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Microphone Month

Royer R-101 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Royer R-101?

Questions about the Royer R-101?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Brad Every

    Royer ribbons have been my go-to mics for guitar amps and drum overheads for years because I love their warm, natural sound.  The new Royer R-101 embodies a lot of those same characteristics at a great entry level price.

  • Charlie Davis

    My band used the Royer R-101 for a session this weekend on guitar amps and it worked excellent. For my trebly Vox tone, the R-101 helped tame the top end, while accentuating the midrange and lows perfectly. For the price, every studio should have at least one.

  • Chris Nunley

    When I first strummed my guitar through this microphone in my home studio, I was amazed by just how real the results sounded! It sounded just how my guitar sounds in my room.

  • from Planet Earth November 7, 2014Music Background:
    who knows

    IF YOU COULD PICK ONE RIBBON MIC AT THE PRIGHT PRICE!?

    Like the title says, if you are on a budget, and want a REAL ribbon mic, go no further than the Royer R101. I'm using it on my boom stand with an SM 57 and an e609 to mic my amp and my acoustic guitar. Even my 5 thousand dollar tube mic's vocals match up pretty well with the R101. You may need a CloudLifter (i suggest dual channel) that will raise the gain up 20 dB which can be really helpful. Just to let you know, I am using Avedis MA5 mic pre's. So about 71.5 dB of gain in one of those pre's add another 20 dB you got yourself a fine setup. But I find it is best with instruments i.e. guitars, amps, cabs, brass, strings, etc. have fun!!

  • from Shreveport, LA July 3, 2014Music Background:
    Professional musician / hobbyist recording

    An INCREDIBLE mic for the money!

    I purchased my first Royer (an R-122) right here from Sweetwater a couple of years ago, and just recently picked up a used R-101 from a fellow musician. I am totally blown away by this mic! I'm a trumpet player and was looking for a mic to have out at all times in the studio. I think this mic fits the bill perfectly.

    Its output isn't as high as the R-122 (obviously, since it's a passive mic and the 122 has active electronics). You'll need a good pre with plenty of gain if you're doing other than miking really close to the bell of a brass instrument.

    Anyway, a great mic which produces a beautifully clear sound. Kudos to Royer for designing a mic that won't break your budget!

  • from Missoula, MT April 18, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Incredible for the Money

    I have been using this on guitar cabs and as a room mic for drums. I have been able to capture the growly rhythm tones better than ever before. I pair it with either a 57 or SM7, and it's so warm and present. If you get a tone you like from your setup, this mic will capture it.

    As a room mic, I notice the spatial qualities with clarity much better than low-cost ribbons were providing.

  • from Portland, Indiana March 11, 2013Music Background:
    Home Studio Recordist/Musician

    Wow ! Again

    I wrote a review on this mic in August 2012, anwas blown away by how good it sounded on my guitar cabs and my Martin acoustic. I was in the studio yesterday tracking vocals for a new song I had written. I have a Mojave MA200 that I love on my voice and call me crazy, but I was looking for a diiferent kinda "flavor" for this song. I put the 101 on the stand sung acouple of lines and was stunned with how good it sounded. I ran it into a Cloudlifter CL2 and then to the mic input on a Harmony G-XT. I am impressed. As good as my MA200 ? Not so much a question of good or better, just different. Most important ? Gave me that "flavor" I was looking for

  • from Tucson, Az October 22, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Guitar Player

    Incredible Sounding Mic

    Unfortunately, I can ONLY give this mic 5 stars - as it is truly a 10! Not only is it built like a tank but it makes my Mesa Boogie and Marshall’s SOUND like they are meant to sound. Look, it’s simple – if you are on the fence, fall - no jump!! off and do it. If you think that $800 is too much and that you can get your sound with a $99 SM57 – I hear you, used 57 for years. But this truly is unlike anything you’ve ever heard – except on major label releases. I still use my 57, for live and blend off-axis sound with straight on Royer 101 sound. Just do it – do the 3 easy payment option, whatever it takes. You won’t regret your decision, and IF you do, you can return it – but you won’t you’ll get more!

  • from Portland, Indiana August 4, 2012Music Background:
    Home Studio Recordist/Musician

    WOW !

    I have wanted this mic since it first came out. Saved my pennies and finally got one. I own a Mojave MA200 and love it, this mic is from the Royer side of the family. The R101 and the Shure SM57 were, in my opinion, made for each other. The 57 is the classic sound we all know and love and the R101 is the icing on the sonic cake. I put the R101 and the 57 on the 15" speaker in my Fender Excelsior amp..... lovely ! The 57 captured the high and mids, the R101 did the same and added a little bottom to the mix. I heard the stereo mix in the cans and was blown away. I could live very easy with just the R101, but the old workhorse 57 made the sound even better. Next I put them both on a 1965 Bassman 2x12 cab with the original Brown label Jensen speakers. Same results, amazing. Then put them both on my 1972 SF Deluxe Reverb, it has a 12" JBL MI speaker in it, again sweet sounds. Lastly, I sat the R101 up on my 1955 Martin D-28, OMG ! I could not believe how good that mic reproduced the sound of that old guitar. It didn't have the high end sparkle of my Miktek C-5, but it did capture how the guitar sounds to me when sitting in the studio playing it.I Could see using the R101 and the C-5 and the MA200 to get a nice layered rythmn bed of acoustic guitar. IMHO Royer hit it outta the park with this mic. If you own a SM57, the R101 is, IMO, it's perfect matr.

