FAQ - Instrument mics

How do I connect a Bartlett Mic to my mixer, amp, or stomp box?
First, find out if your mixer or amp has "phantom power." That is power supplied to a microphone along its mic cable.  All our mics (except the Guitar Mic B) require it. Check your mixer or amp's manual to see if the device has phantom power. Or look for a switch labeled "Phantom", "P48", or "48V". Most instrument amps do not have a phantom power switch; it's always on.

Many acoustic instrument amps supply phantom power, such as the Fishman Loudbox 100, AER Compact 60, Schertler Unico, Crate Gunnison CA611OD, Ibanez T80N, Carvin AG100D, Vox AGA70, Marshall AS50D or Acoustic Image Coda/Ten2.

If your device has phantom power, simply plug the mic into the XLR (3-hole) mic connector and turn on phantom power (unless it's always on).

If your mixer or amp does NOT have phantom power, follow this procedure:

    1. Get a phantom power supply. The ART Phantom I, Behringer PS400 and Rolls PB23 work well. Use www.google.com/shopping to find one.
    2. If your amp or mixer does NOT have an XLR mic connector, get an XLR-to-1/4" adapter (impedance-matching transformer/adapter), such as the Whirlwind Little IMP.


Then make one of the connections shown below.

Why the different models? Won't one mic work on everything?
No, they all sound different. Each mic is tailored for a specific instrument. Each mic is EQ'd internally to make your instrument sound natural.

What's the difference between your two mics for acoustic guitar?
They sound the same, but they have different powering and connections:

Guitar Mic:

  • Temporary mounting on a soundhole or f-hole
  • Phantom powered
  • XLR connector
  • Connects to a sound-system mixer or to an instrument amp that has phantom power
  • Also connects to any phantom power supply, which connects to an instrument amp that lacks phantom power

Guitar Mic B:

  • Temporary mounting on a soundhole or f-hole
  • Battery powered. 9-volt battery pack lies on the floor.
  • 1/4" phone jack connector
  • Connects by a guitar cord to an active direct box, instrument amp, or effects pedals


How can I avoid tangling the mic cable?
Wrap the cable in figure-eights around your index finger and pinkie, then wrap the cable with the supplied Velcro strap.

How can I tighten or loosen the Soundhole Clip?
Tighten the clip with padded pliers, or spread the clip opening apart:

If I want to extend the mic cable, what kind of mic cable should I get?
Female XLR to male XLR mic cable, any convenient length. It's at any music store. Here's one:

Here's an article on cables and connectors:

How can I turn off the mic when I want to tune my instrument?

Rolls MS111 MicSwitch
Whirlwind MicMute
Whirlwind SelectorXL on-off switch with phantom power
Wounded Paw microphone mute switch
Pro Co Sign Off microphone on-off switch box
Orchid Electronics Mic Mute
Calrad 35-465 inline on-off swtich

If your mixer has phantom power, connect your system like this:
Mic > on-off switch > XLR mic cable > mixer XLR mic input

On-off foot pedal for the Guitar Mic B:
The Behringer TU300 tuner/on-off switch.

A tuner which can be used as a cable strain relief for our Fiddle Mic:

Also, Google mandolin tuners. Trap the cable under the tuner clamp.

The mic seems too "hot" or high-level.
Plug in one of these mic attenuators:
Whirlwind IMP Pad
Pearstone IMA-1030 adjustable mic pad

The mic makes my instrument sound hollow or wobbly.
That means your amp volume is set too high. Turning up the amp to just below ringing or feedback gives a hollow or wobbly sound. Turn down the amp slightly to remove that sound.

Does cutting frequencies with a 10-band graphic equalizer give more volume before feedback starts?
No, because the bandwidth of the cut frequency is too wide. Cutting at a certain frequency stops the feedback  but also reduces the volume of the guitar at that frequency. Cutting also changes the timbre of the instrument. So a 10-band equalizer is not recommended. A 6-band equalizer is even worse. A preamp with a narrow feedback notch filter can work better.

Preamps with phantom power that let you adjust EQ on stage, plus a feedback notch filter:
Headway EDB-2 preamp. It has an XLR mic input with phantom power.
Grace Design Felix preamp. It also has an XLR mic input with phantom power, plus 1/4" jacks for pickups.

Small mixers with phantom power that let you adjust EQ on stage:
Behringer Xenyx 502
Mackie Mix 5
Alto ZMX52

Volume control for the Guitar Mic B:
Taylor V Cable 250

Volume control for the phantom-powered mics:
Rapco Horizon CVPBLOX volume control   It does not pass phantom power to the mic, so you will need to plug a phantom power supply between the mic and the Rapco volume control. Some phantom power supplies are the Behringer PS400 and Rolls PB23.

Connect the components in this order: Bartlett mic > XLR mic cable > phantom power supply > XLR mic cable > Rapco volume control > XLR mic cable to PA mixer.

How can I avoid running the mic's thin cable across the stage?
Coil the cable and put it in your pocket (or in a USA Gear Flexamore Eyeglasses case). Plug a standard mic cable into the mic's XLR connector, and run the thick cable across the stage. Or just put the mic's XLR connector at your feet, and plug in a thick mic cable there.

How do I make my Bartlett  microphone wireless?
Let me know which model you have or want to get. Email me at info@bartlettaudio.com. For $60, I can modify your Bartlett mic to be wireless-ready (for Shure wireless systems only).

