sE Electronics R1 Ribbon Microphone


The R1 from SE electronics is a fantastic Passive Ribbon Microphone that can be used to record a variety of sources. In fact, here at Andertons we love the R1 so much that we use it in many of our Youtube review videos with Chappers and the Captain.

Perfect for a variety of sources

From the nuances of a vocal to the raw power of a guitar amplifier, the R1 captures a fantastic recording in most environments. Of course, with the R1 being a ribbon mic, it is more sensitive than it's condensor and dynamic counterparts, so good care and attention should be made to make sure your mic is working perfectly for years to come.

The R1 also works well in a stereo environment. Buy 2 of these microphones and you could get fantastic natural sounding drum overheads, a group of vocals or a dynamic capturing of an acoustic piano.

Here's what Sound on Sound said about the R1

“The inherent design attributes of a ribbon mic mean that the diaphragm resonances are at relatively low frequencies. This is in complete contrast to most capacitor-mic diaphragms, which are generally tensioned in such a way that their resonances are towards the top end of the audio spectrum. It is this fundamental aspect of the design that I think plays a big part in the ‘ribbon sound’ — a very natural, fatigue-free sound with a smooth but always detailed top end. This characteristic makes the ribbon mic a very reliable choice for sources such as brass and string sections, as well as for ‘difficult’ voices.

The R1 is certainly a nice-sounding ribbon, and I thought it seemed to have a decent output level compared to many older ribbon mics, and especially the very quiet 4038! The polar response has nice, deep, well-defined side nulls, making it easy to position the mic to reject unwanted spill, while the proximity effect is strong but progressive and predictable — which makes it usable as a creative tool. Using figure-of-eight mics in the studio might require a different approach to normal, but with a little more thought and planning it's surprising what can be achieved.”

”This isn't a cheap mic (it is now though!), but it turns in a very respectable performance for its price and seemingly has the ability to make almost anything sound smooth, silky and expensive, with plenty of low-end weight. The downside of ribbon mics in general is that you have to use a lot of mic gain to get enough level from quieter sources, and in practice this means that you need a decent mic preamp with at least 60dB of available gain, which most stand-alone mixers and mic amps provide.

I particularly like how the SE R1 works with electric guitar speakers and for voice recording, and I look forward to getting the chance to record some violin parts using it. It also adds weight and polish to wind instruments, so it's by no means a one-trick pony.”

Here's what sE Electronics say about the R1 Ribbon Mic

The R1's single 'Figure of 8' polar pattern is derived from an incredibly fine 1.8 micron Aluminium membrane. As such the R1 has a higher-than-normal frequency roll-off (at around 7KHz), and greater sensitivity, producing a more open and natural sound than you'd expect from a ribbon mic!

You will find the sE Electronics R1 Ribbon is ideally suited to most recording applications including electric guitar cabs, overhead drum micing, recording brass and woodwind instruments, strings and for commercial broadcast and voice-over.


  • Type: Passive
  • Element: 1.8µ aluminum ribbon
  • Frequency Response: 30 -15,000 Hz +/- 3dB
  • Sensitivity: -54dB 1v/pa±1 dB
  • Polar Pattern: Figure of 8
  • Impedance: = 300 Ohms Max SPL: 135dB
  • Connector: 3-pin
  • Shockmount Included: Yes
  • Case Included: No
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