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Affordable Ribbon: Shinybox or Cascade Fathead
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pmdundee
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#1
29th September 2006
Old 29th September 2006
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Affordable Ribbon: Shinybox or Cascade Fathead

Darn Tape Op gear reviews..... I was all set to get a Shinybox 46, which they had already given a stellar review, and then they have to go and review the Cascade Fathead and also give it a stellar review.

Anybody used both and can offer up a hear-to-head? I'm looking for the closest thing to a poor man's Royer on electric guitars and want great sound on drum overheads/room, and vocals.

Sheesh, being a Gearslut is stressful.

Thanks, all!
Eric
#2
29th September 2006
Old 29th September 2006
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Great question...I too am currently in the same boat and would also like peoples experiences with them on guitar cabs. I also cannot afford a Royer :(
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29th September 2006
Old 29th September 2006
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Karma phantom powered ribbon....
#4
30th September 2006
Old 30th September 2006
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I have a Shinybox on the way right now, and I'm going to ride it down to Michael Wageners place in a couple weeks and we are going to run it through its paces.

More to come!
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pmdundee
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30th September 2006
Old 30th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud View Post
Karma phantom powered ribbon....
Can you tell me more? Is it good for the sources I want to use it on?

Thanks for the suggestion!
Eric
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30th September 2006
Old 30th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdundee View Post
Can you tell me more? Is it good for the sources I want to use it on?
It will probably be easier to tell when it actually is shipping. Currently in "Pre-Order Sale."
pmdundee
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10th November 2006
Old 10th November 2006
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bout time for a bump...

The Avantone CR-14 is also another candidate in this price category, so opinions on it would be great too.

Thanks!
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11th November 2006
Old 11th November 2006
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i've never used the fathead, but if you get the shinybox w/ the transformer upgrade (i own the 46c), you will not be disappointed.

great mic.

-ryan
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11th November 2006
Old 11th November 2006
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Thanks for the tip, Ryan. That Shinybox (46C) is the one I was looking at after reading the review in Tape Op. Tape Op gave a big thumbs up to the Cascade, too, and a pair of them is cheaper than one Shinybox. Plus Cascade just redesigned the Fathead to be big enough to cram upgraded transformers in, so I was going to go that route if I got them. Sigh....
#10
11th November 2006
Old 11th November 2006
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My friend works at jrrshop.com and the owner had a custom run of ribbons ordered from China. It is based on the Nady design, but it comes stock with a better output trans... You could always throw a lundahl in there instead.

Anyway, they sound really really cool. I shot it out against a Royer 121, and the Royer won hands down (louder output, smoother midrange, no muddiness in bass), but the Chinese ribbon was close.
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#11
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubedude View Post
I have a Shinybox on the way right now, and I'm going to ride it down to Michael Wageners place in a couple weeks and we are going to run it through its paces.

More to come!
thumbsup

Clips!
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12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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First thing MIchael said that day was "I'm dont want any of these clips posted or getting around on Slutz or anywhere, and I'm going to keep my mouth shut about it, but you are free to express your own opinions about the mics" or something to that effect.

We tried about, I dunno, 15 mics on the same D.I.'ed dirty guitar part. The top 5 in my opinion (and perhaps some other peoples as well, no names) were the Royer 122v, the Royer 121, Shinybox (though the Royers were better) and the GT convertible and the Senn 409 (the actual one used to record the vocals to BALLS TO THGE WALL). I think the Mojave tube mic was pretty nice too. The sore losers in this battle were the SM57, the e609 Silver I brought with me and a couple others.

I posted a clip of the Shiny, raw and straight in, with a drum loop and fake bass line. Do a search. Its not bad for untouched.
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12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubedude View Post
The top 5 in my opinion (and perhaps some other peoples as well, no names) were the Royer 122v, the Royer 121, Shinybox (though the Royers were better) and the GT convertible and the Senn 409 (the actual one used to record the vocals to BALLS TO THGE WALL). I think the Mojave tube mic was pretty nice too. The sore losers in this battle were the SM57, the e609 Silver I brought with me and a couple others.

