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Phantom power


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Phantom power is (like prague said) a +48vDC charge that is sent through the XLR or Mic inputs on a mixing console. This is only used for Condenser style microphones (including Eletret condensers).


In plain condenser microphones, it polarizes the 2 plates that vibrate together and create an electrical charge that represents the pickup of sound. It also powers the ICA or Impedence Conversion Amplifier. This device in the microphone changes the intial charge from high impedence to a low impedence signal so it can travel a good length through a cable without much signal loss.


In an eletret microphone, the 2 plates are permanently charge, so the reason for the phantom power is only to power the ICA. But, most of the time, these microphones have the option of using a battery to power the ICA. These microphones would be better if you had a mixer or whichever input you are plugging into does not have phantom power.


Although, this topic would be better for Phil O'Keefe's Project Studio board. But that's too late now. ;)

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And...As the answer in advance to an often asked question...


It won't harm regular dynamic mics, if you need to keep phantom power on to use 'both' condensors and dynamics together through one mixer.


Generally speaking, however, if you are not powering condensor mics with it, leave it turned off.

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There are also 9v phantom power condenser mics, where the voltage is applied in parallel with the signal conductors at that lower voltage. Both can use a range of voltages to power the mic.


The term phantom power is also used generically for other devices where power is similarly applied.

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