Slau takes you behind the scenes at BeSharp, a recording studio in New York City. Listen to excerpts from sessions, gear reviews and equipment shootouts.

The Nady RSM-3 is a ribbon microphone sort of, kind of, almost resembling, well, very much resembling the legendary Royer R-121 ribbon microphone. It's now discontinued but, while it was on the market, Royer was compelled to send Nady a "cease & desist" letter due to its uncanny resemblance to the R-121 and its incorporation of the R-121's asymmetrical polar pattern response. I found a pair of RSM-3s on EBay for around $99 each and decided to have them modified by Michael Joly at Oktavamod (http://www.oktavamod.com). He re-tensioned the sagging ribbons and swapped out the stock transformers for Lundahl 2912s. The results were quite impressive. I mentioned the fact that it's sometimes possible to hear a sagging ribbon touching the mesh in a damaged microphone. I neglected to say that this is true only when wearing headphones. To test a microphone for such a symptom, plug the mic in and turn up the preamp gain. While monitoring through headphones, gently sway the mic back and forth on axis. Normally, you should hear nothing more than a low-level rumble from air movement. If you hear a metallic clanging, chances are you have a sagging ribbon. It is, of course, possible to remove the grill and protective material to examine the ribbon visually. Of course, one should be extra careful when undertaking such an inspection. Take extra care to avoid the slightest blast of air and keep the ribbon motor and magnets clear of any surfaces that might contain dust or iron particles. BTW, although the RSM-3 is no longer available from Nady, they can certainly still be found on EBay. The original RSM-3 with the offset ribbon (yielding the asymmetrical frequency response) came in a wooden box. Nady later changed the design to be symmetrical and shipped in a plastic box. Currently, the RSM-5, which is the same as the RSM-3 but with a different body, is still available from Nady. Oktavamod offers a modification for the RSM-5 as well. Keep in mind, Royer offers an extraordinary warranty on their products which come at a premium but, nevertheless, they are phenomenally great microphones. With Nady, well, let's just say that one should check the product immediately to verify that it works. Yeah, it's pretty much hit or miss some of the time. I believe Nady has a policy of replacing defective microphones within a limited time (possibly 90 days or so). In my opinion, however, if the intention is to obtain a Nady ribbon mic and have it modified by Michael Joly, well then, a sagging ribbon need not be of concern. If you can afford an R-121, by all means, go for it. If you're on a tight budget, a modified ribbon microphone might just be the ticket for you. The RSM-3 product page from Nady: http://www.nady.com/RSM3_mics_pg.html The R-121 product page from Royer: http://www.royerlabs.com/R-121.html

Direct download: SWS008-Nady_RSM_Mod.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:34am EST

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