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MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone   

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The MXL R40 is a solidly built, elegant-looking ribbon mic that features passive circuitry to keep the signal as pure as possible. By employing just ...Read More

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    $199.99
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      OVERVIEW

      Robust ribbon mic sets a new standard for price and durability.

      The MXL R40 is a solidly built, elegant-looking ribbon mic that features passive circuitry to keep the signal as pure as possible. By employing just two main components-ribbon motor and transformer-the R40 maintains the classic, smooth sound that makes ribbon mics a top choice for recording rich-sounding vocals.

      In keeping with its straightforward design, the bi-directional R40 has no switches in the circuit path, just like any high-end ribbon mic-just an XLR connector at the base. The MXL R40 excels at vocal recording, as well as guitar, horns, and other acoustic instruments.

      *Note: While the R40 boasts a sturdy design, care should be taken placing it in front of high-SPL sources. Extreme close-miking at very high SLP can damage any ribbon mic.

      **Do not use phantom power with the R40. Phantom power will damage a passive ribbon mic.

      FEATURES
      • Low cost, high quality
      • No active electronics to color sound

      The rich sound of ribbon mics made affordable for the home studio. Order today!

      SPECIFICATIONS

      R40 Ribbon Microphone

      • Frequency range: 20Hz-17kHz
      • Polar pattern: Figure 8
      Reviews
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      Review Snapshot®

      by PowerReviews
      MXLR40 Ribbon Microphone
       
      4.3

      (based on 64 reviews)

      Ratings Distribution

      • 5 Stars

         

        (26)

      • 4 Stars

         

        (34)

      • 3 Stars

         

        (3)

      • 2 Stars

         

        (1)

      • 1 Stars

         

        (0)

      98%

      of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

      Pros

      • Good audio (28)
      • Easy to use (19)
      • Versatile (14)
      • Durable (6)
      • Lightweight (4)

      Cons

      • Not durable (8)
      • Limited functions (3)

      Best Uses

      • Home studio (31)
      • Amateur recording (22)
      • Professional recording (21)
      • Performances (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (27), Professional musician (15)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Pretty Decent for the Price Point

      If you are old enough to remember the DX-77 and this is your first jump into the rhelm of Chinese ribbon microphones, the R40 is not going to rock your world in comparison....Read complete review

      If you are old enough to remember the DX-77 and this is your first jump into the rhelm of Chinese ribbon microphones, the R40 is not going to rock your world in comparison. However, if you consider the difference of a couple of grand in cold hard bucks then the R40 is well worth a shot.

      Engineers who crave that crispy clear high end and tend to spend all their time doing pop, rock and hip-hop are lkely not going to keep a ribbon around for long. If they do they will have to adjust and learn to appreciate the design and application aspects of Ribbon mics. Ribbon engines do not sound like condensors. Where ribbons excel is in produccing a warm classic sound with voice ( ie: Frank, Sammy, Doris Day, etc) and warming up strings and piano - particullarly when a more classic sound is part of the plan. Although a ribbon and dynamic or condensor combo will do a few tricks on cabinets, most small project studios dont go around putting multiple mics on guitar cabinets. If they do then they get what being out of phase and out of pocket are about.

      There is not a day that goes by that i don't hear a recording that could have been a bit better with a nice warm ribbon microphone, but because of the traditional cost factor ribbon microphones have been almost forgotten until recent years. The R40 is a great starting point for anyone wanting to tinker and gain experience in the workd of ribbon microphone application. The R40 is not quite as dark as most other ribbons, especially the R144. For the price, especially when there is a promotion, you just can not beat this as a cost effective ribbon. Try it on strings, when you want a classic voice sound or do what the pros do and play around a bit and see what you come up with. If you are looking for a near classic touch the R40 wil do the job inexpensively.

      With all that said there are a couple of points to be made about the influx of Chinese manufactured ribbon mics and your engineering skils. That is to say that a HUGE number of these microphones have issues with sagging ribbons and you better be prepared to lift the hood and do some slightly articulate tech work to maintain your ribbon mic. If possible you might want to store your ribbon in an upright position, especially when you have those 2 micron alluminum foil ribbons in your engine. Just search the internet for sagging ribbon" and you will get a notion of basic care.

      For the engineers wiling to invest the effort the R40 is at a super price point and a great place to learn how ribbons can enhance your skillset.
      If you are old enough to remember the DX-77 and this is your first jump into the rhelm of Chinese ribbon microphones, the R40 is not going to rock your world in comparison. However, if you consider the difference of a couple of grand in cold hard bucks then the R40 is well worth a shot.

