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AEA R84 Big Ribbon™ Studio Microphones

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AEA R84 Studio Ribbon Microphone

The AEA R84 is an affordable Large Ribbon Geometry (LRG) microphone suitable for use by the most demanding audio professional or hobbyist. This "R84 Zone" is for you and other users to share your experiences. We expect to expand this area with practical illustrations, guides to tracking situations, and actual recording experiences. Our intention is to encourage and support your success and satisfaction as you become familiar with this mic's unique features. Drop us an e-mail to share your experiences, or if you want to be informed when we post new, practical information here.

If you are new to ribbons, you are in for a treat! Experienced users have discovered the R84 is an outstanding general-purpose microphone, ideally suited for solo and accent work. It is hard to find an application where this mic does not shine. It is a fine example of the natural sound and figure-8 directional sensitivity a quality ribbon mic delivers.

  1. Pure natural sound, just as you hear it when you're placing your mic in the studio.
  2. Quick smooth transients that capture the feeling of being there without sounding like a recording.
  3. Extended bass and treble that captures the details without shoving anything in your face.
  4. A figure-eight pattern that focuses your recording on the sound you want.

We believe you will enjoy the confidence this mic inspires. It's a forgiving tool that makes your recording work easier, as it literally sounds good on everything. Try it first and you'll usually like it and find it sits well in the mix. When time is scarce and quality necessary, put the R84 to the test. Our users' experience is that you'll use it more and more (in pairs too!). Then it will start to really grow on you.

R84 Silver Limited Edition

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To commemorate 25 years of selling ribbon microphones, Audio Engineering Associates has created the R84 Silver Limited Edition (SLE). Two years ago we made a chrome R84 to display at trade shows. Due to popular demand, we've decided to create a limited edition run of in honor of twenty-five years of serving the ribbon microphone market. The R84 SLE is limited to a run of only 125 units.

Order yours today, before they're sold out!!!

– Section Links –

Listening Room

Credit: features clips of the R84 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 R84 under model, and then choose from the list of source clips.

AEA R84 features a number of tracks recorded using the R84 on a range of guitars and vocals, on four pages which are indexed at the bottom of their R84 review. Below are some sample tracks. You may need to adjust your volume as different tracks were recorded at different levels.

Anya Thompson     See Vox: AEA R84

Graham Hodge     See both Guitar and Vocals

Mostly Autumn     See both Acoustic 1 & 2, Electric 1 & 2, and Vocal 1

How to Record Guitar, Part 10     See both Guitar and Vocals

Response Curves

AEA R84 Response Curve
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Small VC
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Small Vertical Case – $165.00
Vertical Mic Storage Case
Take care of your vintage RCA 77, AEA R84-Series, or A840 microphones by transporting and storing them in these vertical storage cases. Canvas exterior, padded interior.

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SMT-2 – $185.00

Stereo Microphone Template Bar
Allows ORTF (90-degree side-by-side mounting) and other near-coincident spacings and angles.
For use with Coles 4038 ribbon mics, see the SMT-1.

2 TA-2 adapters (F 3/8-16 to M 5/8-27)
2 Locking rings
2 3/8-16 socket cap screws
1 TA-3 adapter (F 5/8-27 to M 3/8-16)
Tutorial "Stereo Microphone Perspectives"
(Coles microphones not included.)


View the R84/A840 Manual

Magazine Reviews

  Pete Townshend in EQ Magazine Find out how Pete Townshend likes to use his favorite mic – the AEA R84!
"My favorite mic of the moment is the AEA R84...Lately I've replaced the Neumann with the R84."
– EQ Magazine.
– Read the full article

"I liked the R84 quite a bit and I'm sure it would make a nice addition to even the largest mic collections."
     – (Read the review)

"...the mic's "sweet spot" is very large, which is especially impressive given the R84's huge size...I was very impressed with the gloss and tone the R84/TRP gave the track...Both units burst with vintage charm."
     – EQ Magazine (Read the review)

"A quality ribbon like the R84 can take a production to the next level"
     – Mix Magazine (Read the review)

"overall, this redesigned 'back to the future' ribbon mic is a winner in every way and gets my highest recommendation"
     – Electronic Musician (Read the review)

"I am really impressed by this microphone. I have not had the opportunity to try it on my favorite singer, but if it works on her the way it flattered everything else I put in front of it, I don't think I'll be returning it to Wes Dooley and his crew of ribbon mic fanatics any day soon. Wow!"
     – Pro Audio Review (Read the review)

The AEA R84 was also nominated for a 2003 Technical Excellence and Creativity Award in the category of Outstanding Technical Achievement, Microphone Technology/Studio.

