Red Dog Price: £999
While it’s true that, in his heyday, Rupert Neve masterminded some of the greatest mixing consoles and preamps the world has ever seen, it’s also true that I would no more trust a half-deaf octogenarian to design a microphone than I would a Parkinson’s sufferer to install my pacemaker. Jokes aside, the ‘Neve’ hallmark instantly adds class, sophistication and collectability to audio equipment. His superb innovation, knowledge and ability has created the world’s first ribbon microphone which not only matches the high-frequency sensitivity of most condenser microphones, but exceeds them.
What this brief review will lack in detail it will make up for in stating the obvious: The fact of the matter is that a microphone that costs more than most computers, guitars, pianos and even some cars is going to be something rather special. Many highly renowned producers, engineers and production facilities seem to be considering the sE Electronics RNR1 as a modern classic, counted alongside stalwart classics from Royer, Neumann, Oktava, Telefunken and other companies with similarly quirky names.
Having personally used the RNR1 in a variety of different applications, I can give the RNR1 a full and heart-felt recommendation as an excellent, lustrous sounding microphone that imparts a wonderful sonic texture to most sound sources. The rich, fibrous, raspy sound of antiquated ribbon microphones was overshadowed by their lack of bright high frequencies when condenser microphones became the go-to gear of modern studios.
sE Electronics have not only magically created a beautifully hi-fi ribbon mic, they also seem to be raising a crafty eyebrow to other top-end microphone manufacturers, as if to say “hey guys, you’ve had a century to make a ribbon mic like this, and we’ve done it in less than a decade!”
HA! I reviewed a ribbon mic without saying ‘smooth’, ‘natural’ or ‘warm’! Go me!
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