The AEA KU5A is an ideal ribbon microphone for studio or stage use. Given the legendary fragility of ribbon microphones, many experienced engineers tremble at the thought of live applications for ribbons, but the KU5A handles it without breaking a sweat. Its grill is one of its many smart design attributes, as it protects the KU5A’s interior components so well, a dynamic vocalist can sing directly into the grill of the KU5A at full volume on a stage. In a studio environment, have no fear using the KU5A cozied right up to the grille of the loudest amp in the house. Loud enough to peel paint. Technically speaking, that’s 135 dB.
The active electronics in the KU5A interface seamlessly with any preamp commonly found in studios or on stages, so no extra hardware is needed for use with your live rig; its acute directionality rejects bleed from other instruments, room reflections and any other loud ambience.
The Supercardioid Ribbon
The KU5A’s supercardioid polar pattern captures pure, direct sound while rejecting room tone from behind the mic. The advantages provided by this attribute are vast. In the studio, you prevent bleed from other instruments and in a live environment, you effectively muzzle the audience. Since the bleed signals that traditionally find their way into dynamic mics and condensers are generally percussive and bright, their absence makes for a warm, rich and inviting performance reproduction. Singing and playing through the KU5A sounds soothing andf natural as a result of a smooth top end that settles wonderfully well in a mix.
Active and Flexible
The active KU5A comes with a custom transformer and features JFET electronics. It has the same custom transformer as the AEA A440, R84A, and NUVO ribbon mics, but provides greater output, less audible noise, and stable impedance. This allows for consistent frequency response and greater flexibility with different preamps, even those within audio interfaces. The boosted output of the KU5A is beneficial when recording quiet sources like vocals and soft acoustic guitars, and the active circuitry prevents noise interference. The KU5A operates with standard 48-volt phantom power.
If you are fond of ribbon tonality and want to capture the direct sound of your instrument without room reflections and bleed, the KU5A is a perfect choice. Its smooth ribbon midrange softens the sibilance that a condenser often accentuates, and its extended top end mitigates the need to blend it with other microphones for more bite.
Sources within 3 inches of the KU5A will benefit from the warm tonality of its proximity effect, and the mic can handle 141+ dB SPL at 1kHz. High volume sources will not damage the KU5A’s interior components, so the mic can be positioned just inches from a guitar or bass amp. However strong bursts of air may damage the ribbon, so exercise caution when positioning it in front of a kick drum. Air bursts produced from vocalists will not damage the KU5A ribbon, as it is the most protected of any mic in the AEA lineup.
The KU5A has an integrated electronic high-pass filter that can be engaged with an external pushbutton switch. This filter smoothly rolls off low-end with a 6db/octave shelf at 283 Hz. The switch activates the KU5A’s near-field mode for optimal close-range performance. This high-pass filter was designed specifically for singers who use the KU5A on the road and in the studio, and allows its user to position the mic right up against the source without experiencing overwhelming proximity effect.
Touring bands rely on the durability and low-profile of the KU5A for sound reinforcement at live shows. At outdoor festivals and indoor theaters alike, the KU5A is equipped to bring studio sound to the live stage. Its integrated windscreen protection prevents interference at windy venues and its active electronics allow flexibility with any mixing board or audio interface.
- Supercardioid pattern minimizes bleed
- Detailed top end with ribbon warmth
- Durable for close-range, outdoor and live use
- Front address design is simple to position
- Integrated high-pass filter switch reduces proximity effect
- Matte black finish films well
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