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Royer Labs R-122V Vacuum Tube Active Ribbon Microphone  From Royer

The pinnacle of Royer's R-Series line, a world class tube ribbon microphone exhibiting unparalleled richness, depth and detail, particularly in the midrange frequencies. With a lushness that has to be heard to be truly appreciated, the R-122V offers the ultimate in ribbon microphone performance for those who insist on the very best.

Royer Labs


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Manufacturer's Description from Royer

The R-122V takes the Royer-pioneered concept of active ribbon microphone technology to an unprecedented level by incorporating vacuum tube electronics into the same proven transducer system used in the venerable R-121 and R-122 ribbon microphones. The high operating voltage of the vacuum tube provides headroom far beyond that available from a standard phantom power supply. Sonically this translates into unmatched clarity, detail and airiness, along with the ability to handle brute SPL levels without flinching.

Recording with the R-122V is a revelation. The realism, warmth, openness and detail have to be experienced to be believed. Asked to describe the R-122V's sound, a prominent Los Angeles based engineer said "You combine what's best about the R-121 and R-122 into one mic, sprinkle fairy dust all over it, and you have an R-122V." Not technical, but well put.

In classical recordings, the R-122V is used on woodwinds, strings, percussion, brass, room, even the Decca Tree. They make excellent spots. If condensers are used as spots, R-122V's at a distance (2 to 6 feet) add dimensionality, warmth and size to the recording. The microphone has ample gain to capture even the quietest instruments, and its low output impedance allows for long cable runs with no signal degradation.

On applications like electric guitars and drums, the "reach" and lushness of the R-122V helps capture drop-dead tracks.

The R-122V is the pinnacle of Royer's R-Series line, a world class tube ribbon microphone exhibiting unparalleled richness, depth and detail, particularly in the midrange frequencies. With a lushness that has to be heard to be truly appreciated, the R-122V offers the ultimate in ribbon microphone performance for those who insist on the very best.

The R-122V's head amplifier consists of a low-noise, triode-connected military grade 5840 vacuum tube. Designed for a wide range of applications, the R-122V offers superb transient response and the drive capabilities only a vacuum tube head amplifier can provide. The circuit is devoid of typical vacuum tube coloration.

The R-122V's triode-configured cathode follower circuitry enables the microphone to drive long cable runs without sonic degradation or high-frequency loss. This capability is further enhanced by the R-122V's dedicated power supply, which provides ample current to the vacuum tube electronics. Induced noise is virtually eliminated by the microphone's fully balanced output, which is electrically isolated with a special purpose Jensen output transformer.

Like the phantom powered R-122, the R-122V has far more level than non-powered ribbon microphones and its impedance matching circuitry places a perfect load on the ribbon element at all times. This allows the use of a wide variety of mic preamps without concern for gain and impedance matches, two critical issues with ribbon microphones. All of the R122V's increased output comes from its large, specially designed toroidal transformer, so there is no additional noise associated with the microphone's higher output.

The R-122's proprietary offset ribbon transducer (Patent Number: 6,434,252) positions the ribbon element closer to the front (logo) side of the microphone than the rear. This arrangement gives the ribbon more room to move within the prime magnetic field while maintaining full frequency response during high SPL recordings. It's an integral piece of the magic of all Royer R-series microphones.

At distances of three feet and closer, the back of the R-122V records slightly brighter than the front side. This can be extremely useful when recording acoustic guitars, vocals, and other sound sources for which you desire a slightly brighter response.



  • Vacuum tube electronics provide high output capability, optimal impedance to the ribbon element and low output impedance

  • Extremely low self-noise

  • Operates from a dedicated power supply

  • High SPL capabilities for electric guitar and percussion instruments

  • Absence of high-frequency peaks, "ringing" and phase shifts

  • Ribbon element unaffected by impedance/load, heat or humidity

  • Very low magnetic leakage

  • Equal sensitivity from front or back of element

  • Consistent frequency response regardless of distance

  • Rear side of mic records slightly brighter when three feet or closer to sound source



  • Orchestral miking, close and distant

  • Strings - solo & sections

  • Acoustic Piano, Harp, etc.

  • Electric Guitar

  • Acoustic Guitar

  • Vocals, Commercial Broadcast, Voice Over

  • Brass, Horn Sections

  • Drum Overheads, Room Miking

  • Percussion Instruments


Royer Labs

About Manufacturer

After years of designing and manufacturing microphones in Los Angeles, David Royer teamed up with Rick Perrotta, former President and co-founder of the prestigious Matchless Guitar Amplifier Company, and together with studio owner Rafael Villafane and musician/marketing director John Jennings, formed Royer Labs, a California based company dedicated to the development and production of high quality ribbon microphones and transducer elements. DAVID ROYER Best known for his ribbon mics, David has designed countless other mics and outboard devices that are in use throughout numerous LA studios. When David's not designing new gear, his idea of fun is climbing desert mountains or pounding dirt roads in his new pickup. RICK PERROTTA Rick Perrotta's name may sound familiar - he and Rafael Villafane owned LA's Baby-O Recorders during the 80's, then Rick went on to co-found Matchless Guitar Amplifiers, where he was President and Production Chief of the prestigious amp line until 1995. At the helm of Royer Labs, Rick brings an extraordinary level of craftsmanship to every Royer microphone (hold one in your hand and you may never give it back!). JOHN JENNINGS John worked for years as a guitar player and singer, in the studio and on the road. He took an 8-year detour into the corporate world as VP Sales & Marketing for an LA communications firm, but came to his senses in 1996 and ditched the suit to get into pro-audio manufacturing and sales. John handles sales and marketing for Royer Labs. RAFAEL VILLAFANE Rafael Villafane co-founded Baby'O Recorders with Rick. He has produced a #1 and numerous top ten hits in the US and abroad. He drinks too much. Owns a club in Acapulco (Baby'O). If you can prove you own a Royer product, the first ten tequilas are on him---really. Drives too fast. Been doing a record for ten years he STILL can't finish. Has a six-second attention span. He torched a school with young pal Jeff "Skunk" Baxter in Mexico City when they were kids. What else? Oh yeah, he's Mexican... nobody's perfect. CHRIS PERROTTA As another co-founder of Matchless Amplifier Company, Chris was responsible for the high quality detail work that Matchless is famous for, including the light up "dashboard" and three dimensional logo. At Royer, Chris is the chief mechanical designer and another confirmed precision freak. Every Royer microphone owes its beauty and elegance to Chris wonderful interpretations of the designers art.


  • Acoustic Operating Principle: Electrodynamic pressure gradient with vacuum tube

  • Vacuum Tube: JAN mil-spec 5840W pentode wired in triode configuration

  • Polar Pattern: Figure-8

  • Generating Element: 2.5-micron aluminum ribbon

  • Magnets: Rare Earth Neodymium

  • Frequency Response: 30 -15,000 Hz +/- 3dB

  • Sensitivity: -36 dB (re. 1v/pa +/- 1 dB)

  • Self-Noise: < 18 dB

  • Output Impedance: 200 Ohms, balanced

  • Rated Load Impedance: 1 K-Ohm

  • Maximum SPL: >135dB SPL @ 20 Hz

  • Power Requirements: Plate supply: 135 VDC @2ma, Filament supply: 6 VDC@ 150ma from dedicated power supply.

  • Dimensions: 206mm L, 25mm W (8 1/8 " L, 1" W).
    Weight: 300g (10.9 oz )

  • Finish: Dull Satin Nickel/Matte Black Chrome optional

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R-122V User Manual