rrrabuyvsvsveytfazersurdwarubawvev0% Interest for 36 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
July 4 Financing

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Phantoms, condensers, damages?


I know they say you shouldnn't connect unbalanced sources when phantom power is engaged on a mixer. Does this apply only to XLR inputs, or all? What actual damage could occur? SOMEBODY HELP!?!??! I'm just inexperienced. Been mixing a lot of live stuff for about 3 years, but never needed to use phantom power.
October 6, 2001 @08:06pm

Phantom power is generally only available at the XLR inputs. A 1/4" line input should not have phantom power.
There are a variety of devices that can be damaged by being connected to phantom power, even if they have XLR connections. The failure that occurs is to blow the capacitor that's associated with the output amp (if the cap can't handle 48 volts across it, it will blow, thus causing the output device to malfunction - the symptom is distorted low output).
If you are connecting any reasonably current (last 20 years) microphone to the XLR, phantom power will not hurt it, regardless of whether it needs phantom power.
Hope this answers your questions.
October 9, 2001 @10:13pm

Thanx, Das. Exactly the answer I wanted to hear!
October 10, 2001 @03:49am
David Klausner

The one exception I might make to that is to exercise caution when using ribbon mics. Certainly the older mics can be damaged directly by phantom power, but if you plug in or unplug an XLR cable while the phantom power is on, for a very brief moment you can send a jolt to the capsule that can damage even ribbons of a modern vintage.
October 10, 2001 @10:58pm

i'm also more like a newbie in the pro audio world. But i heard (from the big guys who know it :p) that if you send phantom into a dynamic mic like a sm58 of sm57 or so, the membrane of your mic will rise a bit due to constant voltage. this way the mic is more sensitive then not phantomed.
At least this is what they told me (and sorry for the ****** english :p)
August 29, 2002 @08:32pm

Just to be on the safe side, I make a habit of neither connecting nor disconnecting mics other than dynamic mics while phantom power is on. I may be using a borrowed mic some day that could get fried. Like I said, it's just a habit, a safe practice.
September 2, 2002 @03:01pm