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Author Topic: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons  (Read 2916 times)

Offline Les Ismore

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"deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« on: December 29, 2006, 02:56:06 pm »
I picked up a couple of these cheap ribbon mics that were on sale the other day.
Apex 210 which apparently is pretty much the same mic as the Nady, and several other of the repackaged chinese ribbons out there.
At first I tried them on an acoutsic gtr track and they were not very good at all. Then I used them on an electric gtr track and they sounded very nice indeedy. Quite preferable to my old standbys a 57 or 409.
I have noticed talk about people taking the internal safety wind screens and mesh out to improve the response etc. Have any of you done this? just how fragile is it going to be afterward?
These are the first ribbon mics I've owned and I would like to make them sound as good as is possible (they are cheap mics after all) but they will be in regular studio use.
I don't want to make them sound better only to have them go and break on me.
Additionaly, any suggestions on how to quiet them down noise wise?
Pete Honychurch - Fluid Sound
http://www.myspace.com/PeteHonychurch

Offline compasspnt

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 03:17:59 pm »
Several reside here for experimentational purposes.

On a couple, I did indeed remove the screening.  There are two versions of protection, one more metallic, and one some sort of silk/fabric.  Apparently they put it in there to reduce the number of ribbon failures, and thence, returns.

The modified mic's do have somewhat extended frequency response, and sound a bit more natural and open.

But I handle them with extreme care, and would use a foam filter in "windy" situations.

If you do this, be very, very careful in handling the mod, and the resultant microphone.

Offline Les Ismore

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2006, 12:35:19 am »
thanks Terry,
good points. I think I'll try those mods and just be very carefull. I'll try not to fart in their direction. hehe
If they go it's not like they cost a fortune in the first place. at $150 apiece they aren't very likely to get re-ribboned, just replaced....... or not.
Anyone have any ideas on how to quiet them down noise wise?



PS I like that "experimentational purposes". it conjures all sorts of pictures in the mind.
Pete Honychurch - Fluid Sound
http://www.myspace.com/PeteHonychurch

Offline resolectric

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 08:29:56 am »
Les Ismore wrote on Sat, 30 December 2006 05:35

...
Anyone have any ideas on how to quiet them down noise wise?...


I've also changed a couple of those i have here (labeled T.Bone from german company Thomann) and i've removed the internal metal grids (three on each microphone - one is sort of a metal grid basket and two perforated metal plates that were screwed on each side of the ribbon).
The sound definitely improved gaining a better definition in the whole spectrum.

As for quietening the ribbon mics i believe it's more a matter of impedance matching in the pres.
Though ribbon mics provide a lower signal output than most dynamics and pro condensers, impedance matching is, IMO, the main reason for most of the ribbons not sounding "right" with regular, modern, pres.
Try searching for a pre with adjustable Z or have something customized or built for the purpose.

Offline Les Ismore

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 01:43:01 am »
Thanks Paulo,
Interesting thoughts on the impotence.
Maybe the impotence is mismatched.....

hehe

I did the mod on one today and it did improve it a bit.
Pete Honychurch - Fluid Sound
http://www.myspace.com/PeteHonychurch

Offline CHANCE

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 04:28:01 pm »
resolectric wrote on Sat, 30 December 2006 05:29

Les Ismore wrote on Sat, 30 December 2006 05:35

...
Anyone have any ideas on how to quiet them down noise wise?...


I've also changed a couple of those i have here (labeled T.Bone from German company Thomann) and I've removed the internal metal grids (three on each microphone - one is sort of a metal grid basket and two perforated metal plates that were screwed on each side of the ribbon).
The sound definitely improved gaining a better definition in the whole spectrum.

As for quietening the ribbon mics I believe it's more a matter of impedance matching in the pres.
Though ribbon mics provide a lower signal output than most dynamics and pro condensers, impedance matching is, IMO, the main reason for most of the ribbons not sounding "right" with regular, modern, pres.
Try searching for a pre with adjustable Z or have something customized or built for the purpose.



The T-Bone mics are manufactured by the same company as Nady, Apex, Shiny box, etc. You might want to see if the ribbon is sagging. It should be somewhat taut. If you have a steady hand, it's a piece of cake to loosen the clamp a little, pull the ribbon a little and re-tighten the clamp.
Which mic do you have ?
Chance Pataki
The Musicians Workshop
musicians.workshop@gte.net
http://www.the-musicians-workshop.com


A person is a biological signal processor--EQ mag

Offline Les Ismore

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 04:50:51 pm »
CHANCE wrote on Sun, 31 December 2006 13:28


Which mic do you have ?


Apex 210.
Pete Honychurch - Fluid Sound
http://www.myspace.com/PeteHonychurch

Offline resolectric

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Re: "deep thoughts" on cheap chinese ribbons
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 10:26:29 am »
CHANCE wrote on Sun, 31 December 2006 21:28


The T-Bone ...
Which mic do you have ?

I don't know if you were asking me or Les, but the ribbon T.Bone mics i have are RB500, three of'em.
I believe this could be considered as sort of a praise for these mics: they all sound exactly the same, the three i own. At least we can't blame them for lack of consistency Smile

In fact they present a different load when compared with other "regular" mics but i guess that is often the case with ribbon mics, mostly with older designs. And these have a very old fashioned circuit. Quite basic.

I've tested these with two variable Z preamps (the Presonus ADL600 and an old italian mic pre that came from a radio station). Results were quite different with different impedance settings; noise floor, signal level and definition varied more than what i did expect.

They sound pretty decent on vocals, guitar amplifiers, drums, trumpet... this is what i have tested them with, with good results. Not so good for acoustic guitar though.