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MXL R144 Ribbon Microphone

MXL R144 Ribbon Microphone

Expand your home studio's microphone collection with a figure-8-pattern ribbon. The MXLR144 comes with a custom shock mount, carrying case, and more.

Overall User Ratings (based on 12 ratings)
Overall:
Sound:
Features:
Ease of Use:
Quality:
Value:
Manufacturer Support:
The Wow Factor:
Overall:
(12)
Submitted January 25, 2011 by a customer from hotmail.com
"Great mic if you know how to use it!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Great mic overall. It looks great, records exactly what you put into it, and has a very flattering effect on vocals in my opinion. It feels solid in my hands and has yet to fail me when called up for any task.
Sound
This is my first ribbon mic, but I have been recording long enough to tell that this is a very honest mic. Although it requires a certain control over your dynamics when recording singing, because it is very sensitive. The sound is "realler than real"
Features
The mic body itself seems quite solid. It also included a foam fitted carrying case, a decent shock mount (with extra band) and a cleaning cloth
Ease of Use
It's a ribbon mic. Make sure you have a low noise preamp with a lot of headroom. Never let this mic anywhere near phantom power, because it will kill the ribbon element. Other than that, just make sure you use a pop filter to protect it from explosive air bursts.
Quality
This seems to be very well made, especially for the low price tag
Value
Great mic for the money, provided you can accommodate a figure 8 pattern mic which requires a decent preamp, and must be handled with care because ribbon strips are delicate
Manufacturer Support
Haven't needed any support, so I suppose that's a good thing haha
The Wow Factor
This is one classy lady. She is very easy on the eyes, but you have to set everything up just right to get the "magic" hahaha I plan on buying another to enable certain stereo schemes and drum overhead micing.
Musical Background:
Active Musician and Recording Engineer
Musical Style:
Acoustic rock to Death Metal and everything in between
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Submitted August 14, 2012 by a customer from gmail.com
"I am blown away with the quality of this mic!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I usually don't write reviews unless what I buy is amazing...and this microphone is exactly that! I am blown away with the quality. For under 100 bucks it doesn't even make sense that you can find something this good. I recorded vocals, and then an acoustic guitar and both came out with great results. You will definitely need a really good pre-amp that has lots of gain, as the output isn't very loud on this mic without it. Also, you may need a bit of EQ to get exactly the sound you are looking for. Honestly though, on my vocals, without any EQ, I got a very rich, mellow, vintage sound that I absolutely love! I used it in a reggae/rock type of song I'm recording in my home studio. I didn't even double up on mics for the guitar...just used 1 MXL R144 at the 12th fret and the sound was unbelievable. I did cut a tad of the highs with some EQ and boosted around 5,200 hz to brighten it up a bit for that reggae flavor. One of the best things about this purchase is that zZounds had it delivered to my door in under 24 hours! 18 to be exact. Yes, I do live in the next state over from New Jersey where they are located...but even so, with FREE 3-5 day delivery...to get a product in 18 hours is just amazing. I'm so happy that I'm literally ordering another one right now so I can have a pair of these bad boys. Best Ribbon mic out there for the price! Sounds like it's worth at least 300-400 bucks in my opinion. Buy one, you will love that vintage warmth you get from this mic.
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Submitted December 5, 2017 by Carl G in Sulphur Springs, TX
"Smooth Ribbon"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
My first ribbon mic. I bought after researching sounds & price. Great do money. I paired with an Art Tube MP Project Series, the low impedance sounds very smooth. I bought for round smooth vocals & acoustic guitar. We just tried It first at nursing home singing today. We had to play facing each around the R144 because of the figure 8 field pattern. It made my partners ‘49 Gibson sound very big warm & loud. Highly recommended.
Musical Background:
I’ve been playing various instruments 55 years, in bands & solo
Musical Style:
Gospel folk country pop
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Submitted September 27, 2011 by a customer from att.net
"A solid budget mic that's a little cranky to set up"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
Maybe 7.5 - This won't be your go-to mic for anything, but it will be nice to have in the arsenal when you want something a bit warmer than the condenser and a bit less pushy than the dynamic. Probably be fun to try on different instruments but lacks the high-end for most acoustic stuff. Could lend itself to some interesting effect work for vocals and electric guitar - but remember it's a ribbon so don't go sticking it inside a bass drum or right up against a speaker cone, or you'll probably shatter the innards.
Sound
This is of course the only rating on a mic that really matters. I'm comparing the R144 to other condenser and dynamic mics in its price range - in particular the Audio Technica AT2020 and the Shure Beta 58A. Taking those as a reference 10, I give the R144 an 8 based on how much tweaking has to be done with the preamp and the recorder. You have to work with this mic to get a good sound out of it. I have your basic zZounds-supplied low-end home studio, and use an ART Pro Channel preamp which is anything but "Pro", but it's a solid budget preamp and gives good results if you a)swap the tubes for something better (like reissue Mullards) and b) know what you're doing with gain staging. The R144 requires a lot more input gain than either of the reference mics - to be expected in a ribbon mic. It also absolutely requires compression to avoid distortion peaks and EQ to sculpt some definition. But if you work with it you can get a full, warm sound out of the thing with some upper-end clarity. It's never going to sound like even a $200 - $300 ribbon mic - remember this is a hundred-buck-chuck model. But if you want to play with a ribbon and see what it's like this works. For demo-quality audio it works. This is a nice mic for what it is: entry level. And the sound is quite unlike a condensor or a dynamic. I'm not sure how a female vocal would come through here, but my mid-rangey male vocals were kept nice and warm with a little bass rolled-off and a little high-end boost, plus some mid-range adjustments with wide Q. Be aware this mic is VERY subject to plosive explosions without a good pop-filter (I found a dual-screen with side vents worked best), and it has a LOT of proximity overloading. You have to stand-off a bit for the best results. That said I didn't have much of a problem with room noise with the figure 8 polar pattern - just keep away from walls and corners and it will give you a nice bit of dimension.
Features
For a hundred bucks you get a metal shock mount (pressure clamp variety), a cleaning cloth, a nice plastic carrying case, and the mic. A nice package. The mic has no frills: no pads, no high-pass, no whatever (I'm not even sure I've seen this stuff on a ribbon).
Ease of Use
This is a cranky little beast that requires a lot of attention to get set up - but that's mainly something you work-out when you first get it and once you are aware of its quirks you can make it do some tricks. Don't expect a lot of range from this thing. I've only used it for vocals but I imagine it might do a good job on a guitar amp (I DI a Boss GT-8 so I haven't tried it). I doubt it would have enough sparkle for acoustic guitar.
Quality
This is a cheap mic made in China and it looks, feels, and even smells like it. It's pretty solid but I wouldn't write home about either the materials or the finish. Like most MXL mics it's colorful and shiny. You get what you pay for.
Value
Overall you get a good bang for the buck here - a nice package and a workable mic for a hundred bucks. What's to complain about?
Manufacturer Support
No idea but I won't ding them for something I have no experience of. If you want to go by the supplied documents there aren't any except for a spec sheet and the usual marketing mumbo-jumbo.
The Wow Factor
It's "pretty" in the same sense that a dolled-up hooker is: lots of surface glitter, not much class. But we don't really care what it looks like - we only care if it gives us $100-worth of sound, and it does that.
Musical Background:
Hobbyist with dreams
Musical Style:
Midwestern reggae
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