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Ribbon mic preamp
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Vivalarte
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#1
29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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Ribbon mic preamp

Hi I just bought Oktava Ml 52-02 Ribbon mic.I wonder what budget preamp would You suggest?
[I have just ordered M-audio Dmp3 but thats for my Rode and AKG condensers.]
Thanks.
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29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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29th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintime View Post
What about getting a Triton Audio FetHead to use with your DMP3?


Does this thing work well? Does it "improve" the sound or is it only to boost the sensitivity of the preamp? I have a few ribbons, but my Great River and AP-1 provide great amplification to the ribbons; why would I need these? Just asking......
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29th September 2009
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Ya what is the deal with this thing - I have a SB 46mxl which I find too noisy for vox after I add the neccesary gain with my pres (Ensemble, RNP, Thermionic Culture Rooster) - could this thing help???
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29th September 2009
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what price range for the preamp? That makes a big difference. You have to be careful with ribbon mics because they usually need a lot of gain, so if you get a wimpy preamp you might get a wimpy signal.
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29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude G. View Post
Does this thing work well? Does it "improve" the sound or is it only to boost the sensitivity of the preamp? I have a few ribbons, but my Great River and AP-1 provide great amplification to the ribbons; why would I need these? Just asking......
Yes, the FetHead works well, unlike the Rode D-PowerPlug which is excessively noisy. The FetHead provides 20 dB of clean, uncoloured gain. An important feature of the FetHead is its high input impedance which at 22 kOhms is much higher than that of a typical mic preamp. This high impedance means reduced loading on the mic. This usually results in a substantial change in the sound quality of dynamic and ribbon mics and is usually perceived as an improvement.
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29th September 2009
Old 29th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintime View Post
What about getting a Triton Audio FetHead to use with your DMP3?
Bought one.
Use it.
Recommend it.
#9
30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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I use a RNP with a beyerdynamic M500 ribbon mic. It does great and you have another channel to spare. I also use a vintage altec lansing 1592A mixer. it has tons of gain and they are still out there for a couple hundred dollars. Walter
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30th September 2009
Old 30th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostintime View Post
Yes, the FetHead works well, unlike the Rode D-PowerPlug which is excessively noisy. The FetHead provides 20 dB of clean, uncoloured gain. An important feature of the FetHead is its high input impedance which at 22 kOhms is much higher than that of a typical mic preamp. This high impedance means reduced loading on the mic. This usually results in a substantial change in the sound quality of dynamic and ribbon mics and is usually perceived as an improvement.


Thanks. I have a few ribbons like Beyer, RCA, Shure and Fat Head. I love the Fat Head with one of my preamps; an ADK AP-1.....AWESOME! I'll def try out this Fethed because of the loading feature.....
Vivalarte
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30th September 2009
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Fet-Head

Ok Thanks for so many interesting suggestions . Looks like Fet-Head is the choice.
But as I presume in case of a ribbon mic the Phantom on Premp should be turned off ?
Or Fet- head allows it to be on ?
#12
30th September 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivalarte View Post
Ok Thanks for so many interesting suggestions . Looks like Fet-Head is the choice.
But as I presume in case of a ribbon mic the Phantom on Premp should be turned off ?
Or Fet- head allows it to be on ?
The FetHead is an active device, therefore phantom power has to be switched on in order for it to work. Phantom power is not passed through to the microphone.
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1st October 2009
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Phantom on

That explains all.Thanks
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1st October 2009
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Another +1 for the FetHead. Great device. I recently discovered pairing it with my SM-57 can give it a lot better tone, much more high-end than without.
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1st October 2009
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The TRUE Systems ribbon pre or simply grabbing a Golden Age PRE73 on a budget would work, both should have gain to spare in nearly any situation.

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3rd October 2009
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Of course, "budget" is a rather subjective term. For the sake of some truly usable options for ribbon microphones, let's consider budget to be under $1000.

For passive, traditional ribbon mics, the TRP from AEA truly is the way to go. Every ribbon mic benefits from this preamp. The extremely high impedance of this mic (18kOhms!) and the 83 dB of clean pure gain allow ribbons to breathe and have depth without experiencing the lower-mid bloating that is all too common with "regular" preamps. Plus you have enough gain to drive a vocal or acoustic string instruments. Keep in mind that this is a two-channel unit and that it is fantastic on tube and dynamic mics, too.

