Preamps for Ribbon Mics

Hi folks.

I was wondering if someone can make any recommendations for an affordable preamp with enough gain to handle a ribbon mic? I have an Oktava ribbon mic, but I don’t have a preamp that really has enough gain to power it. At the same time, I don’t have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend. The other thing I was wondering is, can I chain two preamps together in order to create more/enough gain for my ribbon mic?


I wonder where the problem is. According to the printed specifications, the output of the microphone for standard sound is just very slightly lower than a Shure SM58, the world standard rock star microphone. So this isn’t a weak sister ribbon.

Are you using it right? This microphone has a figure of eight pattern. It works from the front or the back (like a conventional ribbon) and has almost no pickup from the two sides. It won’t work from the top, either, so you don’t aim it at the performer like a gun.

You can have troubles if the back of the microphone is close to a wall. Reflections from a wall will partially cancel your voice. This microphone takes a little effort to use. It’s nothing like most conventional microphones.

Has your preamp ever worked? What is it?


This promo still shows more or less proper orientation for a ribbon. That’s an RCA 44BX.

It’s perfect for a two-person radio show. It saved many productions from having to go out and buy a second microphone.


WARNING - Many ribbon microphones will be destroyed if you switch on phantom power.
Check the microphone manual for details.

To answer your specific question, yes you can daisy chain microphone amplifiers, but don’t bet the farm on good results. the second one will amplify all the noise of the first one. I would expect a very hissy performance.

No, there’s something basic wrong with your setup. You never did say how your amplifier is connected to your computer. That could be where the volume is getting lost.


The ART Digital MPA-II is a relatively inexpensive microphone pre-amp with high gain (75 dB), low noise (Equivalent Input Noise: -129dBu “A” weighted), and adjustable input impedance (150-3000 Ohms). Ribbon mics tend to be affected quite a lot by the impedance load, so having adjustable input impedance on the pre-amp is a very useful feature.