  • from Dallas, TX February 16, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Unbelievable

    I do not normally write reviews unless I am completely blown away, or see that something needs to be stated that is not in the description or in another review.

    Let me start of first by saying that this is not a Royer 121, nor does it need to be compared to one. Just because it is an R Series mic does not mean that it sounds like a 121. Just like you can't compare an SM7b to a SM81 even though they are in the SM line of products.

    This microphone will soon become a classic, it has the ribbon sound of warmth that comes from slower transient response and a relatively flat frequency response. The first time I tried this mic (I use it live by the way) I asked the guitar player to turn his amp way down and I baffled it off (something I would not normally do, but did this time as an experiment) and put this mic and an SM57 on it. My jaw hit the floor when I heard that what this mic reproduced and what the amp normally sounded like cranked naturally were the same. Such a big guitar sound. I didn't even bother mixing the SM57 with it because the R 101 gave me everything I needed and more. This mic is now a staple for me and finds its way onto every stage I mic.

  • from Chicago, IL February 7, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Royer R-101

    I finally gave in to all the buzz surrounding ribbon mics (specifically Royer) and electric guitar cabs and decided to get the R-101 to try it out. I had previously tried a Woodpecker to some degrees of success but was not completely happy. Not so with the R-101. Not only am I completely happy but I will reach for it first time out for guitar cabs from now on.

    Tracks recorded with the R-101 sit very nicely in a mix with little or no eq needed. I find the midrange to be accurate and the high end to be pleasing. Too many times there is a lot of hash in the high end that comes with electric guitars. No so with the R-101. Makes sense with the nature of ribbon mics. I also find this mic captures the sound in the room very precisely. Get a good sound in the room and stick the Royer in front and you are good to go. Obviously you can still manipulate sound by mic placement but it's harder to get poor tone.
    I have not tried the mic out on any other sources as I was really looking for a mainstay guitar cab mix. This is it. Well worth the money.

  • from St. Louis, MO January 16, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist

    Amazing Value and Phenominal Quality!

    I've had my R-101 for about 6 months now. It is my go-to on electric guitars. While not identical to a 121, it is just as usable. I can be 100% happy using either mic on guitar cabs.

    Kick drum, meet your new best friend. I've started using this on the outside kick. I must say it is a great complement to a Beta 52 on the inside. Make sure you angle it as to not blow the ribbon.

    Percussion, yes please. Makes tambourines, shakers, and other percussion smooth as silk without the harshness that is so easily achieved with a condenser.

    My next goal is on overheads and rooms, but I only have one. My next is soon to come. This mic does it all!

  • from Douglasville, ga October 10, 2011Music Background:
    Singer, Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Buy it Buy it!!!

    great great mic nice nice sound.....!!!!! have only so far on electric guitar.... but WOW!!!!

  • from Gary, In USA September 17, 2011Music Background:
    Semi Pro Musician

    Great Ribbon Mic

    After researching ribbons mics for my personal studio. I was leaning towards an audio techinica offering which is a great mic from the reviews ive seen. So I went to sweetwater and asked them about the ribbon mics I was looking at. Then they showed me the R-101. I already knew about the royer ribbon reputation and knew about the price tag it came with. Then the salesman showed me the R-101 saying that royer wanted a mic that was more affordable but didnt sacrifice quality. I bought the mic and took it home to my studio where I put it on the drum kit and it sounded great. So great I will be picking up another in the near future and possibly getting the coveted R-121 as well. This is why I love buying from sweetwater I explain to them what im looking for and they know what Im talking about and get me a product that does exactly what I want it to. Thanks Guys you did it again

  • from New Whiteland, IN September 5, 2011Music Background:
    Engineer, Gun slinger, Producer, Mastering Engineer

    This Brought Back the "Awe" Factor.

