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Another first for me here.

I have 100 ft run to the piano. Using Mojave MA100's SP for the first time. They come with its own PS. The micpre's have 48v too. Do I use one or the other or both in a long run or longer runs? Do you ever need to use both to ramp anything up lada lada lada?

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RemyRAD Wed, 11/09/2011 - 15:06

Most 48 V phantom should be able to travel up to 500 feet through most microphones snakes. At least I haven't had much trouble at that extreme distance. But it can become a problem since DC loses a lot more energy over greater cable distances than AC. Some phantom power at 48 V on some consoles don't have enough current to drive a Neumann U 87, which requires greater current than most other microphones even if the console is supplying 48 V. In the past I had considered building my stage box input to allow for an external 48 V supply into the stage box. But even at 500 feet with multiple 87's and others, it wasn't necessary with my AudiTronics 501's, Sphere Eclipse C or, the Neve, since they all had beefy phantom supplies. So I never bothered adding remote phantom to the stage box. I would say at more than 500 feet however, it may become rather iffy? So for over 20 years this is not been an issue for me.

Some engineers like the Long and Thin
Mx. Remy Ann David

Boswell Thu, 11/10/2011 - 03:04

audiokid, post: 379029 wrote: I have 100 ft run to the piano. Using Mojave MA100's SP for the first time. They come with its own PS. The micpre's have 48v too. Do I use one or the other or both in a long run or longer runs? Do you ever need to use both to ramp anything up lada lada lada?

You have to use the MA100's power supply. These are valve (tube) mics and do not need 48V phantom power.

You will be fine on a 100 ft cable run from the power supply audio output back to the pre-amps. For minimum cable noise, turn off the PP output on the pre-amps.

audiokid Thu, 11/10/2011 - 08:23

Too funny. Remy should see me when I need a hair cut lol.

What amount of power goes thru it? 110v? For variable pattern mics, I imagine its the same PS, yes, but instead the pot adjusts a phase which changes the pattern, yes? Are those the same, you shouldn't use Phantom with them? I'm sure I have done this though, but you say it will produce noise in the line? There is no manual with this to read on it more. Glad I asked.

Boswell Thu, 11/10/2011 - 09:37

Sorry I was a bit terse in my previous post. The MA100SPs can only be powered from their custom power supply using the 7-pin XLR cable. The 3-pin XLR outputs are the audio to run off to your pre-amps. I have never used these mics, and the data sheet is no help on this point, but on other valve/tube mics I have used, there have been two different cable types. The first has a breakout in the cable itself, where one tail goes to the power supply and the other has the 3-pin XLR cable-mounted plug for taking to the pre-amps. The other type has the 7-pin lead all the way back to the chassis of the power supply unit and the 3-pin XLR is mounted there.

The point about turning off phantom power if not needed is that cables form low-grade capacitor (condenser) mics by themselves. Movement of a cable by pulling, rolling or kicking can create surprisingly large low-frequency signals in the audio circuits if 48V is present, and these can upset mic pre-amps in subtle and occasionally not-so-subtle ways. This is not a heavily advertised effect, and I found it out by trying to track down some what looked like seismic signals in a recording many years back. I can imagine that the magnitude of an effect like this depends on the quality of the mic cables you use, but at the time I had only the one multi-channel snake that on this occasion, unknown to me, was being moved a small amount every time a stage door opened and shut.

RemyRAD Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:49

Yeah, I've experienced that as well Boswell but never connected phantom power causing that subsonic lump to my thinking. That was great thinking. And as we all know my thinking is largely damaged. But I did get a kick out of you saying "Sorry I was a bit terse in my previous post." I had worded that identically to you to someone else in another one of my posts, before I just read that here. I know great minds think alike even those of us that have damaged ones. So cool. Perhaps you read mine? It's a nice line isn't it? Especially when we all get so passionate about what we do and what we actually know to be right. None of us like stupid. I've enjoyed your posts so much over the years, I'm really almost embarrassed when I know you've read mine. Still, I know I am with some fabulous professionals like myself here to help those that want to make a better recording, make it happen for them. And the more different ways it's explained the better the understanding and the better the art of recording shall be.