I posted a clip of the Shiny, raw and straight in, with a drum loop and fake bass line. Do a search. Its not bad for untouched.
Which Shinybox were you using, tubedude? Did you have a chance to try it in other applications? Thanks!
#14
13th November 2006
Old 13th November 2006
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Slightly off topic

There's a bloke on here named Lynn Fuston who made a CD called Ribbon Roundup. It is a comparison of all the major ribbon mics and a few cheaper ones. The Shiny Box and the Cascade are not represented per se, but it was an education none the less. He has several comparison CDs but so far I have only bought the ribbon one. Well worth the $35usd or so that I paid.

http://www.3daudioinc.com/catalog/

Hope this helps.
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13th November 2006
Old 13th November 2006
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Look on Ebay or the Gearslutz classifieds for Beyer ribbons. I bought the M260 and the M500 and haven't regretted either. I use them on Elect Gtr, Vox, OH. Excellent mics. $300-500 range.
#16
13th November 2006
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+1 on the Beyer ribbons. Reasonably priced (if you are patient) and very useful mics. The M160 and M500 in particular.
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15th November 2006
Old 15th November 2006
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yeah I have a beyer m260 from the 70's and it's awesome. I have put several o.k. singers in front of it and I came out with several GREAT recordings before even touching eq and compression.
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#18
15th November 2006
Old 15th November 2006
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I finally tested out my Shinybox 46MX on the weekend and I'm very happy with the results. It seemed very "plug and play". Before I used to mess with SM57 positioning, different cabs, different amp settings, but the 46MX was just right from the get go. I can't wait to do a full song with it. That's coming soon! Will keep all you slutz posted!
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21st March 2010
Old 21st March 2010
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I had a pair of stock Shinybox. Then got an original Fathead for free when I bought a SM7 (included in the deal).
The fathead worked perfectly on guitar cab through my quad eight. I hadn't used the Shinybox since I got the Fathead so I sold them in an attempt to thin out my mic selection.
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21st March 2010
Old 21st March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdundee View Post
Darn Tape Op gear reviews..... I was all set to get a Shinybox 46, which they had already given a stellar review, and then they have to go and review the Cascade Fathead and also give it a stellar review.

Anybody used both and can offer up a hear-to-head? I'm looking for the closest thing to a poor man's Royer on electric guitars and want great sound on drum overheads/room, and vocals.

Sheesh, being a Gearslut is stressful.

Thanks, all!
Eric

Poor man's royer, my inclination would be to use the fathead or fathead II. The Shinyboxes however sounded, with the most impressive null points i've ever heard. I mean, dead silence at the null points. There's three of em, and they're each a little different. I've only used the shinys at AES. I had a fathead two for a while that I was borrowing from a friend so I've had a bit more experience with that.
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#21
22nd March 2010
Old 22nd March 2010
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I have a ShinyBox 46L w the Lundahl tranny and a Joly modded Nady RSM-4 also w/ a Lundahl - which is essentially the same mic as a Fathead.

First I don't know if anyone pointed out that they represent 2 different types of ribbon design. The Shiny is a long ribbon motor and the Nady/Fathead is a short ribbon. By specs alone the Shiny has a more open top end and a little more girth in the low end. The Nady/Fathead will have a little more midrange presence but the highs will actually drop off earlier - somewhat beyond a guitars range anyway. I actually prefer the Nady on guitar cab but both will give you a usable sound. I like the Shiny better for a room mic for drums or whatever. If your sole or main use is for guitar cabs I would recommend the Fathead or Nady equivalent with the Joly upgrade mods - it just voiced better for guitar and its shape and size make it easy to handle and place.

my.02
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22nd March 2010
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really love the Shinybox MXL's for overheads thumbsup
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29th April 2010
Old 29th April 2010
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Anyone tried sowters in these mics (shinybox or cascade) instead of the cinemags and lundahls? I need to make a big buy from Sowter for a vari-mu project and saw they have a 1:40 transformer for ribbons.
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30th April 2010
Old 30th April 2010
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I'm in love with my Fatheads. I haven't tried the others, so I'm not much help, but they are great mics. Cascade does good stuff.
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30th April 2010
Old 30th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmdundee View Post
Darn Tape Op gear reviews..... I was all set to get a Shinybox 46, which they had already given a stellar review, and then they have to go and review the Cascade Fathead and also give it a stellar review.

