There's been interest here in the community and I've chatted with a few folks about this, so we wanted to share some pictures and info. First off, a HUGE thank you to hi and lo and Mattias from Milab for this. Their expertise and dedication is what made this project possible. Over a year of R&D went into this and my hat is off to them.
This is the Dynamic Audio PZP-2 "ZBox" for Milab VM-44 capsules, built from the ground up by hi and lo. It is a replacement for the standard Milab preamplifiers for the VM-44 capsules and the box itself couldn't be simpler to use: input for the power source, input for the microphones, output to the recorder, and a locking on/off power switch.
It's meant to run off 9-volt power but can utilize 12v in a pinch. I tried using a Tekkeon MP3300 at 9v to run the PZP-2 and there was a slight but noticeable hum coming through on the recordings into my Edirol R-44. Bumping the voltage up to 12v, the hum disappeared at the cost of the preamp running hotter due to the wasted volts. Using hi and lo's better and "cleaner" Tekkeon battery (the model number escapes me at the moment) at 9v, the signal was crystal clear and had no hum.
The system uses the standard Milab Link cables (1804A Belden) with the capsule colettes. hi and lo removed the Binder 719 connectors at the preamp ends and replaced them with 4-pin mini-XLR locking connectors, which then plug into a dual 4-pin left/right to 6-pin adapter. The 6-pin locking connector plugs directly into the PZP-2. Audio output from the PZP-2 is via a 5-pin locking connector into a left/right pair of male XLRs that plug right into the recorder. Guessing this output could be terminated into an 1/8-inch stereo plug, etc, for pocket recorders.
In addition, hi and lo fashioned a few other cables for this system:
- 9-foot stereo-pair extension cable terminated in 4-pin locking connectors for use with PZP-2 which, when combined with the 9.5-foot length of the original Milab cables, will give you an effective cable length of over 18 feet - great for those tall stands or long runs.
- 10-foot stereo-pair extension cable terminated in Binder 719 connectors so that these modified cables can be used with the standard VM-44 Link preamplifiers, and will give you an effective cable length of over 19 feet.
Needless to say, the craftsmanship is beautiful and the pictures below don't do it justice (I'm not a photographer so please excuse the quality, lighting, etc). It is definitely built tough and made for field use. The technical specs for this aren't my forte either, so I'm hoping that hi and lo and Mattias will chime in on this thread for any of the complicated questions. And yes, I will be getting out samples/whole shows recorded with this setup. I can't wait to get it out in the field again!
Edit to add: In hindsight, this thread probably should have gone in the 'Battery Boxes, Preamps, Mixers...' section. If the moderator would prefer to move it there, that's fine with me. TIA.