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Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power

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Mike Allen
Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power
on Jun 27, 2007 at 2:26:33 pm

I have a Sennheiser MKH416 that works most of the time (it is about 1 yr. old) but often will quit in the middle of a shoot. The last time I used it, the sound started fading away with much hiss. I have a sony F330 and a DSR 400, the mic has failed on both of these cameras. When I plug in any other mic, they work fine. Is there anything (before I send it back) I should try. Usually I just change the switch over the XLR input on the camera to +48 v on. I have changed the cables, there are no switches on the mic, so is there a camera setting that I am missing. Or is there someting I can do to further isolate the problem.

Any suggestions?


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Rodney M
Re: Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power
on Jun 27, 2007 at 3:04:10 pm

The MKH416 (P48) requires 48V phantom power to operate correctly. If you are connecting it to a mic input without turning on the phantom power then you will have problems with it not working correctly (or at all). Make sure that any time you connect the 416 directly to a mic input, that the phantom power for that input is turned on. If you are doing this (and I read your post incorrectly), then please accept my apologies and provide a little more information.

If you are connecting other mics to the input and they work, then you may be connecting either dynamic mics (which require no phantom power) or an electret condenser, which has an internal battery compartment and may be powering off of that instead of the camera.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power
on Jul 1, 2007 at 10:14:59 am

The 416 mic is VERY critical on phantom volts it needs 48v +/- 4v.

Many cameras claim to have 48v phantom but dont,
use a multimeter to measure the volts between pins 1&2 and 1&3 they should be 48v +/- 4v.
Also try the same test with a long mic cable plugged in.
Old cables /connectors with corroded pins are often a problem.
Spray with WD40 or CRC 26 etc.this may fix some connector problems.
Also working in high humitity can cause problems.
You may need to use an external phantom supply or mixer

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Olanrewaju Olakunle
Re: Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power
on Aug 12, 2010 at 4:36:18 pm

I know this is a dead thread but I am hoping may help me since you have similar problem with the same mic ! I recently bought a sennheiser MKH 416P48 from B&H and the Mic has been randomly failing on my ex1r and Mixer with various cable used, though I am suspecting phantom power problem with the Mic can you help!!


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Michael Jones
Re: Sennheiser MKH416 & Phantom Power
on Mar 24, 2011 at 6:47:09 pm

Just because it says 48v, doesn't mean it is ... and there really should be a law. Go get a cheap voltage meter at Home Depot ($10) and test it. I have found so called 48v stuff at as low as 30v, and this mic is probably sensitive to it.

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