Another preamp that works well with ribbons is the Universal Audio Solo 610, or the LA610mkII for that matter. Considering that this design comes from a time when more than a couple RCA mics were the norm on a typical recording session, the 610 HAD to sound good with ribbon mics. The sound is a little on the big and round side in the lower register, but it's nothing that will ruin your day. A good high pass filter will cure it. However, I will say that the LA-610mkII will have one distinct advantage over the Solo 610; selectable impedance. You can set the LA-610mkII to 2.0kOhms and a ribbon will come to life.
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#17
4th October 2009
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I like the i88x pre's. Cheap and clean, quiet, plenty of gain for ribbons. Can be used standalone.
Vivalarte
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7th October 2009
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Presonus Eureka vs Focusrite isa one for ribbons

Hi what do You think of these Preamps for my Oktava ml 52-02
Presonus Eureka Channel Strip Mic Pre or Focusrite isa one or should I I stick to previous suggestions and save money for
AEA TRP
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7th October 2009
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The ISA One is not in the same league with the others you mentioned. It truly rocks. Highly recommended.
Vivalarte
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8th October 2009
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Focusrite isa one

I have just bought Focusrite ISA One and Triton Fet Head.I will try it on my Oktava ml 52-02
#21
15th October 2009
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WOW!! Got the Fethed from Madooma in Germany....this thing is magic! Don't know that I could ever use a ribbon w/out one of these on it....makes a huge difference! I'm buying a few more for my other ribbon mics!!!!!!
#22
15th October 2009
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Quote:
simply grabbing a Golden Age PRE73 on a budget would work, both should have gain to spare in nearly any situation.
How noisy is it at high gain settings (+50) ?
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#23
21st October 2009
Old 21st October 2009
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Fet-Head

So Finally my Focusrite Isa One has arrived and I had a chance to check it with Oktava ml 52-02.In my opinion Fet Head makes hell lot of a difference.Without Fet head this Excellent Preamp while setting gain to high
gives You some noise.
With other condensers ie AKG c2000B and Rode NT1a Focusrite in terms of power is suficient, so being so clean does not need Fet-Head.
So far I am happy with the choice however I will still consider Ribbon dedicated Preamps.
#24
23rd October 2009
Old 23rd October 2009
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Another thumbsup for the AEA TRP. It's the dog's bollocks as the Brits say.
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26th October 2009
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picked up a true systems p solo ribbon for my R84, and i've been super impressed. nice, simple high pass filter, and gain for miles. beats out all my other high end pres for anything other than guitar amps and vox...
#26
28th October 2009
Old 28th October 2009
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Another vote for the True Systems P-Solo Ribbon micpre thumbsup...but this is not a budget gear. Has plenty of gain, a lowcut and sounds sweet.
Works fine with Crowley & Tripp, Royer and AEA ribbons.

Herb
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13th May 2010
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Has anybody compared the P-Solo Ribbon against the AEA TRP?
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13th May 2010
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Look for whatever will give you 70 dB of amplification with the
least noise. If you ever want to use old RCAs, look for something
with 50 ohm input impedance as well. These are things which are
not found in lower cost preamps.
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26th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Cibley View Post
Look for whatever will give you 70 dB of amplification with the
least noise. If you ever want to use old RCAs, look for something
with 50 ohm input impedance as well. These are things which are
not found in lower cost preamps.
Some help over here would be appreciated.

AEA TRP or True Systems P Solo Ribbon to drive a pair of vintage Ribbon Mics
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#30
25th August 2010
Old 25th August 2010
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This thread is relevant to my interests.

I just got my first ribbon (Apex 205 soon hopefully to be modded) and I'm currently sending it into my Focusrite Saffire 40. It's a very dark mic and I'm wondering if a dedicated ribbon preamp would make much of a difference vs only using the fethead?

The FetHead's price tag is certainly nice but I'm wondering if something like the AEA TRP would be a better investment since I'm wanting to add a 2nd ribbon in the future.

Or should I just get the fethead and see what I think and then go from there?
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