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Phantom Power and Line Level Gear

Another of our faithful inSync readers, Peter A. issues the following warning about phantom power usage: “I had an experience I had where, according to SONY, I fried the output capacitors in my DAT because it was getting phantom power when plugged into my Yamaha PM3500 in my system. SONY advises that this is somewhat common.”Thanks. As we’ve said before, phantom power (see WFTD archive phantom power), while not being dangerous to most modern microphones, can fry the output electronics of some line level devices. Anytime you have a line level device plugged into a mixer input you should make sure that phantom power is off on that channel. Furthermore, on most mixers the XLR microphone input is not really set up to handle line level (see WFTD archive line level) inputs in the first place. That is why they usually have a separate “line” input. That is where these devices should be connected. Besides being more properly set up for line level signals, these inputs do not supply the potentially dangerous phantom power that can hurt your gear.

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