I'm artsy fartsy. I think it was the pizza last night?
Mx. Remy Ann David

anonymous Mon, 10/22/2012 - 09:21

Hey Guys,

A number of years ago, I was faced with a recording delimma. I was supposed to be at a rehearsal on a Sunday afternoon with a performance of Handel's Messiah in another building across the street. I decided to string a couple of microphone cables across the street between the buildings. As it turned out, I used two 1000ft reels of West Penn 452 cable and a stress wire for swinging in the air between the buildings. I soldered connectors on the ends and used two Neumann KM48i's in the auditorium end out in front of the orchestra about 10ft in the air. The other end was connected to a Tascam M15 console and recorded there on a Teac reel machine.

The sound was great overall except on some soft vocal parts which were a little weak on the recording. In looking back, it was an experiment with both recorded sound that far away and that concert piece. I was pretty pleased with the recording and the performers were glad it was recorded.

Hal Swinhart
Oklahoma City, OK

MrEase Mon, 10/22/2012 - 10:06

RemyRAD, post: 379032 wrote: But it can become a problem since DC loses a lot more energy over greater cable distances than AC.

That's not correct and somewhat misleading I'm afraid. Given similar conditions (i.e. source and load impedances) D.C. is only affected by the resistance of the cable and the inductance and capacitance is irrelevant. Given that the resistance of a few hundred feet of cable is only going to be a few tens of ohms worst case and phantom power is usually sourced through 6k8 then the phantom power will be little affected. If a particular setup does cause a problem then the phantom power will be marginal even with a short cable.

On the other hand A.C. signals are affected by not only the resistance but also the inductance and capacitance. At the frequencies and lengths we are concerned with here we do not need to worry about transmission line impedance but the capacitance alone will increase the attenuation compared to the D.C. case due to finite source impedances. IMHO longer lines need to be used with low output impedance sources as a high output impedance could easily create a low pass filter cutting off in the higher audio band. Also it is always better to use low capacitance cable for long runs as higher capacitance always risks instability in an active source. This applies whether phantom power is used or not.

RemyRAD Thu, 10/25/2012 - 08:43

I don't know where you get your brilliant experience from? You might be correct as far as a book is concerned? But when dealing with real-world scenarios such as 24gauge balanced microphone snakes on a 500 foot long run, a crap load of incidences come into play. Yes, loss of high-frequency response due to the capacitance and inductance effect caused by the cabling. There is also a voltage drop of the +48 V of phantom, in the real world. Maybe not in your book world? So Mr. Knowledge I am Ms. Practical. You're lucky if +48 V of phantom can survive at 1000 feet. And while it does, it's almost like a guy without "V i a g r a" that needs to see Alice. And that ain't very fun nor very efficient. But surely you must know that since you have already run microphone lines 1000 feet? And probably why Edison lost his push for DC distribution of our power grid to Tesla/Westinghouse. You might be correct from a theoretical standpoint but we realized what worked and what didn't work, over 100 years ago. And we're not feeding DC to peoples homes. Now this might change if we all get hydrogen fuel cell technology to power our homes? But not yet. Then again, most people don't use microphone cables much longer than 15-50 feet. So no problem with that. So both energy and force up long lines are reduced unless you are using welders cables for your microphone runs? Money might get you an education but money cannot buy you experience. Theoretically we might be able to make the trip to Mars and back? Would ya like to be the first to try? Where we might find that experience might teach us something else?

With crappy audio, nobody gets killed.
Mx. Remy Ann David

MrEase Thu, 10/25/2012 - 11:42

RemyRAD, post: 395189 wrote: I don't know where you get your brilliant experience from?

Indeed you don't, for, unlike some people we know, I do not constantly bash on about it! Suffice to say I have been around at least as long as you and been similarly independent as an electronic design consultant. Even though my profession naturally required that I have an appropriate university education, I too have to live in the real world where everyone gains real world experience and education is only helpful in analysing the unexpected. Of course, neither education nor experience counts for anything if we do not learn from it.

