AEA R44C Accurate RCA 44 Ribbon Microphone Replica with Original Ribbon Material

 

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Dale #:AEA-R44C

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  • Whether it be the smooth brass section of a Hollywood soundtrack, the velvety lushness of a jazz vocal, or the larger-than-life drum sound of a classic rock record - chances are that you will find a 44 ribbon mic used on most of your favorite albums. In studio use for more than 80 years, the 44 ribbon design by RCA is as rich in history as it is in sound and character. When the company's microphone division was closed down in 1976, AEA began servicing ribbon microphones, and by 1998 were manufacturing 100% of the parts for the 44, resulting in the release of AEA's version of this classic mic. Its recognizable sound produces thunderous lows due to the strong proximity effect, full and rich mids, and a unique top end taking the edge off of harsh instruments. This beautiful, natural-sounding microphone provides an unmatched authenticity of sonic reproduction, particularly when placed at a distance in a well-tuned room.

    The AEA R44-series microphones all share the authentic sound, feel and look of the 1936-38 RCA 44BX. The R44 series microphones are all detailed, hand-crafted replicas, using parts that are made to be interchangeable with an original RCA 44. They even feature ribbon material originally manufactured for RCA. The original 44 microphones were constantly updated during their twenty years of production, and after carefully looking at some of the technical modifications, AEA decided to adopt the British engineering from RCA that reduces the mic's weight and hum sensitivity. The R44C was designed to meet or exceed the output of a brand-new RCA 44. It is a museum-quality replica, featuring a bronze investment cast yoke, superior to the original zinc yokes by RCA (which tend to corrode over time), a hand-polished cushion mount and a cloth-covered Accusound Silver Studio Pro cable. The R44CX is a high-output, red-badge version of the R44C, specially designed for scoring and other applications demanding a wide dynamic range with the "classic 44" sound. The cost-effective R44CE features the exact same ribbon, transformer, and luscious sound as the R44C, but with a simpler, economical exterior trim. This version features a one-piece cushion mount, a formed steel yoke with satin nickel finish, and a star-quad XLR output cable. Finally, the R44CXE is the high output version of the R44CE combining the economical finish with the higher output of the R44CX.

    Features:

    • Museum grade reproduction of the RCA 44B/BX
    • New-old stock (NOS) RCA ribbon material
    • Legendary character with more than 80 years of studio history
    • Full and rich sound; smooth highs and warm lows
    • ‘X&' motor option delivers 6 dB more dynamic range for film scoring

    The R44C has the authentic sound, feel, and the look of the RCA 44BX. The R44CX is high output version of the R44C especially designed for scoring and other applications demanding a wide dynamic range with the "classic 44" sound.

    The black and chrome "radio" finish is standard. Parts are interchangeable with the original RCA 44B and BX. R44C parts are also interchangeable with the original RCA 44B and BX. The microphone package includes a three meter cloth covered Accusound Silver Studio Pro cable, a zippered canvas bag, and AEA 44VC vertical case for proper shipping and storage.

    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. Wes Dooley, a specialist in rib bon 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 mate-rial, 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.

    How is the R44 different from other ribbon microphones ?
    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, we’ve been listening to both users and ex-RCA engineers for over 25 years. We start by using only rib-bon material originally manufactured for RCA. Next, we use modern magnet technology which is much more robust than period magnets. We also combined the original American undamped ribbon design with the British RCA 44 innovations that lower the weight and hum sensitivity.

    20 years servicing ribbon microphones gained us insight into why good RCA 44s are still in use daily. Les Paul told Wes that the 44 is his favorite microphone. During the 1990s, 44 collectors made it difficult for even recording studios to acquire one. Reborn as the AEA R44, today you'll find engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon and Shawn Murphy using them around the world. Half the movies scored in Los Angeles now have a 44 somewhere on the scoring stage.

  • Operating Principle

    Pressure gradient microphone

    Directional Pattern

    Bidirectional (Figure-of-8)

    Frequency Range 20 Hz to 15 kHz
    Maximum SPL

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

    Output Sensitivity 2.25 mV/Pa (-53 dBV) into unloaded circuit
    Output Impedance 270 ohm nominal
    Recommended Load Impedance 1.2 k ohm or greater
    Powering Not required or recommended
    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)
    Height 31.1 cm
    Width 11.7 cm
    Depth 8.3 cm
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