1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Cathedral Pipes Micro-Amp for Passive Mics

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by DonnyThompson, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    From Cathedral Pipes, the Durham Micro Amp Buffer, designed to add up to an additional 25db of clean, transparent gain for all passive microphones.
    It uses typical 48v Phantom Power - found on most mic preamps - to add more db to low-output passive mics, which often require ramped-up gain levels to work at their optimum, and that many lower end preamps don't usually have available.
    An example of a passive low output mic that would benefit from this would be the Shure SM7B, which is a great sounding dynamic mic, but is inherently low in output, as well as many Ribbon mics, which also require a significant amount of gain - that most cheaper preamps usually don't have enough of.

    This appears to be similar to the Cloudlifter, except that at $65.00 (U.S), it's much cheaper ( the Cloudlifter retails at $149.00)

    From CP:

    The simple "XMB" technology used inside is the same circuit found within our new Ribbon microphones. It is found to both improve SNR for all passive microphones and provide a fixed impedance to the Ribbon Mics.

    Uses 48V phantom power found on most preamps.
    2 LSK389 J-Fet matched pairs.
    Works on all Passive Microphones
    Ideal impedance loading for optimal performance @3Kohms
    Rugged and very compact.

    Made entirely in the USA.

    MSRP for The Durham Micro Amp is $65.00 ( U.S.)


  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm bumping this topic, in light of other recent pertinent discussions here on RO, regarding gain-lifting dynamic mics that are coupled with lower gain preamps.

  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Didn't know they made such a device. I've used the sm-7 with a calrec and a eureka. While I had to put the gain higher than typical, I didn't notice it weak in any way. This was for vocals. The pres are fairly quiet, but at 30years old I wouldn't imagine a newer pre being much louder than the calrec as far as self noise. Even my art vla rack pre was almost silent except at full blast. Maybe I just don't have enough experience w the sm-7b.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    They are actually msrp $65.00 They are, however sold out at this time. Oh I see what's happening here. The filter is setting the price at zero. That's okay. Anything built by Charles is bound to be really really good.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    From what I've heard about the cathedral (which may just be here say) you want to jump on the early batches to get the best components especially if anything is NOS. but again it could be BS.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Yes. Total BS. Where do people get this crap?
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    From being a washed up know it all blow hard is my guess...
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    All of the parts and components including the cases are made in-house. All are of the highest quality. Charles' whole point is to build something that sounds like it should, will last a lifetime, not cost an arm and leg, and look cool in the process. I have two and its not out of the question there will be another.
    kmetal likes this.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I've never heard anything bad about CP; to the contrary, they've developed a reputation for doing exactly what Dave has mentioned.

    I think the availability issue is more about the fact that they aren't shopping out their assembly jobs to outside fabricators... they do everything in-house, which is great, because they set their own quality control and can oversee it personally, and that insures a well-built product.

    But, there is a downside to this process... especially with a smaller company that has developed a reputation for making great products - and that's the inevitable back-orders that can ultimately occur, because they don't have 5,000 Third-World human robots being paid a dollar a week, working 24/7/365 in a tar-paper shack, cranking out a product that is often inferior due to those aforementioned conditions.

    We have to try to be something that most of us have forgotten how to be, in this modern world of "I want my oompa-loompa now", instant-download, "microwave a full meal in 30 seconds" type of lifestyle that we've all become so accustomed to ...

    ...we have to be patient. ;)

    kmetal likes this.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The upside to this is when you order you have the ability to talk directly with the builder and exchange ideas and desires in the product you seek. In this case the builder is really knowledgeable and cool individual.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Just for the sake of playing devils advocate. The one thing about handmade stuff is it can vary in sound. Sometimes a lot sometimes a little. Cp is probably very meticulous and stringent so I would expect a consistent quality, especially given than they aren't nationally branded and available at major retailers.

    I did have two different Mesa boogie triple rectifiers both were handmade, although not boutiquey, and were from guitar center. Those amps, while both sounded like rectifiers, sounded very different. This I'm sure is due in part to the number of people putting them together, and less stringent parts sourcing. I guess what I'm addressing is handmade can mean different things.

    That said I'm jealous a bit of Daves mics, and I like to see companies like cp and bees neez and Wes dooley, and that guy in the carolinas making the Neumann type mics (who's name escapes me), keeping things going against the Harmon monster.

    One thing I do wish was for a bit more innovation. It seems everything is based on a 'classic' design, mainly neumannn/telefunken/Akg. Royer kinda took an old thing with a bit of a modern spin, and I hope to see more of that.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    There are extremely modern innovations in the Cathedral Pipes mics. Some of which, which I won't discuss here, can bring a large outcry of "snake oil" which I guarantee it is not. It is amazing that most of the circuits used in the very best gear are things that were designed when there wasn't anything like a solid state circuit.
    As for Charles' mics, they are very very consistent from one unit to another. Not to be a shill but until you have experienced what they bring to the table you can only read the many many glowing comments here and other places and take my word for it, They are truly 'high-end' in every respect.
    kmetal likes this.
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    No doubt I'll be trying them for myself Dave, glad to hear, well read, it!! I've yet to hear anyone say anything bad about them, whose actually used them.

Share This Page