TritonAudio FetHead Review | The Best Inline Microphone Preamp

what is a fethead

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TritonAudio FetHead Inline Microphone Preamp

9.1

Performance

9.0/10

Sound Quality

9.5/10

Portability

9.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Support

9.5/10

Pros

  • Made in Holland
  • 27 dB of clean gain
  • Shielded enclosure
  • 4 matched JFETs
  • Protects ribbon microphones from 48V

Have you been wondering how to provide CLEAN gain for your passive ribbon microphone? You’re about to discover a very affordable way to achieve this with ANY ribbon microphone using the TritonAudio FetHead.

The TritonAudio FetHead is the most affordable option and is the simplest to implement. You’ll no longer need to worry about providing yourself with a high-gain input impedance preamp since you can now use your favourite ribbon microphone with ANY audio interface. To learn more about the FetHead and how this device will improve more than just your ribbons microphone’s signal, keep reading.

Why would anyone need a FetHead anyway?

One of the major problems with ribbon microphones is the fact that they are low-impedance (low-output voltage) instruments and they have a high noise-to-sound ratio. Back in the day, owning a ribbon microphone required you to have a high-gain input impedance preamp.

Since the advent of digital recording, things have changed quite a bit considering that we no longer use the same preamps. Everyone now owns some form of digital audio interface that no longer caters to the analog technology of the 20th century.

Although manufacturers now produce what is known as active ribbon microphones, purists may still want to use their vintage ribbon microphones. Basically, an active ribbon microphone is a high-impedance (high-output voltage) instrument with a lower noise-to-sound ratio.

Our goal is to convert our passive ribbon microphone’s low-impedance signal to a high-impedance signal by boosting it with CLEAN gain.

tritonaudio fethead

How can the FetHead improve your signal?

The FetHead will allow you up to 27 dB of CLEAN gain which is exactly what a low-impedance signal needs. You will also notice that your microphones will develop a more responsive frequency response.

Ribbon microphones will obviously benefit the most and you will be capable of recording much quieter passages. Along with an increase in dynamic range, you will notice an improvement in your microphone’s transient response as well.

The shielded enclosure will also protect your signal from any additional noise making the FetHead extremely effective. You can try it for yourself to see how much noise this little device eliminates, it’s unbelievable.

In essence, this device will match the output impedance of your microphone with the input impedance of your audio interface’s preamp.

tritonaudio fethead

Can you use the FetHead with any microphone?

I encourage you to use the FetHead with all of your PASSIVE microphones because it will clean up ANY signal. Active microphones will not work with this particular device as it blocks 48V phantom power from passing through to the microphone.

In other words, this device is also designed to PROTECT your ribbon microphone from 48V phantom power. The FetHead actually requires 48V phantom power to function, but having it there also ensures that your microphone will never get a power surge.

You can also think of the FetHead as a “surge protector” for your microphone which is great considering how much a ribbon microphone can cost you. Triton Audio also makes a device called the Phantom Blocker which acts solely as a “surge protector” for your microphone.

If you want to use the FetHead with an active microphone, consider the FetHead Phantom.

tritonaudio fethead

Is the TritonAudio FetHead worth your money?

If you’ve got dynamic microphones (ribbon/moving-coil), I guarantee you can’t live without a FetHead. I would forget all about purchasing an expensive preamp because this device will give you BETTER results at a fraction of the price.

You’ll be capable of using the FetHead and all your microphones with ANY audio interface.

Pros

  • Extremely portable
  • 27 dB of CLEAN gain
  • Lowers the noise floor
  • Protects ribbon microphones
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Cannot tweak output gain
  • Cannot tweak output impedance

The TritonAudio FetHead makes your microphones sound better

Now that you know about the FetHead from Triton Audio, you can go ahead and purchase ANY ribbon microphone you’ve ever wanted. You won’t need to worry about accommodating it with an expensive high-gain input impedance preamp (which may not give you the best results) by simply plugging in this device.

It’s very simple, you plug your microphone into the Fethead and then plug the Fethead into your audio interface’s preamp. Make sure to bring down your interface’s gain as you will get a considerable boost in volume (27 dB).

You can find the best price for the FetHead at Amazon…

Your microphone will sound better than it ever has all thanks to a product that will cost you less than 100$. Make sure your audio interface can provide 48V phantom power to your new device and you’re all set!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, I recentley purchaced a fet head to use on my rode procaster condensor mic, but when I use it, there’s no signal coming out. Please help, as reallu wish to use your product, and improve my setup.

    Ross M Bentley

    1. Hey Ross!

      Thanks for reaching out, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your FetHead.

      Based on your description, it’s clear to me that you either have the wrong FetHead or simply aren’t using your 48V Phantom Power. I do mention in the article that the regular FetHead works with dynamic microphones only (not condensers). However, they do make a version that supports 48V Phantom Power for condenser microphones.

      Here’s what it looks like.

      I highly recommend returning the one you currently have and exchange it for this one.

      To be honest though… You don’t really need a FetHead for condenser microphones (unless it’s REALLY noisy). I recommend them for dynamic microphones and especially for ribbon microphones. That’s something to consider, but I personally think your setup will be perfect without it.

      If you need anything else, feel free to reach out and/or book a 1-on-1 call with me.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      – Stefan

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