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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

Test & Review

Are you looking for a versatile ribbon microphone for your studio recording? Whether for a vocal recording or for a musical instrument? You can choose Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 microphone. It is an active ribbon microphone which uses the same principle as dynamic microphones. Discover in this guide our complete test as well as our opinion on this microphone.

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Do you need a microphone for good vocals or for recording acoustic instruments ? Opt for the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3. This is a ribbon microphone known for producing a natural and warm sound. But what is it really worth? Discover in this article the complete test as well as our opinion on the R1 active MK3 from Golden Age Project.

Golden Age Project: is it a reliable brand?

Before we move on to testing the R1 active MK3, let's first focus on the Golden Age Project . This is important since not all microphone brands on the market are created equal. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is better to choose a reputable brand.

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3
Picture from Ofoghesmsm.com

I reassure you right away, Golden Age Project is a reliable brand that has existed on the market since 2005. This company based in Sweden specializes in the design of high-end studio equipment . It notably produces microphones , preamps , equalizers and other accessories intended for amateurs and studio professionals.

Among their greatest successes, we can note the release of the PRE-73 microphone preamp in 2006. Moreover, the famous British magazine Sound On Sound did not fail to praise this product. This magazine highlighted its performance and construction quality in particular.

What about the Golden Age Project microphones? Please note that the brand offers a wide range of choices: dynamic microphones, ribbon microphones and condenser microphones .

In this article, I will share with you the test results of Golden Age Project R1 active MK3. Let's go !

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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

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Golden Age Project R1 Active MK3 Microphone Overview

The R1 active MK3 is a ribbon microphone like the Coles 4038 and the t.bone RB 500. For information, this type of microphone benefits from the same principle as dynamic microphones. However, the moving coil is replaced by a thin metal ribbon . Hence their name ribbon microphone.

The Golden Active Project R1 active MK3 has a figure-8 directivity . This is also the case for the majority of ribbon microphones.

This type of microphone is designed to pick up sounds that come from the front and back of its diaphragm. And the sound sources on the sides are in a blind spot. This means that if you position yourself on one side of the microphone, you will not be heard.

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 package
Picture from Amazon.fr

Note that the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 is an active ribbon microphone . This is why you will need a phantom power supply to make it work. Its advantage is that it fits any preamp (like the SPL Goldmike 9844 mic preamp ) that provides 48V phantom power.

In terms of design, the R1 active MK3 from Golden Age Project combines elegance and modernity. Its body is entirely made of metal just like the MK2 . It is equipped with a 50 mm long aluminum foil strip with a thickness of 2 µ .

It is designed to last a long time, as it has a shockproof support that protects it in case of mishandling.

The R1 active MK3 from Golden Age Project comes with an XLR cable (a bit short, but no problem). On the other hand, it would have been annoying if the microphone was not delivered in its storage bag. Fortunately that is not the case. Golden Age Project microphone models , comes with a padded bag. The latter is used to protect the tape when traveling or during periods without recording.

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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

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The R1 activates MK3 and its low cut switches and 10 dB pad

The Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 has two very interesting features: the low cut and the 10 dB pad .

First, let's talk about the low-cut switch . As its name suggests, this device cuts low frequencies . So when you're using an instrument that doesn't require bass, you just flip the switch. Enough to easily eliminate parasitic sounds . On the other hand, for an ambient socket, it is better not to use this switch.

What about the 10 bB attenuator ? This is also a very practical feature offered by the R1 active MK3. Indeed, thanks to this switch, you can the microphone output level by 10 dB

This device is useful when recording sources with high sound levels . This is particularly the case for sound recordings from a guitar amp or bass drum . It will also come in handy when someone is singing too loudly.

microphone Golden Age Project R1 active MK3
Picture from Worthpoint.com

Another review guide : Ribbon Microphone SE Electronics X1R . Discover in this guide our complete test of this microphone by presenting its main characteristics, the elements delivered with the microphone, its specificity and its technical specifications, as well as some demos of use of the microphone.

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3: focus on possible applications

Want to know if you can use this microphone to record your voice or musical instruments ? Well, the answer is yes. The Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 is a versatile microphone that can be adapted to multiple uses.

This microphone can be used for voice recording . His performance remains exceptional whether on male or female voices. Moreover, you can perfectly record a duet simultaneously with this microphone. This is possible thanks in particular to its bidirectional directivity . This allows the microphone to pick up sounds coming from the front and back .

In addition to recording vocals, the Golden Age Project active MK3 can also be used for most acoustic instruments. It can be used in particular as an ambient microphone , since it effectively captures the sounds of a drum set.

