Chapter 13

Microphone Preamplifiers

Microphone Preamplifier Requirements

A microphone preamplifier is a serious design challenge. It must provide a gain variable from 0 to 70 dB or more to amplify deafening drum-kits or discrete dulcimers, generate minimal internal noise, and have a high common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR) balanced input to cancel noise pickup in long cables. It must also be able to withstand +48 V DC of phantom power suddenly applied to its input while handling microvolt signals.

It is now rare to use input transformers to match a low-impedance (150–200 Ω) microphone to the preamplifier, since the cost and weight penalty is serious, especially when linearity at low frequencies and high levels is important. Both dynamic and capacitor ...

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