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  • Do you distribute to other regions outside the U.S.?
    We do many sales around the globe and are happy to have the interest of international customers, but as a small company shipping direct to consumer, there are tax and import costs you should consider before you order. If you are purchasing outside the U.S. you will likely have to pay your country's import and tax costs to the carrier in order to receive the package when it is delivered. Make sure to look up the import costs for your country before purchasing so you are not surprised by this charge. If you have not imported a product direct from a foreign company before or if you have any questions about international sales feel free to reach out through the contact page.
  • How do repairs work?
    We subsidize repairs at Alder to make them as affordable as possible. We view repairs as a support of our customers rather than a source of income. Currently for a re-ribbon of an Alder microphone, including return shipping, we charge just $30 for U.S. customers and $50 for international. For other kinds of repairs we welcome you to get in touch, and we will quote you the best price we are able to.
  • How do returns work?
    For returns, we offer a no questions asked full refund of the purchase price within 30 days of the mic being delivered. If you need a return, simply reach out through email and we will get you set up to ship the mic back to us. International customers should consider that we are not able to refund shipping costs, and while a refund of tax and import costs is sometimes possible, it must be requested to your local authority separate from the product return.
  • How do I choose between the H44 and the H44S?
    For most people, unless you know you are specifically looking for a symmetrical mic, our recommendation is to go with the more versatile H44 rather than the H44S. For most people the versatility of two voicings is quite a bit more valuable than a symmetrical response. While the H44 is asymmetric, the polar pattern is still a perfect figure 8, and it does work well in Blumlein and mid side recording situations. We believe there is really no downside to an asymmetric ribbon, however, we are aware that some people prefer a symmetrical response. There can be a number of reasons for this preference, one of which is just the simplicity of not needing to worry about which side of the mic is which. The summary is that for those who know they want it, we are happy to offer the symmetrical H44S, but if you are trying to decide between the two versions our recommendation is generally always to go with the H44.
  • What effect does herringbone corrugation have on the sound of the mic?
    When we test a herringbone ribbon next to a standard corrugated ribbon, we can detect no audio differences of any kind. We believe that the underlying reason for this is that, just as ribbon mic makers have said for decades, the nature of the way the ribbon picks up sound is dominated by its mass and resonant frequency. In contrast, there is a method called “piston” corrugation, which does have a different sound than regular corrugation. This is because with the piston method the shape of the corrugation changes through the length of the ribbon, which encourages some sections to vibrate more and some to vibrate less. By contrast, our herringbone corrugation is consistent through the full length of the ribbon, which leads it to vibrate just like a standard ribbon does, but with the benefit of increased durability.
  • Why don’t the mics have a noise floor listed?
    Noise floor is primarily applicable to active microphones like condensers or active ribbons. Active mics have a quantifiable consistent noise floor that comes from their circuitry, but passive mics do not. This does not mean that they have zero noise, but rather that the noise floor is dominated by interference at the mic location. If you could isolate a ribbon mic in an area truly devoid of interference, there would be zero noise. Reducing noise pick up is something we are very intentional about at Alder. Noise can be induced in ribbon mics primarily in two places, the transformer or the ribbon motor itself. At baseline, Alder transformers resist noise pickup due to being a toroidal design, which can often be used without shielding. However, over time we received feedback from a few customers using the mics in areas of higher interference who were hearing some buzz. This was investigated and we decided to update the transformer design to include a full mu metal magnetic shield on every transformer. After making this change we have gotten very good feedback on how our mics perform in the field with regard to noise. However, even with a super quiet transformer, it is still possible to induce buzz in the ribbon motor of any ribbon mic with magnetic interference. You can hear this if you hold a ribbon mic right next to a guitar amp transformer, dimmer light switch, or other sources of magnetic interference. This effect is very similar to what happens with 60 cycle hum in guitar pickups, but it is not nearly as strong. Most of the time, buzz of this kind can be solved by turning off or distancing the mic from the source of interference. In rare cases the electrical surroundings of a building may pose noise challenges for all ribbon mics. If you believe this is the case in your location, the volume of the noise will significantly change based on the direction the mic is facing and you will also get an extreme amount of 60 cycle hum from standard single coil guitar pickups. If you have concerns about ribbon mic noise pickup feel free to reach out through the contact page. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.
  • Do Alder mics require phantom power?
  • Will phantom power damage Alder mics?
    In short the answer to this question is no, but it’s worth mentioning one caveat. The only way you will harm an Alder mic with phantom power is if you somehow cause a short while phantom power is on. This is generally not something you want to be doing at any point for the sake of the phantom power supply and any mic you have hooked up to it, not just a ribbon. It rarely happens, but it is possible in one situation that is worth looking out for. If you are running phantom power through a patch bay that uses TRS connectors and you plug or unplug a TRS cable while phantom power is on, there is a chance you will briefly short the plug against the connector. This is something you should pay attention to avoid in all cases no matter what mic you are using.
  • Is there a shock mount available for the H44?
    We recommend the Rycote InVision USM shock mount for use with the H44. The H44 is an uncommon diameter (1.5in/38mm) and it can be difficult to find a mount that fits. It is best to find a universal style shock mount that lists a diameter range that will fit the mic. There are a small handful of possibilities on the market and the Rycote InVision USM is the most reliable we have run across so far.
  • Is there somewhere I can go to try out the mics in person?
    If you are local to Michigan there is currently one place where you can find our mics in person. That is Pursell Lutherie in Ferndale. The shop has a demo station where you can try out an H44 with headphones, and they be happy to have you stop by.
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