With a supercardioid polar pattern, rich ribbon tone, and extended top-end, the KU4's directionality makes it one of the most flexible ribbon mics in production today.
A RIBBON WITHOUT ROOM TONE
AEA's KU4 is one of the most useful and unique ribbon microphones in the world. Its supercardioid polar pattern rejects bleed from other instruments and reflections in the room while retaining matchless top-end clarity. As the brightest mic in the AEA line, it retains the full spectrum sonic range that has made ribbon mics a staple in most of the world's great recording studios.
The KU4's minimal proximity effect and accented mid-range make it an exceptional vocal mic that captures the presence and detail of a performance. Its near-field nature also lends to the close range recording of kick drums, strings, and woodwinds, providing a welcome brightness and balance in the mix.
THE NEAR-FIELD SUPERCARDIOID
The KU4's supercardioid polar pattern enables it to capture direct sound from a vocalist or instrument without room tone. This is an advantage when tracking musicians live in the same room or when used live on stage. With most figure-of-eight patterned ribbons, mic positioning can require a finesse to avoid other sources using the microphone's nulls. The KU4 has none of these limitations.
Being a near-field ribbon microphone, the microphone was designed to be positioned between one and 18 inches from the source. The mic's proximity effect kicks in six inches away from the sound source. It can be placed close to an instrument while retaining a balanced frequency response.
Unlike most traditional ribbon mics, think the KU4's placement should be thought in terms of inches instead of feet. Of course, the KU4 can also be positioned at some distance from the sound source. It will just have a more balanced sound from up close.
The KU4 can handle 140+ dB SPL at 1 kHz. That means it will not be hurt by loud sound sources.
Supercardioid polar pattern, rejecting bleed and ambient room reflectionsExtended top end with classic ribbon smoothnessNear-field ribbon mic with reduced proximity effect for close-mikingAEA's redesign of RCA's legendary KU3AMade in the USA
Operating Principle: Pressure gradient transducerDirectional Pattern: BidirectionalFrequency Range: <20 Hz to >20 kHzMaximum SPL: 141 + dB SPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)Sensitivity: 6.3 mV/Pa (-44 dBv/Pa) into unloaded circuitOutput Impedance: 92 broadbandRecommended Load Impedance: 1.0K or greaterPhantom Power: P48 phantom power, 7 mAPolarity: Pin 2 high for positive pressure on front of microphonePolar Response: Native bidirectional, figure-of-8 patternHorizontal: Up to 90 dB rejection at right angles to the front/back axis.Vertical: Level changes with angle of incidence, but frequency response is consistent.Transducer Element Material: Pure aluminum corrugated ribbonThickness: 1.8 µmWidth: 0.185 in (4.7 mm)Length: 2.35 in (59.7 mm)
Height: 11.6 in (29.5 cm)Width: 3.9 in (9.9 cm)Depth: 2.5 in (6.4 cm)Weight with cable: 3 lb (1.36 kg)Shipping Weight: 4 lb (1.8 kg)Connector: XLR-3M
J. Bernard Glenn
November 26, 2019
To start off with its super cardioid. The side rejection as you would expect with a ribbon is excellent, and being super cardioid, the rejection from the back of the microphone is maximum. Excellent multi-purpose microphone equally at home on lead vox as well as upright bass or horn or kick drum. Read more
Sonically it has a mid forward quality, a controlled low end proximity effect and is equally at home in studio as well as a live premier class vocal microphone.
It has that timeless Billie Holliday sound to it. The mid-range just sounds classy.
For a ribbon, it's rather light. As with anything from AEA, it's build quality is nothing short of exceptional.
It's become my personal go to microphone for live vocal jazz.
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