Cascade’s latest addition, the Fat Head II Active/Passive, takes ribbon microphone innovation to a new dimension. © 2020 Pro Sound News is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. So far I like them best through the Neotek's. the biggest thing that confuses me it the frequency graphs. After using the mics for drum ambience several times, I found that I prefer the mics in passive mode for drum room but having the active option is like having two different mics in one. I'm pretty happy with the sounds I'm getting. Amazing for guitar amps & overheads. also, if anyone has any personal experience with these mics, I would like to hear what you think. On the Cascade website, the frequency response for the original ones looks better, but a better built mic would be useful as well. I used them in this capacity multiple times (most recently to record Marcus Finnie playing drums on jazz great Bernie Lackner’s current work in progress). I can see myself using the mic to record vocals from time to time, especially on a vocal that tends to be a bit edgy or piercing, but I would never purchase the mic specifically for that application. I've been looking at these mics for a couple weeks now, scavenging the depths of the internet for a deciding factor, but nothing really swings me either way. To simplify, the active mode is more transparent where the passive mode allows the character of a mic pre to speak through the mic. This sounds more complicated than it is and can actually be done fairly quickly. You will find that when recording acoustic guitars, guitar cabinets, vocals, drum over-heads, and countless other types of instruments, the Fat Head II ribbon microphone will produce the warmth that is vital to today's digital recording environment. While the mic does an adequate job capturing vocals (much better in the active mode than the passive), I feel that vocals are not this mic’s forte. I smile every chance I get to use them. On the Cascade website, the frequency response for the original ones looks better, but a better built mic would be useful as well. Must say I'm really enjoying them. According to Cascade's own website, the Fat Head II differences are: I have a pair of stock 2. As with other active ribbon microphones, the Fat Head II A/P’s active circuit isolates the ribbon’s output from the microphone preamp so that the load on the ribbon can be both optimal and constant, resulting in less ribbon coloration and a purer sound quality. the fathead has a better low and high end than the fathead II. 'scooped' on the series II. The review mics arrived the week before a multi-day tracking session at Dark Horse Recording in Franklin, TN. Combine this with a switchable active/passive circuit, a Lundahl transformer, and a newly designed body that is available in brushed silver (my preference) or matte black, and you have the Fat Head II A/P. Fathead vs. Fathead II I guess if I had to choose now, I would get a pair of the normal fat heads. The mic works extremely well on electric guitar in both active and passive modes. According to the folks over at Cascade, the Fathead II with its larger body will fit the Lundahl trans. Between the rich, woody and full sound of the body and the pristine tone of the neck, the result was wonderful. When operating in Active Mode, the mic has a frequency response: 60 Hz to 15 kHz +/- 3 dB, with a sensitivity of -39 dBv +/- 2 dB (0 dB=1V/Pa). Has anybody that used both of these mics noticed a difference in the strength of the connection between the head and body parts of them? Just bought a pair of Cascade Fathead II's. I also had good results recording a piano in MS using an Earthworks SR77 as the Mid mic and the Fat Head II A/P as the Side. The Cascade Fat Head II offers the natural and open sound associated with the finest ribbon microphones. According to Cascade, manufacturing costs are reduced by having their microphone components manufactured overseas, but they design, assemble and tune the microphones in the United States. In passive mode, the frequency response is 60Hz to 13 kHz +/- 3 dB with sensitivity of -56 dB +/- 2 dB (0 dB=1V/Pa). The guts are the same. It even worked well as a outside kick drum mic placed about two feet in front of the kick drum, angled slightly down and squashed to death (again with a Distressor). When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The patent-pending Active/Passive switching allows the user to select passive for a warm, smooth, traditional ribbon character or active for a modern, open sounding, full-frequency character. In the active mode, the mic’s phantom powered electronics utilize an amplifier circuit that provides an extended high-frequency response and approximately 25 dB of low noise gain before the signal comes out of the mic; this makes it possible to use the mic with the long list of fantastic sounding mic preamps that provide only minimal gain. The mic was released in 2007. The ability to switch between active and passive operation crowns Cascade as a true innovator in modern microphone design. Hey there! The difference between the two is only the shape of the grille (i.e. I also had good results using the Fat Head II A/P on the body along with a Neumann KM-86i on the neck. In active mode, the mics work wonderfully for drum overheads. with a Mu metal cover on it. Additionally, the active circuit has a slightly better high frequency response than the passive, which isn’t very apparent when recording electric guitar, but is quite obvious when recording acoustic guitar and piano. The Cascade Fat Head II (w/Lundahl upgrade) was part of our $60,000 Ribbon mic shootout. My favorite use for the mic is recording acoustic guitar, which I prefer in Active mode. It also prevents accidentally changing the status during the setup or positioning of the microphone. The Fat Head II is an attractively-priced, great-sounding ribbon mic, switchable between active and passive operation. While ribbon microphone manufacturers have been offering active versions of many of their microphones for some time now, Cascade takes this concept a step further by offering an Active/Passive version of the Fat Head II, allowing the user to configure the microphone as either an active or passive transducer with the flick of a switch. I was introduced to the Cascade Fat Head mic over half a decade ago and since then I’ve been convinced that they hold the reins in the low-cost yet fine sounding ribbon mic market. For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to our newsletter here. The heart of the Fat Head II A/P is a 99% pure aluminum, 2.5 micron, 1 3/4-inch (L) X 3/16-inch (W) hand-tuned ribbon, the same ribbon as in the Fat Head and the Fat Head II.