Frequently Asked Questions
1). What are the differences between the FAT HEAD and FAT HEAD II?
The FAT HEAD II body diameter is larger and longer in length. It comes with a heavy-duty premium shockmount to accommodate for the larger body. The FAT HEAD II and FAT HEAD are sonically the same.
2). Are Cascade Ribbon microphones Phantom Power safe?
Yes, the signal path from the ribbon is wired so that it only flows one way (out) via the transformer.
Connect your XLR microphone cable to a pre-amp with matching PIN-OUTS. The PIN-OUT configuration listed below is the Industry Standard for microphones, XLR cables and processing hardware.
Balanced Male/Female XLR PIN-OUT configuration:
PIN 2 - HOT/POSITIVE/HIGH
PIN 3 - COLD/NEGATIVE/LOW
PIN 1 - Ground
Please Note: CAUTION
USE OF PATCH BAY: Disengage the Phantom Power prior the making an insert/patch. If the Phantom Power is engaged while inserting a TRS 1/4" connector the ribbon will be damaged and will require replacement. Be sure the Phantom Power has had sufficient time to ramp down before making an insert.
3). What's the difference between the stock transformer verses the Lundahl transformer
The stock tranny sounds very good. The custom winding and core materials used in the Lundahl and Cinemag transformers do offer improved definition along with extended low and top end frequencies.
4). What are the differences between the short single ribbon, short dual ribbon and long single ribbon?
The short single ribbon offers the fastest response and is well suited for guitar cabinets, drum overheads and room mic’s. The short dual ribbon adds more sensitivity and is also useful for guitar cabinets, drum overheads and room mic’s. The long ribbon offers extended low and top end frequencies and works good with acoustic guitars and vocals. Overall conclusion: ribbon microphones are very forgiving and will work well with just about anything you put in front of it.
5). Why do ribbon microphones need to be EQ'd?
Cascade ribbon mic's are dynamic passive microphones, with no active electronics. A typical active microphone has a built in bottom and top end, so EQ is normally not needed. The ability to use EQ in conjunction with a microphone enables you to dial-in the microphone to suit your room and subject.
6). Can the Cascade ribbon microphone handle high SPL's?
The SPL rating of a Cascade ribbon is 135dB.
7). Can air-pressure harm your ribbon?
Yes, air-pressure is the number one cause of ribbon failure (stretched ribbon). Be careful not to subject the ribbon to any source that will cause the ribbon to stretch. When in doubt, a pop-filter is suggested.
8). How can you tell if your ribbon is stretched?
The most striking signal is that the microphone sounds dull with loss of low and high frequency range. You can also check the microphone by slowly moving it back and forth (similar to a pendulum on a clock). You will hear the ribbon swishing past the magnets.
9). My ribbon has become stretched over time, how can I have it repaired?
For complete ribbon replacement information Click Here: http://cascademicrophones.com/Custom_Transformer_Upgrade.html#rib1
(10). Does Cascade Microphones offer microphone modifications?
Yes, We also offer additional modifications per your request (i.e. removal of inner screen(s) and waffle plate). Please call 360.867.1799 for pricing.
11). When I record the Cascade ribbon microphone along with another microphone, they are out of Phase.
If you find that your Cascade ribbon microphone is out of phase with another microphone, simply turn the microphone around and operate from the other side. The Cascade ribbon microphone houses a hand-tuned element that incorporates the legendary symmetrical ribbon design. This design offers a true figure-8 pattern. The corrugated aluminum membrane itself is positioned in the center from front to back, thus producing a balanced audio input signal to both sides of the ribbon assembly. This design is very useful when executing a mid-side or Blumlein recording set-up and also great for live stage use.
12). How should a ribbon microphone be stored?
It is suggested that it's always best that the ribbon itself be pointed in a vertical position.
13). My Cascade ribbon microphone has a symmetrical ribbon but it sounds different on the back side.
The back side of the microphone is out-of-phase, you will need to switch the phase on your preamp to achieve the same voicing.
14). Basics of Blumlein Recording: http://www.harmonycentral.com/docs/DOC-1721
15). Basics of Mid-Side Recording: http://www.harmonycentral.com/docs/DOC-1722
16). Can I upgrade my transformer(s) after I purchase my ribbon microphone:
Yes we can upgrade your transformer(s) at a later date. The cost is $150.00 per microphone, we also check your ribbon at that time to determine that it meets specification.