accurate polar pattern are still unlike anything else available. Never harsh, the 44 flatters a broad array of timbres and fits easily into the mix. The 44 EQs well, but generally does not need it. If you appreciate proximity effect, nothing matches the warmth of the 44.

By the 90's RCA 44s were becoming increasingly difficult for artist and studios to purchase as collectors bought them up. Specializing in ribbon microphones, AEA consulted with the engineers who originally designed and built the RCA microphones, located original ribbon material, built tooling, and custom made all the parts to recreate the RCA 44 B/BX design to RCA's original specifications. In 1998, after years of painstaking work, AEA began production of the most important ribbon mic of all time: the AEA R44C. But the quest was not over yet...

How is the A440 different from other ribbon microphones?
The A440 combines phantom power with the Big Ribbon™sound for the first time. With the release of the A440, AEA has synthesized more than 30 years of experience with high performance mics. The A440 has its own personality, but visually and sonically shares a close kinship with the R44. With a sensitivity of -32.5 dBV per Pascal (94 dB SPL) and an equivalent noise level to 6 dB SPL(A), it has a dynamic range as wide as any microphone on the market.

The A440 shares all the pleasing characteristics of AEA's other Big Ribbon™microphones such as a fast transient response, and no unpleasant resonances. Combining this with active electronics results results in a strong, distinctive sound unlike any other microphone.

The 44 remains a studio favorite 50+ years after RCA ceased production because it still sounds very good to both musicians and their audiences. Like its long ribbon siblings, it will sound good virtually anywhere you use it.

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Product Specs

Operating Principle

Pressure gradient microphone

Directional Pattern

Bidirectional (Figure-of-8)

Frequency Range 20 Hz to 15 kHz
Maximum SPL

136+ dBSPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)

Output Sensitivity 21 mV/Pa (-33.5 dBV) into unloaded circuit
Self Noise 9 dB(A)
Output Impedance 92 broadband
Recommended Load Impedance 1.0 k or greater
Powering P48 phantom power, 7 mA
Polarity Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphone.
Connector XLR-3M wired to a 3 m captive cable
Off Axis Response:

 

Polar Pattern Native bi-directional pattern
Horizontal Level changes with angle, frequency response is consistent, –35 dB null at 90° / 270°
Vertical Level changes with angle, reduced HF response above and below 0° / 180° axis, –35 dB null at 90° / 270°
Accessories:  
Included Custom storage / shipping case, stand adapter, manual
Limited Warranty One year parts and labor, shipping not included. Three year extended warranty if the product is registered.
Weight with Cable 7 lb 9 oz (3.43 kg) in storage case with cable
Height 12.25” (31.1 cm)
Width 4.62” (11.7 cm)
Depth 3.25” (8.3 cm)

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