I'm looking to get one or two ribbons (a new venture for this condenser addict) mainly for use as vocal or instrumental spots in classical work; just maybe as choral pickups when dealing with brass in the back row of an orch, or JUUUST MAAAAAYBE as a Blumlein pr. I'd be interested in any anecdotes/experiences/recommendations retaled to these two mics in these applications.
If you do a search on the keyword FATHEAD, you'll get 16 posts. Try the one under "Bob Rogers". One moderator was all warm'n'fuzzy on it ( he was also warm'n'fuzzy over an MXL that I ended up having to sell off on craigslist). The other was much more objective and forthright. You can deduce what you like from their takes on it. I've owned several Beyers, always loved their SOUND (just not the customer service). The Fatheads are no Beyers.
There's a new ribbon mic out by a Swedish company Golden Age
Projects, with an active version. It looks interesting and inexpensive
but isn't available in the US yet.
I don't recall if I've posted yet on my Fathead (hell, I don't recall last week), but my experience with it is positive, depending on how it's used. You've got to have a decent pre (like any other ribbon) and it's not great on everything. You shouldn't expect it to be, and you shouldn't have it as your sole mic for important stuff. It's not a Beyer, nor does it pretend to be. (But you'll find their support & customer service second to none.)
I like it on brass, esp Jazz & Classical trumpet and things that need some taming around the edges, but without losing the dynamics and sizzle. On Jazz trumpet, it's pretty amazing; smooth and rounded. A friend of mine (who doens't post here) compared the sound of ribbons in general as a little similar to what you get with analog tape: You get a bit more rounded sound (vs. brittle/bright condensers, and what SEEMs to be a little natural compression for some of the louder stuff. I'm not talking electronic compression, I suspect it's more of a physical phenomenom, the way the ribbon membrance reacts to sound vs. the way a condenser mic works. You still get all the sound, but it's packaged a little thicker and crunchier.
I may not be explaining it properly, but you'll know it when you hear it. These used to be called "Velocity Mics", so perhaps that's part of it.
I'm quite happy with my Fathead, for the price as well as the sound, but I wouldn't use it on everything. I"d love to afford a Royer or Beyer, but for now, I get my feet wet with a $150 Fathead. Even if it doesn't last, it's already paid for itself in that respect.
Remember, though, these mics aren't good for everything, and as always, 90% of it comes down to what's going on in FRONT of the mic, the room acoustic, and lastly, the preamp you pair it with. ESPECIALLY ribbons.