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Triton Audio FetHead VS Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter Ribbon Microphones
Old 1st August 2011
  #61
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Apprentice's Avatar
 

results yet?

I'm anxiously waiting for the A/B test result of Fethead & Cloudlifter.
I "almost" purchased a new preamp w/ high gain for my sm7a, but I'm glad I found about these options. This means even my GT Brick can push sm7a!
Old 8th August 2011
  #62
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D-Fyant's Avatar
So I bought the fethead (for now), and it works great for what I needed it for. No more driving the pre73 too much when a cleaner sound is required for the job. Very very quiet as advertised

I am a little disappointed in the fact that hooking my mxl mic mate pro up to it doesn't quite work ; I usually use a budget condenser for my mobile recordings but would've loved to be able to use my sm57 or sm7b instead since the room isn't normally treated while on the go. Not sure why it doesn't quite work....
Old 19th August 2011
  #63
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Hey Rodger,

Figured I'd ask this question here rather than an email for the benefit of others. I already own a couple of Fetheads, but I am shopping for a Royer SF-12 and plan to purchase a Cloudlifter to dedicate to it. Would it be possible to modify the CL-2 with a 5-pin XLR on the mic end to eliminate the splitter? One less thing to lose or go wrong.

Thanks.
Old 20th August 2011
  #64
Gear Nut
 

What happened to the comparison/noise test....talked about 2 months ago...? Silently dropped?
Old 20th August 2011
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl_Lohninger View Post
What happened to the comparison/noise test....talked about 2 months ago...? Silently dropped?
Like most announced comparisons or files on GS I guess?

"I'll upload files/pictures/results later on"

...nothing happens...

And I rarely expect results to show up, altho' I REALLY appreciate when they actually do!

Posted via the Gearslutz iPhone app
Old 21st August 2011
  #66
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I already have two Fetheads so if I get a Cloudlifter I'll happily post a comparison. Just depends if I can install a 5-pin XLR on the CL-2, which I should be able to do as long as the jacks aren't circuit board mounted.
Old 22nd August 2011
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Give me about...one to two weeks...we will line up a test between the two on maybe acoustic guitar and vocals which are pretty revealing as far as tone differences and hearing self noise. I guess I'm like the only place on earth that has both, but we prefer letting you hear stuff rather than just spouting opinions.

Back soon.

War
One or two weeks? It's been more than two months. If you don't have time for a shootout, you may as well give us your opinion; that'd be better than nothing.
Old 26th August 2011
  #68
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k.guitars's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by k.guitars View Post
I already have two Fetheads so if I get a Cloudlifter I'll happily post a comparison. Just depends if I can install a 5-pin XLR on the CL-2, which I should be able to do as long as the jacks aren't circuit board mounted.
Just to follow up, a used CL-2 showed up on Craigslist so I grabbed it. I did a casual comparison between it and the Fethead using a backward R-121 on acoustic guitar. I wanted to use my SF-12 but it seems my second Fethead has grown legs and wandered off. To be honest, the difference was very, very subtle. Maybe the CL-2 is a touch more open in the upper-mids and highs, but it's really, really close with my setup. I am using a very coloured pre, a BAE 1073MP, so any differences may be masked by it.

