Californian ribbon-mic champions Royer have released their most affordable microphone to date: the R101. This newcomer to the existing ‘R’ range of mics is, like its stablemates, a passive model, and so doesn’t require phantom power.
The ribbon itself is made from 99.9-percent pure aluminium, and is just 2.5 microns thick, so in theory it will respond well to transients. Royer claim impressive SPL-handling capabilities from the R101: the mic will apparently tolerate more than 135dB SPL at 30Hz, so should be well up to the task of recording drums, guitar amps and other loud sound sources. The frequency response given is fairly typical of most ribbon mics (30Hz to 15kHz, ±3dB), but thanks to the asymmetrical mounting of the ribbon inside the chassis, the front and rear lobes have slightly different SPL tolerances and high-frequency responses (the rear being slightly brighter, and the front having a slightly higher SPL handling capability). Off-axis phase response is said to be highly linear, which bodes well for drum miking (or, indeed, any distant-miking duties).
The R101 ships with a shockmount, case and soft protective cover, and is available to buy now for around £700 including VAT.