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Old April 8th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #1
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Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

I'm definetly new when it comes to microhphones, phantom power and the like, so any help would be appreciated.

I have a Sennheiser MKE-2 Gold lav mic with a TA5-F connector and I'd like to connect it to a Zoom H4N. The issue is that H4N can either take XLR (my preferred connection), 3.5mm or phone input.

The specs from Sennheiser at Sennheiser USA - Omnidirectional Lavalier Condenser Microphone MKE 2-4-C GOLD - Professional Audio say that the microphone takes 7.5V.

Through google searches and searching and reading the forums here and other sites, I've come across three adapters that might provide what I want. Ambient Eumel adapter, Voice Technologies adapter, or the Lectrosonics MCA5X adapter all have TA5-M to XLR-Male connectors and provide some sort of Phantom power conversion. But everything I've read so far seems to indicate the voltage supplied is 5.6V or they don't state what voltage is supplied.

Does anyone know if these adapters would work to get clean audio into the Zoom H4N? Or know of a better way to take 24V or 48V Phantom Power provided by the Zoom H4N and feed the 7.5V to the mic while connecting through XLR?

I'm okay at soldering but my electric knowledge is deficient to build a power converter. The Sennheiser information has an explanation of some wiring http://www.sennheiserusa.com/media/p...mke2wiring.pdf which shows a circuit, but they also mention on the same page, "In situations that require an electret microphone to be powered by 12 - 48V phantom powering, a special converter circuit must be used. Sennheiser can provide a “-PH” adapter which is the converter circuit inside a special XLR connector."

Would getting that adapter from Sennheiser answer my needs? Or would building the Amplifier Configuration or Impedence transformer configuration circuit mentioned in the pdf I mentioned in the previous paragraph solve the power issues?

I'm a total newbie so any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Tim Norman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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Re: Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

The TA5 connector is typically used with the Lectrosonics transmitters. You don't say if you have a Lectro, and want the option to continue using the mic with it.. Getting the TA5-XLR Phantom power transformer or battery adapter would be the easiest... but not the cheapest. Be aware that some of the TA5 connectors for the Lectros' are wired differently, depending on the transmitter model.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

Rick I don't have a Lectrosonic or any wireless so I'm not worried about continuing to use the mic with it. The mic was bought off ebay by a friend who gave it to me. They mistook the photos thinking it had an xlr mount and didn't want to hassle with it. I'm not out anything so far, but I'd like to get it working since this mic would be valuable to me. It would be my first lav mic I own. If I can use the mic by converting it over that would be great. I had planned to actually buy a lav mic instead but if I can get this one working with my setup then I'd prefer to do that.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

My suggestion requires the purchase of a Sennheiser MZA900P, but results in a mic that can be used on XLR or any Sennheiser Evolution G1/G2/G3 bodypack transmitter too.

First cut off the TA5 and strip back the end. Inside the MKE2 cable you will find one or two wires wrapped in a spiral/braided sheild. Solder the red wire to the tip of a locking 3.5mm plug. connect the blue wire (if present) and the shield together and solder to the sleeve AND THE RING of the 3.5mm connector.

Now you can plug the new MKE2 connector into the MZA900P. This unit connects to an XLR mic input with phantom power (like on your zoom) and will then feed the MKE2 capsule with what it needs to work. There is also a -12db pad (attenuator) and a low cut circuit (80Hz) on the MZA if you need them. If you have a Sennheiser G1/G2/G3 transmitter the mic will now be compatible with those units as well, and a HUGE upgrade in sound quality from the stock ME-2.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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Re: Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

Greg that sounds like an interesting solution. A Sennheiser MZA900P looks to cost about $130 and it sounds like a pretty easy soldering job. Though I don't have any wireless system right now I have used the Sennheiser G2 in the past. I might just try this if no one has another idea.

I did get a reply back from the Sebastian Fell at Ambient Recording saying that he is under the understanding that the Ambient Eumel EMP5S would work with the MKE-2 and that it is sold with the Evolution series. But notes that, "Possibly it can take not all the 142 dB SPL with lower voltage. " (He seems to be a native German speaker so forgive the English.)
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Old April 13th, 2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Sennheiser MKE-2 to Zoom H4N

Greg your idea worked like a charm. Took a couple attempts at soldering the wires because they are so tiny but I have tested it out and the mic sounds great. Thank you very much for the help.
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