X-Y microphone capsule amplifier
$109.00 – $159.00
The X-Y microphone capsule amplifier is a microphone “body” that supports the X-R series interchangeable microphone capsules and capsule heads. The X-Y has a flexible power scheme, and may be configured to run on +12 to +48V phantom, internal A23 or rechargeable Li-ion battery, or external DC power. The X-Y capsule amplifier is available in mono, stereo, and three- or four-channel output configurations.
The X-Y amplifier mounts to a standard 5/8″-27 thread microphone clip via its XLR output connector. Versions without internal battery option or without gain control may also have a 1/4″-20 thread mount.
The X-Y is supplied with female RCA input(s). The X-Y has several options for input configuration:
- fixed mono end-address with single RCA input
- fixed stereo end-address with dual RCA inputs
- fixed stereo end/side-address with three RCA inputs
- TB4M input to support interchangeable capsule heads
- stereo: 120º
- three-channel: 90º
- four-channel 2D surround: 90º
- four-channel 3D (ambisonic): 120º
The fixed stereo end/side-address version has left channel inputs on both the end and side of the case.
A stereo version may be used as a mono balanced microphone; unused inputs should be terminated to reduce system noise.
A stereo version may also be used as a mono microphone with two capsules attached when connected a single microphone channel. This will mix the signal from the two capsules to the single channel with opposite polarity between the two capsules. This technique can be used in live sound reinforcement to cancel ambient sound and thus increase gain before feedback of the microphone system.
X-R capsules with male RCA plug output may be directly attached to the X-Y amplifier, or extended via RCA adaptor accessories or extension cables. A complete range of stereo and surround recording techniques are thereby enabled; including coincident, near-coincident, and spaced stereo, as well as combination of coincident and spaced microphone pairs, binaural, Blumlein, 2D, and 3D (ambisonic) surround.
The X-Y capsule amplifier may be supplied with a TB4M input connector, which allows connection to the interchangeable capsule heads. The interchangeable capsule head output uses a TA4F connector with the following pin configuration (3D surround):
pin 1 white RCA jack, left (front left up),
pin 2 red RCA jack, right (front right down)
pin 3 black RCA jack, front (back left down)
pin 4 yellow RCA jack, back (back right up)
These pins will be routed to the output pins on the X-R or X-Y capsule amplifiers with XLR-5-M (-3-M) output, as follows:
pin 1 (1) ground
pin 2 black
pin 3 (3) white
pin 4 yellow
pin 5 (2) red
Various stereo recording angles may be achieved by using RCA adaptor accessories between the capsules and capsule heads. The capsule spacings and stereo recording angles with each adaptor are as follows (click on spacing for image):
Stereo Recording angle
|Capsule on head||Coincident with
with Y adaptor
|With Y adaptor||With male &
|90º fixed mount, standard capsule||9cm
90º, standard capsule
120º, standard capsule
180º, standard capsule
90º, short capsule
120º, short capsule
180º, short capsule
* omnidirectional capsules do not resolve a stereo recording angle of less than 180 º at less than 55cm spacing. However, when used with the equalization disc, the resulting polar response becomes subcardioid at frequencies above 3kHz. Thus, the recording angles shown for the omnidirectional capsule with equalization disc are derived for a subcardioid polar pattern.
Two X-R capsules may be connected to a single input with the RCA Y adaptor, which will mix the two signals from the capsules. When used with an RCA extension cable, the Y adaptor mixes two discrete sources into a single microphone channel. Also, the Y adaptor may be used to blend an omnidirectional capsule with a directional capsule. This technique is especially useful with the acoustic low-pass filter, yielding a hybrid pattern with a directional high-frequency response and an omnidirectional low-frequency response.
When used on the four-channel 3D head, the short cardioid capsules have 4cm radius from the center of the head. The capsule head output given above is “A” format. This output must be mixed to “B” format (bidirectional response on three axes, plus omnidirectional) for further processing, using the matrix:
W (omnidirectional) = FLU + FRD + BLD + BRU
X (front to back) = FLU + FRD – BLD – BRU
Y (left to right) = FLU – FRD + BLD – BRU
Z (up to down) = FLU – FRD – BLD + BRU
The resulting ambisonic frequency response requires correction. The recommended filters (low-frequency shelving, notch, and high-frequency shelving) to decode to B format are as follows:
W filters: +9dB shelf @ 120Hz; -7dB notch (Q=1) @ 5kHz, +9dB shelf @ 11kHz.
