1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

If A Tube Mic has its own Power Supply is A Micpre Necessary

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Instro, Jan 16, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Instro

    Instro Guest

    Greetings and salutations to all you recording enthusiasts. I'm gonna be purchasing an SE z5600a tube mic pretty soon. Thing is i've acknowledged that fact that it does come with its own power supply which can provide 48v of phantom power. My question is will a seperate mic pre(Grace Design 101) be necessary to juice up the mic???


  2. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    With out much thought.. yes.
    At least thats the deal with all mic's I'v layed my fingers/eyes on.
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes, you will still need a pre. Tubes have different power requirements than condensers. Tubes, just like transistors, need a voltage supply available so that they can dish it out when called for.
  4. Instro

    Instro Guest

    Thanks for the advice fellas!!!

  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have to ask this question: what were you thinking that you'd plug it into?
    I mean, yes, you will need a mic pre, all mics need a preamp. But the mic input on, say, a Mackie 1202VLZ is a mic pre. So if you already have a mixer with mic ins (XLR), you won't HAVE to go out and buy a preamp, you have one in the mixer. By the way, a Grace 101 is a very nice pre to have for that mic. Better than 99% of the mixer-style mic pres on the market. That's coming from someone who has several mixers/pres including Mackies and the Grace. Save up!
  6. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Sour grapes...

    750 bucks for a mic and the buyer doesn't know the difference between a power supply and a preamp.

    Everyday "professionals" close their facilities and take up plumbing or truck driving, so people can buy their own stuff and "do just as well", in the comfort of their very own homes... Maybe they can?

    I call myself a "professional" and I don't have $7.50 to spend..?

    Jealousy, is a terrible thing...... Guess I'll stay away from the "pro" sections of the forum.

    I know, it's January, it's Monday, it's whatever else I can think of to explain my sad and sorry self...

    Think I'll count my change and see if I can come up with $7.50 - or call the guy back who wants to do "video ads", for $29.95, and is offering me "the chance" to do the VO(His daughter, a junior high school teacher, is doing them now)... beats watching re-runs on cable.


    Nah, I think I'll go back to the CSI Marathon, on Spike......

    Wonder how much their mic cost?
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    You mean my mbox and $99 headphones don't qualify me as a pro studio? I have a book about recording though? And a subscription to guitar one magazine, where they wrote about recording this one time.

    So is that a CSI: Vegas marathon? Because otherwise I'll just stay here at work.
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    And you get onto ME when I show "sour grapes"!!! You have a very valid point. This dude who posted doesn't know his...well, you know. That's cool.
    He'll either get his crap together, or start asking whether you want paper or plastic.
    It pisses me off when some local yocal around here hangs a "Recording Studio" sign out in front of his home, then charges $10.00/hr for his "services". A PC, a couple of cheesdick mics, and a portable keyboard makes him a "producer". Right. No offense to the original poster, but....
    I was being polite to ask what you were planning to plug the mic into?
    I should've asked, "What are you planning on plugging the mic into...your ass?" Have a nice day. And remember, Matlock always gets the bad guy!
  9. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Here is the "bio" from his site

    "I'm a producer in the game representing the "RAILROAD PROJECT"!! I graduated "Citrus College" with an *Audio Engineering Certificate* and i'm self employed producing artists. I'm proficient in: -Keyboards, -Midi/Synth/Drum Programming -Audio Engineering(Recording and Mixing) -Pro Tools -Cubase -Drums -Sampling -Songwriting -Turntablism. If any of yall out their are in need my services feel free to leave me a message on here or email me."

    Since he is a two year college "graduate" with an Audio Engineer Certificate I am wondering 1) where was he when they were discussing microphones and/or 2) Is this college really teaching audio engineering or "Turntablism" what ever that is.


    By the was to answer Instro's question. The power supply only provides power for the microphone it does not supply any gain to the signal. So it will still have to go into a microphone preamp either on your audio board or as a seperate preamp which will raise it to line level.
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Not sure of your answer. You could have a condenser microphone that was tube and you could have a condenser microphone that was solid state the difference would be the voltages needed for the tube to operate would normally be supplied by a power supply that is external. A solid state condenser microphone could be powered by phantom power from the board and would not need an external power supply. Then you would also have to explain the difference between a true condenser microphone and an electret condenser microphone.
  11. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Wow that's amazing.
  12. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Alright. No more jealousy(I have too many other people and things to be jealous about)...