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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

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This mic particularly shines on acoustic guitars. Indeed, it is capable of effectively attenuating high-pitched noises . In this context, consider using the integrated low-cut switch to reduce or even eliminate extraneous noise .

Furthermore, it is also effective on electric guitar recordings, since it softens high frequencies .

Aside from instrument recordings, you can also count on this microphone during your podcast sessions .

When it comes to gaming, opt for a USB microphone like the Blue Yeti X. Gamers will not be disappointed with the result as well as the features integrated into this professional condenser microphone.

An excellent ribbon microphone for Blumlein and MS setups

If you are used to recording in stereo , you will certainly be delighted to have the R1 active MK3 in your recording studio. For what ? Because this microphone can be suitable for and Mid-Side sound jacks .

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 packaging
Picture from Audiofanzine.com

Knowing that the Blumlein technique requires the use of two bidirectional microphones , why not use R1 active MK3? To do this, simply place two R1 active Mk3 microphones 90° apart .

Mid-Side stereo recordings . This technique consists of using two microphones: a cardioid microphone (the Mid) like the dynamic EV RE20 microphone and a bidirectional microphone (the Side). Point the first mic towards the source. Then position the second microphone below the Mid microphone so as to form a 90° angle . In this configuration, the Side mic picks up sounds from the left and right.

For the Mid, you can use a mic with a cardioid polar pattern like the Audio Technica AT4040 . And for the Side, adopt the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3.

Zoom on the sound quality of the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

Now let's move on to one of the most important criteria to look for in a microphone: sound quality .

Given that it is a ribbon microphone , I expected a and smooth sound . And unsurprisingly, the result perfectly matches my expectations. In addition, it offers exceptional details : the highs are smooth and the bass is extended . Everything is there to record sound that meets the requirements of sound engineers.

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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

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Due to its bidirectional directivity , the R1 active MK3 is particularly sensitive to the proximity effect. Thus, the closer the source is to the microphone, the more pronounced the low frequencies will be. If you have a slightly thin voice , you just need to move closer to the microphone to get a decent sound . On the other hand, if you have a deep voice , consider moving a little away from the microphone.

The R1 active MK3 has the same frequency range as its MK2 counterpart. Its lower end displays 30 Hz and 18,000 Hz for the upper end.

Another advantage of the R1 active MK3 is that it is not sensitive to the impedance of the mic preamp .

70 dB gain . This is surely a result of the fact that it is an active ribbon mic. Furthermore, it is also equipped with an integrated FET amplifier . And this is a big advantage compared to the t.bone RB 500 which is certainly efficient. But you would have to use a super clean preamp to expect a high signal level.

With a maximum sound pressure level of 150 dB , the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 can handle loud sound sources.

In addition, this microphone benefits from very high sensitivity. Enough to allow you to obtain clear sounds . It can therefore compete with condenser microphones like the Rode NT USB.

Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 ribbon microphone
Picture from Pixelproaudio.com

The technical characteristics of the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

  • Microphone type: ribbon microphone
  • Polar diagram: bidirectional ( figure 8 )
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 40 dB ( 0 dB = 1 V/Pa ) at 1 kHz
  • Max SPL: 150 dB
  • Output impedance: 200 Ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: over 1000 Ohms
  • Power type: 48V
  • Dimensions: 69 x 185 mm
  • Weight: 800g
ribbon microphone  Golden Age Project R1 active MK3
Picture from Pixelproaudio.com
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Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,7 /5
4.7/5

Value for money

4,5 /5
4.5/5

Global mark

4,6 /5
4.6/5

Our opinion on the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3 microphone

Golden Age Project R1 activates MK3? This is the kind of vintage microphone that everyone dreams of having in their home studio. Of course, it's far from perfect. But it does the job expected from an active ribbon mic. In addition, its price remains affordable.

The R1 active MK3 fits a wide range of applications. Male voice, female voice, guitar, bass drum... It's the ultimate versatile microphone.

It is even possible to use it to implement stereo recording techniques. It is particularly effective on Blumlein and MS sound jacks (if used as a side microphone).

The fact that the R1 active MK3 is an active ribbon mic is also good news for those who don't have a super clean preamp. Indeed, it can fit any preamp that provides 48V phantom power.

I also validate the low cut and 10 dB pad switches offered by the Golden Age Project R1 active MK3.

I find the low cut filter to be a boon for users who want to record a source that doesn't require bass. Just press the switch on the back of the mic and you're done. Added to this is the 10 dB pad which is very practical for regulating the microphone volume depending on the sources to be recorded.

And to top it all off, know that the Golden Age Project offers excellent value for money. In short, I recommend this model if you want to acquire a quality microphone without breaking the bank.

Golden Age Project R1 demo active MK3

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Golden Age Project R1 active MK3

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