TR 14 Tape Op Review

The TR 14 is reviewed here by Henry Robinett in Tape Op , 2009
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“The Peluso TR-14 Tube ribbon microphone. 

I’m a huge fan of ribbons. The first time I fell in love with them was recording jazz trumpet master Bobby Shew.  This love affair continued doing a CD  for a jazz vocalist.  On both recordings I used an RCA 77dx. Ribbons take eq wonderfully well and get that fantastic vintage sound. But they require big, clean amplification from the mic pre. Unless you have a good pre with a lot of gain you’ll be dead in the water. 

For my own collection I bought the AEA 84, Royer 121 and the Peluso R-14.  I reviewed the R-14 earlier and compared it in a head to head competition with the AEA and Royer. I think it compares very favorably to the others and I use them interchangeably. In truth I find myself using the Peluso more, if for no other reason than that it’s less expensive and therefore less stressful to take out on my remotes. For testing I used either my Millennia HV-3 pres or the pres in my Metric Halo ULN-2/2d or the remarkable ULN-8. I’ve never had an issue getting enough gain. Not everyone can boast this. 

But enter the TR-14.  It’s a TUBE ribbon!  This means, among other things, that it has its own power supply.  No, that doesn’t mean it comes with its own pre.  It still needs gain, but considerably less, I’ve found. And not only does it have that classic vintage ribbon sound but it’s a vintage TUBE ribbon sound.  It’s a bizarre cross section between a tube condenser and a ribbon.  Perfect for my own jazz, acoustic sensibilities. It’s gets that smooth, silky ribbon sound, which is already warm, with the added warmth of tube and gain with the condenser. 

This thing sounds great on electric guitar!  I used it on over driven guitar with a classic ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb and my old Strat. I placed the mic in a variety of places, but preferring it, in this case, about 2 inches in front of the grill.  It turned out a big sweet sound. I had to boost the EQ about 3 db at 3.5K, which is pretty standard for me to get the sound I like with ribbons and this guitar. There was less proximity effect than with the R-14, but it was just a great sound. And then I used it on my Gibson ES-355 and a Seymore Duncan Convertible for some fantastic crunchy guitar.  It’s the best sound yet I’ve had with that combination,  — and I’ve been that guitar/amp combo for probably 20 years or more!

I’ve used this a few times on horns: two sessions with a jazz trumpet player and twice with a great alto player playing some funky stuff.  This is the mic. 

I also used this mic in front of the drum kit.  It was just okay, but I wasn’t really crazy about using a ribbon in this application.  I know a lot of folks like it but I ended up not using that track, so I can’t tell you too much about it.   Overall, and without reservation, I would highly recommend this ribbon mic. And if you want a great ribbon, with that classic vintage sound, but are concerned about gain with you pre, this is the ribbon for you!

Michrophone comes in a wood box, shock mount, 7-pin connector, flight case.  This is made in the USA.  MSRP ($1,116.0).”

-Henry Robinett, Tape Op 9-2009