Need to give your microphone an extra boost?
Item: Triton Audio FetHead, Microphone Preamplifier
Price: $99, Euro 69.95
At A Glance: The FetHead from Triton Audio is an inline gain booster for microphones. It will primarily interest users of ribbon microphones which require a lot of gain from your preamplifier (often more than the ones found in some DAW interfaces can offer); however it also works with dynamic microphones that need an extra boost (such as a Shure SM7B). The FetHead is powered by phantom power and features a low-noise Class-A JFet preamplifier design that produces 20dB of amplification.
High Notes: The FetHead is relatively inexpensive and will work with most peoples’ recording setups. If you have a microphone that you want to record with that requires more gain than your current preamplifier can offer it becomes particularly cost effective. It uses standard XLR connections and can be plugged directly into your microphone so you do not need any extra cables. As it requires phantom power, it is designed to stop any of the phantom power reaching your microphone – which can be extremely damaging to some ribbon mics. In use, the FetHead offers good quality clean amplification that is very low in noise and helps bring out the details and tonal qualities of recordings in a way that sounds natural and transparent.
Off Pitch: The FetHead needs a minimum 18v phantom power and some USB powered interfaces can only offer 15v.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Even if you are not interested in using ribbon microphones, when testing out the FetHead I found it could improve the sound quality of higher output microphones such as the Shure SM58. Purely by using the FetHead with the microphone, the lower-mid frequencies sounded better defined and the high frequencies were smoother. The difference is particularly noticeable with lower quality preamps such as the ones found in budget mixing consoles or audio interfaces. Other versions of the FetHead are also available; such as the FetHead Phantom, which is designed for use with condenser microphones as it allows the phantom power to reach the microphone.