    The high frequency "sheen" of a decent condenser mic we're all used to is not what you're going to hear upon your first impression of a 101. It's honest. I'd heard, (never owning a ribbon until now) ..that it tracks electrics like there should be no other mic used in the recording of electric guitars. So naturally the first thing I threw it up on was my amp. The only way to describe what it does is to parallel the idea of a loss in volume when you throw on the cans. (Unless you have your levels set equivalent to what's coming out of your amp outside the cans.) If you spend quality time dialing in the tone you want to put to tape, then what goes in the Royer is what you're going to hear on playback. You're gonna need a preamp with some nads. I have the newest Duet 2 from Apogee and they have 75db of gain on the preamps. That's sufficient. Don't blast this puppy with a jolt of 48v. It's like capital punishment for a ribbon. bzzzz, kapow. Watch some youtube vids of guys recording with ribbons... Plosives can be destructive too. But trust me, if you do it right, it's the most honest representation of what you spend all that time dialing in that I've ever heard. I've already started retracking my album with it. I'm primarily an acoustic player with a mid 90's Taylor 712 cedar top, indian rosewood back and sides. It's aged pretty well, and sounds amazing on your lap as it is. I wanted to capture that. I put the 101 by the neck and my SP CS1 by the bottom. (Another great workhorse you should consider if you're on a budget,... or even if you're not.) When I heard these two combined it was an instant "O" face. I bussed the two, threw a stereo comp on it and closed my eyes... This is where I believe ribbons should receive more noteriety. Flip the Royer around and swap the phase. (More "sheen".) Royers take EQ like a fat kid takes Little Debbie's also.... So don't be reserved on a little hype in the frequencies if it's what you want... All in all, I just dropped over 2 grand here at Sweetwater on a bulk purchase... the Royer is my sigh of relief. I truly have all the tools I need to make a good album now. BTW, I'm tracking an "in-the-box album." Complete with Superior Drummer 2.0, Komplete 5, Bass, electrics, acoustics, and vocals. I'm not rich by any stretch of the means. It took time to acquire what I have... But if you add all that up, it still falls miles short of a professional studio and the results I'm getting have been nothing short of absolutely professional....and believe me I'm picky. So take my word and don't blow thousands on gear in an age where technology has afforded the broke fella a means to sound pro if the music is good. The two main elements in mixing are EQ and Compression. I've tracked on outboard gear that I could trade out and get a house for. If your ears are good, (and this is the determining factor), you can achieve what you want. A good start however, is a mic that's gonna let you hear in playback what you spent all that time sounding like what you wanted it to. So in sum, The Royer R-101 is a worthy investment... Hope this helps!

  • from Waldorf, MD July 11, 2011Music Background:
    PRO HOBBYIST

    Great Mic Period It's a must have!

    Really shines on electric guitars!!! Have not tried it on anything else, because i bought it just for recording amps... everything just sets in the mix right...used with a Cloud lifter and the Mico pre amp.

  • from Dallas, TX June 22, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician / Producer

    Amazing Mic!!

    The Royer R-101 is an incredible value. Amazingly well built and it comes with a great shock-mount and hard case.

    So far I've only used it on electric guitar, but I can tell you that I've gotten the best tone, that I've ever had a chance to capture in 15+ years of studio work. I've always heard that Royers sound like you're in the room with the sound source, but what really surprised me is how much this mic captures the air around your tone. There's a sense of depth and punch to this mic that is absolutely stellar!!

  • from Waldorf, MD June 17, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Hobbyist

    Great Mic Period It's a must have!

    This is my first Ribbon...I kinda jumped in the deeper end of the pool and I'm glad i did. Sounds fantastic on amps!!! It's really what I bought it for (have not tried it on anything else...Yet). I don't know how it stacks up against other ribbons but it sounds like what I always though a great guitar amp recording chain should sound like. Really improved how the guitar tracks sit in the mix. It's a must have for recording guitar amps.

  • from San German, Puerto Rico July 5, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarrist, Recording Engineer, Producer, Grammy voting member

    So far.......so very good

    Sweet on guitar cab. The beauty of capturing the breaking sound of the amp just when it's about to saturate. Be able to thrown high SPL's at it. All this and more................price;ess

  • from Tempe, AZ January 18, 2012Music Background:
    Serious Hobbyist / Semi-Pro Engineer

    Excellent Ribbon!

    Bought this mic for the sole purpose of micing guitar cabs, and for that purpose this mic is a champ. It sounds great solo, as close to ear-neutral as I have heard from a mic, but even better mixed with a second source (right now I am favoring it paired with a Sennheiser e609). I have used it on a couple sessions and have been very happy both times. It feels very well built and sounds great, what else can I say. Very recommended!

  • from Brooklyn, NY USA March 15, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer, Music Producer

    Clear and Honest

    Very nice for the price! Super clear and honest for fat electric guitar tracks. Sounds as good as ribbon mics twice the price, maybe not quite as versatile, but what a deal! I compared guitars parts recorded with this mic to tracks I did with the higher end ribbon mics and I really couldn't tell the difference. Add a Sen 421 to the mix and you'll be recording huge guitar tones!!!

  • from Nashville, TN March 5, 2013Music Background:
    Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Engineer

    Not for Every Use, but Good

    It's possible I may have a bad copy, but I've used this mic on a few things, such as Drums, Guitars, Acoustic, etc. and we weren't very impressed. Obviously, it's not the R121, but my FatHead mics seem to have more body and less distortion than the Royer. Trying the back-side of the mic was good for Acoustic guitar, and it performed well as a room mic, but didn't do so well on electric guitars. It had too much of a muddy nasal sound for our taste. We went back to a Fat-Head, and got more of what we were looking for. I still use the Royer, but it's not the first thing I grab. We rented an R-121 fro a local studio and it performed better.

Questions about the Royer R-101?

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