Your reference to DC and AC mains is just hot air trying to back your assertions. The reasons behind the ultimate choice of AC mains had nothing to do with losses but rather with transformers. They don't work at DC! The convenience of distribution where being able to step up and down between 66/132kV grid (UK) and domestic levels demanded AC (being able to distribute at tens and hundreds of kilovolts cuts resistive losses enormously). This far outweighs the drawbacks of a grid that must, despite the low frequencies, be regarded as a true transmission line system due to the vast distances involved. There is also a very basic safety issue but I'll let you guess on that one if you haven't already experienced it!

Despite your post, which actually contains no factual information, just pure conjecture, none of us, not even Ms. Practical, can change the fundamental facts and laws of Physics.

Phantom power is fed, by requirement, through a resistance of several kilohms (usually 6k8). Fact!

Two of these are in series with each of the balanced lines. If each of the balanced lines has a resistance as high as 68 ohms/1000 ft (unlikely - the 24 gauge cited by Remy has 25.6 Ohms/1000ft) then the phantom power arrives at the remote end with a highest possible source resistance of 6868 ohms. Fact!

The total feed impedance has risen by just 1% Fact!

The tolerance of the 6k8 resistors used in the phantom power source is highly unlikely to be less than 1% and will normally be 2 or 5%. Fact!

The phantom power voltage is highly unlikely to be regulated to better than 1%. Fact!

Conclusion 1. The effect of 1000ft of cable has the same or normally less effect than the tolerance of the resistors feeding the phantom power. Fact!

Conclusion 2. If you do experience problems with long cables (not unknown) then a simple resistance measurement will eliminate the phantom power as the source of the problem. Fact!

Conclusion 3. If the resistance is not ridiculously high you should look for problems elsewhere. E.g. Driver oscillation and other ac problems. Fact!

Rhetoric does not solve problems. Rational thinking has a chance. These words do not come from books as you assert but from me, with just as much (if not more) experience of "real" engineering as you.

Less of the personal hyperbole and conjecture in future please, let's be professional.

RemyRAD Thu, 10/25/2012 - 11:59

I am. When you consider microphone such as the Neumann U87, they require more current from their phantom than most others. And in that respect, the 6.8 K ohm resistors, (usually a .5% accuracy pair of resistors when one really cares) are adversely affected on long snakes. You can flippantly say that you would replace the cable if you had to deal with that issue but that's not always an option. So better recordings come from the better understanding of what works given a certain situation. I don't contest your knowledge or your factual descriptions and information. I'm sure in that respect, your education goes far beyond mine. And I'm not contesting your knowledge. Perhaps we have both done this for quite some time. I know what works for my purposes, professionally. So as a freelance engineer, I am also required to work with equipment for which I have no control over. And to understand what could potentially cause problematic issues. And in that respect, you cannot rely upon theory. You have to rely upon the directions to Carnegie Hall. Which might be different than the theoretically accurate Google mapping computer might offer up. And all still culminating in the arrival at Carnegie Hall.

I might be stupid but I ain't no dummy.
Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:18

This topic shows a lot of passion so before any chance of it going sideways, I feel it necessary to step in and ask us to take a breath. Remy, in all do respect, I think you came on a bit heavy in a half fun full ernest way a few posts back which may have been taken a bit insulting.

This is a very interesting topic, looking forward to more good debate here!

Sent from my iPhone

MrEase Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:19

I would politely suggest that your previous post certainly attempted to belittle my earlier post here and quite definitely attempted to contest my knowledge (and experience). This IMHO belied your professionality (is that a word?) and appeared more as a rant. Not to worry! (EDIT: I posted this before seeing audiokid's post!)

Whatever the current requirement of your Neumann U87, it is fixed and does not change with the length of the cable (see later though). Hence, as I suggested earlier, if it was no good with 1000ft of cable it would certainly be marginal even with a 10ft cable if the power was the problem. If you look at the resistance calculations I made you would see this. With the true resistance of 24 gauge, 25.6 Ohms/1000ft, the contribution of the cable is significantly less than that of the variation of even 0.5% resistors. I do not think the level of the phantom power was the problem. In this situation I would certainly be looking at the stability of the Neumann with capacitive load (this could dramatically increase the phantom current drawn) and also its output impedance.

