MXL R77 Ribbon Microphone Review

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The R77 microphone front
MXL R77 Ribbon Microphone (front)

MXL R77 ribbon microphone is a classic ribbon mic that looks beautiful and delivers a vintage, classic, natural sound and realism that a great ribbon microphone is known for producing.

Setting at the upper end of MXL’s ribbon microphone offerings, the R77 is a natural upgrade from the entry- level R144 mic.

In this MXL R77 review, we’ll look at its sound compared to other ribbon mics from the same company to hopefully help you decide on whether you should buy it.

The R77 Look and Feel

The MXL R77 ribbon looks like some thing you mite see at the Oscars. With its classic kind of pill shaped body with shiny chrome and gold finish, it is undoubtedly an eye-catching, beautiful ribbon mic.

Don’t underestimate the lovely look of the mic. You want to sing into something that you like too.

MXL R77 features a hard mount yoke that attaches to your mic stand. You might have to bring the mic out a little bit to attache the cable but it a solid mount that compliment the overall look and function.

There are no bells and whistles to this microphone, no pads or filters, just plug it in and you’re good to go.

the beautiful MXL R77 ribbon mic from an angle
The beautiful MXL R77 ribbon mic

MXL R77 Ribbon Sound

There is more to the MXL R77 than just the shiny metal body and the stylish look. A lot of pizzazz but a lot of great sound too. The mic features a 1.8 micron, 2 inch aluminum ribbon element and has a frequency response of 20Hz to 18kHz.

While its ability to handle SPL levels of 135dB makes it great for horns and electric guitars, the figure 8 pickup pattern helps in rejecting noise from the sides of the mic making it great for reducing ambient noise.

The mic is also internally wired with premium Mogami cabling which should reduce self noise.

According to MXL, the R77 has “more extended upper-range sensitivity than other ribbon mics” which makes it more preferable in application that needs more clarity.

back of MXL R77 Ribbon Microphone
MXL R77 (back)

Sound wise, it has a warm sound with a solid good low end and a full midrange.

Compared to its discontinued brother: the R44 Ribbon, the front side of the R77 is the brighter side, while the back side is the darker side. Though, there is less of a difference between the two sides and it seems to be a more neutral mic as where the R44 has a little bit of color and there’s a little more dramatic difference between the front and the back of the R44.

However, that does not mean that the R77 mic is not versatile. This mic is extremely versatile and works well on every application. It’s very, very pleasing on drum room, vocals, electric guitar cabs and acoustic guitar. It woks well with the dynamics of each of those instruments. The brighter cleaner sound of the front side works really well with adding a nice presence and cut to vocals and drum room and the darker, more, I guess natural sounding side of the back works very very well with electric guitars giving you a nice full thick sound that you would want in that application.

The R77 is also great for broadcast and podcasting. The classic radio sound that was known for many, many years was done with great ribbon microphones and the R77 is a great choice if you want the same great classic sound with modern tech that will make the sound even better.

Something also worth mentioning is that a lot of project studios have a lot of ambient noise going on inside their room and because this microphone has a figure 8 pattern with sound rejection from the sides, all the noise sources like computers and hard drives and the refrigerator that are, hopefully, placed wisely to the sides won’t get picked up on their recording.

MXL R77 Ribbon Specs

Type:Ribbon Velocity Microphone
Ribbon Element:1.8-micron aluminum ribbon
Frequency Range:20Hz -18kHz
Polar Pattern:Figure-8
Sensitivity:-55 dB (0 dB=1V/Pa)
Impedance:270 ohms
Rated Load Impedance:>1500 Ohms
Max SPL for 0.1% THD:>135 dB @1 kHz
Size:65mm x 180mm/2.56 in x 7.09 in
Weight:860g/1.9lbs
Metal Finish:Gold and Chrome
Frequency and polar pattern for the MXL R77 ribbon microphone
MXL R77 frequency & pickup pattern

MXL R77 Package and Accessories

MXL R77 microphone package
The R77 comes in a nice package

The MXL R77 comes with a nice aluminum flight case for protecting the mic when traveling or just for storing it safely.

The package also includes a small desktop mic stand so that you can use this mic for broadcast application like radio and podcasting.

A nice addition is the XLR mic cable from Mogami which is a well-known manufacturer for high quality audio cables.

Finally, they throw in a micro fiber cleaning cloth to help you keep oil, dirt and fingerprints off the mic and keep it looking real nice and functioning for a long time.

MXL R77 Ribbon Price

The R77 is a reasonably priced microphone. Although not a “budget” mic, it is easily withing grabs for a home studio guys and gals and is a great addition to for project studios as well.

The manufacturer’s suggested price (MSP) for the R77 is $599 but it actually sells for only $399.

That’s said, it’s some times hard to find so if you spot one, just grab it immediately.

Bottom Line

All in all, the MXL R77 ribbon is a very nice looking microphone, very versatile, internally wired with Mogami cabling, comes with the cabling and all nice accessories at a great price point and would be a great addition for those looking to add a ribbon microphone to their arsenal or want to upgrade their current entry level R144.

If the MXL R77 is a little out of your reach, check out their budget ribbon mic: the r144 with is the least costly ribbon mic on the market. Here is our review for the R144.

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