Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Golden Age Project D2 & R1 Active Ribbon microphone test and sound samples

I got the two latest GAP microphones last week. The dynamic D2 (EV RE-20 / Shure SM7b style) and the R1 active ribbon microphone.
The D2 comes in a plastic box and the R1 comes with a very solid bag and a 2m XLR cable. Both microphones feel very solid and the built quality is promising. You can not use a shock mount with any of them and so you have to be pretty careful while recording, especially with the R1 as it can produce a lot of "bottom". No stomping or jumping in the recording room...
To make a long story short: I am no fan of the D2 but I love the R1. I did some quick vocal recordings and while the R1 had some nice and warm character the D2 sounded pretty thin and agressive. The R1 is great on Bass and every source where you'd like to erase some higher frequencies. It has a bass roll off switch that can come in handy. It needs some phantom power but has a high output level and you don't need much gain from your preamp. Very nice. The D2 has three roll off switches but somehow it just doesn't sound right to me. Maybe you can use it on Hi Hat or if you want a bright Snare or Guitar sound.
Here are the samples:

GAP-R1D2-mics-sound-samples (10Mb)

I compared them to the CS-1 a large diaphragm condenser microphone and used several preamps.
I like the warmth of the R1 and the fact that it has a high output and very low noise. So I rate the R1 8/10.
I don't like the sound of the D2 but maybe it's just me and it can be useful for someone out there. It's worth testing. I rate it 4/10

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