Boswell Fri, 10/26/2012 - 04:32

Post #10 in [[url=http://[/URL]="http://recording.or…"]this [/]="http://recording.or…"]this [/]thread examines a lot of the a.c. aspects of the topic.

Here's a reply to a question on the Neumann Applications forum pages about using (only!) 50m mic cables:

Find the capacitance specification for your cable and multiply it by the length you are using. You can calculate the high frequency roll off point by f=1/2piRC where f is the low pass frequency and R is the mic impedance (about 200 ohms) and C is the total cable capacitance. If the frequency is above 200KHz you can go on living life as you did before you had these concerns. Much lower than that and you should probably think of alternatives.

Resistance of the cable is negligable and would only manifest itself as a slight level drop anyway.

RF interference could become a concern with large distances, especially if you are in a locale that is noisy in RF. Transformer coupled inputs usually do better here, but even if RF shows up, it can always be cured with the addition of passive components. These solutions are more tricky and can be dependent on just what the mic and preamp circuits are doing. Well designed gear will work fine for RF, but there are not many well designed mics and pre's out there, I am sorry to say. As far as your comination is concerned, I have not tried them.

BTW, your question is not elementary. You are entering the range when you need to ask these questions. The good news is: any problems encountered can be solved.

RemyRAD Fri, 10/26/2012 - 09:14

I should apologize. There was no intent of malice on my part. And I am sorry that you felt I had insulted you. That was never my intention. I simply recite what real-world situations I've lived through over the span of a 40 year career. It would actually be more than 40 if I had been getting any decent work over the past couple of years LOL. Which really isn't very funny for anybody today. And maybe my timing wasn't good with respect to my ERT?

(Everybody is wondering what kind of technical audio acronym that means?)

Simply because the estrogen still puts me on that roller coaster ride. And that's perhaps when my passion gets a little too intense and tilts to the slightly Phyllis Diller side of me? I promise I won't bite you in the leg again.... Somewhere else maybe?

I guess it's all a good argument for short microphone cables, preamps at the stage and a couple of skinny digital cables and yet soon to be developed wireless multi-trek link?

Live long and prosper Y//
Mx. Remy Ann David

MrEase Fri, 10/26/2012 - 09:57


No problem from my end. I will defend myself though! thumb

As I am a similar age to you, I also have a partner at the same stage of life so I really do understand!


Any mic could start to lose top end on a very long cable run with associated high capacitance.

WRT instability and phantom power, this is associated with any active device at the far end of a cable. Any device with gain has the possibility of instability and that would normally be a condensor mic of either electret or normal type. As Boswell mentioned, some ribbon mic's also have active electronics in them which again would be susceptible to instability. Also as Boswell mentioned, good designs take high capacitance loads into account and remain stable. Not all do and presumably Boswell would join me in regarding them as poor designs.

EDIT: BTW, this problem could also arise with an active device not powered by phantom power. For instance a guitar with battery powered active pick ups. Again, some designs are better than others.

Boswell Fri, 10/26/2012 - 10:27

audiokid, post: 395220 wrote: To simplify for me, this is a condenser microphone issue then?

The phantom power part of it, yes. Otherwise, it's a noise pickup and high-frequency attenuation issue, which is largely independent of the operating principle and has more to do with output impedance and other details of the design of the microphone.

In the case of a dynamic mic, the only component inside other than the transducer itself is usually a transformer, and it would be a really poor design or poor quality part if that gave trouble with long leads. A condenser mic (and also an active ribbon type) has electronics inside, and this is where the stability and drive problems with long leads can arise. Again, the better the design, the less likely that cable length problems would occur. "Better" does not necessarily mean "higher price"; in this context, "better" should mean that the designer has taken the whole range of likely load conditions into account and that his product performs adequately under them.