The really good news, for me at least, is that you absolutely can install a 5-pin XLR on a CL-2. Now I can connect my SF-12 directly without the splitter cable, and I'll continue to use the Fethead on my R-121.
Old 26th August 2011
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.guitars View Post
Just to follow up, a used CL-2 showed up on Craigslist so I grabbed it.
If it's a first-generation one, this comment from Stephen Sank should interest you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Sank
Regarding the updates I’ve made to the CloudLifter circuitry, I want to add here that, OF COURSE, any owner of an early 2-channel CL unit that is having any RF or other noise issues is quite emphatically encouraged to send the unit/units back to Cloud Microphones or even directly to me(address on my site, stephensank.com) for FREE update to the current circuit configuration. We only ask that you pay shipping to us, and we will pay shipping back to you.
At this point, we have tested the current CL units in the worst environments & with the most interference-sensitive mics(plastic body Beyer M320 being a great one for that), and I do feel that I’ve made the CL circuit as immune to environmental interference as any low level audio device can be made to be. Even the earliest CloudLifter units do have RF suppression. It just wasn’t “aggressive” enough for the worst case mics & environments. It inevitably takes time to find out just how much worse user conditions can be than what a designer like me originally anticipates.
I must admit, that's an impressive way to stand behind one's product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k.guitars View Post
I did a casual comparison between it and the Fethead using a backward R-121 on acoustic guitar. I wanted to use my SF-12 but it seems my second Fethead has grown legs and wandered off. To be honest, the difference was very, very subtle. Maybe the CL-2 is a touch more open in the upper-mids and highs, but it's really, really close with my setup. I am using a very coloured pre, a BAE 1073MP, so any differences may be masked by it.
What about noise? Can you compare the noise between "amp + CL-2/FetHead" and "amp alone (with 20 db more gain)"?
Old 26th August 2011
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post
If it's a first-generation one, this comment from Stephen Sank should interest you:
Turns out I've dealt with the guy I bought my CL-2 from, everytime I find something cool on Craigslist here in Vancouver it's almost always the same handful of guys. My CL-2 is just over a month or so old and he bought it mail-order so it's cheaper to sell it than return it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinocelt View Post
What about noise? Can you compare the noise between "amp + CL-2/FetHead" and "amp alone (with 20 db more gain)"?
Just from my quick run-through, I didn't find either to be noisy at all. I'm recording a string quartet on Sunday with my SF-12 and will try to do a couple of passes with just the straight pre if time allows, and with the Fetheads if I can find my other one. Score one point for the Cloudlifter... it's larger and harder to lose!
Old 27th August 2011
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.guitars View Post
Score one point for the Cloudlifter... it's larger and harder to lose!


Thank you for your answers.
Old 14th September 2011
  #72
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Hey Jim,

Any updates on the noise tests you were going to run? I'm very interested in seeing what you found out.

Thx!
Brett

Sent from my ERIS-ADR6200 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 14th September 2011
  #73
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhmcc View Post
hey jim,

any updates on the noise tests you were going to run? I'm very interested in seeing what you found out.

Thx!
Brett

sent from my eris-adr6200 using gearslutz.com app
+1 +1 +1 +1 +1
Old 15th September 2011
  #74
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhmcc View Post
Hey Jim,

Any updates on the noise tests you were going to run? I'm very interested in seeing what you found out.
+2+2+2 heh
Old 15th September 2011
  #75
I hope to finish it up this weekend. So far the revised Cloudlifter with the Linear Sytems LSK170 jfets to be less noise than either the Fethead or ver. 1 of the Cloudlifter. Roger said all current versions of the Cloudlifter are using these 1 nv noise jfets from Linear Systems.
Old 16th September 2011
  #76
Gear addict
 

Thanks for doing the comparison job on these, Jim. Looking forward to what results you come up with.

Do the current builds of both of them look solid to you, or would you rebuild or change anything about the circuits or components for better performance?
Old 16th September 2011
  #77
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SynthLine09's Avatar
 

Cascade microphones has a KILLER deal going on on their website right now.

@ fatheads in a blumlein package and the 2 channel Cloud CL-2 for only $499
Old 17th September 2011
  #78
Despite a cranky PC, I finished the tests. They are in another computer and the DVD drive now won't burn so I left them in that machine for now. Otherwise I could import them here. I sent them to Roger via email. He will probably use them in ads and stuff.

Here's the bottom line:

Fethead Noise: -79 db at 5 k hz
Cloudlifter noise: -88db at 5k hz.

Frequency response: Fethead response not flat, up 3 db from 20 hz to 500 hz, down -3 db at 40 k hz.

Cloudlifter: Flat response, down -3 db at 50 k hz.

