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Old March 9th, 2018, 10:56 AM   #16
New Boot
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Norwich UK
Posts: 8
Re: XLR and Phantom power-confused.

Problem solved! Returned the Maplin mic, and bought a Power Dynamics PDM660 Condenser Mic from Amazon, at 23.
It has a case, mic holder and XLR to XLR cable, although the photo shows an XLR to jack plug. Sensitivity is -46db, and it works very well.
Thanks for all your help...
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Old March 10th, 2018, 04:21 AM   #17
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,217
Re: XLR and Phantom power-confused.

Don't get excited by 20dB gain - microphones produce microvolts - which isn't surprising when you think it's doing a similar job to a wind turbine - just on a much smaller scale - using sound waves to wobble a diaphragm in a magnetic field. The line input is for other devices that stick out millivolts - up to over a volt! The extra gain on the XLR is just what any device needs to have.

Don't think of the phantom power as anything special either - it's just a neat way of piggybacking some powering voltage for mics that need it (condensers, which have electronics inside) via the cable that carries the sound. Dynamic mics just ignore it, and the only practical issue is when you forget to pull the fader down when you connect the cable - and you get a loud POP through the speakers when the voltage suddenly appears. Some people go into melt-down when this happens, expecting to catch their speaker cones flying through the air when they go from 0 to 100mph in an instant. Other people are more relaxed about it and don't stress. Most quietly curse, confident their systems will cope. Never had any speakers blown since 1974 when I first discovered the 'feature'. Perhaps I'm just lucky.If it means a 100m round trip to pull down a fader, or risk it - I risk it every time. It's bad practice and probably stupid, but that's me!

One word of warning. Shure SM57 and SM58 mics are still, after 40 years, the industry standard - the workhorse - and Ebay is FULL of counterfeit ones. Brand new, they're going to be 80+ (in any currency). A new mic cheaper than this on Ebay will be a fake. They work, but sound like your Marlins mics. Just a bit dull and maybe feedback prone, live. The people shifting this dodgy stock are now resorting to scuffing them with a bit of sandpaper, crumpling up or throwing away the destructions and the mic clip, and selling them as used but nearly perfect. I would never buy a Shure mic on Ebay in a million years - and for fun, I've been buying obvious fakes to see what they are like - and there are even Shure 545 mics - the forerunner of the SM57 on sale, but the last one was sold a long time ago, and the counterfeiters forgot that the zip up cases are a newer thing, and that they were always brushed aluminium NOT chromed type finish. I also have a Share SM86 condenser - that magically works without phantom power, because inside it is a dynamic. Ebay also has Sennheiser 835s and 845s that have never seen the inside of a Sennheiser factory. Ebay do nothing about this, and gullible people get 'bargains' for very low prices, but get pretty much a 15 pound microphone in return.
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