Thursday, October 15, 2009

Review: Audix Fireball V

This is not a complete review of the Audix Fireball V microphone. My first and strongest interest in the Fireball was its feedback rejection properties. After finding that it did not, in fact, offer any significant feedback advantage over other mics, I have no other interest in it. I shipped it back to Musicians Friend. (Ya gotta love MF.)

In the photo above the Fireball is connected to the Audix T-50K Inline Impedance Matching Transformer, which I already owned and use frequently with other low impedance mics.

If the Audix had superior feedback rejection qualities I was ready to work with whatever tone issues might arise, by means of pedals or processors or amp mods or whatever. But in a day of testing here is what I found:

-The Audix has lower output and lower gain than other mics.

-It has an APPARENT rejection of feedback, but that is primarily because of the lower output.

-When amp levels are normalized to equal volumes, it offered no significant (if any) feedback advantage over other mics I tried.

-The effect varied from one amp to another. On some amps it may have had a barely discernible increase in headroom before feedback; on other amps it had none at all.

-When plugged into my preferred gigging amp, the output was too low to be practical for stage use (the amp delivers only 8 watts) and the tone was not satisfying. And it still had feedback.

I admit, I could have tinkered a lot more with the Audix Fireball V and found a combination of gear that would have produced nice tones at high volumes with little feedback. But I'm not interested in junking my entire rig; I'm interested only in fighting feedback. The Fireball is not a solution to my specific problem.


Texharp said...

Thank you for that because I had been toying with the idea of checking this mic out myself. The only draw to me was the ant-feedback bells and whistles they were promising. Now I can save my money.

Anonymous said...

Your results with your amp doesn't surprise me.

The advantage I have read about the Fireball is it pairs well with the RP Digitech units. Did you try it with your unit?

Don't they sell a fireball with a volume knob and a chopped grip?

Rick Davis said...

I asked on Harp-L, 'What harp mic feeds back the least?' Many people recommended the Audix Fireball V for my specific rig, so I tried it. I had no reason to try it with my RP150 because I'm happy with my Shure SM57 with that.

In the picture, the Fireball is plugged into the Audix impedance matching transformer, which makes it resemble a regular vocal mic. By itself, the Fireball is "chopped off."