No it is for ribbons like for condensers: there are cheap ribbons made in China and expensive ones made in Europa or USA. Ribbons are not better than condensers, just different. Because they are passive (except some models who have an internal preamp), they have a very low output. Then the preamp quality may be more critical for them than for a condenser mic. I would not advise ribbons as a first pair of mics.
Just for a quick illustration, I attach two files that I got back from my HD, the beginning of the arietta of Beethoven's opus 111, one recorded with European ribbons, and the other oen with USA condensers, both pairs costing about the same in Europa (less than 1000 €).
In many situations ribbons can be extremely helpful and often, just way to go when we talk about long (or large dimensions) ones. The very first advantage would be since the pickup element is much longer than any other mics (about 2") the vertical directionality is limited, which greatly helps with ceiling and floor reflections. As such in many situations (esp. with low ceilings) they might be the only choice (in this respect, the M130 being a small ribbon (only 1" long) is not representative). Second, since the ribbons have a virtually perfect fig.8 pattern (actually, Royers because of their patented assymetrical pickup would not be the first choice here) they are the best choice for MS recording.
While I agree the Samson, Rode, and MXL small diaphragm mics have those quality,
I think that the Rode NT5 is worth a bit more respect. It was in the 19 most appreciated mics in the big comparative test of 61 small diaphragm condensers made by Mike jasper forTape Op on last year.
Ah, yes. Actually, it is my understanding they are the same as SP4. The only reason I excluded them is since they are Ausies, for US or UK folks the customer service is much easier with the Studio Projects. Mike Jasper had the complete, unabbridged article on his site. To bad it is down at the moment. I will ask him as for what's up with that.
I haven't tried the Rode NT5, but I've tried the Rode K2 and was not pleased with a nasal tone for piano. I even replaced the tubes with matched pair of NOS 1964 Siemens CCA tubes and it little to improve the sound. I ended up returning the Rode mics.
Definitely, the K2 is just a wrong mic for the application. It is OK for some, albeit limited vocal applications, and some rather blue-grass stuff, but not a classic piano. The NT5 on the other hand is a SDC SS mic, so completely different animal. Usually, I avoid the LDC for piano.
I agree with Didier that ribbon mics will not make great first mics. I've also thought about using a Ribbon mic for getting a darker tone on piano, but their slower transient response will sound blurred or sluggish on larger pianos. If one is absolutely intent on using Ribbons for piano, then the Coles 4040 might be your best bet as the highs are more extended to 20kHz than other ribbon mics which fall off after 15kHz.
I actually disagree. But again, everything depends on every particular situation. As I already mentioned above, the ribbons are unmatched for MS, which I prefer for such an unpredictable situation as a regular living room. Second, again, as I mentioned before, the ribbons unique vertical directivity qualities can solve a lot of room problems. Third, for "too lively rooms" with lots of high end resonances and ringing their natural top roll-off might be just a ticket for a nice a balanced recording. Fourth, their "slower transient response" is a myth. In fact, often, their transient response is equal, and even superior of that of condensers, due to lighter mass of the diaphragm and means of damping.
The main difference being, the condensers are tuned to the middle of the range (somewhere in the 900-1300Hz range, with a peak sometimes as large as 60dB) and apply a lot of acoustical resistance in order to damp that huge peak to get a flat response. As opposed to that, the ribbon's tuning resonance is out of the bandwidth, usually somewhere in the 16-45Hz range. Across the bandwidth they usually work as a strict mass controlled system, do not exhibit usual non-linearities associated with condensers, and loaded just with mass of air (which provides efficient enough damping, except of that on mid and low part of the bandwidth, where additional damping is needed to get rid of resonant modes, which is done by means of the additional screen installed right in front of the ribbon itself).
Due to those (as well as some other) differences, the ribbons actually can sound much more natural than any condensers could possibly dream.
Having said that, I would never buy a mic based on anybody's suggestion (including mine), or the fact it worked for somebody else, without trying it in your particular situation. You know, it is like getting married on advice of your best friend, who tells you: "It feelz'n'workz good, maaaan"!
On the other hand, it is my strong believe, while electronics themselves (including microphone, preamp, and AD converter) are important, they are only some 30% of the final sound. Piano and room aside, the rest 70% of the sound is a microphone position and exactly right microphone technique, for each particular situation... and we even do not touch mastering phase, which is an art in itself...