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Golden Age Project R1 Active MKIII Active Ribbon Microphone

Golden Age Project
Golden Age Project R1 Active MKIII Active Ribbon Microphone
Key Features
  • Classic Ribbon Mic Sound
  • Active Circuitry Provides Higher Output
  • Ultra-Realistic Reproduction
  • Affordably Priced
The R1 Active MKIII Active Ribbon Microphone from Golden Age Project offers the smooth high end and extended lows that make ribbon mics so popular with recording engineers and producers. Thanks to its active circuitry, which includes a bipolar/FET discrete low-noise amplifier, it offers higher-than-expected output for a ribbon mic.
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Golden Age Project R1 Active MKIII Overview

The R1 Active MKIII Active Ribbon Microphone from Golden Age Project offers the smooth high end and extended lows that make ribbon mics so popular with recording engineers and producers. Thanks to its active circuitry, which includes a bipolar/FET discrete low-noise amplifier, it offers higher-than-expected output for a ribbon mic.

The ribbon in the R1 Active MKIII is 50mm long and 2 microns thick. The mic is designed to provide fast and life-like transient reproduction, and can handle sound pressure levels up to 160 dB SPL.

As is typical for a ribbon mic, it has a figure-8 polar pattern, which means it picks up primarily from the front and rear of the capsule and rejects sounds coming from the sides. You can use this to your advantage in the studio to help minimize bleed when two or more sources are recording in the same room. The R1 Active MKIII is well-suited for electric guitar, vocals, strings, horns, acoustic instruments, orchestras, choral groups, and many live-sound applications.

A carry-bag and an XLR mic cable are included.

Offers the natural and musical sound of a classic ribbon microphone
Ultra-realistic reproduction
Fast and life-like transient response
Provides the characteristic large-and-mellow ribbon-mic sound quality, featuring a very smooth top end and an extended low end
A Bipolar/FET, discrete, low-noise amplifier with a low-impedance transformerless output stage. Powered by standard 48V phantom power, it raises the output level and isolates the ribbon and gain-make-up transformer from the outside world
The Figure-8 polar pattern offers wide sweet spots both in the front and in the back of the microphone, and rejection on the sides
A ribbon that's 50mm long and made of 2-micron-thick aluminum foil
An internal shock mount for the ribbon and magnet assembly
Aluminum flight case and XLR mic cable included
Manufactured from the finest materials for great performance and long-term reliability
Can be used with any standard mixer or preamp, preferably with a balanced input, which can supply 48V phantom power

Golden Age Project R1 Active MKIII Specs

Polar PatternFigure-8
Pad-10 dB
Frequency Range30 Hz to 18 kHz
Maximum SPL160 dB SPL
Impedance200 Ohms
Load Impedance1000 Ohms
Sensitivity-42 dB at 1 kHz
Equivalent Noise Level18 dB A-Weighted
THD< 1%
Output Connectors (Analog)1 x XLR 3-Pin
Operating Current Consumption4 mA
Dimensionsø: 2.72 x L: 7.28" / ø: 69 x L: 184.91 mm
Weight3.2 lb / 1.45 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight3.4 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)14.8 x 8.25 x 5.5"

Golden Age Project R1 Active MKIII Reviews

Sounds natural, generous and solid

By Christian
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-05-03

I am a professional opera singer, and I want to capture my bass-baritone voice in a small space without it sounding too crisp and treble heavy. This mic captures my full spectrum with a nice warm natural quality. I'm improving my placement and studio space so I can add reverb to simulate the large halls that are best for operatic voices. The mic is very sensitive and picks up well at 12-18 away without much room noise. It sounds like me when I'm listening. It's connected to a Tascam DR44w recorder with 48v. The build quality is very nice, but I am always gentle with it and mindful of storing it upright because of the fragile ribbon.

Noise floor was terrible.

By Alltubes
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2016-06-29

Very disappointed in this mic. Tried to get a useable signal for recording, using Golden Age, Summit Audio, and Grace preamps. The noise floor was very evident and unpleasant, spoiling the recording even through the Grace. Returned.

Smooth microphone

Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2016-06-20

For me and my style of vocals, jazz this was a great fit. It is a bit on the nosey side when cranked up that can compensated with EQ and gate.

Golden Age R1 Active Ribbon MKIII initial experience

By The Buff
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-05-05

After reading the reviews, I thought I'd finality take the plunge and purchase my first ribbon mic. I was going to buy two right off and use them for drum overheads. I bought one just in case it didn't live up to the hype. I'm buying another right away! The first take, the mic was a bit far away (on purpose) second take with the mic about 2' over the rack toms, wow! No one can believe that was recorded with one mic. Snare cracks wonderfully, you can hear the toms breathing. All it lacked was the kick's low end and bite. Can't wait to try it on vocals, upright bass, guitar, etc. The high end takes EQ beautifully just like the reviews said it would. I wish it would come with a better shock mount system. I'm going to try damping the shell to see what difference that will make. All in all, I'm very impressed for the money.

Great First Ribbon

By Josh B
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2012-12-26

As someone who has worked on an off professionally as a stagehand, backline tech, and as a musician I can say with certainty that the R1 MKIII is a great ribbon mic for low budget situations. I found myself using it for guitar, bass, keyboard, and vox... for $dollars, the quality of sound is just superb. Just by listening to the quality of my own recordings I bet I could use the MKIII on percussion, brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments and it would probably sound awesome! Very little noise, if any at all (depending on the pre amp you use, I use pro 40 as well as a reddi when using bass). The MKIII has that sparkly ribbon high end and full low end, it's really a vintage sound, the only down side is that some vocalists may not dig the dark quality and it may not mesh well with certain amps. More expensive ribbons are obviously going to be better in terms of quality or versatility, etc, but this mic stacks up against other mics 3 times its worth! Great purchase for the cost, especially for a budget studio. GA is a solid company, they built solid mics and at a fraction of the price! I gave the MKIII a 4/5 because it could use a quality transformer, it is manufactured in China and uses Chinese parts. The casing around the ribbon rings a bit and needs to be padded to dampen unwanted sound anomalies. Other than that, superb product!

Blown away

By steve
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-03-30

I was looking for a ribbon mic for years. I have normal mics and many of them. I read the reviews for the top ones by price and then of later years saw the reviews of the Golden Age R1 Active Ribbon. MK111. The price allowed me space to purchase. This is the cheapest mic I have ever purchased bar the shure SMs. The Golden age ribbon is a killer, well mine is, it is fabulous on Nylon guitar. None of my present mic collection comes close given that I have mics costing up to $3000 nz. I would like to comment on vocals etc however I have not got around to recording vocals etc yet. I am a muso of 52 years of experience good enough and more for me. Steve


By steve
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-03-17

Totally blown away by this microphone. Congratulations to the folk who made it and sell it at this price. I have microphones worth up to about $3500 purchased from hard graft over the years. While I have used this only on Classical guitar so far I can see that this is the only mic I will use as a main mic for my acoustic guitars. Steve

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