XYZ filters: +9dB shelf @ 120Hz; -11dB notch (Q=1) @ 4.5kHz.
Note that the low frequency shelving boost is not recommended for recording distances of less than 1m.
The X-Y offers an optional seven-position switch (three-position for three or four channel input versions) for gain control. The gain switch may be set with either a spindle or a screwdriver slot (3mm flathead). Standard gain settings are from 0 to +24dB for the seven-position switch, and 0dB to +18dB for the three-position switch. If desired, mono and stereo versions may also be supplied with the three-position switch, and all versions may be built with fixed gain only. Custom gain settings may be selected within the +27dB maximum range.
Note that use of gain will reduce the maximum SPL handling of the microphone system: for example, with a standard X-R capsule at +18dB gain, the maximum level is 114dBSPL.
Output level may be further increased by +6dB with the electrically-balanced output option (mono and stereo versions only). This additional gain does not reduce maximum SPL handling.
Special amplifier functions
The X-Y amplifier is available with a range of special encoding/decoding functions, including:
- electrically balanced stereo output
- mid/side encoding to two- (mid and side) or four-channel (left, right, mid, and side) output
- left/center/right mixing to left and right
- left/center/right with side encoding
- 2D surround matrix encoding to stereo output (available Q1 2020)
- 3D surround (ambisonic) A- to B-format decoding (available Q1 2020)
Many special functions are also available using custom output cables, including Blumlein format (dual bidirectional at 90º) for the 2D surround head and center channel or dual stereo pair mixing. Please inquire for details and specify function in order comments.
The mono version has an XLR-3-M output; the stereo version is available with either XLR-3-M (unbalanced) or XLR-5-M (impedance- or electrically-balanced) outputs. Three- and four-channel versions have an unbalanced XLR-5-M output.
X-R capsule outputs are inverse polarity. For the mono XLR-3-M output amplifier, the capsule signal is round to pin 3 (negative polarity), with an impedance-balanced output on pin 2. Thus, capsule amplifier will yield positive polarity when connected to a balanced input amplifier via a standard XLR microphone cable. When used into an unbalanced input, pin 3 should be connected as the signal lead.
The X-Y capsule amplifier is also available with a transformer-coupled (mono only) or electrically-balanced output (mono or stereo). The electrically-balanced output will increase output level by 6dB, and has twice the current draw compared to the impedance-balanced output.
For the stereo XLR-3-M version, the left channel is routed to pin 3, and the right channel to pin 2.
The output pin configurations for XLR-5-M versions are as follows (inverted unless otherwise noted):
|stereo (electrically balanced)||left noninverted||left inverted||right noninverted||right inverted|
stereo (impedance balanced)
|75Ω to ground||left inverted||75Ω to ground||right inverted|
|stereo with mid-side encoding||mid||left||side||right|
|left-center-right (with side encoding)||center||left||side||right|
|left-center-right (with center mixing)||left+center||left||right+center||right|
|3D surround (ambisonic)||back left down||front left up||back right up||front right down|
Custom output cables are available in a range of special formats to support stereo and multichannel output. These cables are configured to route the X-Y output pins to pins 3 of the XLR-3-M outputs, with impedance-balancing components on pins 2. This will result in positive polarity when connected to balanced XLR input microphone amplifiers.
When operating on internal battery or external power, the X-Y’s XLR output may be directly connected to any stereo unbalanced input with a miniplug output cable. This output will be inverted, so necessary correction should be made in post-processing. There will be no DC voltage present on the XLR output when phantom power is not present.
RJ45 output option
The RJ45 output requires Category 5e cable with shield, connected to a compatible RJ45-input device. There is no internal battery option with the RJ45 input, so either phantom power or an external power supply of +9-12VDC must be used.
With reference to the TB4M input connector, the pin assignments are:
- pin 1 output
- pin 1 impedance network
- pin 4 output
- pin 3 impedance network
- pin 3 output
- pin 4 impedance network
- pin 2 output
- pin 2 impedance network
The RJ45 output uses a Neutrik etherCON Category 5e connector. Neutrik etherCON Category 5e cables are recommended for the best possible connection and signal integrity.
Flexible power supply
The X-Y has a flexible power supply scheme that can be configured to support:
- +9-52V phantom power
- internal A23 battery (battery not included)
- internal rechargeable 3.7V Li-ion battery pack
- external battery via DC power port (+5 to +15VDC; +9VDC maximum to charge internal Li-ion battery)
The external power jack is 1.7mm ID, 4.0mm OD, center-positive.
