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BidirectionalRoyer Labs R-10

Bidirectional Ribbon Microphone

The Royer R-10 is a passive ribbon microphone. As of late 2017, it is the new entry-level microphone in Royer’s R-series microphone line.

The R-10 was born after some engineers at Royer began experimenting with the R-101, Royer’s previous entry-level R-series mic. In an effort to reduce the size of the R-101, they cut the body down with a CNC machine and began re-assembling it. When all was said and done, the new mic — the R-10 — had a new ribbon transducer mounting scheme, a new custom-designed transformer, a different approach to the windscreen, and a much lower price.

The medium-length ribbon is the same element housed in the same motor as Royer’s flagship R-121. It has the same 2.5 micron corrugated ribbon, made on the same machines at Royer Labs, held between the same neodymium magnets. It is also positioned within the R-10 body using Royer’s Offset Ribbon Technology. That is, just like the other R-series mics, the back lobe of the microphone is slightly brighter than the front (within 3 feet of the source) and thus more useful for acoustic instruments and vocals. In the R-10, the transducer is internally shock-mounted with silicon rubber grommets. Royer states that while a ribbon microphone should never take a fall, the silicon grommets may help the mic survive if accidents happen.

The R-10’s transformer is a new design by David Royer, made to meet the price point of the mic while also keeping the sound within the family of the other microphones:

John Jennings, Royer Labs

We could not afford to get the R-10 to this price point using the same transformer that’s in the R-121 and R-101. So David Royer designed a transformer that does cost less to make, but still sounds great and has the high overload threshold we all wanted. It’s 5 dB less sensitive than the R-121 or R-101, but that gives the mic headroom for days.

Being less sensitive, the R-10 will need more gain from the mic preamp, especially on quiet sources.

The R-10 has a new 3-layer mesh windscreen that is not found in any other Royer microphone. The new windscreen makes kick drum and vocal recording easier, as the mic is better equipped to handle air hitting the ribbon. Recording Magazine mentions that they successfully recorded vocals on the R-10 without a pop screen. The wind protection of the 3-layer mesh also dampens proximity effect.

The three new features — silicon transducer mounting, a new transformer, and the new 3-layer windscreen — do serve to make the R-10 less expensive, but they also make it more rugged for live use. Royer states in their Sweetwater video that some artists didn’t want to take their R-121s on the road because of durability (and therefore cost), so the R-10 was designed with this in mind.

The body and mesh windscreen are made in China by the same factory that makes the Mojave Audio bodies. Since the body is a cylinder, without the “ears” of the R-121 and R-122, the body is easier to make, which further reduces manufacturing costs. The rest of the mic is made, and the whole mic assembled and tested, in Royer’s Burbank, California facility.

The R-10 is sold in a foam-lined aluminum case with a velvet sock mic cover and a swivel mount. It is also available in matched pairs. It has a 5-year warranty, and the first re-ribbon is free within one year of purchase.

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The mic was released in 2017.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (300 - 15,000Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
2.5 micron 100 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 160 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
368g (12.98oz) 149mm (5.87'') 35mm (1.38'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications

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