the t.bone RB 500 Bundle

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My RB500

JulianH., 16.12.2010
The t.bone RB500 is an inexpensive china tune with - if you like a bassoon in principle - excellent sound.

Specifications

The RB500 is built as an Alctron RM-11 and is available as an OEM at other companies under the names Nady RSM-2, Apex 210 or ShinyBox 23 and is modeled on the legendary RCA 44 of 1932. In spite of the great variation of the manufacturers, in terms of the shape and color of the case, there is the inner life, the "motor" of the Chinabänder in only two versions: short or long ribbon. The short (RM700, RB100) are somewhat more linear in the middle, the long ones have another top end, are thus more suitable for voice. Michael Joly of OktavaMod writes good articles about this.

sound

I bought the RB500, after I have found that capacitors in the affordable price class as well as basically strikingly emphasized heights, the "China heights" to fight. Since the now no longer corresponds to my sound ideas and I do not want to "saturate" this hardness with a real or false tube, I have done a few experiments and finally ended up with the ribbon principle.
So I have made myself smart, learn that the cheap belts, there are big production tolerances, so order two: the better I keep.
Yes, there comes the package, the mics actually sound a bit different in the heights (but negligible), are even slightly different (the locking screws) and the sound - so wonderful! So I imagined that. Where are the highs (I already read), reederegelt, then the noise rises, well, there must be something still superior ... But how good sound stereo recordings, Blumlein, acoustic guitar!
- I've kept both of them.
The sound is so wonderful. The level is so low, that you have to experiment with a lot, so that you get the noise in the case of quiet sources (singing, guitar). The processing is conceivably coarse (as impatiently assembled Fischertechnik, I thought with the reinkucken ...) and invites to the further building. One can remove one or the other of insulation material and resonators, replace the transformer with a higher quality (Lundahl LL2913, 60EUR), or activate the mic with the phantom power "Ribbon Booster" from the magazine Sound & Recording.
What it actually brings: subtleties. Small but audible improvements in noise, clarity and frequency response.

Supplement on 1.2.2012: Ca one year and many assignments later ... As before, the tapes work well and are always used again and again. However no longer for everything :-) Have very good results erziehlt to trumpets and amps. In special cases (and in good sounding rooms) also recommended for overheads and certain vocals (m / w). Sometimes kicking is a problem because of the bad suspension, but they fit well into the spider of the AKG P220.

Conclusion

Buy it! This is a funny piece of microphone technology, which with some feeling and knowledge can even become a useful tool.
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Pearls before the sun!

Mischka0815, 25.07.2012
A pearl among the micros really does not deserve to hang on a lousy rushing preamp. With this bundle, the price ratio must of course be maintained, but even to appreciate the really excellent features of this microphone at all you need (!) A preamp, which costs nunmal a multiple of it. You could say, the micro is too cheap and the preamp just too cheap ... The RB-500 I can absolutely recommend the Presonus I can use for other things, but not for just this micro. The asterisk rating is of course difficult ... The pop screen, however, is a damn good choice for a ribbon! The Sssnake cable is mandatory, but it should be noted that the microphone is not a jack, but an already installed cable.

Who cares, my individual reviews of the two main components looked like:

RB-500

My expectations were quite high after I had dealt with reviews and samples of this and other technically identical just differently labeled microphones. What I connected there and could extensively try eg on vocals, guitar, double bass, drums and Mundhamonika is pretty much what I expected! One provides a very balanced, nowhere intrusive or bland signal that could be blindly identified as a ribbon, if not for this unusually soft treble drop, which makes the frequency range fantastically supple up to 18 kHz. I am delighted to have a mic whose output suits me best in most applications without the EQ hanger. It is important, of course, that you can enjoy the brilliance of a ribbon only with a good low-noise preamp, which annoys me only by buying a bundle with the Presonus TubePre, because this is just the opposite. With clean amplification, on the other hand, you can capture a sparkling cymbal as well as a screeching guitar or a rumbling bass with the RB500. Very nice thing!

Presonus Tube Pre

Nothing for tapes, because they need a lot of gain, which the Pre Although offers, but with too much noise. I have bought it as a bundle with the RB 500 ribbon, and unfortunately has to say that this combination is really only for loud sources such as amp acceptance to use. The Dudeln on an acoustic guitar you get effectively only with a signal-to-noise ratio of at most 30 dB leveled. On the mic it's not, even without the input you would like to turn on at 60% transistor and without a tube not further, since it is already starting to annoy. If you grind the tube, this is more than doubled, but the tube saturation is anyway not very nice to have to install somewhere. In a reasonable comparison, I still have a SM Pro TB 202, which roars a bit more, but pleasantly distorted. You will not believe it, but my Behringer Mic 100 for 35 EUR is actually the "cleanest" of the three! I'll take a second tube out of sheer curiosity.
Otherwise, the device makes NEN quite robust impression and the features are of course in order, the level display seems to be reliable. The pad switch acts only on the XLR input, for whatever reason, it does not itch me. An on / off switch would have been nice.
Conclusion: if you want 30 dB gain and who is not looking for a nice tube saturation, you can spend 90 EUR or use any mixer input. If you are looking for a Fancy DI box with external power supply, you are well served. But if you want to capture acoustic instruments, no screaming vocals or the room, for example, with a ribbon micro, is hopelessly lost with the Presonus Tubepre (unless I was just unlucky with my copy). Anyway, I've learned that I should stop looking for good tube preamps in the price segment. So keep an eye on the low price!
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