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Author Topic: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?  (Read 2843 times)

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Offline Niels

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Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« on: May 28, 2020, 09:34:38 AM »
I have an “iRig Pre HD” https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigprehd/ which I use on occasions with a MKH 416 or RØDE M1 and iPhone. I feel the Lightening connection is fragile in the field, and the device itself has some idiosyncrasies I am not too happy with. The sound is fine though.

I could just buy a recorder with XLR input, but they are bulky and it would not be used very often. I would prefer just to have a small add-on I can bring along with my compact handheld recorder when needed.

I imagine something self-contained like the “iRig Pre” https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpre/ (but better and more robust) that can plug into a recorder via 3,5mm jack. Does such a thing exist?
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 09:56:08 AM »
lots of small portable pres but you can drop good money on them. none are really smaller than a recorder themselves

whats your budget?you can get a tascam dr40 recorder for$100 or a sonosax pre for $800.....

and tons of options in between

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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 11:20:43 AM »
Marantz makes one - I've never used it but the preamps in the PMD706 recorder from the same time frame of release as this unit were surprisingly good for the price. Not sure if the form factor is what you are looking for but it going to be hard to find both XLR connections and "robust" in a very small package. It's cheap too.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1340331-REG/marantz_professional_pmd_602a_2_channel_dslr_wireless_interface.html

If you look at the bottom of the linked page there are several portable preamps - most intended for use mated to a DSLR camera - in the under $200 range.

Best small XLR input preamp I've used is the Aerco MP2 Jensen transformer based preamp. You can sometimes find a used one for $400-500.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 11:23:34 AM by goodcooker »
Joly Mod Oktava MK012 C,H,O  or NakCM300 > Sound Devices 442 or Reference Audio Designs MS2 > Tascam DR701d
Transfers - Tascam DA30 (dats) or Nak MR2 (cassettes) > Sound Devices USB Pre

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Online aaronji

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2020, 11:58:52 AM »
^ I'll second the Aerco. It's a great little pre-amp.

Are you looking for stereo or mono? From your iRig Pre link, I am assuming mono? If that's the case, Sound Devices makes a couple of high-quality, small mono pres.

Offline Niels

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2020, 12:30:21 PM »
Thanks all, Yeah, I was thinking mono, and smaller than a recorder with XLR input. The SD MM-1 and MP-1 looks really nice but are both more than 0,5 kg. I may as well get a Tascam DR-100mkIII or something similar then.
I am thinking that what I want may not exist.
The Centrance MicPort 2 https://centrance.com/micportpro/ comes really close though, but is intended for digital out. I would doubt it makes sense to feed its headphone out into a recorder?
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Online aaronji

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 01:03:38 PM »
Apogee One or Duet? I have heard good things about these, but they do need breakout cables...

Offline DSatz

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 02:02:49 AM »
Niels, if you like the "Micport Pro 2" in general, why would you not use its headphone output as an aux output? The voltage and impedance levels should be OK, and the manual specifically says that this can be done.

Let me mention one other option for a recorder, but only to rule it out: The Tascam DR-10X. It's extremely small and lightweight and has an XLR-3F input. But it has no phantom powering, and its mike preamp is noisy. At its least sensitive input setting (basically line level), it seems to switch into a different circuit configuration in which it has a very usable signal-to-noise ratio. But then you'd need a preamp with phantom powering in order to drive it! I've used it with the Sound Devices MP-1 and it has worked nicely, but it is a bit of a "solution looking for a problem".

--best regards
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 08:15:33 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2020, 02:20:12 AM »
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Offline Niels

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2020, 03:05:44 AM »
@DSatz @jerryfreak Thanks for bringing up those plug-in recorders. Don't know why I didn't think of those. The HD-TX looks like a swiss army knife and I could probably use it for other things as well.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2020, 03:08:56 AM »
@DSatz @jerryfreak Thanks for bringing up those plug-in recorders. Don't know why I didn't think of those. The HD-TX looks like a swiss army knife and I could probably use it for other things as well.
at a design level, all their products are. while i havent seen any use cases of their gear, im pretty sure im not the only one eagerly awaiting the 2-channel transmitter/recorder "BP-TRX'
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Offline OldNeumanntapr

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2020, 01:07:29 PM »
I like my Beyer MV 100. Basically the same as a Sonoxax but has a stepped gain instead of a variable gain and ICs instead of discrete. The Sax has XLR outs and the Beyer has RCA outputs. The sound is very similar and the MV100 is a lot cheaper on the used market. It's a nice little fool proof box.

Online Colin Liston

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2020, 05:20:56 PM »
Thanks all, Yeah, I was thinking mono, and smaller than a recorder with XLR input. The SD MM-1 and MP-1 looks really nice but are both more than 0,5 kg. I may as well get a Tascam DR-100mkIII or something similar then.
I am thinking that what I want may not exist.
The Centrance MicPort 2 https://centrance.com/micportpro/ comes really close though, but is intended for digital out. I would doubt it makes sense to feed its headphone out into a recorder?

The MixerFace, has 4 options one of which is an all in one, with preamp and recorder.  Cool little box and relatively inexpensive.

https://centrance.com/mixerface/
Occasionally....music mics record

Online aaronji

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2020, 06:04:08 PM »
^ That thing is pretty cool! It would make an awesome small rig. I like how it can record to both the microSD and a phone/tablet. It's a shame you can't gang the gain for the two XLR inputs, though, and it would also be nice if it had a user replaceable battery. And some sort of more advanced level indicator.

Do you have one, Colin? I would love to hear some taper reports and ask a few questions...

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2020, 06:36:51 PM »
there is one person here with a mixerface R4R

it has no interface, the phone is the interface but the internal micro SD is a separate backup (which is damn handy for iphone rigs in lieu of solid cabling)

it certainly checks all the boxes with a design based around good clean analog preamps, should best any handheld or brick out there, though it is kinda getting into brick size.
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Offline dactylus

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Re: Compact handheld XLR preamp w phantom?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2020, 11:22:20 AM »
^ That thing is pretty cool! It would make an awesome small rig. I like how it can record to both the microSD and a phone/tablet. It's a shame you can't gang the gain for the two XLR inputs, though, and it would also be nice if it had a user replaceable battery. And some sort of more advanced level indicator.

Do you have one, Colin? I would love to hear some taper reports and ask a few questions...

^
"The MixerFace, has 4 options one of which is an all in one, with preamp and recorder.  Cool little box and relatively inexpensive."

https://centrance.com/mixerface/



Send a PM to TS member "dallman".  He is very happy with his R4R recorder.

https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=190281.msg2297842#msg2297842





« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 11:26:03 AM by dactylus »
hot licks > microphones > recorder



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