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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Phantom power to Dynamic mic?


Can you run a dynamic mic off a phantom powered XLR? I'm a Cubase user and just went to Windows 7. There is no W7 audio driver yet for my old audio interface, so I am considering the Steinberg CI2 interface (it has automated features for Cubase). It has a single phantom power switch for both of the XLR inputs (both on or both off). My regular acoustic setup is a condenser for the guitar and a Sure 57 for my voice (strange maybe, but that 57 really likes my voice). I called Yamaha, who makes this interface for Steinberg, and the guy told me "no problem" just plug both mics in, and turn the phantom power on, and the 57 will work just fine even though it is getting power. Is this right?
December 18, 2009 @03:22pm

For the most part yes. You're not going to hurt a dynamic with phantom. Especially a 57. I know there have been arguments about what it does to sound since it is adding more electronics to something that isn't using it, but damage to dynamics isn't part of that discussion. I usually leave phantom off dynamics since I have a choice on most of my gear, but if it's global like yours, don't worry about it.
Howie J
December 18, 2009 @04:50pm

Thanks, Howie. This really makes the decision to go forward with the new interface easy. There have been enough issues with my new high i7 computer, Windows 7, driver problems etc. etc. to choke a horse. Looks like I will be up and running again soon.
December 18, 2009 @05:11pm

yes.. Howie is correct. there is no problem what so ever by having an SM57 on a mic preamp with phantom power switched on.
the phantom power will not affect the microphone in any way.
dynamic microphones do not use phantom power and because of the architecture of the balanced dynamic electronics, the microphone does not even notice it.
there is a reason it is called Phantom Power..
so don't worry, and go make sum music!
December 18, 2009 @10:58pm

here is a good article on phantom power if you are interested.
happy holidays!
December 18, 2009 @11:04pm

It has always been my understanding that it is good procedure to plug in a dynamic mic, then enable phantom power, not plug it in while phantom power is on.
As mentioned is is otherwise harmless to a dynamic mic.
December 18, 2009 @11:15pm

Never on a ribbon mic though!
December 19, 2009 @01:16am

Never on a ribbon mic though!

December 19, 2009 @04:32am

Amen Reegs. I did a lot of reading a couple months ago when I bought my first pair of ribbons. The whole idea that phantom completely destroys a ribbon and makes it go "poof" into thin air is highly false.
Many ribbon makers are leaning toward phantom friendly ribbons. I bought a matched pair of Cascade Fathead II ribbons and they are phantom friendly just like the Royer 122.
Like the video said, the ribbon isn't fried, the power pushes the ribbon too far, stretching it so it moves out of the magnetic field. You loose a good amount of response and the mic just sounds dead. Then you send it to Michael Joly to have him fix your ribbon.
Howie J
December 19, 2009 @05:11am

i have an rca ribbon microphone from the 50s and is does fine with phantom power.
just dont ever use a TRS or TT connector, this would cause a momentary short of the phantom power across the ground which might affect the ribbon
December 28, 2009 @11:31am

Fair enough. Its just that at uni we are forbidden to use phantom power with ribbons. I think the point here is phantom power does nothing to improve a ribbon mic and can on a occasion have at the least a detrimental effect, so just dont do it, or, do you really want to find out!
December 28, 2009 @12:02pm

I'm with you on the fact that it's a good idea to avoid phantom with ribbons. There are still enough of them out there that might not like it. Why put undue stress on the ribbon.
Howie J
December 28, 2009 @06:52pm