The AEA A440 is a high-performance ribbon microphone with the lowest self-noise of any ribbon mic ever produced
Ever since Wes Dooley brought back the venerable “new old-stock” RCA 44 ribbon mic, AEA mics, have become a staple of top studios, as the RCA ribbons were in the ’50s. Revered for its rich, musical sound on instruments, and the “voice of god” proximity effect that made it the go-to mic for broadcasters, Of course, vintage ribbon diaphragms could detach from their mounts just by having the front grille exposed as an engineer walked across the studio, or closed the case too quickly, even with a “sock” protecting it—and they were a bit noisy. We’ve come a long way since then, and now, AEA takes the RCA 44 to new heights of reliability and sound quality with the A440 powered ribbon microphone. A440 is the designation for perfect pitch, and the AEA A440 is the R44 taken to perfection. The quietest high-performance ribbon microphone ever produced, it has all of the warmth and beauty of the classic R44 with an output so high, you’ll never need worry about finding an ultra-quiet, high-gain preamp again.
AEA A440 Powered Ribbon Mic in one take:
- Phantom-powered Big Ribbon with 18dB more gain than the R44
- Extraordinary build quality
- Custom German toroidal transformer
- Quietest ribbon microphone ever made
The Bugatti of Ribbon Mics
Someone once said to Bugatti, “Ettore, you make the best and fastest sports car in the world, but why are the brakes so bad?” Bugatti replied, “I make a car to go, not to stop.” The AEA A440 is arguably the best ribbon mic made, and Wes Dooley pulled out all the stops to achieve it. Like all of AEA’s Big Ribbon™ microphones, it needs very little EQ, though it can take whatever you apply, and is free of unwanted resonances in the audible range. Like the exotic Bugatti, the AEA A440 is unlike any other microphone available today, and no self-respecting professional studio or engineer should be without one.
A peek under the the Hood
Like the passive AEA R44CX, the A440 is based on the RCA 44BX. However, unlike the 44BX, it’s phantom-powered and uses a custom-made German transformer. The A 440’s active electronics, inspired by AEA’s acclaimed TRP JFET preamp technology, enables it to be used with any high-quality preamp, by providing a consistent sound that’s immune to preamp loading. The A440 uses the same 1.8 micron, RCA NOS (new-old stock) ribbon element, which is hand-cut from material originally manufactured for RCA. A true exotic inside and out, it features a museum-quality shell with a durable bronze investment cast yoke. To put the finishing touches on this rare beauty, worthy of comparison the world’s finest exotics, it features umber paint, a red medallion on the transformer case, and a bright nickel finish with polished brass accents.
Winning Track Record
Because of its exceptionally low noise floor and classic sonic characteristics, the AEA A440 has quickly become a favorite among the most critical ears. EastWest Studios, the undisputed experts for orchestral sampling experts now prefer their pair of A440s over their vintage RCA 44s due to the advantages in noise performance. Musicians with very high sound-quality demands and the desire for a long-lasting investment for their microphone locker also have the A440 at the top of their wish lists. In fact, legendary guitarists Peter Frampton and the amazingly eared Neil Young (who is reputed to be able to hear the difference in amp response produced by plugging into various AC receptacles), as well as Irish alternative rockers The Script, all espouse their love for this stunning microphone.
Once you hear the AEA A440 powered ribbon mic in actions, make no mistake, you will want one. And when you’re ready, Westlake Pro is here to help you. For more information on this amazing microphone, call or chat online with your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant today.
AEA A440 powered ribbon mic specifications:
- Operating Principle: Pressure gradient microphone
- Directional Pattern: Bidirectional (Figure-of-8)
- Frequency Range: 20Hz to 15kHz
- Maximum SPL: 136+ dBSPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)
- Output Sensitivity: 21 mV/Pa (-33.5 dBV) into unloaded circuit
- Self Noise: 9dB(A)
- Output Impedance: 92 ohm broadband
- Recommended Load Impedance: 1.0k ohm or greater
- Powering: +48 phantom power, 7mA
- Polarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphone
- Connector: XLR-3M wired to a 3m captive cable
Off Axis Response
- Polar Pattern: Native bi-directional pattern
- Horizontal: Level changes with angle, frequency response is consistent, –35dB null at 90° / 270°
- Vertical: Level changes with angle, reduced HF response above and below 0° / 180° axis, –35dB null at 90° / 270°
- Ribbon thickness: 1.8 μ (0.0000018 m) of pure aluminum
- Ribbon Width: 3/16″ (4.7 mm)
- Ribbon Length: 2-11/32″ (59.7 mm)
- Included: Custom storage / shipping case, stand adapter, manual
- Optional: Any length cable, inquire for price and delivery. Matched stereo pair
- Limited Warranty: One year parts and labor, shipping not included. Three year extended warranty if the product is registered.
- Weight with Cable: 7 lb., 9 oz. (3.43 kg) in storage case with cable
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 12-1/4″ x 4-5/8″ x 3-1/4″ (31.1 x 11.7 x 8.3 cm)