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Re: Difference NS 69i and NS 69k?
Author: Herman Grimme
Date: 05/03/2006
Hi David,

Thanks for reaction. Unfortunately, unlike you, I haven't been able to compare the two options, i.e. SM69fet with dedicated psu(NS69i or N69k) versus SM69fet plus CU48, so I don't know how big the difference is.
I've just bought my SM69fet and the CU48 for a very reasonable price, and I like it a lot, so I'd like to find a way to get the best out of this mic.

I'm not an expert, but I asked around and also found some information online; on the whole, people seem to agree that the mic performs better with the dedicated psu. (cf. quotes below).
Maybe the difference is not that big, but I'd certainly like to find an affordable power supply, either a NS69i or a N69k - the difference between them seems to be more in appearance - technically they are the same.
Thanks again for your comment.

A few quotes I found:
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"The SM 69 fet you want should have the NS69 power supply with it. Not the more common CU48 phantom converter box!

The NS 69 delivers all the necessary voltages to the mic, and runs the audio separately out. (It can also power the SM69 tube version, as well as the SM 23 nickel diaphragmed stereo mic. )
The CU 48 converts the phantom power from your board/preamp into the (higher than 48v) voltages the mic requires, but has the disadvantages of:

a. limited current reserve

b. to the detriment of good audio, no straight wire connection from the mic's audio output to mic pre.
You cannot use the audio straight out of the CU 48 converter box, because you need to remove (decouple) the phantom power DC voltage from the audio (AC) before it can be processed in the mic pre.

That means, you often have to go through low grade capacitors (often the cheapest kind money can buy is used in a preamp's or mixing board's phantom power decoupling circuit)

If you have a transformer-coupled input in your mic pre, no deterioration of sound occurs with the CU 48 box.

With the NS69, all you need is a straight, hard wired input (no phantom or decoupling electronics necessary).."

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"..The CU48 passes the signal through a DC filtering stage, which affects low-frequency response at very least.. Depending on the stability of your phantom source, also underpowering may occur, which will affect headroom and S/N ratio significantly..Direct powering units such as the NS69i or N69k let you benefit from the unfiltered output signal, at full nominal level and frequency response.
I would recommend the investment if you are mainly dealing with delicate sound sources such as classical orchestras, or others.with a very wide frequency and dynamic range..."  
 
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