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Royer Labs Introduces SF-2 Active Ribbon Microphone

Designed for use in classical performance applications or to capture acoustic instrument

By PSW Staff September 17, 2012

The new Royer Labs SF-2 active ribbon microphone (a larger version of this image is below)

Royer Labs has introduced the SF-2, an active ribbon microphone designed as a premium instrument for use in classical performance applications or to capture acoustic instruments.

The SF-2 is a phantom powered version of the company’s original SF-1 ribbon microphone and combines Royer’s audio performance attributes with exclusive active electronics for ribbon microphones.

The new Royer Labs SF-2 has an output level of -38 dB. putting its sensitivity on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones. This enables the microphone to be used with a wide variety of mic preamplifiers, regardless of gain characteristics.

The SF-2’s unique electronics and custom designed FETs deliver ultra-quiet operation, with self-noise lower than 18 dB.

The magnet/pole piece transducer structure provides a wide, uniform frequency response with no substantial peaks or dips, and the 1.8-micron ribbon element delivers excellent transient response.

The result is excellent frequency response, regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbon, and the microphone’s off-axis coloration is negligible.

The SF-2 contains a fully balanced, discrete head amplifier system that utilizes a specially wound toroidal transformer and ultra-low-noise FETs to deliver a sensitivity of -38 dB. Even with extremely quiet sound sources, the SF-2 provides enough level to drive any recording medium.

Further, the electronics create no additional self-noise. All of the microphone’s higher output is the result of its large, specially wound toroidal transformer, which provides an additional 14 dB of “free gain.” The phantom powered system operates at less than unity, adding no noise of its own.

The electronics are designed to provide an optimized load to the ribbon element at all times, enabling the microphone to deliver its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic preamplifier.

And due to its low-impedance output, the SF-2 can be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss.

With Royer Labs’ Active Series ribbon technology, the ribbon element sees a perfect impedance at all times, regardless of the preamp one chooses. As a result, the ribbon element’s performance is never compromised by the effects of improper loading. Further, the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, electrical glitches, or incorrectly wired cables.

John Jennings, Royer VP of sales and marketing, states, “Our new SF-2 is the product of extensive research and field testing. We’ve had twenty prototype SF-2’s circulating in major studios and scoring stages for years. It has been well accepted in the classical recording and scoring worlds, which is where we see the microphone being of greatest benefit due to its extremely natural sounding pickup, flat frequency response and second-to-none off-axis response.

“The SF-2 already has a great track record with recording choir, piano, woodwinds, strings and a number of other applications, so we’re pleased to finally make it available to engineers worldwide.”

The SF-2 ships in an aluminum presentation case with an SFS-2 shock mount, mic sock, documentation, and owner’s manual.

There is also an optionally available SF-2 Deluxe Package that includes a beautiful Padauk wood presentation case, a Royer-made 20-foot microphone cable, a premium RSM-24 shock mount, documentation, and owner’s manual—all packaged in an aluminum carrying/storage case.

The Royer Labs SF-2 is expected to ship September 17, 2012.


SF-2 Standard Package—$2,495
SF-2 Deluxe Package—$3,295


Royer Labs


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