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BidirectionalSamson VR88

Bidirectional Active Ribbon Microphone

The VR88 is a long-geometry active ribbon microphone. Its built-in amplifier circuit requires 48v phantom power and delivers 6-7 dB hotter output than typical passive ribbon mics.

The mic’s frequency response is typical of many ribbons, with the high-frequency rolloff beginning around 5kHz. The -3dB point is 7kHz.

Samson VR88 kitThe mic ships in an aluminum flight case, with included yoke mount, shock mount, right-angle XLR cable, and warranty.

Electronic Musician

Compared with the typically crisp and detailed response of a good condenser, the VR88s sounded a bit veiled and dark on drum overheads, but the sound was smooth and had decent definition…

While not as present as a Royer R-121 on an electric guitar cabinet, it still held its own and captured great tone.

Pro Audio Review

The sound [on a drum room application] was unmistakably ribbon, with a delightfully emphasized bottom, an overall (compressed) smoothness dynamically and an understated, rolled off top end. Side by side with the AEA R92… the VR88 was a little darker, a little slower with transients and a little less “real” sounding in its soundstage. There was a certain irregularity in the mids …[that] made the VR88 sound a little further back, but after some EQing … and extreme limiting (about 12dB) the resulting sound was nicely “in my face” and attention-grabbing without nasty condenser mic transients.

MIX, 2009

Everything about the mic speaks quality… On the downside, I found that while it isn’t a one-trick pony, it is limited in its application. This is due to its lackluster tonal character. Although ribbons as a group aren’t the brightest mics in the universe, there is a definite personality that can be covered up by the tuning, electronics and/or enclosure.

The Samson VR88 is also known as: VR-88.

The mic was released in 2006.


Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
VR88 Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (10 mV/Pa; 30 - 16,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
2.5'', 2-micron aluminum ribbon 200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 138 dB
Self-noise: 17.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
500g (17.64oz) 178mm (7.01'') 32mm (1.26'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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