I have a Condenser Mic, phantom power, a sound card, and a preamp designed for ribbon and dynamic mics. I bought the Preamp thinking it would work but apparently it draws power from the phantom source, which means the mic isn't getting power. Would adding two phantom powers, one before connecting my mic to the Preamp and one after the Preamp work? Or will I have to buy a preamp with its own power source? I attached an image in the product description which seems to imply the Preamp can't work with condensor mics because it blocks the flow of and uses power from the phantom source enter image description here

  • Can you give us the model of both the preamp and the condenser mic? Something seems strange. – Todd Wilcox Sep 23 '19 at 19:19
  • The Mic is Alctron MC410, the Preamp is Alctron MA-1. After the Preamp not working, I revised the Preamp description and it seems they mention it doesn't work with condensor mics because it needs phantom power itself. – M Zein Sep 23 '19 at 19:35
  • Here's the product link (check "item description at the bottom where they mention the power issue) s.click.aliexpress.com/e/Lo3TxR5W – M Zein Sep 23 '19 at 19:36
  • Edited the question with an image to what I'm referring to – M Zein Sep 23 '19 at 19:41
  • Your problem is that the MA-1 is not a mic preamp. It’s merely a line booster. – Todd Wilcox Sep 23 '19 at 19:41

This is common among inline preamps; if it consumes phantom 48V to power itself, it won't pass any of that power "upstream" to the mic or other equipment.

You shouldn't need a new phantom power source between the preamp and audio interface as long as the interface is powering the preamp well enough. But you will either need a phantom power injector between the preamp and the condenser mic, or you'll need to swap the preamp for a DC-powered one that can provide phantom to the mic.

I will say it's unusual for an audio interface to need extra help boosting the signal of a condenser. I've dealt with interfaces that had trouble with some of the less sensitive dynamics like the SM7, but most condensers are pretty lively. Have you tried just running the mic directly into the interface (you didn't tell us exactly what that was) and seeing what you get?

  • Right. Condenser mics generally have a very simple preamp already built in (often a single jFET or in some cases a tube), so it's normally no problem to connect them to a simple mic input even if that doesn't have a great SNR preamp. The main reason that recording engineers do often run their condenser mics through separate tube preamps is that it adds a bit of analogue saturation. – leftaroundabout Jan 2 '20 at 18:03

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