THD: Fethead .5% at -30 db input, .2% at -35 dbu input levels.
Cloudlifter .05% at -35 dbu input, .09% at -30 dbu input levels.

CMRR (common mode rejection ratio, or noise immunity):
Fethead -29 dbu, Cloudlifter -39 dbu using a very clean 48 volt supply fed into matched Dale CMF55 6.81k resistors.

I found the Fethead to be sensitive to connection problems and pin contamination. Any movement and the readings would skew. I ended up cleaning the XLR pins on the Audio Precision to get good readings.

I used a 50 ohm output impedance from the AP and 100k input impedance to eliminate any loading effects.
Old 17th September 2011
  #79
Gear nut
 
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Thanks so much Jim! We appreciate the time & effort involved.

Regards,
Brett

Sent from my ERIS-ADR6200 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 18th September 2011
  #80
Gear addict
 

This is great Jim. Thank you so much for your time and effort. Wondering if you think anything in the Cloudlifter could be improved? Would you switch any components, make any adjustments, offer a mod on it?
Old 19th September 2011
  #81
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Despite a cranky PC, I finished the tests. They are in another computer and the DVD drive now won't burn so I left them in that machine for now. Otherwise I could import them here. I sent them to Roger via email. He will probably use them in ads and stuff.

Here's the bottom line:

Fethead Noise: -79 db at 5 k hz
Cloudlifter noise: -88db at 5k hz.

Frequency response: Fethead response not flat, up 3 db from 20 hz to 500 hz, down -3 db at 40 k hz.

Cloudlifter: Flat response, down -3 db at 50 k hz.

THD: Fethead .5% at -30 db input, .2% at -35 dbu input levels.
Cloudlifter .05% at -35 dbu input, .09% at -30 dbu input levels.

CMRR (common mode rejection ratio, or noise immunity):
Fethead -29 dbu, Cloudlifter -39 dbu using a very clean 48 volt supply fed into matched Dale CMF55 6.81k resistors.

I found the Fethead to be sensitive to connection problems and pin contamination. Any movement and the readings would skew. I ended up cleaning the XLR pins on the Audio Precision to get good readings.

I used a 50 ohm output impedance from the AP and 100k input impedance to eliminate any loading effects.
Yeah, you guys and gals read that before. This is the safety copy or backup. heh

Thanks Mr. Williams, for taking the time to do this and for sharing your expertise. Much appreciated.

I guess this sums it up. Obviously, the Cloudlifter takes the cake.
But it also costs more (and it's bigger).
Both have their place, or so it seems.

Although I'm Dutch myself, I'd buy the Cloudlifter.
Plus a Fethead for the travel kit.


Henk
Old 19th September 2011
  #82
Gear Addict
 
Sinocelt's Avatar
 

Thank you for your hard work!
Old 19th September 2011
  #83
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Despite a cranky PC, I finished the tests. They are in another computer and the DVD drive now won't burn so I left them in that machine for now. Otherwise I could import them here. I sent them to Roger via email. He will probably use them in ads and stuff.

Here's the bottom line:

Fethead Noise: -79 db at 5 k hz
Cloudlifter noise: -88db at 5k hz.

Frequency response: Fethead response not flat, up 3 db from 20 hz to 500 hz, down -3 db at 40 k hz.

Cloudlifter: Flat response, down -3 db at 50 k hz.

THD: Fethead .5% at -30 db input, .2% at -35 dbu input levels.
Cloudlifter .05% at -35 dbu input, .09% at -30 dbu input levels.

CMRR (common mode rejection ratio, or noise immunity):
Fethead -29 dbu, Cloudlifter -39 dbu using a very clean 48 volt supply fed into matched Dale CMF55 6.81k resistors.

I found the Fethead to be sensitive to connection problems and pin contamination. Any movement and the readings would skew. I ended up cleaning the XLR pins on the Audio Precision to get good readings.

I used a 50 ohm output impedance from the AP and 100k input impedance to eliminate any loading effects.
Fantastic information. Thanks Jim.