    I will say one thing:

    If I was going to buy a $750 dollar mic, and now I KNOW it's going to need a preamp of some sort, I'd get a pretty darned good mic pre to go with it! Like one close-in-price to the price of the mic, itself. Though the Grace 101, which does not cost quite as much, or similar(One of the Sebatron's, mayhaps?), would be lovely, I'm sure, I would not bother with anything much less - no $69.95 jobbers...

    It's my back! Didn't get to sleep until 7am today! Did get a nice nap in later, though. Lots of Advil, hot shower, take it easy. I feel better now.

    "...Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."

    Far as the "pre/no pre? question itself goes, been there, asked similar, myself - and will again.

  13. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Sh*t ! . I thought maybe...just this once... now I guess I'll go watch CSI too

    Why does someone always have to spoil the party.

    BTW - I checked out the Performing Arts Section of Citrus College and...I'm not makin' this up. Upcoming Guest Artists are...

    Shirley Jones, Pat Boone and... (wait for it)
    Don Knotts.

    Now I know Shirley can sing despite her Patrige Family gig, Pat Boone... well a little too white bread for my taste, but okay...
    Don Knotts? on an artist series
  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Instro! I loved all the other postings, quite funny! People can hardly believe your naïveté, neither can I. Does not sound like you listened carefully in class, and/or you were ripped off. Smoked too much pot before class (I would)? I hope none of the above?

    You're tube microphone, has a power supply to supply high-voltage to make the tube conduct. The 48 volts is designed for phantom power transistor condenser microphones and/or to polarize the capsule of most non-polarized condenser microphones capsules. Generally, tube microphones require 48 volts to polarize the capsule, just like transistor condenser microphones, unless it is an electret type capsule, which is permanently polarized. The power supply for your microphone is there to also supply more like 250 -350 volts DC to the " plate" inside the tube, to make it work. The power supply cannot be used with anything other than that microphone and you should not open it up, as there is enough voltage and current in there to kill you! So no screwing around with the power supply. Listen to your mother!

    Your microphone, like most microphones, outputs a very low level signal regardless of whether it is a dynamic, ribbon or, condenser type and yes, you will require a microphone preamplifier such as the one you indicated or any mixer/console microphone inputs, to effectively use the microphone.

    These tube microphones, are generally smoother sounding than their transistor counterparts and in general are much more applicable to vocals and other acoustic of instruments. Rarely will you use a microphone such as this on an electric guitar amp, drum set, etc.. If you want something for rock and roll, this is not the microphone to own. For that application the venerable SM58 dynamic can't be beat.

    Your mother
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  15. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Doh! Now I know why none of my mics work :wink:

    Seriously though, I remember reading that the Neumann M149 has such a ridiculously hot output that you can put it through a line input.

    With outputs getting hotter and hotter all the time, perhaps the time might come when pres aren't "necessary".

    What a disgusting thought!

    Thankfully there are so many ribbons and other mics out there to keep such an vile abomination at bay :lol:

    John Stafford
  16. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Mr. Stafford...long time, no see!! Glad to see you back...missed your insight and input. Are you going to make me drool over your mic purchases all over again?
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Just think!!!!! If you record at 1024 Bit Resolution, NO one would need a mic pre!!!

  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    John, in many ways you are correct about output level from some of the Neumann microphones, both currently and in the past. In my old U67s and U87s there are a series of resistors to reduce the output level to normal microphone levels, otherwise, you can run them into some low-level line inputs directly. Of course you need a fairly hefty signal source to do that and there really isn't any reason to do that but can be done.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  19. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi Moonbaby
    That's very kind of you and it's lovely to talk to you again. I haven't been around for a while due to the illlness of a relative, but all seems to be well so it's back to mic-talk :)

    I'm afraid I haven't bought a mic for six months :cry: The last one was an AKG C426. It's cool to have so many patterns to play with!

    Hi Jeremy! That's funny :lol:
    I must be getting slow in my old age, as it took a while for the penny to drop! I wonder which cable insulator would sound best!

    Hi Remy, and thank you for your thoughts. While I agree with you completely that there is no reason to do this sort of thing, my curiosity is getting the better of me. It's probably a good thing for my mics that the innards of a U87Ai are so difficult to work on at my skill level! Still I'm about to plug a valve mic into a line input to see how loud I have to shout to get a signal.

    Thanks again
  20. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think your efforts will be somewhat futile if you don't remove the output pad (if your particular microphone has one) before going into your line input. Otherwise you microphone output is still at microphone level.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page