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Avantone Pro CR-14 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews
Questions about the Avantone Pro CR-14?

Questions about the Avantone Pro CR-14?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Duluth, MN September 11, 2016Music Background:
    Recording, Performance

    Nice for Mid-Side processing

    I run this with a Cloudlifter CL1 for an extra DB boost and phantom power protection. (Straight into a pre without the cloudlifter, it's pretty soft.) It works great as your side mic for a MS config. I use a Lauten LA-120 for Mid. The Avantone is pretty dark, which is fine because I don't like a lot of high end in the stereo image. (The Lauten covers the highs very well.) There's potential for mud. Watch proximity and/or prepare for some DB reduction around 250-300 kz. The quality for the price is fantastic. This is a specialty mic - If you understand the qualities and limitations of a ribbon mic and are on a budget, this is it.

  • from San Francisco March 9, 2016Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer, composer, professional musician

    Great Mic for the $

    I bought this mic for some sessions I was doing, immediately used it on flugelhorn, wood flute and duduk and it sounds great on all of them. Great ribbon for the money!

  • from Jacksonville, Fl November 26, 2015Music Background:
    Audio Production

    Really Good Mic

    I've been using on acoustic guitar going into ua710-d pre-amp,
    Couldn't be more happier.

  • from Central Indiana May 27, 2015

    Perfect for overdriven guitars

    I have been eyeballing this mic for quite a few months and finally pulled the trigger on it. After having limited experience with ribbons (of lesser value/quality) I didn't know what to expect. Put it on an overdriven combo amp (tube) with an i5 dynamic to back it up and, I gotta say, this puppy shines. Have the i5 track muted and the CR-14 track is all I need. The amp isn't cranked to the max but it's loud enough (at 7 o'clock) to rattle the windows a little bit - doesn't seem to phase this mic one bit. It handles the crunch perfectly and deals with the cleans equally as well. Can't wait to try it out on some vocal tracks to see what it does.

  • from United States November 1, 2013

    In Love

    I was always curious about ribbon mics. This one had great reviews and the lowest price of any ribbon i had seen. The reviews are all true, this thing is a beast! I recommend it for instruments that are very loud, and typically get muddy with other mics. I have been using the Cr-14 to record Banjo and mandolin in my bluegrass band and it really does an amazing job. I had been having a really tough time getting the banjo to sound right on recordings, this plus a small cigar condenser is the perfect solution.

  • from Maryland February 27, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Thought I was buying a specialty mic; instead got a workhorse!

    I have been very surprised with Avantone products. People tend to take them less seriously because they're not all that expensive; but the proof is in the mix. I had been wanting to experiment with ribbon mics for a while, thinking they pretty much had special applications involving guitar cabinets and drums. But I have been blown away by how GOOD these babies sound on just about everything. Trumpet, cornet, trombone, saxes... the whole gamut of horns, have a very natural sound you can't get with a condenser. Vocals (especially male) have great warmth and character. Mic'ing a piano with a pair of CR-14s was a total surprise as well. And of course, the same old boring applications for guitar cabinets and drum overheads yield stellar results. This is my new favorite mic.

  • from california and thailand July 31, 2012Music Background:
    35 years pro percussionist

    great surprise

    Great mic for percussion! A good friend who has been a percussionist and studio engineer for many years recommended ribbon technology as I was not happy with my sound. I could not afford the pricier models so got two of these and I am shocked how good the sound is for congas and djembes !

  • from Oklahoma City, OK December 14, 2010Music Background:
    Studio Owner, Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician

    Simply Amazing and Versitle

    Don't let the low price point fool you. The gear heads at Avantone knocked it out of the park with this Ribbon. In the 2 months I've owned it, it has shined on guitars, kick drums, vocals, and a hand saw. (yes a hand saw.) Anyone wanting a ribbon on a budget...or just a ribbon period....should not hesitate to own this mic!

  • from Seattle February 16, 2016Music Background:
    Serious Amateur

    Useful in tough room

    I never give five stars because nothing is perfect. For the price, though, you can't beat one of these. I have been using it as one of two room mics in a very tough room. The other room mic is a LDC, which has a very different sound. Using them next to each other to get two different sounds and record different aspects of the music is working very well to tame a rattly, harsh room. The whole setup is very low tech and old style, with minimal direct micing, which makes it even more challenging and more fun to figure out. The CR-14 has been an integral part of that process, and I have used it for other purposes over the last couple of years as well. It darkens up the voice of a specific female vocalist who didn't sound good through the LDC. The LDC is a beautiful sounding mic, but her voice needed the ribbon to tame some nasal qualities. It has also been used to record double bass, electric guitar, clarinet, and probably some other things I'm forgetting. It isn't a vintage RCA, but so what. I couldn't use one of those to its full effect anyway, and if we are honest, most of us who are not professional sound engineers and musicians would be hard pressed to take full advantage of this microphone.

    The only reason I wouldn't buy another one is to experiment with different sounds and capabilities. If anything happened to it, I would replace it. You don't see them come up used very often. There's probably a good reason for that - they have the somewhat dark sound you would expect from a ribbon, their response is good, they are quiet, and they seem to be indestructible. I don't recommend this, but I accidentally turned on phantom power and sent 48 volts into my CR-14. I turned it back off immediately and expected the worst. There was no apparent harm to the mic. It still sounds the same as it did before my mistake. Add in the box and durable shock mount, and you have a workhorse that's affordable enough to use for all kinds of things.

  • from PDX OR August 4, 2014Music Background:
    Drums/Guitar/Keys Home recorder

    Great Mic's

    I used 2 of these as overheads last weekend on my drum kit, and got an amazing sound. The room was very "soft", and they performed better than the Rode condensers I had been using.

