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ART Phantom II Pro - Phantom Power Supply Reviews
Like a lot of musicians and videographers, there are occasions when I want to use phantom powered microphones, such as the Sennheiser MKE416P48 shotgun microphone, with equipment that is unable to produce phantom power. As a result, I have been looking for a portable phantom power unit and I think I have found it in the ART Pro Audio - Phantom II - Two Channel 12V/48 Phantom Power unit.
The Phantom II allows you to connect two microphones via two XLR inputs and link them, also by XLR, back to your recording device, so you do need to make sure you have the right connections and/or adapters.
According to the ART (Applied Research and Technology) website they acknowledge, “condenser microphones usually specify different requirements for their phantom power. These ratings can range from 48 Volts all the way down to 9 Volts. Fortunately, there’s a certain amount of flexibility with matching Phantom Power voltage to your microphone. A rough rule-of-thumb would be “more is better.”
For example, a 24-volt condenser microphone usually works perfectly with a 48 Volt Phantom Power Supply. Some microphones rated at as little as 9 Volts can operate on voltages up to 48 Volts (check with the manufacturer first). Conversely, a microphone will generally perform best driven by not less than its rated voltage. So, for a 48 Volt microphone, you would get best performance with 48 Volts of Phantom Power. For all the above, check out the Phantom II.”
ART have no problem selling the idea for these products, “For those times when you need a little box to fix a big need or to make more out of a smaller project, ARTcessories has you covered. You’ll discover a robust line of useful tools which include a complete range of direct boxes, headphone amps, small mixers, mic cable combiner/splitters and much more.” Big claims but do they work in practice?
Phantom II in action
I am a videographer so I decided to use the Phantom II for an outside shoot alongside the River Mersey, my clients were a community radio station and they had arranged for a gospel/country artist from Nashville, to promote the station. The artist was a true professional and showed great patience on a rain filled, windy day, while the River Mersey was at its highest and lapped the promenade due to a spring tide. Out came the microphones including the Phantom II and the Sennheiser MKE416P48 shotgun microphone and work began. The first problem was what to do with Phantom II unit, yes it is light and portable, but it did not look waterproof, so that was quickly popped into a supermarket carry bag and we were off. The Phantom II unit performed perfectly in that it was invisible and that I did not even notice it was there during recording, it did its job and that is all I could ask.
At £46 this unit is worth every penny, the Phantom II is rugged and reliable and does what it says it will do; provide two Channel 12V/48V phantom power at a bargain price.
Beautifully made solid metal construction, the battery compartment could be designed better to hold the batteries. but they are safe and kept away from the rest of the electrics. the unit has not given me any problems so far, it works flawlessly i recommentd to anybody who needs phantom power to all effects and other device but need to power the mic in the chain first. i use these with behringer c-2's
This phantom power unit does the job, but without any great elegance for the user. It is powered by two 9V batteries, which are supplied. One was flat on delivery, and both were within three months of reaching their use by date. The battery compartment is accessed behind a small metal plate held with a single screw. The plate is awkward to refix. The batteries themselves are attached to two flying leads inside the unit. There is no anchor point for holding the batteries, they just drop inside the battery compartment, which is shielded from the rest of the electronics by a cardboard sleeve. When you pick up the unit, you can hear the batteries moving around inside - not very reassuring! Having said all that, the ART Phantom II does adequately supply phantom power, which can be switched between 12v and 48v.
Please can you let me know what is best to power a shure sm86 microphone?