The highest voltage supply will prevail between internal and external batteries. Phantom power will prevail over internal or external battery supplies.
The X-Y contains a voltage regulation circuit that will generate a supply of +8-10V for the amplifier and microphone circuitry from the battery or external phantom power source.
The A23 battery is accessed by removing the thumbscrews and then the bottom panel of the case.
Versions of the X-Y with internal battery option will have a dual green/red LED to indicate power source: red for phantom power; green for internal or external battery; yellow for internal low battery condition. Note that if an external battery supply is used that is lower than the configured internal battery type (with the internal battery removed), the LED may indicate yellow. Thus, the LED cannot indicate external low battery condition.
The internal rechargeable Li-ion battery pack supplies 3.7V with 350mAh capacity. An external power supply or battery between +5-9V (+5V recommended) is required to activate the recharge circuitry. Charge time is approximately seven hours. The LED will indicate red while charging and green when fully charged. The X-Y with Li-ion battery pack is supplied with a USB charge cable.
The X-Y monitors the current draw on its input connectors. The X-Y amplifier circuit and microphone power supplies will activate when a microphone capsule is connected to any RCA input. When a capsule is not connected, the amplifier circuit and microphone power supplies will shut down and the circuit will draw an idle current of 25μA.
If the X-Y is not to be used for longer than a week, an A23 battery should be removed to prevent discharge. The internal rechargeable Li-ion battery pack is monitored by an internal charge regulation circuit, and thus may be left connected to an external power supply without damage from overcharging or loss of capacity. If the Li-ion battery pack is allowed to fully discharge, loss of battery life may be experienced. The Li-ion battery pack should be fully charged at least monthly.
X-Y stereo microphone amplifier specifications:
Phantom Power Input: +12-52V
External Power Input: +5-15VDC; minimum +12VDC required when internal A23 battery installed for operation on external battery.
External Power Input, internal Li-ion battery charging: +5-9VDC; +5VDC recommended.
Power supplied to capsules (minimum +16V phantom power): +10V across 6.8KΩ
Current, per channel, with capsule, unbalanced, impedance-balanced, or transformer-coupled output: 1.0mA
Current, per channel (mono or stereo), with capsule, electrically balanced output: 1.6mA
Current, idle, input not connected: 25μA (40μA for A23 battery)
Current, Li-ion battery charging: 50mA maximum
Autonomy, multichannel/stereo electrically-balanced, Li-ion/A23 battery: 25/10 hours
Autonomy, stereo/mono electrically-balanced, Li-ion/A23 battery: 50/20 hours
Autonomy, mono impedance-balanced, A23 battery: 40 hours
Input Impedance: 6KΩ
Output Impedance: 75Ω (each pin); 150Ω (dual XLR stereo output cable or RJ45 connector)
Recommended Preamp Input Impedance: 1.5KΩ or higher
Maximum Input Level, 0dB gain, phantom power, 1kHz @ 1% THD: +10dBV / 138dBSPL (standard capsule)
Maximum Input Level, 0dB gain, battery power, 1kHz @ 1% THD: +8dBV / 136dBSPL (standard capsule)
Total Harmonic Distortion, 1kHz @ 0dBV output, 0dB gain: less than 0.005%
Total Harmonic Distortion, 1kHz @ 0dBV output, +27dB gain: 0.025%
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (-0.3dB @ 20Hz)
Noise: -121dBV unweighted, -124dBA
Weight (standard): 91g (3.2oz)
Weight (extended): 100g (3.5oz)
Dimensions (standard): 93mm x 32mm x 25mm (3 5/8″ x 1 1/4″ x 1″)
Dimensions (extended): 111mm x 32mm x 25mm (4 3/8″ x 1 1/4″ x 1″)
Notice of FCC compliance
Pursuant to section 15.103(h), the X-Y is only intended to be operated on battery or phantom power. The X-Y’s oscillator is disabled during operation with phantom power. It is thus exempt from Part 15 of the FCC rules. The X-Y qualifies for exemption as the highest frequency generated by the device is less than 1.705MHz, and it may not be operated from the AC power lines. Use of an X-Y that is operated from the AC power lines is strictly prohibited under Part 15.
|Dimensions||4 × 1 × 1 in|