    To be fair, I had a condenser on the hat, SM57's on the toms/snare, and a Telefunken M82 on the bass, but what these mic's picked up and how well they did it astounded me. Good buy.

  • from Utah August 27, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Match it up with the right pre!

    For a $260 mic, this is ridiculous good. Especially if you match it up with an appropriate pre that has a good variable impedance range. You'll need to crank it pretty high to get the "hose pressure" just right. This is an unusually high-impedance mic at 600 (a lot of them are 300), so you should (in theory) have a mic preamp that can reach up to 3000 or beyond. I say in theory, because this mic still sounds pretty good even at theoretically inappropriate preamp impedances. Most pres without variable impedance top out at 1600-1800. My best combo was on a Focusrite ISA One set at 2400. No Cloudlifter needed!

    Also, I got this for my voice, but since I have more body than breath and high end sparkle, I sound pretty dull through this. But my wife sounds wonderful! Same with my tin whistle! Guitar, not so much, but as others who have reviewed this have said, it does respond well to EQ. I also have a Royer R-121, and that is probably an all around better mic, but this has a slightly higher output and works better on edgy sources, at least to my ears. Hope this is helpful!

  • from Nashville February 11, 2013

    excellent affordable ribbon mic

    This mic has a rich warm tone as you would expect from a ribbon. It has a pretty low noise floor for a ribbon too. You won't find a better sounding ribbon in this price range.

  • from SD February 29, 2012Music Background:
    musician

    Great mic for the money

    This was my first ribbon mic. l am using a VMP _2 peavey preamp. The has a smooth natural sound.

  • from Long Island May 15, 2015Music Background:
    Recording and touring rock bassist

    Smooth

    Does exactly what it's supposed to do! Smooth sounding ribbon. So far I've used it mostly on auxiliary instrumentation - a harmonica, tambos, shakers - and it's been great. At $260 I couldn't be happier.

  • from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ USA February 5, 2015Music Background:
    Head Engineer, Producer, Live Sound, Mixing, Post Production, Channel Drive Studio

    Great, Warm Bottom End! But lacks in other places

    It's a very solid Ribbon microphone. I was extremely surprised on how much low end this mic emphasized. This microphone has it's purposes like on the body of an acoustic GTR, room mics for drums, some vocals, and even GTR amps, sometimes. But I did find this mic kind of restricting. because of the lack of High End. But if you wanna beefen up your tracks, put it through a nice preamp, and then this mic will blow your mind, for the price that it is!

  • from Pittsburgh January 29, 2014Music Background:
    Studio Manager, Producer of Audio Books, Narrator

    Good Value, But Has Limitations

    The physical presentation of this mic makes quite an impression. In addition to the armored carry case, the mic itself is packed in a beautiful wood box. You almost feel like you are unpacking a work of art.

    Now to business . . . For testing, I ran the mic directly into a DR-40. It took a while to find the correct working distance, but when I did, the mic sounds . . . good but lacking the crispness I've come to accept as my standard. Without yelling into the mic, the record levels were good, but not as high as some other mics I've used.

    I was recording spoken word and the the recordings were clean. I mean absolutely minimal base level noise and everything came through, but it was flavored silky smooth and di not have the highs to give the voice much flavor. The mic was then paired with a Robbie mic pre-amp and the results were stunning, but still lacking that crispness I like.

    Overall, for the right application this will be one stellar mic, As an all-around-workhorse, you could do a lot worse. The ability to deliver such silky smooth sound with a minimalist recording setup makes the CR-14 a very worth while addition to anyone's microphone collection, and for a ribbon mic, it is very reasonably priced.

  • from United States April 12, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician(drums, perc, keys), home studio recordist

    An excellent ribbon mic!

    This is an excellent mic and, yes, it has the characteristic 'smooth/dark' sound of a ribbon mic and, as such, very adequately adds that tonal/textural quality to you mic'ing repertoire. Very solidly and beautifully designed and constructed: the retro thing is pretty hip. The shockmount is maybe a bit 'clunky'(heavy), but it does the job well enough--only wish it had an attachment for a pop screen. The mic sounds very good on vocals though I'm leaning away from it on percussion. It shines on acoustic guitar too. That is all I've used it for so far. It's preformance exceeds it's price range, but I dont particularly think it competes with the $700 large diaphram tube mic I own, in terms of depth/soundstage/frequency response. I personally wouldnt but this ribbon mic over an good LDC, but it serves very well as an alternative texture that a ribbon mic is meant for.

  • from WV, USA January 27, 2012Music Background:
    hobbyist

    An excellent mic and value

    I have recorded a number of demos and clips with this mic, and it sounds extremely good. The tone is warm and, to my ears, natural sounding. It sounds particularly good when paired with a mic that has a sharper top end. This is a no-lose purchase.

  • from Ct January 9, 2014Music Background:
    Musician ,

    Avantone

    Great ribbon mic for the price if your looking to get a ribbon mic to try out and add it to your studio collection you can't go wrong for the price , worked well on vocals and does have that ribbon sound defiantly will be nice addition to any project studio ..

  • from Oklahoma March 31, 2016

    okay

    My overall first impression is not that great. It sort of reminds me of trying to use a kick drum mic on everything, or like an SM 57 wrapped up in a few gym socks. That has been my impression on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and vocals. It did, however, make a banjo sound fairly decent, so I guess I will keep it. 2.5 out of 5 stars. And this was the second one that I received. The first one had loose rattling parts inside, so it had to be shipped back.

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