X-R microphone capsule amplifier


SKU: X-R-AMP Category:
Product summary

The X-R microphone capsule amplifier is a microphone “body” that supports the X-R series interchangeable microphone capsules. The X-R requires +12 to +48V phantom power.  The X-R capsule amplifier is available in mono, stereo, and three- or four-channel output.

The X-R amplifier includes a standard 5/8″-27 thread mount microphone clip.


Input configuration

The mono capsule amplifier may be supplied with a female, male, or right-angle male RCA input.  Right-angle, female-female, and male-male adaptors are also available.

The stereo and multichannel versions are supplied with permanently mounted capsule heads:

  • stereo: 120º
  • three-channel left-center-right (with side encoding):  90º
  • four-channel 2D surround:  90º
  • four-channel 3D (ambisonic):  120º
Custom features
Stereo recording

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
RA adaptor
with Y adaptor
With Y adaptor With male &
female adaptors

90º, standard capsule


card: 147º
hyper: 92º
card: 177º
hyper: 103º
card: 180º
hyper: 109º
card: 124º
hyper: 83º
omni*: 180º
card: 117º
hyper: 80º
omni*: 165º

120º, standard capsule


card: 114º
hyper: 67º
N/A N/A 16cm
card: 93º
hyper: 59º
omni*: 127º
card: 86º
hyper: 57º
omni*: 114º

180º, standard capsule


card: 73º
hyper: 27º
omni*: 123º
N/A N/A 19cm
card: 62º
hyper: 25º
omni*: 91º
card: 58º
hyper: 25º
omni*: 84º

90º, short capsule


card: 158º
card: 180º
card: 180º
card: 128º
card: 120º

120º, short capsule


card: 122º
N/A N/A 14cm
card: 98º
card: 91º

180º, short capsule


card: 77º
N/A N/A 17cm
card: 64º
card: 61º

* omnidirectional capsules do not resolve a stereo recording angle of less than 180º at less than 55cm spacing.  However, when used with the equalization disc, the resulting polar response becomes subcardioid at frequencies above 2kHz.  Thus, the recording angles shown for the omnidirectional capsule with equalization disc are derived for a subcardioid polar pattern.

Capsule mixing using RCA Y adaptor

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.

Ambisonic decoding

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.

Output configuration

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 standard 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-R 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.  The transformer-coupled or electrically-balanced outputs may be useful where a positive polarity output is required into an unbalanced input preamplifier (where phantom power is supplied by an external device), or where the higher output is desired.  The transformer-coupled output will also provide the best performance from low-voltage phantom supplies (9V-12V), and may have superior noise rejection compared with the other output options (70dB CMRR for the transformer-coupled output).

A mono X-R capsule amplifier has an optional switchable output, with the following selectable features:

  • left switch position – low-cut filter, corner frequency 160Hz, 6dB/octave;
  • center switch position – normal output;
  • right switch position – -10dB attenuator.

The feature switch is set with a 3mm flathead screwdriver.  The switchable output is only available for mono input and either impedance- or electrically-balanced outputs.

For the stereo XLR-3-M version, the left channel is routed to pin 3, and the right channel to pin 2.  There is also a stereo noninverted output option, where the output is inverted from the input, yielding positive polarity output from the amplifier for the X-R capsules.  For this option, the left channel is pin 2, and the right channel is pin 3.  The stereo electrically-balanced or stereo noninverted output options require four amplifier circuits (3.2mA total current draw).

The output pin configurations for XLR-5-M versions are as follows (inverted unless otherwise noted):

XLR output/
input pin
2/3 3/1 4/4 5/2
stereo (electrically balanced) left noninverted left inverted right noninverted right inverted
stereo (impedance balanced) 75Ω to ground left inverted 75Ω to ground right inverted
left-center-right (with side encoding) center left side right
2D surround center left back right
3D surround (ambisonic) back left down front left up back right up front right down
Output cables

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-R 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.

X-R microphone capsule amplifier specification:

Phantom Power Input: +9-52V (+12V minimum recommended)
Power supplied to capsules: +10V across 6.8KΩ

Current, per channel, with capsule, unbalanced, impedance-balanced, or transformer-coupled output: 0.8mA
Current, per channel (mono or stereo), with capsule, electrically balanced output: 1.6mA

Input Impedance: 6KΩ
Output Impedance: 75Ω (each pin); 150Ω (dual XLR stereo output cable)
Recommended Preamp Input Impedance: 1.5KΩ or higher

Maximum Input Level, 1kHz @ 1% THD: +10dBV / 138dBSPL (standard capsule)

Total Harmonic Distortion, 1kHz @ 0dBV: less than 0.005%
Total Harmonic Distortion, transformer output, 1kHz @ 0dBV: 0.1%
Total Harmonic Distortion, transformer output, 100Hz @ 0dBV: 2.0%

Frequency Response: 20Hz to 30kHz (-0.3dB @ 20Hz)
Frequency Response, transformer output: 30Hz to 20kHz

Noise: -124dBV unweighted, -127dBA

Weight, mono:  68g (2.4oz)
Weight, stereo or multichannel:  100g (3.5oz)

Dimensions. mono:  95mm x 19mmø (3 3/4″ x 3/4″ø)
Dimensions. stereo or multichannel:  125mm x 19mmø (5″ x 3/4″ø)

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