Active Ribbon Microphone
For those who cannot always have the right preamp available, AEA offers the Active R84A (formerly known as the A840), a premium version of the R84 complete with JFET electronics and the same custom transformer used in our active R44. It’s basically an R84 with a built-in preamp.
The active R84A mic retains the same sonic character of the R84, but with an additional 12dB of output and a stable impedance. This gives a consistent frequency response and greater flexibility with different preamps, including those found in audio interfaces for personal computers. This is great for on-the-road musicians who might have to use a different preamp each night.
The extra 12db of output is a huge help when recording quiet sources like vocals and soft acoustic guitars. The active circuitry also prevents noise, interference on long cable runs or when operating near large lighting rigs. The R84A requires standard 48-volt phantom power to operate the active circuitry. The R84A also possesses an 18-carrot, gold-plated grill.
The R84 and R84A are almost identical in sound. The R84A is an R84 with the addition of a custom-made Lehle transformer and active electronics. Though the two versions of the microphone sound very similar and both offer that classic ribbon sound, they have different requirements. The choice between purchasing an R84 and R84A comes down to the decisions engineers make depending on where and how they use their ribbons.