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Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphone  From Coles

The most well known Ribbon microphone in existence.

Coles Electroacoustics


Retail:  $1,600.00

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What We Think

A modern and historic favorite among ribbon microphones, the Coles 4038 is still manufactured with the same quality that it has been manufactured with for 40 years. Characterized by its incredibly smooth sound reproduction, the 4038 has become a massive favorite with famous recording engineers for everything from rock and roll applications like drum overheads and electric guitars, to jazz applications including brass and upright bass, to classical orchestral applications. It is an incredibly great sounding and versatile classic ribbon mic. The microphones ship with their foam lined hard-plastic case, the XLR/standmount adapter, and the velvet "Crown-Royal" style microphone bag. Most buy these in factory pairs, so be sure to consider that option.

Check out the Coles 4038 in our Ribbon Microphone Shootout going head to head with some of our other favorite ribbon mics!

Ribbon Microphone Shootout

This blind Ribbon Microphone shootout features the Shure KSM 313, Royer R121, Coles 4038, and AEA R84 - all four of which are eligible for our three-year extended warranty. In addition to providing audio clips of each microphone, we explain the importance of mic placement during more precise A/B comparisons. If you'd like the results of the shootout and full length hi-res audio clips, want to set up a demo period with one of the mics, or just want to talk more about gear or plan your next studio upgrade, feel free to shoot us a quick email at mics@soundpure.com or give us a call at anytime. Thanks for watching!

Manufacturer's Description from Coles

The 4038 Studio Ribbon Microphone is of British Broadcasting design (BBC) and used for broadcasting and recording such sounds where a clear smooth wide range frequency response, absent of transient distortion and relatively high sensitivity is essential.

The 4038 has a proven reliable performance capability, being since its introduction, used by broadcasting networks throughout the world such as the BBC.

The frequency response of the 4038 is exceptionally flat from 30 to 15,000 c/s and throughout this range the shape of the bi-directional (figure of eight) polar response is maintained substantially constant both in the horizontal and vertical planes, giving a natural smooth sonic quality textured response to sound signal being picked up.

Studio microphones have now achieved a remarkable fidelity of reproduction. If the microphone is not close to perfection, there is no point in having expensive systems to take the sound the rest of the way to the audience's ears.

In the world of sound, the BBC has always been the leader, and is still regarded as the 'setter of standards'.

Coles Electroacoustics

About Manufacturer

Coles Electroacoustics has manufactured the superb BBC-designed ribbon microphones in the UK for over 30 years. Originally designed for radio and television broadcast, Coles Ribbon Mics have become primary tools of choice throughout the sound recording industry.



·Substantially flat frequency response from 30 to 15,000 c/s

·Extremely low (non-linear) distortion

·Exceptionally low hum pick-up

·Bi-directional (figure of eight) polar curve shape accurately maintained in both horizontal and vertical planes

·Excellent transient response

·Natural clear balanced response to sound signal

·Body shape to enhance acoustic performance

·Clear natural high fidelity sound reproduction

·Smooth sonic textured response

4038 High Fidelity Ribbon 

·Pressure gradient transducer ribbon microphone

·Low mass damped ribbon to control transient response

Polar Response     


Magnetic Fields     

·By use of hum neutralising wiring and magnetic shielding of the toroidal ribbon to line transformer 30 to 40 dB reduction is achieved in response to stray disturbing magnetic fields

Frequency Response         

·30 Hz to 15,000 Hz

·All microphones factory tested in free field conditions


·300 ohm


·-65 dB W.R.T. IV/Pa


·Less than 1% at 125 dB SPL


·By means of 4069 3 pin jack plug. Pin 1 positive - Pin 2 negative - Pin 3 screen

Body Housing       

·Made of heavy gauge perforated brass backed by finely woven monel mesh. Rotating hinge connection allows microphone to tilt through 90° and turned in any direction when either suspended or free standing


·7¼" (197 mm) x 3¼" (83 mm) x (61 mm).


·2 lb. 6 oz. (1.08 Kg).


·Black stove enamel textured paint


·Each microphone comes in a foam lined rigid plastic carrying case with 4069 jack plug, and soft cloth protective bag, for safe keeping.


·4071B Mic to stand adaptor with XLR

·4069 to XLR   

·4072 Antivibration mic to stand adaptor

·Soft cloth protective bag

·Foam lined rigid plastic carrying case

Sound Clips