Picture of DIY Studio Condenser Mic
Build a studio quality +48v phantom powered Condenser Mic for under $35! -

These Mics are highly sensitive, and be setup to use a 9v battery if you don't have phantom power. You can put them into pretty much anything, and they can be made pretty small.
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Step 1: Phantom Power?

Picture of Phantom Power?
Phantom power is a +48v (typically) dc current that is applied to two of the pins on an XLR connector, that is used to create a reference for the Mic capsule. Condenser Mic elements work similarly to capacitors, who's capacitance varies when the diaphragm vibrates. Condenser Mics use this to produce a signal, as opposed to Dynamic Mics, which use magnetic vibration to produce a signal. Because Condenser Mics use the capacitance variation to create the signal, the element must be electrically charged. Thus we have Phantom Power! Most newer Mics that require phantom power, also have the option of using a (or sometimes 2-3) 9v batteries, just in case phantom power is not available.

The schematic below shows the 9v circuit. You know that you'll always be able to use phantom power with you mic, you can just leave it out to make it simpler.

Step 2: Build It!

Picture of Build It!
Once you have all the parts, get your soldering Iron out and start building. Use the schematic as reference. I have found it easiest to try to assemble it as close to the schematic (in actual layout) as possible, at least if not using a printed board.

Step 3: Build It!

Picture of Build It!
Here is a view of the bottom side of the board, so you can see how I soldered everything.

Step 4: Try it out!

Once everything is inplace and soldered down, give it whirl! Try it out. If it works congrats! If not, go back and check everything.

For more info, and more detailed instructions, check out this web site:
PedroL25 months ago

Where are the outputs of the circuit to connect to the pc?

PedroL25 months ago

Where are the outputs for connecting the microphone ?

jim5150jvc11 months ago

I always wanted a side-address small-diaphragm condenser mic just for visuals, like the Neumann KM56 that John Lennon is singing into on the cover of the LET IT BE album. I might try this project! Thanks for the Instructable; hope the website link gets re-activated.

Hey mate,

The link destination doesn't exist anymore... Have you got any other means of info we can read up on in relation to this?

Also, what would the schematic be if you wanted to just have this as a normal condenser mic that is powered by the desk Phantom power?

Cheers bro

mryan113 years ago
Hi there, the website you link no longer exists, and I'm finding in very difficult locating useful information on a simple condenser mic like this.
Your schematic in the first step simply describes four 10uF caps, but not their types. Judging from this picture:
- C3 is tantalum, but what is it's orientation? And it's voltage rating?
- C3 and C4 are identical, but notably larger than C1, even though they both appear to be metal-poly caps. What's going on there? Are you sure that your schematic correctly labels these three values?

Thanks, Mitch.
traxonja5 years ago
You have got to be kidding me :-) "...phantom power. You can put them into pretty much anything, ..."
JuCo traxonja5 years ago
haha... were you thinking what i was?
markeeee JuCo4 years ago
Actually this is true you need to be aare that you are sticking 48 Volts and potentially a couple of 100 mA into some delicate equipment. get it wrong and you can magnatise your input transformers on your desk or in your mic.

Just unpluging a mic with phanton applied can damage a desk or mic if the item has no ptotection built it.
think about it the 48V is applied to th sides of the ballanced circuit apply it to one side and you can have issues.
I have seen a mic capsule blown by a badly wired xlr and phanton power applied ?

its possible

JuCo markeeee4 years ago
yeah, i know... i was just making a crude joke.

but still... good info and a good warning.
xadevox4 years ago
Where can i get the xlr pin thing with leads so i can put it on my circuit?
What about the head it quite good?. Thanks
 Is there any way we could get this circuit with better resolution.. i try to zoom in but it just blurs it all.. Great work tho.. I cant wait to have my own
bigdatapimp (author)  BearNecessity5 years ago
Go to there you find the schematic in a larger size, and you will be able to view it blown up. Plus there is more info in general for building the Mics.
Macyoshary5 years ago
In your final link I think it should be (you missed out the s) :)
bigdatapimp (author)  Macyoshary5 years ago
Thank you! Sometimes my fingers get a little dyslexic.... you are correct the link should be
Is using phantom power dangerous if something gets soldered wrong, because I've heard that it can backfire and fry the mixer (or at least the channel).