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Thread: Ribbon mica for electric guitar amps

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    Ribbon mica for electric guitar amps

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    Very curious about using a ribbon mic on an electric guitar amp. Looking for something warm and vintage like without the mid range honk of something like an SM57 dynamic mic. Anybody using a ribbon mic on an electric guitar amp? Any recommendations for around $400? I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?

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    Kind of a curious collection of impressions', assumptions there? The ribbons I've used all lean to warmer, w/o a 57's sharp peak etc. Placement is usually farther out to get a balance in tone.

    "I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?"
    Not sure what that means. Ribbons can have plenty of detail. Just not so hyped like most dynamics typically are. But it's still a ribbon, with a bit of boost built in.
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    I have an Art M5 that I use from time to time. It's not my go-to mic for electric guitar but it's used from time to time as an alternative to an SM57 and gives good results. As mixit said, it's not ideal for close-miking. I set mine 5 or 6 feet back from the amp. That means room sound is more critical than when close-miking. The tone will be darker than you think, so adjust your amp EQ accordingly.

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    Five or six feet? That would be quite roomy'. I'll go 4-6 inches.
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    I have done that too, mixit, using a small amp at low volume. It sounded surprising good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twangbuck View Post
    Very curious about using a ribbon mic on an electric guitar amp. Looking for something warm and vintage like without the mid range honk of something like an SM57 dynamic mic. Anybody using a ribbon mic on an electric guitar amp? Any recommendations for around $400? I've heard an active ribbon mic would still provide some of the detail of a dynamic mic. Any truth to that?
    I've used them many times.
    I have a couple of Cascade Fat Head II mics, with their stock transformers...and I also have a Cascade C77 with their Lundahl tranny.

    The stock tranny tends to be darker, more lows...and the Ludnahl has more clarity, and cost a bit more.

    The C77 is a big fucker...so more work getting it on a stand and positioned (make sure you have plenty of counterweight, or it will tip most lightweight stands)...where the Fat Heads are perfect for cabs, and you can also get them with the Lundahl tranny.

    The big difference to me is that for guitars, I'll roll off a bit more low end on the stock Fat Heads than I do with the C77, and again, the C77 opens the top more, plus, you can remove one layer of wire mesh (I think on their revised C77 models, they already did that)...but I prefer the original with the dual mesh, as I also like to use it on vocals for a vintage vibe, and the dual mesh protects the ribbon more.
    The Fat Head is about $250...if you want the Ludnahl, maybe add another $75. The big C77 is more like $500, w/Lundahl.

    Also...if you want to side-step the SM57 occasional harshness (though i find it only happens with some speakers, and if you really stick it at the center of the cone)...you should try an old AKG D1000E. Those are actually my go-to dynamics for guitar cabs before the SM57, but I also use the 57 too.
    They have a 3-position EQ switch kinda low bump, neutral, high bump, or more like low roll-off. I tend to use it on the M/neutral position the most. I've got 4-5 of them, as I really like them, and wanted to make sure I had plenty, since they haven't been made in years.
    You can fin d them on eBay...BUT...make sure the seller guarantees that it is 100% operational. When the coils shit the bed...you can throw them away, and being older production, some have seen rough days, people tend to not take care of them since they are not a high-end mic to begin with.
    That said...when you find ones that are 100% operational...they are a 57 killer, IMO.

    They also always need a good cleaning...BUT...they come apart a little weird...and you can easily damage if you don't pay attention to what has to be unscrewed...etc. In most cases, if you just unscrew the top screen and wash it out with soap and water and light brush, it's the most that's needed.
    A good one...around $75...if you get the case and a cable, a little more...but since people have been discovering them, the prices have gone up a bit. You use to find them for like $40 a few years ago....that's when I grabbed 5...one ended up being dead...but I've got 4 working ones.

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    I use a fathead ribbon on guitar amps almost every time, usually with a sm 57 or 421 or sometimes an LDC. Ribbons rule on guitar amps.

    Alan

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