In diffusion weighted MRI in vivo spatial and angular resolution is often limited to the macroscale regime, due to the maximum examination time that is appropriate for human subjects. Ex-vivo DWI of fixed tissue can overcome this limitation by providing large acquisition times. Therefore, a 48-channel ex-vivo brain array receive coil was developed to be used with the 3T Connectome diffusion scanner. The coil was characterized with both bench and image metrics and compared to a 64ch whole head coil. The size-optimized 48-channel array coil provides increased reception sensitivity and is well-suited for high resolution ex-vivo MRI studies.