- For dynamic and ribbon microphones
- Extremely low-noise Class A JFet amplifier
- 27 dB gain (@3 kOhm load)
- XLR 3-pin female to XLR 3-pin male
- 4 Coordinated JFets
Note: Requires 24 - 48 V phantom power and does NOT transfer phantom power to the microphone.
A discreet in-line amplifier
The TritonAudio FetHead is a miniature in-line preamp specifically designed for microphones which have a low level-output, such as ribbon and dynamic mics. It works in the simplest possible way: You simply insert it into the signal path between your low-output microphone and an XLR cable in order to boost its signal along the way to a signal-processing device – a further preamp, for example. Accordingly, the FetHead has exactly one input and one output, both of which are on XLR sockets – and while its appearance is inconspicuous, the boost of up to 27 dB it provides certainly are not!
Phantom power required
The TritonAudio FetHead is a low-noise, Class A JFET amplifier – characteristics which will appeal to the experts. It features four junction-gate field-effect transistors (JFETs) which boost the signal both accurately and musically, thus operating in a similar fashion to the FET amplifiers that are commonly found on condenser microphones. Unsurprisingly therefore, this in-line preamp requires 24-48 V of phantom power to operate – but it cannot pass on this phantom power to the connected microphone, so your ribbon mics are always safe from damage. Condenser mics, however, will not work with the FetHead, since these also require phantom power. For such applications, Triton Audio has developed the FetHead Phantom (article no. 439148) which, as its name suggests, has the same circuitry and lets phantom-power through.
A preamp’s preamp
The TritonAudio FetHead is particularly suited to dynamic and ribbon microphones whose output signals are too weak to be later processed without adding background noise. The FetHead greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the microphone concerned by adding a “clean” boost to its output, thus lessening the load on the main preamp. It can also be used to help pick up particularly quiet sources (where a regular preamp might also add unwanted noise at high gain settings) and amplify the signal to a usable level while retaining a clear sound.
The Dutch manufacturer TritonAudio is committed to producing pro audio equipment with great innovative potential and quality. Alongside a great selection of microphones, products range from in-line microphone amplifiers and phantom power stations to in-line attenuators and decoupling feet for near-field monitors – in other words, a whole array of helpful tools for any sound engineer. Incidentally, all units are assembled by hand in the Netherlands, and are often within a customer-friendly price range - the FetHead mini-amp being a prime example.
Home studio and live operation
The FetHead can be used, for example, to plug your mic straight into your audio interface – without having to resort to its on-board preamp to bring the signal to an adequate level – and thus provide noise-free amplification. As previously mentioned, it is also useful for raising the signal level of passive ribbon microphones, and, more generally, for limiting the amount of hiss certain preamps might produce above a certain threshold, by providing a “free” transparent boost. Last but not least, the FetHead also provides an uncomplicated solution in live situations where the microphone preamp that is to be used produces too much noise once a certain gain level is exceeded – a common occurrence for bands and artists who have to adapt to different conditions from one night to the next, mike up quiet instruments, and feed the signal into mixing boards of varying quality.