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Old 29th October 2002, 09:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Default Suggestions for a battery powered NON-balanced Mic Preamp?

Hey all, I hope you can help me...

I'm taking a 6-month backpacking tour of Europe next year. I have been making my own binaural recordings using a Marantz MD recorder and a pair of home made earplug mics using Panasonic WM-61 capsules.

While the quality I'm getting from this setup is terriffic, there is no way I'm lugging that recorder around with me! Besides, it chows batteries like mad.

So I bought a Creative Nomad Jukebox 3. I'll be putting a 60GB hard drive in it to replace he 20GB it comes with. This will hold most of my music collection, plus be able to record. It's the only high-tech device I want to have with me...

Anyways, this things does a pretty nice job of recording. It should serve me well in making good binaural field recordings all over Europe! Here's what I need from a mic preamp.

1. Unbalanced - It's only going three feet up to my ears. I'm already doing this with the Marantz with no detectable noise.

2. Portable - Perhaps two 9V batteries for a +/-9v split supply?

3. Provide at least 2V power to the panasonic capsules. This is easy, as I'm already doing this for the Marantz with a simple passive battery box.

4. Compact - I like the Altoids tin idea. I made a headphone amp with two 9V batteries in one.

What do you think? Would a premium op-amp be good enough or should I go discrete? I can do the op-amp design no problem, but my skills are not honed enough to do a discrete design myself.

There are lots of good schematics out there for mic preamps, but they are usually balanced.

Thanks for any help...
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Old 29th October 2002, 11:54 PM   #2
haldor is offline haldor  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Here are a bunch of mic preamp circuits.

Also checkout Rod Elliot's web site he has 3 projects involving mic preamps.

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Old 11th November 2002, 01:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Finland, Ostrobothnia
I am going for this one with one of my mics , an Audio Technica AT822 for live recordings with my Minidisc. I asked Rod himself and he said the amp will happily run off a pair of 9V batteries in series (18V) drawing only a few mA. And very low noise for the money. I don't see any other design that could beat this in that way.
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Old 23rd December 2002, 03:15 PM   #4
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Could you put up a quick post on how you made your AT, binaural, "earphone" mics? I have seen them for sale and thought of aquiring them for my DAT. Of course if I could make them..... :-)

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Old 23rd December 2002, 05:22 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Llanddewi Brefi, NJ
Default there are some neat low voltage, low noise

single supply amps on virtually all the websites ( , , , ) . I wonder what's in an I-POD ?
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