New Royer SF-24 Phantom-Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone Offers High Output Level and Low Noise Floor

Royer Labs is now shipping its SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone. The new mic, priced at $3,795 (US), is a a phantom powered version of Royer’s popular SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone.

Royer says the SF-24 combines the SF-12’s high quality audio performance, outstanding stereo separation and imaging, with Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Designed as a premium instrument for stereo and distance miking applications, the SF-24 provides extremely natural, uncolored recordings of choirs, pianos, harp, stringed instruments, and is particularly well-suited to miking large ensembles such as an orchestra or the various sections within—including brass and woodwinds.

The SF-24 is also perfect as a single-point stereo overhead drum and percussion mic.

The SF-24 represents a significant improvement over the SF12 for many ambient and critical applications, due to the inclusion of Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Featuring two fully balanced, discrete head amplifier systems utilizing ultra-low noise FET’s, each delivering an output sensitivity rating of –38 dB, the SF-24’s sensitivity is on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones—facilitating use with any preamplifier with average gain characteristics.

The impedance matching circuitry provides optimum impedance to the ribbon elements, preventing overdamping of the elements and assuring consistent performance. This capability translates to ultra-quiet operation with self-noise lower than 18 dB, making the SF-24 ideal for recording quiet sound sources with enough gain to drive any recording medium.

Housed in an ingot iron case that forms part of the magnetic return circuit, the SF-24 consists of two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other, each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration. The magnet/polepiece structure of each ribbon transducer allows a wide, uniform frequency range with no substantial peaks or dips, and the two 1.8-micron pure aluminum ribbons produce superb transient response. Frequency response is excellent, regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbons, with negligible off-axis coloration. The SF-24’s cable incorporates a Y adapter that splits into separate 3-pin male XLR connectors labeled “Upper” and “Lower” for the instrument’s upper and lower capsules. The SF-24’s package also includes a shock mount, a mic sock, and an elegant protective case.

“The SF-24 represents an unheard of level in ribbon microphone performance,” says John Jennings, Royer’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “With its ability to accurately capture the most subtle performance nuances from a distance, the SF-24 is perfectly suited for orchestral and small ensemble recording. With the gain and impedance matching issues out of the way, the SF-24 greatly expands on the SF-12’s stereo recording capabilities and becomes a drop-dead gorgeous mic for critical, lower SPL applications. And it’s smoking on drums and percussion.”

The SF-24’s output of -38 dB is a full 14 dB more sensitive than Royer’s non-powered SF-12, putting its sensitivity on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones. The unique electronics and custom designed FET’s used in the SF-24 allow for ultra-quiet operation, with self-noise of lower than 18 dB.

This allows you to use almost any mic preamplifier or board pre (even those of nominal characteristics). Conventional ribbon microphones average 15 to 20 dB lower sensitivity than condenser mics, necessitating the use of high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers for recording softer sound sources like acoustic instruments, vocals and room ambiance.

The electronics in the SF-24 provide a perfect load to the ribbon elements at all times, allowing the microphone to deliver 100% of its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic-pre. Due to its low-impedance output, SF-24’s can also be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss.

A good impedance match is critical to ribbon microphones. Impedance mis-matching loads a ribbon improperly, resulting in loss of low end, diminished body, lowered sensitivity and an overall compromised performance. With our Active Series ribbon mics, the ribbon element lives in a perfect world. It sees an optimum impedance match at all times regardless of the following equipment, so its performance will never be compromised by the effects of improper loading. In addition, the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, electrical glitches or miswired cables.

Royer Labs Web Site

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