Jon’s Random Thoughts on Audio Reproduction

  • Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part II

    Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part II

    Microphone Selection—Specifications On the topic of microphone specifications, there is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that most microphone manufacturers supply relatively complete and standardized specifications, which enhance comparisons between models.  The bad news is that these specifications are not well …

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  • Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part I

    Concepts in Audio Signal Transmission: Part I

    Part I: Decibels, Impedance, and Operating Level Audio engineering enthusiasts are often confused by product specifications, which honestly aren’t always helpful, as they can lack comparability between product classes.  Here is a primer on three concepts involved in audio signal transmission and how to interpret …

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  • Dynamic Microphone Amplification

    Dynamic Microphone Amplification

    image credit:  wikipedia and PixLoger (from Pixabay) There is much misunderstanding—perhaps even misdirection among engineers on the topic of dynamic microphone amplification, especially with regard to inline phantom-powered amplifier solutions.  This post will attempt to shed some light on this issue. Microphones can be divided …

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  • X-V tube kit microphone

    X-V tube kit microphone

    From 2006-2007 I built the MSH-4 tube microphone.  Of all of my discontinued products, I’ve gotten more requests to revive that microphone than any other.  It was popular because of the “secret sauce” of the 6418 tube, which is a generous helping of the “good” …

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  • The Future of Microphones

    The Future of Microphones

      Microphones and preamplifiers are drastically inefficient devices in the modern age. But before we explore that thesis, let’s review the development of microphones. We can very crudely divide the world of microphones into dynamic and condenser microphones (let’s ignore the exceptions for a moment). …

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  • Balanced Guitar Wiring

    Balanced Guitar Wiring

    A guitar pickup is essentially similar to a dynamic microphone coil. For decades, dynamic microphones have been wired with the voice coil attached to the primary of the microphone’s transformer, and not referenced to ground (‘floating’). The microphone’s case is typically connected to the cable …

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  • DIY Microphone Design

    DIY Microphone Design

    The development of the MSH-1 began as a result of Joel Cameron’s Tape Op mic. In fact, it was after I had mentioned on a few occasions that it wouldn’t be too difficult to build a phantom powering circuit into the XLR connector instead of …

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