Golden Age have given their affordable R1 the Premier treatment, with no‑expense‑spared active electronics.
The R1 ribbon microphone has been a mainstay of the Golden Age product line for many years. An inexpensive Chinese‑made long‑ribbon design that is rumoured to be loosely based on the AEA R84, it’s available with minor variations from a number of sources, and provided you don’t expect too much of it, can deliver very usable results. Golden Age’s version has been through several iterations and is currently available in passive, active and valve‑driven variants, all at affordable prices. The newest member of the R1 family is an upmarket active solid‑state version called the R1A, which is being marketed under the Golden Age Premier sub‑brand.
I didn’t have any other versions of the R1 on hand for comparison, but if photos are anything to go by, the new mic is outwardly identical to the active R1 MkIII other than its smart none‑more‑black paint job. This means it has a fairly substantial cylindrical shell topped with a domed headbasket, and attaches to a stand using an old‑school yoke mount. Two switches on the front engage a high‑pass filter and a ‑10dB pad, and a right‑angle XLR socket is bolted to the back. It comes not with a hard case but with a large padded fabric pouch that holds the mic very snugly and will protect the ribbon from air blasts.