The RCA 44 ribbon has a legacy of more than 80 years in the recording and broadcast history due to its big sound and character. This instantly recognisable sound produces thunderous lows due to the strong proximity effect, full and rich midrange and a unique top end taking the edge off of harsh instruments.
In 1976, AEA decided to begin servicing the thousands of existing RCA ribbon mics in the world. By 1998, AEA had acquired 100 percent of the interchangeable parts used within the original RCA 44. That same year we debuted our R44 reissue — called the AEA R44C — using RCA’s original methods and techniques.
AEA's R44 Series microphones all share the authentic sound, feel and look of the 1936-38 RCA 44BX. The R44 series microphones are all detailed, hand-crafted replicas, using parts that are made to be interchangeable with an original RCA 44. We manufacture three different versions of the R44 and an optional hotrod. At the core, every version of the R44 sounds the same when powered with a ribbon preamp. The major differences between the versions are the exterior look and the amount of output level.
The active A440 is a preamp-flexible R44 with 18dB of extra output. It is custom-painted with the RCA classic umber-colored transformer case.