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Core Sound Mic2496 V2
Introduction: Mic2496 V2 Portable Mic Pre-amp/A-to-D Converter

(Last updated 12/18/2013)

(See Nick Casares' review of Mic2496 V2 in the May 2009 issue of Recording magazine.)

The original Mic2496 was the world's most popular portable, battery powered 24-bit/96 kiloSamples-per-second two-channel mic pre-amp/A-to-D converter.

The new V2 adds zero-latency headphone monitoring, more low-noise gain (up to 60 dB), a true 10 mA of 48V phantom power per channel, more level indicator LEDs, and selection of all sample rates (32 to 192 KS/s) from the external sample rate switches (rather than internal jumpers). All of the toggle switches have been replaced by low profile slide switches. It sounds wonderful!

V2 is the first battery-powered, portable mic pre-amp/ADC in the world to offer all of these features!


Core Sound is proud to introduce its new Mic2496 V2, an improved version of the world's most popular handheld, battery-powered, 24-bit, 192 kiloSample-per-second dual microphone pre-amplifier and analog-to-digital converter.

V2 can also be used as a fine digital front end for your laptop computer and any other other digital recorder that has a S/PDIF input. These include the Apple MacBook Pro (15- and 17-inch models), Sony PCM-D50, Marantz PMD661, Tascam DR-680, the M-Audio MicroTrack II, Sound Devices 702/722/744, Tascam HD-P2, Nomad Jukebox 3, iRiver iHP-120 and other Sony and Tascam Portable DAT decks (e.g., TCD-D100, PCM-M1, TCD-D8, TCD-D7, TCD-D3, DA-P1, DA-20). All of these recorders have only 16-bits (or less) of dynamic range when using their internal Mic/Line stages and ADCs. They also have a much higher noise floor than V2.

V2 -- A Dual Mic Pre-Amp/A-to-D Convertor

V2 runs on a single 9 volt alkaline battery or rechargeable Li-Po batteries, provides low-noise 48 Volt phantom power to all condensor microphones (switchable), and the appropriate power for Core Sound's High End Binaural microphone set using DPA's marvelous 4060 and 4061 miniature microphone capsules. (It does not provide the correct power for our Core Sound Binaural microphone set so you'll still have to use the CSB's battery box.)

It also provides concentric level controls, six LEDs per channel that display input levels (activity, -20, -10, -6, -3 and "clip"), a switch to turn off the level indicator LEDs to save battery power, externally switch-selectable sample rates of 32, 44.1, 48, 64, 88.2, 96, 128, 176.4 and 192 KS/s, a battery "low voltage" indicator, a "Phantom Power On" indicator, and both coaxial (via RCA jack) and optical (via Toslink) S/PDIF outputs. It has a recessed Power On/Off slide switch, and a DC Power jack (9 to 14 VDC at 400 mA) to accept power from an AC adapter or external battery packs.

For microphone input, V2 has a 5-pin Mini-XLR jack that accepts a variety of breakout cables including one that accepts two standard balanced XLR-M plugs, another that accepts a stereo unbalanced 1/8-inch (3.5mm) mini-phone plug, and another that accepts two of DPA's standard MicroDot plugs. The breakout cables are six-inches (15 cm) long. Other custom cables can be ordered.

V2 has an unusally flat and extended frequency response (from 6 Hz to more than 80 KHz when sampling at 192 KS/s), and very low noise. This makes it especially interesting to science researchers working on sonar, marine mammal communication, and other ultrasound applications. Its extended low frequency response extends well below audibility, making it useful for ethological and zoological field studies, seismic measurements and other infrasonic applications.

V2 has two slide switches that select sample rate. One switch selects 32, 44.1 and 48 KS/s. The other switch selects the sample rate multiplier: "times 1", "times 2" or "times 4". For example, when the first switch is in its "44.1" (middle) position, the second switch selects between 44.1, 88.2 and 176.4 KS/s.

V2's gain is controlled by a three-position slide switch that selects gain ranges. In the left position it selects the dual-concentric rotating pots, for a gain range of between 4 and 47 dB. In the center position it selects a fixed gain of 53 dB, and in the right position it selects a fixed gain of 60 dB.

At minimum gain, V2 can accept most Line-level sources (up to 1.6 Volts peak-to-peak) without requiring attenuators ("pads") to prevent mic pre-amp overload distortion (aka "brickwalling"). In most recording situations it's really hard to overload V2's inputs.

V2 is housed in a very rugged, black aluminum case. It's 5-1/8 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1-1/2 inches high.

Smart Power Management Features

We designed some smart features into V2 to extend its operating time when powering from batteries.

When monitoring on headphones, if you turn the level control to minimum, the headphone circuit is powered down; when you turn the level up, the power is instantly restored. There's also a switch that lets you turn the headphone monitoring function on and off.

V2 has six LEDs for each channel that show signal level. To extend battery life, we've provided a switch that turns off all of the LEDs except the red ones that display clipping.

July 22, 2009: Firmware Update for Sony PCM-D50

Sony's PCM-D50 audio recorder is the only digital audio recorder we know that doesn't determine an S/PDIF data stream's sample rate from the data stream's clock. Instead it examines the S/PDIF header data. If the data stream's clock and the header data are different, it gets the sample rate wrong. The result is that it will record a 96 Kilosample per second recording and label it in the WAV file header as 48 KS/s. When you play it back, it plays back twice as fast

Sony doesn't acknowledge the problem and will not fix it. We've updated Mic2496 V2's firmware to give the Sony what it wants. Now it can't make the mistake.

All new V2s will come with the updated firmware. If you want your V2 upgraded, please contact us to arrange to install the update for a small handling fee.

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For pre-sales consulting or to place an order, call Core Sound at 1.888.937.6832 or 1.201.801.0812.

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"Core Sound" is a trademark of Core Sound, LLC
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Thanks to HK Audio for use of their open-air concert photo. Mossman photo ©2004 OceanBridge Communcations.
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