Professional User Reviews

"My favorite mic of the moment is the AEA R84...An emulation of an RCA ribbon mic is not going to sound like an RCA ribbon mic. Only Wes Dooley can come close today...Lately I've replaced the Neumann with the R84." – from EQ Magazine, August 2007
"The R84 is just surprising. I was expecting smooth; I wasn't expecting such incredible punch!"
     – Pete Townshend, The Who, London

"I have used one of these mics on almost all of the tracks we've taken, and always on jazz acoustic guitar. Wow. Double wow. This thing has got high end like I don't remember ... Awesome! And I don't use that word often! Fantastic!"
     – George Massenburg, GML

"Just tried your latest, [the] R84... had it for a few days and one of our top engineers, Peter Cobbin, liked it so much he wants a pair. Congratulations again! ... a super price ... a real winner."
     – Lester Smith, Abbey Road

"I used the AEA R84 on recent sessions for vocal, electric and acoustic guitar. It just kept on sounding better and better. It's very bright and open with an extended low end – almost condenser-like but with smoother highs."
     – Joe Chiccarelli, multi-platinum producer/engineer

"Wes [Dooley] and company have done a wonderful thing with this mic ... You have given engineers and recordists a world-class option to return real instrumental and vocal character back into recording. I would recommend this microphone without reservation to anyone who is seeking a more natural, lifelike sound in their recordings."
     – Kyle Harris, PlayR Recording in Phoenix

"The only problem is that I don't have more [R84s]! I've been using them as drum overheads, knocking the Neumann 184s out of that duty. I also use them for certain vocals, on guitar amps and my banjo! Somehow they make every sound more 'musical.' It's amazing, I used to avoid ribbon mics ... now I love them."
     – Tim Pak, The Woodshed

"I am extremely pleased with your new R84 ribbon. It has many of the mid-range characteristics of a condenser mic which gives it a rather distinctive sound. I think that you are making a significant contribution to the industry."
     – Walter Sear, Sear Sound

"I just bought your R84 and it has vibe for DAYS! [The R84] kicks A**!!!"
     – Alan Mirikitani, Dawghouse Studios

"I just got a pair of the new R84 large ribbon [mics] and they are the bomb! I used the R84 on trombone through Brent Averil's API 312 [preamp] and it was truly beautiful ...such a natural open sound."
     – Rob P.,

"I'm really enjoying the's wonderful for vocals. I'm seriously contemplating another one for stereo drum overheads."
     – Marshall Simmons, The Music Factory, Toledo, Ohio

"The R84 has made a ribbon believer out of me. Never before have I heard a ribbon mic sound so good on so many things: strings, brass, acoustic guitar, choir, even solo voice. It has beat out so many of my previous favorite non-ribbon mics on so many instruments that I am truly shocked. The biggest problem is that just one pair is not enough."
     – Lynn Fuston, 3D Audio Inc., Franklin, Tennessee

"When I purchased this microphone and started tracking with it, I knew that my voice found it's match. I have been searchng for years for a mic that would give me the old Nat King Cole style sound, and didn't realize that it would be the answer for other things in my production like acoustic guitar and anything that I want to sound 'natural.' Bravo. Million dollar sound."
     – Lou Ferguson, Songwriter, Calgary, Alberta

User Shout-outs

Do you own an AEA mic? Register your mic and tell us all about it!

"A beautiful, well crafted design and appearance. Excellent on male vocal and rock guitars."
     – Stewart Bird

"I love my R84! It is my favorite mic"
     – Frank McGing

"Beautiful natural sound"
     – Fred Opie

"These are awesome microphones! Truly world class ribbons."
     – Wiley Ross

"This was money well spent!"
     – Larry Hansen

"Amazing mic for acoustic guitar, vocals and strings! Love it, great value."
     – Carl-Johan Stenerloev

"They deliver true quality sound on everything I try them on."
     – Elof Loelv

"incredible vocal mic."
     – Stephen Terry

"The R84 is like butter. I love it."
     – Wil Burns

"The R84 sounds very friendly and smooth."
     – Mikko Tillander

R84 Press Releases