What about cleaning my mic?
Your microphone is a precision instrument. Keep it away from dust, pet fur, etc. If the mic needs cleaning, brush it gently with a clean, soft brush (such as a pastry brush or artist’s watercolor brush).

When should I turn on phantom power, before or after I plug in the mic?
Turn on phantom power AFTER plugging in the mic.  Hot-plugging a mic into phantom power can, on rare occasions, blow out the circuit in the mic. It's a good idea to use an on-off switch, and turn OFF the mic before plugging it in to a mixer with phantom power.

Will the mics work with a loud rock band?
Being omnidirectional mics, they will probably feed back when you turn them up loud enough to compete with electric instruments or drums. Our mics are designed for soloists, duos, or quieter acoustic groups such as old-time string bands, bluegrass bands, string quartets, and so on.

Why do they have an omnidirectional pickup pattern?
Omni mics generally have the best sound quality -- the most natural sound -- because they pick up all the parts of the instrument, rather than focusing on a small part as a unidirectional mic would do. Omni mics also pick up much less handling noise and wind noise than unidirectional mics.

How can I reduce feedback?

    • When playing through an amp, place the amp behind you and to the left so your body blocks the feedback. Or place the amp in front of you, close to the audience.
    • Try to play a little louder and turn down your amp to compensate.
    • If the feedback is a low tone,  turn down the bass (low-frequency EQ) on your amp a little at a time until feedback stops.
    • If the feedback is a high squeal, turn down the treble (high-frequency EQ) on your amp a little at a time until feedback stops.
    • If you have a pickup, send its signal only to the monitor speakers, and send the mic signal only to the house speakers. Here's how: In your mixer's pickup channel, turn up the monitor send and turn down the fader. In your mixer's mic channel, turn down the monitor send and turn up the fader. The audience will hear the natural acoustic sound of your mic, and you will hear the pickup in your floor monitors.
    • Use in-ear monitors instead of floor monitor speakers. This headphone amp can be used to monitor your own instrument: Behringer MA400 .
    • Using a 1/3-octave graphic equalizer, or a preamp with a sweepable notch filter, notch out frequencies that feed back. The Headway EDB-2 preamp has a feedback notch filter. So does the Zoom A3 preamp.
    • Mandolin Mic: Try putting the mic inside an f-hole. Turn down the bass and treble on your mixer or amp until the sound is natural.
    • Banjo Mic: Attach the mic to the dowel rod inside the banjo, and turn down the bass (low-frequency EQ) on your mixer until the sound is natural.
    • Cello Mic: (1) Put the mic very close to the cello front, and turn the cello away from the monitor speakers. Or (2) Put the mic just inside an f-hole. Trap the foam mount in the f-hole. The sound will be full and mellow rather than bright and edgy. Or use our Cello MIc-LB instead.
    • Fiddle Mic:
      Ask the sound tech to turn down the gain trim until the mic channel does not clip. Then turn up the mixer fader to get enough fiddle volume in the mix, but not so loud that feedback occurs.

      Do not place the mic directly over an f-hole.

See if you can get by with your fiddle turned down a little in the monitor speakers. Hopefully you can still hear the fiddle itself.

Play a little louder; then the sound tech can turn down the gain, which prevents feedback.

Try another mic position, such as under the foam block, under the tailpiece. It might not sound as natural but it will be a little louder.

Ask the sound tech to turn on, in their mixer, a highpass filter (low-cut filter) around 100 or 200 Hz. That will prevent feedback at low frequencies without affecting the sound of your fiddle.

If you are playing with a lot of loud players, such as a drummer, it can be difficult to compete in volume with them, and then you might need to rely on a pickup instead.

A Shure SM57 mic, a few inches over your fiddle, is a sound tech's standard way of miking a fiddle. But see if the sound tech would be willing to try a comparison between that mic and your Fiddle Mic to see which one provides the most volume before feedback starts. If the SM57 mic is the winner, just go with it. It will still sound good, just not as natural as the Fiddle Mic.

What is the advantage of a clip-on microphone over a pickup?
Much more natural sound. Your instrument will sound acoustic, not electric, with a microphone. Because a pickup is sensitive mostly to string vibrations, it tends to make different models of one instrument sound the same. But a microphone allows all the individuality of your instrument to be heard because a mic picks up the body of the instrument as well as the acoustic sound of the strings.

What are the advantages of a clip-on microphone compared to a stand-mounted microphone?

  • Less clutter on stage - there's nothing between you and your audience.
  • More gain before feedback... up to 12 dB louder!
  • More consistent volume and tone -- With a stand mic, your volume and tone change when you move.
  • Freedom of movement on stage -- you are not locked into a single position in front of a mic.
  • Easier to carry -- no heavy mic stands, no large mics to carry.
My Guitar Mic B seems quiet through my passive DI (direct box).

Change to an active DI.

Where do you sell your microphones?

We sell directly from this web site.

banjohangout.com  Forum on the banjo. Often hilarious!
The Folk Alley  A great folk-music site with streaming audio, community notes and news.
http://www.therawfeed.com/stores/parts-express-com   Coupons from Parts Express.
http://www.andreasarnold.info/   This world-class flamenco guitarist endorses our Guitar Mic.
www.johnmailander.com This awesome fiddle player recommends our Fiddle Mic.
raynagellert.com  One of the world's finest fiddle players endorses our Fiddle Mic.

If you need an excellent luthier in the Asheville NC area, I recommend James Condino: