Ribbons and Phantom Power

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As one of the earliest microphone designs, ribbons actually predate phantom power by several years. Some ribbon mics can be destroyed instantly by the inadvertent application of phantom power. However, most modern ribbons were designed to handle phantom power being turned on and off: As long as the microphone cable is correctly wired, phantom power will not be applied to the ribbon element. Of course, active ribbons like the Royer R-122 or SF-24 that require phantom power for their operation will never be damaged by its application. A word of caution about patch bays: Improperly wired or poorly-made patch bays can allow phantom power to leak into other channels. If the patch bay uses TRS connectors, plugging and unplugging cables with phantom power on results in brief jolts of phantom power hitting the ribbon element directly, so you may damage your ribbon microphone by connecting to or through one of these bays. It's good practice to never connect or disconnect a patch cable with phantom power turned on.

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