Anybody used both and can offer up a hear-to-head? I'm looking for the closest thing to a poor man's Royer on electric guitars and want great sound on drum overheads/room, and vocals.

Sheesh, being a Gearslut is stressful.

Thanks, all!
Eric
I have used both but currently own the Cascade Fatheads, I plan to get a pair of the Shinybox 46MXL at some point to add to the collection.

I think both work great on guitar cabs but they have slightly different characters to their sound and that can change ever slightly more depending on your choice of transformer.

I've heard great things about the Karma ribbon but I haven't used that particular mic.

But all in all I'd say you can't go wrong. I don't think any of the above 3 options will really sound just like a Royer. None of them are designed like the Royer so physically it won't be able to produce a similar tone at least imho. You might get a general ballpark but those slight differences in materials used, design of the mic body and capsule, etc really make a huge difference in tone.

Personally given the grab of Fathead or Shinybox 46 my reach would be for the Fathead. More midrange detail was evident in my use with that mic and I'm all about mids on guitars.
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#26
30th April 2010
Old 30th April 2010
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Dr. Bill is going to be presenting a series of ribbon mic shootouts soon - he'll have samples of "long ribbon" mics like the Apex 205 and "short-ish ribbon" mics like the FatHead and Nady RSM-4/5 on a range of sources and room postitions. This should really help people hear and understand the audible difference between these two standard Chinese ribbon motor types.
#27
18th May 2010
Old 18th May 2010
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shinybox w/lundahl and standard fathead 2 on trial

We recently trialled a standard fathead 2 and a shinybox with lundahl tranny in a friend's studio whilst doing a horn section recording.
Basically we recorded both at the same time on sax and then on trombone.
We decided that we liked the shinybox better on both, however they both did a proper stand up job! The difference on horns was definitely marginal, but the shinybox had a little more sparkle and better low end too. I was quite surprised, because I thought the shinybox with the upgraded tranny would be significantly better.
This did persuade me that a couple of fatheads would be a perfect addition to my mic locker. I think from what he said, the engineer really liked the cascade on guitar cab.
We ended up using both on the session, the shinybox on the sax and the fathead on the bone. Both sounded great with no eq, really fat and lovely.
For what its worth the studio owner bought the shinybox and sent the cascade back, since he only wanted one for the time being. I think he was pretty reluctant though, and wanted them both!
I have some apex 205s which I use on horns (you might have noticed i am a bone player!) which i believe are basically the same design as the shinybox without the aftermarket ribbon tensioning and tranny work, (although I have done a little work of my own on them). I love em and use them daily on horn duties in my own studio.
long
#28
18th May 2010
Old 18th May 2010
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shinybox w/lundahl and standard fathead 2 on trial

We recently trialled a standard fathead 2 and a shinybox with lundahl tranny in a friend's studio whilst doing a horn section recording.
Basically we recorded both at the same time on sax and then on trombone.
We decided that we liked the shinybox better on both, however they both did a proper stand up job! The difference on horns was definitely marginal, but the shinybox had a little more sparkle and better low end too. I was quite surprised, because I thought the shinybox with the upgraded tranny would be significantly better.
This did persuade me that a couple of fatheads would be a perfect addition to my mic locker. I think from what he said, the engineer really liked the cascade on guitar cab.
We ended up using both on the session, the shinybox on the sax and the fathead on the bone. Both sounded great with no eq, really fat and lovely.
For what its worth the studio owner bought the shinybox and sent the cascade back, since he only wanted one for the time being. I think he was pretty reluctant though, and wanted them both!
I have some apex 205s which I use on horns (you might have noticed i am a bone player!) which i believe are basically the same design as the shinybox without the aftermarket ribbon tensioning and tranny work, (although I have done a little work of my own on them). I love em and use them daily on horn duties in my own studio.
long
#29
28th January 2011
Old 28th January 2011
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Kind of an old thread, but I got a pair of Fat Heads last year. Gotta say I was quite surprised of the quality for the cost. I was expecting much, but the reviews let me to buy them. They are more than a decent mic. Money well spent.

Actually loaned them out 2 weeks ago, and I am really missing them for my guitar cabs right now.

JROD
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