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BidirectionalAEA R84

Ribbon Microphone

The R84 is a large-geometry ribbon microphone with a bidirectional pickup pattern, inspired by RCA’s classic ribbon, the RCA 44.

The ribbon in the R84 is a 1.8-micron thick piece of pure aluminum measuring 4.7mm by 60mm. The same basic design was copied by various manufacturers in China, and as a result can be found in numerous imported low-cost ribbons — although the quality control (such as ribbon tension) and the quality of individual components (such as the transformer) are inferior to AEA’s products. Further, the ribbon material is often heavier in imported mics, which affect’s the mic’s sound.

Although the ribbon is centered in the magnetic gap, the front and rear of the R84 produce slightly different sounds, due to differences in the blast protection. The change was intentional, and provides two subtly different sonic colors within one microphone. Also, the rear of the microphone affords slightly better plosive handling than the front, according to Wes Dooley.


The R84 uses the same big ribbon as the 44, is 5 pounds lighter, and less bulky. Designed for accent and solo work, its bass proximity effect is less pronounced and the upper 10K to 20 KHz octave is stronger than with the 44. Output sensitivity is good, being +2 dB to a Shure SM57.

This mic is available in several configurations:

  • AEA R84 DJV - “Designed for voice work.” Additional blast/moisture filtering and reduced proximity effect make this mic more suitable for close vocal work.
  • AEA R84 TVV - non-reflective exterior for video work
  • AEA R84 M - hand-tuned/matched stereo pairs
  • AEA R84U - customers can special-order personalized laser engraving on the microphone’s trim ring

SoundOnSound, 2007

I set [the R84] about four feet back from the drum kit and positioned it at the drummer’s waist height. It picked up a nice balance of the kit, and added a great deal of depth to the sound of the kit when blended in with the closer mics and overheads. I found I could add a fair bit of compression without getting too much volume from the cymbals. It gave a huge, round sound, adding some real thickness to the bass drum and the overall kit.

Permalink: AEA R84

The mic was released in 2003.


Frequency Response - Bidirectional (Front side)Click Graph to Compare!
R84 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - Bidirectional (Rear side)Click Graph to Compare!
R84 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (2.5 mV/Pa; 20 - 10,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (2.5 mV/Pa; 20 - 10,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
Front side 270 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 165 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
1360g (47.97oz) 295mm (11.61'') 64mm (2.52'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications

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