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Pete Townshend, and Eddie Van Halen comment on their R44s below

AEA R44 Series Big Ribbon™ Studio Microphones

20 years servicing ribbon microphones gave us a lot of insight into why RCA 44s are still in daily studio use. During the 1990s, 44 collectors made it difficult for even recording studios to acquire one. Reborn as the AEA R44, today you'll find engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon and Shawn Murphy using them around the world. Half the movies scored in Los Angeles now have at least one 44 on the scoring stage.

The Reinvention of a Classic
The AEA R44 series microphones all share the authentic sound, feel and look of the 1936-38 RCA 44BX. They combine the 1930s US sound with British engineering from RCA that reduces the mic's weight and hum sensitivity. The R44 series microphones are all hand-crafted replicas in detail, using parts that are made to be interchangeable with an original RCA 44, even featuring ribbon material originally manufactured for RCA. The R44C was designed to meet or exceed the output of an RCA 44 when it was new. The R44CX is a high-output version of the R44C especially designed for scoring and other applications demanding a wide dynamic range with the "classic 44" sound.

The R44 series microphones are passive, like an RCA 44 is, and can be used in a wider range of situations without distorting than active microphones can. For the active version of the R44, check out the AEA A440 page. The A440 has the hottest signal and therefore can boast to be the quietest (highest signal to noise ratio) of any ribbon mic on the planet!

Museum Edition
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Hand-crafted 44 reproduction

The R44C is a museum-quality replica featuring details such as a bronze investment cast yoke rather than the original zinc yokes provided by RCA (which have a tendency to corrode over time). The iconic "streamline moderne" transformer case with "radio" finish (black with bright nickel) comes standard. The R44C is distinguished by a black and silver AEA emblem. The microphone package includes a three-meter cloth covered Accusound Silver Studio Pro cable, a zippered canvas bag, and AEA 44VC vertical case for proper shipping and storage.

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High-output version 44 reproduction

The R44CX is everything the R44C is and more. The R44CX has 6dB more output than the original RCA 44BX. It has the same museum-quality shell, but is distingued by a red and silver emblem, and comes with the same cable and accessories.

Value Edition
The R44CE and CXE are the value editions of the R44C and CX, respectively. The R44CE and CXE contain the same motors as their museum-quality counterparts, but use a less expensive shell for those who are interested in having that 44 sound, but would rather not pay for the museum-quality trimmings.
What's the difference in sound between the museum edition R44s and the value edition R44s?

None. In a blind listening test, you would not be able to tell them apart. They are both identical inside so they both sound identical. The only differences are exterior cosmetics and include a simpler yoke (instead of cast bronze), a simpler cushion mount, simpler transformer case, and a less-expensive cable. The museum editions and the value editions sound the same because they are the same inside.

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The R44CE is the value edition of the R44C. It comes with a black transformer case with white emblem logo and one-piece cushion mount, satin nickel grill and formed steel yoke with a satin nickel finish. The R44CE comes with a captive three-meter starquad XLR output cable and AEA 44VC vertical carrying case for proper shipping and storage.

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The R44CXE is the value edition of the R44CX. It comes with a black transformer case with red emblem logo and one-piece cushion mount, satin nickel grill and formed steel yoke with a satin nickel finish. The R44CXE comes with a captive three-meter starquad XLR output cable and AEA 44VC vertical carrying case for proper shipping and storage.

Listening Room

Credit: features clips of the R44 on a series of guitars and vocals, located in their "Jam Room Sessions." Select "microphones in the first column, then select AEA as manufacturer, and then AEA R44 under model, and then choose from the list of source clips.


User Reviews

"These are the best f#%*ing mics I've ever used!"
     – Eddie Van Halen, Guitarist, Van Halen, Los Angeles

"They are BEYOND wonderful. I used them extensively on my recordings for the new Who record - on my vocals, acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos, piano, string quartet (the stereo)...It is without question the best mike I have ever used. The best sound I've ever achieved without tweaking a single knob apart from mic gain. I feel as though I've gone back in time to a place where getting a sound was easy. It's almost impossible to make it sound bad!"
     – Pete Townshend, The Who, London

"I've been thoroughly enjoying my R44CNE and use it on nearly ever project that comes through the door. It's got such a beautiful tone and, of course, it looks impressive, too!!!!!"
     – Jory K. Prum,, New York

Other Options & Accessories

M Option
Hand tuning to stereo match a pair of new mics – $100.00
Specify when mics are ordered.

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Large VC Vertical Case – $165.00
Vertical Mic Storage Case
Take care of your vintage RCA 44, AEA 44-Series, or KU4 microphones by transporting and storing them in these vertical storage cases. Canvas exterior, padded interior.

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AEA-AD1 – $26.00
Extra 5/8"-27 female to 1/2" male pipe thread (RCA style) adaptor
Bright nickel finish