Quick Test #1 Coles, Beyerdynamic, Nohype Audio

Listen to three ribbon microphones side by side. They don’t have much in common except that they are all ribbons. But we thought it might be interesting to compare them anyway.


The Beyerdynamic M 160, Coles 4038 and Nohype Audio SRM-1 side by side

This quick test is not about better or worse. Instead, it gives an immediate idea of how these mics deal with specific things like room ambience and proximity.

The Beyerdynamic M160 and the Coles 4038 are both legendary ribbon microphones.
While the Coles has a classic figure-8 pattern, the M160 is a hypercardioid mic.
The NoHype Audio SRM-1 is a new stereo ribbon with two fig-8 patterns. This offers a very different approach: in this video, we used one capsule to pick up the guitar sound while the other one pointed towards the vocals. We mixed the signal of the two capsules equally, but this stereo mic technique offers many more possibilities. During mixing, it’s possible to set the levels according to the balance that you need, and you can even add individual effects for each channel.
You can find more information about the benefits of a stereo ribbon for recording an instrument and vocals simultaneously in this article: MicTip #1 stereo ribbon technique for vocals and guitar.

Mono vs. stereo ribbon microphones

Even a single ribbon microphone like the Coles 4038 is great for capturing the voice and the guitar at the same time. Its figure-8 pattern is very consistent throughout the entire frequency range. Due to its proximity effect, it should not be positioned too close to the source. Otherwise, it will sound boomy with just too much bass. But at higher distances, the guitar recorded with the Coles 4038 sounded full-bodied, and the vocals rich and intimate.

The Beyerdynamic M160 is a special ribbon mic intended for closer recording distances. It has a hypercardioid pattern, which can be handy when you need to focus on a single sound source.
Recording guitar and vocals with only one mic isn’t a task where the Beyerdynamic M160 can shine. For example, it would perform much better in front of a single amp or a hi-hat. As it reduces the sound coming from the side and the back by up to -25dB, the Beyerdynamic M 160 is also an excellent choice for live concerts.

Where to buy

Coles 4038 (mono): Thomann (affiliate link)

Coles 4038 (stereo-set): Thomann (affiliate link)

Beyerdynamic M 160: Thomann (affiliate link)

Nohype Audio SRM-1: Nohype Audio

Other stereo ribbon microphones we recommend:

Bang & Olufsen BM5 with Xaudia Mod: Xaudia

Extinct Audio Valkyr: Echoschall

Royer SF-12: Thomann (affiliate link)

Royer SF-24: Thomann (affiliate link)

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What is Gear & Sound?

We love music gear and test how it sounds.
Here you’ll find reviews, sound samples, unboxing pics, and videos of recording equipment like microphones, preamps, headphones, etc.
We also write about legendary mics and interview great people.
Read more about How we test.

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