Royer Labs Ships SF-24V Vacuum Tube Stereo Ribbon Microphone

Apr 24, 2009 3:13 PM


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photo of Royer SF-24V

Royer SF-24V Vacuum Tube Stereo Ribbon Microphone

Royer Labs in Burbank, Calif., a leading manufacturer of high quality ribbon microphones, is now shipping the SF-24V Vacuum Tube Stereo Ribbon Microphone ($5,895 MSRP). Designed as a premium instrument for stereo and distance miking applications, the new SF-24V employs a dual vacuum tube design, and is said to be the world’s first commercially produced vacuum tube stereo ribbon microphone.

Like its sibling, the SF-24 Stereo Active Ribbon Microphone—but with greater headroom and faster transient response—the new SF-24V’s panoramic stereo pickup is particularly well suited to miking large ensembles such as an orchestra or the various sections within. Royer also recommends as a single-point stereo overhead drum and percussion mic, and for lush recordings of acoustic instruments.

The new SF-24V promises high quality audio performance with outstanding stereo separation and imaging. The SF-24V is a single point stereo ribbon microphone, with the two coincident ribbon elements fixed at 45 degrees left and right of center for Blumlein X/Y and M/S recording. The microphone’s ribbon elements are unaffected by varying mic preamplifier loads, heat or humidity, and are compatible with virtually all mic preamps. The SF-24V is said to have extremely low residual noise, an absence of high frequency phase distortion, and exhibit equal sensitivity from either the front or back of the ribbon elements.

The new SF-24V’s active electronics use NOS (new old stock) U.S. military spec 5840W vacuum tubes that are conservatively operated and configured as cathode followers. The microphone’s high-voltage cathode follower circuit promises ample headroom and dynamic range for capturing a wide range of sound sources. Further, the microphone’s oversized, bi-filar wound toroid ribbon-matching transformers promise fast transient response.

Royer conservatively rates the SF-24V’s tubes to last 20 years or more. The tube heaters incorporate independent DC power supplies with a slow ramp-up feature. Jensen 1:1 ratio output transformers provide an electrically isolated, fully balanced output signal. The microphone is designed to drive virtually any preamplifier and long cable runs (from power supply to preamp) with ease. The SF-24V receives an extensive burn-in procedure to assure proper settling of the vacuum tubes.

Each of the SF-24V’s two ribbon transducers are housed in an ingot iron case that forms part of the magnetic return circuit. The magnet/pole piece structure of the transducers 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. Royer states that frequency response is excellent regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbons, with negligible off-axis coloration.

The SF-24V's 7-conductor cable plugs directly into the power supply, which has two 3-pin male XLR output connectors labeled Output 1 and Output 2 for the microphone’s upper and lower capsules. The SF-24V’s compact dual channel power supply operates on 100, 120, 240-250 volts AC, 50-60 Hz.

The SF-24V ships with a shock-mount, a mic sock, and a handcrafted presentation case carved from a solid block of Padauk wood. Royer Labs’ unconditional lifetime warranty is included.

Visit Royer Labs at

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