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Fat Head Microphone Sets

BidirectionalCascade Microphones Fat Head

Bidirectional Ribbon Microphone

The Cascade Fat Head is an upgraded Alctron HRM-15 / ShuaiYin SYR-30 ribbon microphone.

The Cascade website used to make the following distinctions between the FAT HEAD and “similar competitive models:”

  1. Radian grill (bows out) adds better frequency response vs. flat closed grill.
  2. Upgrade suspension mount vs. clip.
  3. 2.5 Micron vs. 6 Micron ribbon element …symmetrical ribbon placement…offers a true figure 8 pattern (6 micron is considered too thick).
  4. Grill is manufactured from Zinc Alloy vs. iron (iron is prone to rust).
  5. Accurate specifications…. performed by Cross Spectrum Labs vs. no real specifications.
  6. High quality wood box w/ large polished nickel latch and hinges plus upgraded aluminum case vs. clip and vinyl pouch.
  7. Manufactured to a higher quality standard in a different manufacturing plant.
  8. Engraved serial number vs. no serial number.
  9. Quality control…every microphone is inspected for audio and build quality before it leaves our shop vs. no USA inspection.

The specs follow the model of Nady’s RSM-4 in that the ribbon is quoted at a length of 45mm and the SPL at 165dB. Note that the Fat Head (and all lookalike lollipop-style ribbons) follow the “medium ribbon/long path” architecture described by Michael Joly here.

Cascade offers two upgraded versions of this mic:

  • Replace the Chinese transformer with a US-made Cinemag CM-9888. MSRP: $300
  • Replace the Chinese transformer with a Swedish-made Lundahl LL2912. MSRP: $300

See the Frequency Analysis links in the sidebar for 3rd-party frequency and polar-response plots for both the stock and Lundahl-upgraded models.

Parade of FatheadsThe mic ships in three colors (black body with silver grill, brown body with gold grill) in a wooden storage box with a suspension shockmount and a microfiber polishing cloth, all fitted into an aluminum flight case.

Pro Audio Review

While I don’t consider the FAT HEAD to be in the same league as the Royer line of ribbons, I still think it is a fabulous mic and an amazing bargain. It sounds wonderful, is tremendously flexible and at only $159 is a must-have for any studio.

Note that early manufacturing runs of the Fat Head microphone employed an offset-ribbon design. Current production runs have a symmetrical ribbon placement.

The Cascade Microphones Fat Head is also known as: Fat Head.

The mic was released in 2006.


Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Fat Head Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Bidirectional (1.6 mV/Pa; 60 - 8,000 Hz)
Ribbon Construction Impedance SPL/Noise
Length: 45mm
Width: 5mm
Gauge: 2.5 microns
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 165 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
n/a 165mm (6.50'') 76mm (2.99'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications

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