Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-2 by edva
The Cloudlifter CL2 is the two channel version of the simple yet effective, and high quality, product sold by the Cloud Microphones company, which boosts the signal of low-output microphones. Its primary intended use is with dynamic ribbon microphones, which are notorious for having very low output levels.
The Cloudlifter will add approximately 25 db of very clean gain to the mic's signal, before the pre-amp, allowing for significantly lower pre-amp gain settings, and therefore less overall noise. This can also be a benefit for some moving-coil dynamic mics with low output, i.e. the SM7b.
Physically, the CL2 "Mic Activator" (as silkscreened on the top) resembles a DI box, and has no controls, only a pair of XLR ins on one side, and a pair of XLR outs on the other side. The outs go to your existing pre-amp, and must receive phantom power from it in order for the CL2 to function. The unit is powered by phantom, but will not pass it through to the mics, which are plugged into the inputs on the CL2. (So the Cloudlifter cannot be used with mics requiring phantom power).
I tested the CL2 with several ribbon mics, (Beyer M160, M260, Fathead II, GT Velo 8, Cad Trion) and a few pre's (LA610, AV 737, RNP, MM STT-1), and in all cases the boatload of extra gain was very welcome, and the resulting tracks had less noise than if the pre's had been cranked high enough to match the levels attained with the CL2. It did not seem to color the sound, nor to add any detectable noise of its own. A great product for ribbon mics.