EA/AI Phantom Power and the Vektor Pick-up

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jim Calhoun, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Greetings,

    For the past six months or so, I've been using one of Tobias Pohling's Vektor pick-ups. For moderate volume situations the sound is fantastic - very natural and even across the range of the instrument. It does require phantom power, however, hence my questions:

    1. Has anyone tried using the phantom power from either the AI Clarus/Focus or the EA Doubler to power the Vektor Pick-up?

    I suspect that the answer would be "no". The preamp that Toby sells with the Vektor is powered by a single 9 volt battery, and he says that 48 volt phantom power (that AI uses) won't work. Both EA and AI use 48 volt phantom power.

    2. Assuming that neither is compatable as is, could either the EA or AI amps be easily modified to provide the proper voltage?

    I'm mainly looking to simplify my set up a little. I'd rather not deal with batteries if I can help it - just one cable running from the pick-up to the amp. I'd be open to other amp possibilities, too, but whatever it is would probably need to have 2 independant channels and sound at least as good as my current amp (WW). I am NOT interested in another external preamp - the one I got from Toby works just fine.

    Thanks in advance for your help. Cheers.
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    I have a similar problem with the AMT mic and AI phantom power.
    I think both EA and AI have set their phantom power to what is considered the common industry standard, that works with most condenser microphones. Unfortunately, for both of us, neither the AMT or Toby Timber conforms to those standards, since they are proprietary systems. Changing the amp's over to meet the needs of every manufactures voltage configurations might be next to impossible.

  3. Hi Ric,

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I knew it wouldn't be easy - if it's even possible at all. And any modification made would probably void the manufacturer's warranty. It would just make things a little simpler and easier.

    I'm not unhappy with the sound of the Vektor through the WW at all, so if something like this can't be done it's not that big a deal to me.

  4. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Inactive Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Toby came to my gig in Koln with the pickup. He thought that a K&K box would work for bringing down the 48 volts on the Doubler to the 9v required. It didn't for some reason so we used the K&K outboard 9v box with the phantom off on the Doubler. It still sounded great, but it would be better to have an adapter so you don't have to use a battery. Talk to Toby---I think he has something that might do the trick---he just didn't have it with him when I tried it. It's a great pickup and Toby is a great guy to deal with.
  5. Hmmm, an in-line transformer. I never thought of that! I'll send Toby an e-mail and see if he's got something he could send me or that he could recommend. I'd still rather avoid the extra box, but it sounds like that might not be possible.

    I agree that Toby has a great product and is great to deal with. When my pick-up was late in arriving from Germany, he was prepared to send another at no charge. Great guy.

  6. I use the phantom power from a Clarus or a Focus all the time. My mics are a Neumann KM185 and also sometimes an AMT SB25 (with no battery in the AMT preamp). Both mics work well on the AI phantom power.

    Not sure why it would not work well with yours.

    By the way, those AI heads only produce 38 V of phantom power, not the "industry standard" of 48. AI apparently felt that 38 was enough. I've got an email from Ric at AI so saying...
  7. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Inactive Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    the Vector is 9v
  8. oh, i see. so it's a case of too much. my problem was the Neumann is supposed to need the "industry standard" 48V and it turns out it does fine with 38. so this is the other problem of too much.
  9. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    Jim, yes it can be used with phantom power. I have one and have used it with an STT-1 for a couple of years. There is information on this topic in these two threads:



    The little preamp box is smaller than a cigarette package (about 1" X 2" X 3") [The little preamp box I refer to does NOT require a battery. Obviously, that is the whole point.] . You can also talk to Toby of course. He has posted in the referenced threads, so you can PM him.


  10. Thanks for the reply. I did see those threads, but I was just looking for a little more info. It looks like the K&K box (or something like it) is the way to go. Now all I need to do is compare the AI and EA to my WW and see which sounds best...........

    Thanks again,