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Re: decent portable mic pre with optical out

Subject: Re: decent portable mic pre with optical out
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_rob
Date: Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:18 pm ((PST))
At 8:49 AM +1100 11/17/06, Greg Simmons wrote:
>[Oryoki wrote: One limitation of the Hi-MD recorder is that it doesn't
>provide 48V "phantom power" required by many pro mics. So, depending
>on the mics you're using, you may need a separate battery box.]
>You hit the nail on the head...
>It's all well and good praising the HiMD's inputs and AD circuit, but
>pointless if you want to use professional microphones with balanced
>outputs and phantom power! The Rolls solves the power problem, but it
>doesn't provide any way of converting the balanced signal to

Hi Greg--
Yes, it is surprising; you have ascertained exactly what many are
doing. A balanced input doesn't seem to be necessary-- no radio
interference, no impedance problem while using a simple adapter cable
to get from the phantom power supply to the Hi-MD's 1/8" stereo mic
input using a simple adapter cable like this:

You can compare high-end balanced pre input performance to the lowly
Hi-MD/Rolls combo between the first two clips in this test:
Message: 01SorIMAmov.
Subject: html

The same pair of very low noise Rode NT1-A mics are being input into
both recorders which are at full gain with all the warts of the
signal paths revealed.

>  This could be done by taking the signal across pins 2 and
>3 of the XLR, and/or tying pin 3 to pin 1. Or better still, a good
>transformer that can also provide appropriate impedance matching. But
>that's getting expensive...

I have tried inserting a Shure A96F between the Rolls and the Hi-MD
mic input and it did add about 5dB gain. The tone changed a bit and I
have not gotten back to evaluate this. If output from a mic I was
using was low, I'd have no question about using a A96F. I think it
cost about $50 for one channel.

>Another solution might be to choose a microphone that can provide a
>minijack output and is self powered. A Rode NT4 might be a good
>suggestion; a clever chameleon that can happily work in both
>professional and consumer applications without compromise, and
>requires no extra boxes.

You may have seen/heard the NT-4 on the first test.  An NT-4 is also
on this test:  Rob D.

>- Greg Simmons

Rob Danielson
Peck School of the Arts
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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