Chameleon Labs - RecordingHacks

Chameleon Labs
Model TS-1
Tube Condenser Microphone
Owner’s Manual
704 228th Avenue NE, # 826
Sammamish, WA 98074
The TS-1 is a small diaphragm, tube, condenser microphone of exceptional sonic clarity
and rugged construction. When used in accordance with the guidelines in this manual it
will give you many years of outstanding performance.
Because the TS-1 uses vacuum tube circuitry it requires a separate power supply unit
(included with the microphone) in order to operate, even if your mixer has phantom
power. If your mixer has phantom power, it is not necessary to switch it off when using
the TS-1. However, due to differences in design of the phantom power circuits contained
in various mixers (and preamps) it is recommended that you defeat the phantom power as
a precautionary measure when it is not needed to power other mics that you might also be
First, connect the microphone to the power supply using the seven pin cord (included). It
is recommended that the microphone be placed in the shock mount (included) to avoid
pick up of unwanted vibration. The TS-1 is not intended for hand-held operation. Next,
connect AC power to the power supply using the IEC power cord (included). Finally,
connect the audio output on the power supply to one of the microphone inputs of your
system using a standard three-pin microphone cable.
How to use your TS-1
First, set the red voltage selector switch to match the AC voltage in your area (115/230).
There are two silver toggle switches on the front of the power supply. The POWER
switch is on the left, under the red pilot lamp. The STANDBY switch is on the right,
under the green pilot lamp. After all the proper connections have been made (see section
above), lift the POWER switch. The red pilot will illuminate. This begins heating the
vacuum tube and prepares the microphone to produce a signal. After ten to fifteen
seconds, you can lift the STANDBY switch. The TS-1 will soon begin to output an audio
signal from the 3-pin XLR jack. It requires about five minutes for the microphone to
warm up completely, though a period of fifteen minutes is recommended to assure that
the TS-1 has fully stabilized and has attained its optimum operating temperature. At this
point, the microphone body will feel warm to the touch. This is normal. If you decide to
take a break from using the microphone, you can lower the STANDBY switch until you
return. This will help to extend the life of the vacuum tube. Note: it is not recommended
that you leave the mic in its standby mode (POWER switch up and STANDBY switch
down) for periods longer than thirty minutes. When you are finished using the TS-1,
switch it off and store it in its box with the supplied desiccant. There is no harm in using
the microphone for very long periods of time but do not leave the microphone running
continuously. Some people feel that tube microphones should be left on at all times.
This is not true. A vacuum tube has a finite service life and you will be using it up
unnecessarily if you do this.
The TS-1 is a small diaphragm, condenser microphone with vacuum tube electronics. It
comes with interchangeable capsules, one of which has a cardioid pickup pattern, and the
other is omni-directional. A hyper cardioid capsule is also available as an optional
accessory. To change the capsule, unscrew the capsule from the tip of the microphone
and replace it with the other capsule. When mounting a capsule, be very careful not to
cross-thread it and never force a capsule that is reluctant. The capsules should screw on
smoothly and easily.
Both capsules are marked to identify their pickup pattern. The cardioid capsule has a
heart shaped insignia printed on its side and the omni-directional capsule has a circle. If
the insignias wear off with use or become illegible, you can still identify the pickup
patterns. The cardioid capsule has vent slots on the side and the omni-directional capsule
does not. Use the cardioid capsule in situations where you desire to pickup specific
sound sources, such as one guitar within an ensemble, or only the higher strings of a
piano. You can also use the cardioid capsule when you wish to reduce the acoustic
presence of the space in which you are working, such as reducing crowd noise during live
recording. Use the omni-directional capsule when you wish to pickup a wider area, such
as a group of backing vocalists. Also, use the omni-directional capsule when you wish to
include more of the acoustic character of the space in which the microphone is being
used, such as in concert halls that have outstanding acoustics. There is an optional
adaptor, model number ADP-1, which allows CK Series capsules from AKG® to be
mounted on the body of the TS-1.
The TS-1 can be used in very loud sonic environments without significant distortion. If
you hear distortion from the microphone, engage the “mic pad” on your mixer, or move
the microphone farther from the sound source. It is not recommended that you use the
TS-1 as a hand held microphone, or as a vocal microphone without a windscreen, or
outdoors use on a windy day. This is because it has no internal shock mount or pop filter.
However, the TS-1 is an excellent vocal microphone when properly protected from
plosive sounds, such as breath pops or wind. If you wish to use a foam windscreen that
fits tightly over the microphone capsule, make sure that the foam has not begun to
degenerate. Wipe the foam on a white piece of paper. If you can see any traces of the
foam transferring to the paper, discard the windscreen. Condenser microphones create
electrostatic charges in the capsule. This attracts lint, dust, and other materials and these
materials can become attached to the diaphragm. Over time, this will degrade the sound
of your microphone.
You can optimize the life of your new microphone by storing it properly. Keep the TS-1
in its case when not in use, and store it in a cool, dry place. If you are not going to use
your TS-1 for a long period of time, leave the microphone on for an extra 15 minutes
after you are finished with it. This will drive out moisture that may have accumulated
around the capsule during the session. Place the microphone into a sealable plastic bag
while it is still warm and seal the bag. Keeping a packet of desiccant crystals in the bag
with the TS-1 will also help. If you know that the microphone will be subject to freezing
temperatures, it is very important that it be as dry as possible before it is exposed to the
cold. Use the long-term storage procedure outlined above for both the microphone and
the power supply. Leave the microphone on for 45 minutes prior to placing it and the
power supply into sealable plastic bags. Do this even if the mic will only be exposed to
the cold for a short period of time. It is also important that the microphone be allowed to
return to room temperature WHILE STILL IN THE SEALED PLASTIC BAG. This
stops condensation from forming on the microphone and will greatly increase the
longevity and reliability of the system.
Use a lint free cloth lightly dampened with water to clean the metal surfaces of
microphone system. Never rub anything on the screen that covers the capsules. Make
sure the components are completely dry before being stored.
There are no user serviceable parts inside the TS-1 microphone or power supply. Contact
a qualified maintenance professional if a problem occurs.
Warranty and Liability
Your Chameleon Labs product is warranted to the original owner for a period of one
year. Chameleon Labs guarantees this product to be free from electrical and mechanical
defects and will repair or replace defective components, or replace the microphone at
Chameleon Lab’s option. Should service be required for your Chameleon Labs product,
please contact the manufacturer. Service is provided for products beyond the warranty
period. Seller warrants that the goods are described in this agreement, but no other
express warranty is made in respect to the goods. The entire risk as to the quality and
performance of the good is with the buyer. Seller disclaims all warranties either express
or implied, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular
purpose, and seller neither assumes nor authorizes any other person to assume for it any
liability in connection with the sale of said goods.
MODEL NUMBER ___________________________
SERIAL NUMBER ____________________________
DATE OF PURCHASE __________________________
PURCHASED FROM ___________________________
Output impedance: 200 ohms
Sensitivity: -35dB (@ 1 KHz, re 0dB=1V/Pa)
Noise: 19dB-A
Maximum Output: 1.5, ~ 130dB SPL
Frequency Response:
Cardioid capsule – 70Hz – 20 kHz +/- 4 dB.
Omni capsule – 30Hz – 20 kHz +/- 4 dB.
Hyper cardioid capsule – 80Hz – 20 kHz +/- 4 dB.