Royer R-122 MKII

Active Ribbon Microphone with 15dB Pad and Bass Roll-off Switch
Royer R-122 MKII image 1
Royer R-122 MKII image 1
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Royer R-122 MKII
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The Most Versatile R-122 Yet!

NEWS: Royer Labs has been given a GRAMMY award for their outstanding ribbon mics! In the words of the Academy, these mics "were revolutionary and moved the art of recording forward."

Royer has enhanced one of their most popular ribbon mics with the R-122 MKII active ribbon microphone. This version packs the same impressive output and flexibility as the original R-122, with the addition of a 15dB pad and a bass roll-off switch. Now you can record even the loudest sound sources without worrying about overload and distortion. And you can use the R-122 MKII's proximity effect to your advantage while also cutting out mud and rumble with the switchable filter. Sweetwater has always been impressed with Royer ribbon microphones, and the enhancements in the R-122 MKII active ribbon microphone make it an amazing solution for any stage or studio task.

Royer R-122 MKII Active Ribbon Microphone at a Glance:
  • Phantom-powered ribbon mic, more sensitive than any other ribbon
  • Output similar to condenser mics due to active electronics
  • Impedance matching circuitry optimizes mic with any preamp
  • Pure aluminum ribbon with outstanding frequency response
  • Offset ribbon design handles high SPLs
Phantom-powered ribbon mic, more sensitive than any other ribbon

The R-122 MKII is a compact, monaural, phantom powered ribbon microphone. Sonically similar to Royer's R-121, the R-122 MKII exhibits a flat frequency response and a well balanced panoramic sound field, but it is 13dB more sensitive, its transient response is faster and its electronics provide an optimum load to the ribbon element at all times. Like the R-121, the R-122 MKII's ability to withstand high SPLs makes it ideal for applications that were previously considered off limits to ribbon microphones.

Output similar to condenser mics due to active electronics

The R-122 MKII is as sensitive as condenser microphones, allowing you to use practically any mic preamplifier or board preamp (even those of nominal characteristics). Conventional ribbon microphones are, on average, 15 to 20dB less sensitive than condenser mics, necessitating the use of high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers for recording softer sound sources like acoustic instruments, vocals and room ambience. The R-122 MKII contains a fully balanced, discrete head amplifier system utilizing ultra-low noise FET's. Go ahead and plug an R-122 MKII into any preamplifier with average gain characteristics - you'll get full Royer performance regardless of how quiet the sound source is, and you'll have enough gain to drive any recording medium.

Impedance matching circuitry optimizes mic with any preamp

The electronics in the R-122 MKII provide a perfect load on the ribbon element at all times, meaning that the R-122 MKII is able to deliver 100% of its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic-pre. Due to the low-impedance output, Royer's active ribbon mics can also be used with extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss.

A good impedance match is critical with ribbon microphones because impedance mis-matching "loads" a ribbon improperly, resulting in loss of low end, diminished body, lowered sensitivity and overall compromised performance. With the R-122 MKII, the ribbon element lives in a perfect world; it sees an optimum impedance match at all times regardless of the following equipment, so its performance will never be compromised by the effects of improper loading. In addition, the ribbon element can't be damaged by phantom power, electrical glitches or mis-wired cables.

Pure aluminum ribbon with outstanding frequency response

The R-122 MKII utilizes a low mass, 2.5-micron, pure (99.99%) aluminum ribbon element. The R-122's unique, patented offset-ribbon transducer assembly incorporates rare earth Neodymium magnets in a specially designed flux frame, which forms a powerful magnetic field while reducing unwanted stray magnetic radiation. The smooth frequency response and phase linearity of the R-122 MKII, coupled with its sophisticated active electronics system, enable the R-122 MKII to deliver a consistent natural acoustic performance with stunning realism. Frequency response is excellent regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbon, and off-axis coloration is negligible.

Offset ribbon design handles high SPLs

The R-122 MKII's offset-ribbon design positions the ribbon element toward the front of the microphone body, which allows for high SPL handling on the front side and the option of a slightly brighter response when recording lower SPL sound sources on the back side (3 feet and closer; phase reversed in this position).

Royer R-122 MKII Active Ribbon Microphone Features:
  • Active electronics provide high output capability, optimal impedance
  • Switchable 15dB pad and bass roll-off for maximum recording flexibility
  • High SPL capabilities for electric guitar and percussion instruments
  • Absence of high frequency peaks, "ringing" and phase shifts
  • Ribbon element unaffected by impedance/load, heat or humidity
  • Equal sensitivity from front and back of element
  • Requires +48V phantom power
The Royer R-122 MKII delivers the best of both worlds!

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Ribbon
Ribbon Type 2.5-micron Aluminum
Polar Pattern Figure-8
Frequency Response 30Hz-15kHz
Max SPL 135dB
Output Impedance 200 ohms
Connector XLR
Weight 0.68 lbs.
Included Accessories Wooden Box
Manufacturer Part Number R-122 MKll

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Just Amazing

Seriously, this may be best guitar and ukulele mic I've ever heard. I used to use Neumann KM-84s in the past, but this mic is even smoother AND, if you flip it around to the back side, it's faster on the transients. I've been using it on old Martin guitars, ukes, acoustic slide and tipple. Bass tip up is very controllable with distance from your source or use the hi pass filter. My thanks to Aric Brenner for his patience with my retentive decision-making plus the advice and knowledge that he shared with me.
Music background: Producer/Engineer

Very Versatile and Natural

First off, I have to say the customer service from both Sweetwater and Royer has been second to none. I had some issues with the ribbon on my 122 that occurred during its journey back home after gearfest, and it was resolved VERY quickly by some of the friendliest people in the industry. The mic itself is very well built, and sounds amazing. I use it mostly on Violin and acoustic guitar, and its reproduction is just so very natural and rich. Normally with condenser mic's I have found the top end on violins very harsh, but with the 122, its just right. It sounds like it does in the room. Unhyped and real. I havn't had to use the pad on it much, but when i do its very useful for guitar cab's and brass. I have a fairly decent microphone collection and this is one of my go-to mics without a doubt.
Music background: Audio Engineering Student

Very nice!!

Nothing to complain about here! This mic is very natural and smooth. No hype on any frequency scale at all....just naturally really accurate. I pair this up sometimes with my U87ai on vox to bring in that natural warmth and low end to mix with the smooth highs of the U87. No eq needed at that point! Buy it!
Music background: Musician, recording engineer, producer.
See also: Ribbon Mics, Royer, Royer Ribbon Microphones