It does really make one wish that manufacturers (still) provided that level of technical detail. Whatever happened to full disclosure?!
Old 19th September 2011
  #84
Give credit to Roger for sending me this stuff to test, he was open enough to find out the specs. Some don't want their products tested this way, it will expose flaws too.

The only mod I can think of in this would be to open up the bandwidth a bit more in the tops. A couple of small caps set that roll-off. 50k hz ought to be enough for most, I just like that 200k hz top end to eliminate phase shift below 20k hz.

Remember that most botique folks don't have accesss to this test equipment. That is one reason that stuff is rarely tested this way. For the majors, they have no excuse as they use Audio Precision to design their products. Most of the time they don't release those test results because folks don't ask for them.

My mom said: "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".
Old 19th September 2011
  #85
Gear nut
 
cavemusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Despite a cranky PC, I finished the tests. They are in another computer and the DVD drive now won't burn so I left them in that machine for now. Otherwise I could import them here. I sent them to Roger via email. He will probably use them in ads and stuff.

Here's the bottom line:

Fethead Noise: -79 db at 5 k hz
Cloudlifter noise: -88db at 5k hz.

...
I used a 50 ohm output impedance from the AP and 100k input impedance to eliminate any loading effects.
Thanks for the results!

Can you clarify the units? Do you mean the noise floor is -88 dBu at the output? With roughly 20 dB gain in the Cloudlifter does that mean roughly -108 dBu EIN?
Old 20th September 2011
  #86
I got a static 68 db s/n ratio on the cloudlifter. I got between 30~35 db of gain out of it loaded at 100k ohms.

I posted the hiss at offending frequencies as that is more telling of the results you will hear. That is a spot result, the graph shows that noise level from 2~20k hz.

68 db + 33 db gain = 101 EIN. If it is used in front of a very quiet mic preamp, it does degrade EIN at +60 db of gain. Load it at 2.2k ohms and gain drops a bit. Rather that spend all that time posting every gain/source/setting variation I thought general comparisons would be more useful to most non-technical folks.

The important part was testing both at identical settings to show differences between them.
Old 24th September 2011
  #87
Gear Nut
 

Your efforts are really appreciated, thanks!
Old 1st October 2011
  #88
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I got my Fethead about a week ago. Helped the noisefloor with my SM7B + GAP PRE-73 combo, and that's always welcome. I now only need to use about 30dB gain of the available 80dB. I may get another one.

I see that the Cloudlifter has better specs and seems a bit higher quality, but it would have been at least three times the price for me, and i couldn't justify it, and theFethead does a good job.

Interesting that the Fethead manual has way better readings than Jim got from his tests, wonder what they measured with?
Old 5th October 2011
  #89
Gear Nut
 
k.guitars's Avatar
 

Many apologies for the delay in my response. The string quartet I had planned to be a shootout between the Cloudlifter and the Fethead never happened, despite several attempts to reschedule.

In the meantime, I have been using Cloudlifter/Fethead with my ribbons and dynamics as a matter of course. It seems to sound more open and effortless with them than without, probably due to the impedence matching, and a bit lower noise. Again, with my coloured pre (BAE 1073MP) I don't really seem to find much difference between them, certainly not enough to favour one or the other. Maybe the Fethead is a touch warmer/darker.

The only reason I bring this up again is that I found an unexpected use for them both. While I am quite happy with the converters and features of the Mbox 3 in my home studio, the preamps are dreadful, frankly. The gain boost of either Cloudlifter/Fethead makes the preamps in the Mbox more than usable… quite nice and warm actually. Puts them in a range that seems to work.

So for less that the cost of a decent pedal, something I already have got better. Makes Cloudlifter/Fethead worth every penny to me.
Old 5th October 2011
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by k.guitars View Post
The gain boost of either Cloudlifter/Fethead makes the preamps in the Mbox more than usable… quite nice and warm actually. Puts them in a range that seems to work.

So for less that the cost of a decent pedal, something I already have got better. Makes Cloudlifter/Fethead worth every penny to me.
Nice!
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