[LAU] Some phantoms are stronger than other phantoms.

Brent Busby brent at keycorner.org
Mon Mar 29 08:30:07 EDT 2010

On Mon, 29 Mar 2010, Harry Van Haaren wrote:

> Ill quote an article by Rane <http://www.rane.com/note148.html> that I've
> read recently on Mic Preams etc:
> There is a huge myth circulating that microphones sound better running from
> 48 volts, as opposed to, say, 12 volts, or that you can increase the dynamic
> range of a microphone by using higher phantom power. *For the overwhelming
> majority of microphones both of these beliefs are false. *Most condenser
> microphones require phantom power in the range of 12-48 VDC, with many
> extending the range to 9-52 VDC, leaving only a very few that actually
> require just 48 VDC. The reason is that internally most designs use some
> form of current source to drive a low voltage zener (usually 5 volts;
> sometimes higher) which determines the polarization voltage and powers the
> electronics. The significance is that neither runs off the raw phantom
> power, they both are powered from a fixed and regulated low voltage source
> inside the mic. Increasing the phantom power voltage is never seen by the
> microphone element or electronics, it only increases the voltage across the
> current source. *But there are exceptions, so check the manufacturer, and
> don't make assumptions based on hearsay.*
> I guess the special mic your using might *really* need the 48V, but who
> knows... maybe email them?

Don't know about the voltage, but the Earthworks mics are notorious for 
needing more current than most.  Most condensers only need 1-2mA, but 
the Earthworks really do need 10mA.  I suppose it's probably safest just 
to get Behringer's own cheap mic for this.

+ Brent A. Busby	 + "We've all heard that a million monkeys
+ UNIX Systems Admin	 +  banging on a million typewriters will
+ University of Chicago	 +  eventually reproduce the entire works of
+ Physical Sciences Div. +  Shakespeare.  Now, thanks to the Internet,
+ James Franck Institute +  we know this is not true." -Robert Wilensky

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