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The 48 Volt Phantom Menace Returns

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In 2001, Hebert and Thomas presented a paper at the 110th AES Convention which described the “phantom menace” phenomenon wherein microphone phantom power faults can damage audio input circuitry. This paper offers new information about the phantom menace fault mechanisms, analyzes common protection circuits, and introduces a new protection scheme that is more robust. In addition, new information is presented relating these input protection schemes to audio performance, and recommendations are made to minimize noise and distortion.

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