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Author Topic: Running a Tube Mic: 220V vs 110V?  (Read 257 times)

blackacre

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Running a Tube Mic: 220V vs 110V?
« on: July 02, 2022, 12:53:22 AM »

Has anyone had different performance running a mic at one voltage rate versus another? I ask because I recently bought a Neumann sm2 from a European seller. The power supply is set for 220, so being that I will use the mic in the USA, I can either change the power supply to 117 or use a step up transformer and I am curious if one route might be better.
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klaus

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Re: 220 vs 110
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 01:51:05 AM »

Aside of redundancy of transformer primaries when using a step-up, there is no electrical or sonic difference between the tow I can discern.

As long as the the step-up transformer can deliver the current required by the mic without overheating, it does the same thing as the built-in input transformer in your power supply: it taps into a section rather than the full coil of the primary to link the 110VAC * line voltage to the two secondaries of that transformer.

I would do the line voltage matching "on board". That's much simpler and less prone to the vagaries and unknowns of the third-party step-up box you would need to add.

* Keep in mind that you will have to do careful output voltage adjustments to match the tube(s) n your SM2, once done with your line voltage issue: These old supplies were designed to run on nominal 110VAC rather than the current 120. AC701 tubes don't like a heater voltage even a tenth of a volt above 4.0VDC.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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