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May 26, 2022 - 7:53:50 AM
83 posts since 1/5/2010

I was just showing my fiddle to a coworker of mine and we started talking about mic techniques on acoustic instruments. He told me of a device called Cloudlifter. It is a mic inline preamp that has 25DB of gain and is very clean. The design of the amp when it does amplify does not raise the noise floor. He swears by it and says that it is truly amazing. It works on phantom power and runs roughly $150 for a single channel unit. The model number he pointed out was CL-11-channel mic activator. Has any one in this group have any experience with this device. I would have intensions of using it with either with my fiddles or my dobro.

May 26, 2022 - 8:34:07 AM



10661 posts since 12/2/2007

Why do you think you need this? How are you micing your fiddle now - stand mic, onboard mic, piezo pickup etc.?
If you are running a mic into a mic input of a console I don't see why you would need an additional preamp.

May 26, 2022 - 4:07:44 PM

3055 posts since 9/13/2009

A good question of why you think need it? More output gain isn't necessarily needed nor a better thing. (sometimes goes other way, need to use -dB pad). As Doug mentioned, most consoles can deal with good gain staging range of most all mics/inputs; so external is unnecessary. That said:

They were designed for when need to deal with the low output of ribbon mics, a lot of folks use them on low output dynamics; esp like SM7, RE20, or SM57 w/transformer mod.

Of course, using gear with good preamps (or good outboard preamp) not perhaps an issue. But some gear, onboard preamps are rather under powered, and/or noisy especially for inexpensive gear and esp digital interfaces for recording/podcasting. Even just regular dynamics like SM58, need to be cranked to max. At some point cranking up the knobs is also cranking up the noticeable internal noise of chain, device/preamp/mixer and EM/RF noise. (live gigs noise is less concern)

Even if not necessarily needing the boost, some use them for better gain staging; and impedance, which can change the tonal characteristic of dynamic mics. Some models have a variable impedance settings, definitely can hear how affects tone. (that tonal aspect is perhaps the draw for many?)

There are other options besides the Cloudlifter... that essentially do the same thing, for less money.


Should note, in case folks unaware; they are not for condenser mics, in fact they cut off the phantom power to the mic. (thus will make safer for ribbon)

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 05/26/2022 16:08:42

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