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Cost effective phantom power?

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Mark Suszko
Cost effective phantom power?
on Mar 21, 2017 at 4:01:58 pm

While perusing ebay chasing a couple of different mics, I come across a long line of phantom mic power supplies for sale, all of them from different makers but looking identical, priced in the $20-$30 range. I was wondering if anybody here has had any experiences with budget-priced phantom power for their condenser mics? The regular catalog places offer products in the $50 and up range.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Cost effective phantom power?
on Mar 21, 2017 at 4:56:09 pm

Phantom power insertion isn't rocket science. IMHO, the $20-30 units are sensibly priced for what they are. The gadgets they are selling for $50 and up are overpriced (IMHO). They have to pay for those catalogs. And the "brand name" that is screen-printed on the generic box out of the same factory, which is why they all look the same.

When it comes down to it. It is just a box with a tiny handful of passive components and some connectors. If you are worried about it, buy from a vendor with good return policies. Or pay double for the privilege of going down to your neighborhood guitar shop, etc.

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Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Cost effective phantom power?
on Mar 21, 2017 at 10:51:39 pm

The question should be asked, why do you need phantom power?
What is the mic signal going into? Mixer, Camera or Recorder? Many of them would already have phantom power inbuilt, if not chances are the input would be unbalanced and that adds a lot more problems.
Keep in mind that many of these external phantom power supplies use a plug in 'wall wart' power supply and are not battery powered.
If you need an external phantom power supply, maybe a different mic model would suit better for your needs.


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Ty Ford
Re: Cost effective phantom power?
on Mar 23, 2017 at 9:09:29 am

Hi Mark and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

In addition to what's been said. Phantom Power circuits come with different voltage and current ratings.

Most people think 48 V DC is Phantom Power. I've also seen 12 V and 24 V supplies. I wouldn't consider them.

Apart from the voltage differences, different mics require different amounts of current to run properly. If you're running four hungry mics, you need a Phantom Power supply that has enough current to power the mics properly or the sound will be distorted. Mic specs usually indicate how much current in mA (milliamps) they need.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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