      Engineers who crave that crispy clear high end and tend to spend all their time doing pop, rock and hip-hop are lkely not going to keep a ribbon around for long. If they do they will have to adjust and learn to appreciate the design and application aspects of Ribbon mics. Ribbon engines do not sound like condensors. Where ribbons excel is in produccing a warm classic sound with voice ( ie: Frank, Sammy, Doris Day, etc) and warming up strings and piano - particullarly when a more classic sound is part of the plan. Although a ribbon and dynamic or condensor combo will do a few tricks on cabinets, most small project studios dont go around putting multiple mics on guitar cabinets. If they do then they get what being out of phase and out of pocket are about.

      There is not a day that goes by that i don't hear a recording that could have been a bit better with a nice warm ribbon microphone, but because of the traditional cost factor ribbon microphones have been almost forgotten until recent years. The R40 is a great starting point for anyone wanting to tinker and gain experience in the workd of ribbon microphone application. The R40 is not quite as dark as most other ribbons, especially the R144. For the price, especially when there is a promotion, you just can not beat this as a cost effective ribbon. Try it on strings, when you want a classic voice sound or do what the pros do and play around a bit and see what you come up with. If you are looking for a near classic touch the R40 wil do the job inexpensively.

      With all that said there are a couple of points to be made about the influx of Chinese manufactured ribbon mics and your engineering skils. That is to say that a HUGE number of these microphones have issues with sagging ribbons and you better be prepared to lift the hood and do some slightly articulate tech work to maintain your ribbon mic. If possible you might want to store your ribbon in an upright position, especially when you have those 2 micron alluminum foil ribbons in your engine. Just search the internet for sagging ribbon" and you will get a notion of basic care.

      For the engineers wiling to invest the effort the R40 is at a super price point and a great place to learn how ribbons can enhance your skillset.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Mine came with an extra long ribbon

      I bought this from a SDotD for a very low price, and I was worried about getting one with a stretched ribbon. Sure enough, mice came with the extra long ribbon. The mic...Read complete review

      I bought this from a SDotD for a very low price, and I was worried about getting one with a stretched ribbon. Sure enough, mice came with the extra long ribbon. The mic works, but the output is very low (even lower than a normal ribbon) because a good part of the ribbon is hanging out of the gap. I could send it back, I suppose, but maybe I just get it modded.

      Be aware that with inexpensive ribbons, it's a gamble whether or not the ribbon is stretched.

      Reviewed by 64 customers

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      5.0

      Great sounding ribbon mic!

      By 

      from Mokena IL.

      About Me Professional Musician

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Studio Quality @ budget
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        I owned a RCA 77 and this mic sounds as good. Make sure you have a tube preamp and you have a great vocal and instrument mic!

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Clearing up some confusion about this mic.

        By 

        from Florida

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Easy To Use
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • Breaks Easily

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        Some people on here are saying they swaped out their ribbon for a 1.8 micron ribbon. Now it doesn't say in the specs on this site but in the manual that comes with the mic it states that the R40 comes with a 1.8 ribbon stock. Not sure why some people assumed it has a 6 micron ribbon without checking the manual before wasting money swapping ribbons for something already there. And no there is no different material for these ribbons. It's all aluminum, besides the material has nothing to do with how it sounds. It's the thinness of the ribbon that dicates that. And of course the transformer and motor as well.

        My opinion on this mic is the same as everyone else's. The ribbon can break easy with puffs of air so one must be very careful with handling the mic and on where you place it. Put your hand in front of what you want to record, if you feel bursts of air (like in front of the sound hole of a kick drum) you may want to avoid placing your ribbon mic there.

        The mic stock sounds great on many applications. Sounds even better when you do some of the mods other reviewers mentioned. Mine also didn't have ribbon sag.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        It gives you what you expect from a ribbon.

