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Tritonaudio FetHead vs. FetHead Germanium
Old 3rd June 2020
Tritonaudio FetHead vs. FetHead Germanium

Hello there,

in case anyone is interested: since I couldn't really find a good comparison between the two FetHead Versions, I made one myself.

I recently bought a matched stereo pair of the Nohype Audio LRM-2b ribbon mics. I love these mics, they sound great on almost anything, but of course the preamps of my Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Interface have to be pushed to literally their limit when recording a picked nylon guitar with them.

So I bought the two FetHead versions and made some tests with the ribbons, each with a FetHead and with different instruments. I think the difference is subtle but audible. Generally, for me the germanium version made the sound a bit more "open", with more high mids and a little less bass. BUT also it had less gain than the normal version although it should even have 2 dB more (29 vs. 27 for the normal version), and to my ears a little bit more noise.

What do you think? Do you hear a difference? Which version do you prefer?

Guitars and shaker played roughly in 50-70cm distance to the mics, double bass ca 1m, voice maybe 30cm. Please excuse my blatantly low singing skills. Chain: LRM-2b as close as I could put them near each other, into the different FetHeads, into the Clarett 4Pre, "Air" setting of the interface off, no further processing.
Attached Files

doublebass_germanium.wav (3.70 MB, 4545 views)

doublebass_normal.wav (3.70 MB, 4518 views)

nylonguitar1_germanium.wav (6.31 MB, 4632 views)

nylonguitar1_normal.wav (6.31 MB, 4600 views)

shaker_germanium.wav (861.4 KB, 4459 views)

shaker_normal.wav (861.4 KB, 4462 views)

steelguitar_germanium.wav (2.19 MB, 4558 views)

steelguitar_normal.wav (2.19 MB, 4545 views)

voice_germanium.wav (2.24 MB, 4817 views)

voice_normal.wav (2.24 MB, 4817 views)

Old 3rd June 2020
Here's a quick mixdown of voice and guitar with the 2 respective versions, both tracks now with lowcut at 80Hz and normalized.
Attached Files

night_and_germanium.wav (2.24 MB, 4790 views)

night_and_normal.wav (2.24 MB, 4794 views)

Old 4th June 2020
Update: after like 5 or 6 times connecting and disconnecting the FetHead Germanium to mics, the plug disconnected from the housing... All in all the germanium version doesn't hold up to its promises: gain is lower than it should be, noise is quite a bit more, and now it broke! I don't know when that will happen to the normal version...
Old 28th June 2020
Here for the gear
hey roman_, thank you so much for sharing this!
i am in very similar situation, but i plan to use the fetheads to do stereo recordings, so i want them to be a pair of the same type, and this thead is a life saver.

i'm gonna put some time in listening to the recordings you uploaded.

however, did you contact triton about the the germanium one that broke, and in case, did they repair it or something?
Old 26th October 2020
Here for the gear
Hi Roman,

Thank you for making a comparison of our different FetHeads.
The transistors we use in our FetHead Germanium are selected and tested by hand.
Next to that we listen to every single FetHead Germanium before it is shipped.
Unfortunately, because we use a 'new old stock' germanium transistor, in rare occasions the transistor can go wrong over time.
Therefore we give a lifetime warranty on the NOS germanium transistor.
Please contact us directly at [email protected] to get a replacement unit.

Old 2nd December 2020
Lives for gear
DaVogi's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Thanks for sharing the comparison recordings roman!
I slighty prefer the germanium-version but its subtle.

Hope your quality issues got sorted out.
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Addict
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by roman_ ➡️

What do you think? Do you hear a difference? Which version do you prefer?
@ roman_ , that's a really good test, thank you.

To my ears, there's a big difference! I strongly prefer the germanium on the bass and the guitar.

The germanium seems to handle dynamics differently. It sounds less "open" but more polished, as if there were a slow-release compressor in the chain, doing something like 1db of compression. Maybe I like these tones because they remind me of sounds on old recordings that I know so well.

My next purchase. It seems like this Triton device would be an inexpensive way to broaden the range of tones in your palette. (Something like Chandler Germanium preamp would cost ~$1100 more...)
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