Tritonaudio FetHead - Studio Preamplifier

£30.77
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Tritonaudio FetHead - Studio Preamplifier

Tritonaudio FetHead - Studio Preamplifier

RRP: £61.54
Price: £30.77
£30.77 FREE Shipping

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Description

Many dynamic and ribbon mics have low sensitivities and need at least 60 dB of gain for good results. Good question! If you’re using an interface which is fairly standard in podcasting circles, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for example, it has preamps for each of the mic inputs built-in. These will be fine for a condenser mic which outputs a hot signal but to get to the level you need when using a dynamic mic, you’ll need to crank up the gain. Your Fethead Phantom will latch straight onto any XLR equipped microphone, or anywhere else in the signal path between microphone and preamp/mixer.The electronics are housed in a robust metal chassis with a balanced female XLR input and a balanced male XLR output, rugged enough for use at home, in the studio or on tour. There’s a metal sleeve with branding on it that fits around the main metal tube—don’t worry if this comes loose (it’s glued on) as it won’t affect how it works. Triton Audio has created a powerful little device it’s FetHead (and FetHead Phantom for condenser microphones) that allows an artist of any budget to reach their fullest potential.

Despite not being a traditional preamp, Cloudlifters have become a recognizable name and device for a reason. Using this low noise solution to increase loudness is a game-changer for low output microphones. Cloud Microphone’s Cloudlifters offer a powerful effect at a lower price point than many competitors. Much like the CL-1, the FetHead circuitry relies on phantom power to work. The amplification provided is super low noise, and with a frequency range from 10Hz – 100kHz, the boost received is incredibly transparent. The low noise amplification means that when using a sensitive microphone, the usable dynamic range is extended ensuring any quiet vocals retain high audio quality. The FetHead requires phantom power, so it works using balanced XLR connections, and you can’t use it with a USB-only mic. For the sake of a fair experiment, the variable element will be the activator, and the controls will be the interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 nd gen) and our microphone of choice (Rode Procaster which does really benefit from the boost of a device like these).

Tech Specs

Nevertheless, FetHead wins out where budgets are concerned. While both devices are well suited for budget or mid-tier mic choices, they are built to last and may outlive your current microphone’s lifespan. Keep this in mind when considering the differences between the two. Now we know a bit more about the products and have analyzed how they work in a variety of tests, what have we learned? Well, the noise floor on the FetHead is higher than that of the Cloudlifter, however, that is to be expected as the FetHead provides a higher boost overall. The Dynamite DM-1 from sE Electronics is closer to the FetHead in styling than any of the other options and is another direct-to-mic option unlike the Cloudlifter, the Durham and the McBoost.

Radial Engineering’s McBoost unit is the first in this roundup to have some additional features in comparison to the other models. There are switches to change both the load and level settings and also a gain knob to turn the gain up and down when the level switch is set to variable.

Elevate the Performance of Your Dynamic and Ribbon Mics

These mic activators can add a much-needed boost to your noise floor without marring the quality of your output. It’s as simple as plugging in your XLR cable, adjusting the gain, and making sounds! Additional resources: Offering 20 – 25dB of low noise transparent gain, the CL-1 has the ability to adapt to the output of your microphone of choice. This two-stage gain boosting, along with tailor-made impedance loading, makes this a catchall mic activator that can adapt to get the most out of your microphone. The aim of the FetHead is to boost the signal cleanly by up to 20dB before hitting the mic-pre so you can use less gain and have a cleaner recording. It does this by using double jFET configured as a double class-A amplifier which is super clean and is conveniently powered by the phantom power from your pre. Phantom power is not passed through the FetHead and so you can use it safely with ribbon microphones (a phantom version is available if you want to use a FetHead with a condenser)

Your Fethead will latch straight onto any XLR equipped microphone, or anywhere else in the signal path between microphone and preamp/mixer.The electronics are housed in a robust metal chassis with a balanced female XLR input and a balanced male XLR output, rugged enough for use at home, in the studio or on tour.

One of the biggest fears of using a plug-and-play solution for passive ribbon and dynamic mics is getting enough additional gain. Despite its small size and ability to attach directly to your microphone, FetHead’s ability to increase the loudness of any sound input, whether for music or videos, should not be underestimated. Specs The FetHead has a simple, tube-like construction with a robust metal chassis. It has an XLR connection at each end, one for your mic input (3-pole female XLR connection) and the other for your cable output (3-pole male XLR connection). EIN is used for specifying noise levels in pre-amps. It’s quoted as a negative value in units of dBu, and the lower the EIN, the better. Incidentally, the Phantom version does pass on phantom power since it’s designed for use with condenser microphones. If you want your Shure SM57 to perform to the best of its ability, you need to give it some gain. For most, an inline preamp like the Cloudlifter or Fethead will be a great choice – they’re portable, convenient and low cost.

Do not fear however, for TritonAudio have released the "Broadcast" FetHead which has a fixed gain, no matter what the input impedance. It's nearly double the price however, so those like myself hoping to save a much loved but underpowered preamp may feel the investment would be better spent toward a mic pre upgrade. The FetHead works with dynamic microphones (both moving coil and ribbon) but not with condenser microphones. We noticed an improvement on all tested microphones. A Shure SM57 for instance, sounds more responsive over a broader frequency range. When mated with a high-end dynamic microphone like a Sennheiser MD441, or Shure SM7 our FetHead really shines. Some microphones need a lot more gain than others. Think ribbon mics and broadcast dynamics such as the GearSlut's favourite SM7B and RE20.

Very high quality outboard preamps can cost thousands of dollars so for the average podcaster, models at this price range don’t make too much sense unless money is no object. My audio interface or mixer has a preamp built-in, why do I need another one? You may be wondering, however, about using phantom power with a dynamic or ribbon microphone— shouldn’t you avoid doing this? Triton Audio is a European company which is based in the Netherlands and that’s where its FetHead unit it built. Cloudlifters benefit from the simplicity of their construction. The sturdy steel box sports just enough outlets and connectors to get the job done. This no-frills, high-quality design means that it can withstand show after show.



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