        By 

        from Undisclosed

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • It's A Ribbon

        Cons

        • It's A Low End Ribbon

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        Got this on a SDotD and very glad I did.
        Bottom line - it's a ribbon. Ribbons give you things that condensers and dynamics just don't. The figure 8 rejects sides well and the pickup of back sounds is fairly similar to the front sounds.
        Yes, being in the very low end of the ribbon scale, it has a warm low end, sloping off into the weak highs, but since ribbons don't have self noise, you can use a high shelf to compensate.
        Yes, you will get much better results if you have a LOT of CLEAN gain on your preamp, but connected directly to my XLR inputs of my Tascam, it picks up enough with those pres that the small noise at the bottom (from the gained up pre) gets very buried in the mix.
        I used it to do a mid-side recording with a condenser (condenser for the mid and this ribbon for the sides) and it made my acoustic guitar sound bigger than it ever has. Mid-side really works and this is a low cost ticket to real mid-side recording (not just processing)!
        Incidentally: my R40's ribbon was in good shape - no sag - when I received it, though others have said that theirs was sagging, so I can't speak to that problem. I can't see how you could take this apart if it needed tightening, though - no visible screws...

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Great frame for upgrading!

        By 

        from Bloomington, Indiana

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Easy To Modify

        Cons

        • Breaks Easily

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        If you don't own a ribbon mike, you should try one of these. I like them because they are so easy to modify.

        I own two of these mikes. I modded the first with an EDCOR transformer. I also removed the internal mesh covering the ribbon element. The result added about 4 db to the output and added nearly an octave to the response at both ends. The mike now generates a usable level into a Steinberg UR44 without an external pre. It is very smooth and natural on acoustic instruments, mandolin, violin and guitar. It sounds excellent through a True p-Solo Ribbon pre, and an Austin (kit) pre.

        Next, I plan to replace the 6 mil stock ribbon with one made from 1.8 mil stock.

        I plan to modify the second one with a Lundahl transformer and new, thinner ribbon.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Decent starter ribbon microphone

        By 

        from Tyler, TX

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Easy To Use
        • Transparent

        Cons

        • Breaks Easily

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        It's a ribbon mic. It's got no extra circuitry to color the sound. I like it on my vocals and would likely be good for recording trumpets and saxophone. Being a ribbon, watch out for ribbon sag, but keep in mind there are places that repair ribbons. Mine did not have ribbon sag and I really like how it sounds.

        I would say it works better in a studio than on stage, but at this price, if I were going to use a ribbon mic on stage, this would be a good one.

        As it is a bidirectional, figure 8, try to record from both sides. It might surprise you. This mic is also able to be modded.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Grab a pair

        By 

        from Poughkeepsie, NY ( most of the time ).

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Great For Room Overheads
        • Uncle Meat
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • Limited Functions

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording
        • Recoard Room Acoustics
        • Use A Pair For Stereo Ove

        Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

        Good for Drum Overheads as well as Live Stage Overheads.

        Comment on this review

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Smooth and warm. Great price.

        By 

        from New Jersey

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Easy To Use
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

          This mic has a very warm sound with a bit of roll off in the upper mids. Very nice on vocals. Just add a little upper EQ and this mic comes alive. As with any ribbon mic it is fragile so don't drop or abuse it and you must (must!!) remember to turn off your mixer, pre-amp, interface or recorders phantom power before plugging it in or the party's over. Phantom power will destroy the ribbon (guaranteed) and a warrenty will not cover it. I put an actual sticker on mine to remind me. For the money this is a beautiful clear mic with a nice lower mid claity that is so nice on my voice and isn't muddy like some of my other mics that cost 5-6 times more than this mic. I'm giving it five stars based on the "bang-for-your-buck" factor. If you have a home studio and need a nice smooth vocal mic this may be it. I don't recommend it for screaming or really loud vocals as this mic is subtle and that's what makes it really nice. I will say that the output level is definately lower than any other mic I own and depending on your set up you may need an external pre-amp but it is worth getting one for this mic. Any decent tube pre-amp will work great so for just a little more cash you will have a really versitale pro sounding vocal mic.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Nice mic for the price

          By 

          from Memphis

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Mellow Response

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

              This is my first ribbon mic in the 40+ years I've been recording. It's another example of quality equipment now being available to the masses. This mic gives my baritone voice a smooth, mellow characteristic. With just a touch of presence EQ, this rivals my best condenser.

              Comment on this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great quality and sound

              By 

              from San Diego

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

                    Delivered quickly and ready to plug in. Very excited to have made this purchase. I use it as a vocal mic for my living room while playing piano. Works great.

                    Comment on this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good DIY platform

                    By 

                    from Fargo ND

                    About Me Experienced

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Low price

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about MXL R40 Ribbon Microphone:

                      I now have two of these, with upgraded transformers (cinemags), and retensioned ribbons. While not matched, they are close. Using them as overheads and on guitar amps as a second mic. These mics are easy to work with and sound great after a little love. Pretty good out of the box even, especially for the price.

                      Comment on this review

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