For starters, MXL R40 is the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version of MXL R144, so they both are almost entirely identical, except for a few different tweaks that makes them distinct. Even though being an OEM product, we can still purchase MXL R40 in several places, especially the online stores. The price difference between R40 and R144 is not a total giant as well. As you may have guessed, MXL R40 is slightly cheaper than MXL R144. So, which one that we should get?
MXL R40 is a solid ribbon microphone with an elegant appearance. It features a passive circuitry that maintains the signal pure from noise and disturbance. Thus, the audio output’s character is uniquely classic, smooth, and warm. The frequency response range spans from 20 Hz to 17 kHz, and like other ribbon mics, it has a figure 8 (bidirectional) polar pattern. Due to the design, MXL R40 sounds equally good from the front and the back, also slightly clearer and fuller on high-ends and low-ends than MXL R144. You need to remember not to use phantom power on the mic because the passive circuitry can be broken that way.
MXL R144 has an extremely similar appearance with MXL R40, except for the alteration of the color with a darker blue hue. It also has a passive circuitry that is claimed to be able to tame even the harshest voice. It uniquely has less bass and noticeably smoother, generating a very natural and classical audio. Though it has a figure 8 a.k.a. bidirectional polar pattern, it sounds brighter from the rear than the front.
MXL R40 Vs R144
|MXL R40||MXL R144|
|Key Features||- Robust ribbon mic sets a new standard for price and durability.
- No active electronics to color sound
- The rich sound of ribbon mics made affordable for the home studio.
- Frequency range: 20Hz-17kHz
- Polar pattern: Figure 8||- Includes R144 ribbon microphone, shockmount, carrying case, cleaning cloth, manual & application guide
- Figure 8 polar pattern for outstanding side rejection and precise directivity
- High SPL capability
- Delivers unbelievably natural sound and stunning realism to vocal and instrument recordings|
|Ratings||4.4 out of 5.0 stars||4.5 out of 5.0 stars|
|Best Deal*||Save money
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Both MXL R40 and MXL R144 has their own special traits. MXL R144 is able to provide tender and mellow output. However, for practicality and flexibility reasons, MXL R40 is more likely to be a better value than MXL R144. You can use both the back side and the front side of the product, and have a stronger audio presence across the frequency range.