Need help with JVC M-510 microphone

:question: Please help with JVC M-510 microphone information
Recently I’ve got the JVC M-510 Electret Condenser Super-directional Microphone and not able to find its instructional manual. It was manufactured in 80s. Contacted JVC without success.
It powered by one 1.5V AA battery. I cannot find any information if it can take the phantom power and if “yes”, what is the phantom power voltage. I do not want to try it because I am afraid to fry the mic. If you have an original manual, would you please attach the picture of the page containing this information. Thank in advance.

If it takes a battery, then it almost certainly should NOT have phantom power.
(I have a couple of similar mics that are powered by a single AA battery. They do not use phantom power and should not be given phantom power.)

JVC M-510

I found a picture online and it shows an [u]XLR[/u]. Do you have an audio interface (or mixer or preamp) with an XLR input?

Stage/studio mics (balanced 3-wire connection) are not interchangeable with computer mics (unbalanced 2-wire). If you’re trying to plug it into a regular soundcard or laptop it might “work” but you’ll need the “right” adapter & connector and the quality may not be acceptable.

If you are using a laptop, does it have separate mic & headphone jacks or a combo-jack?

Phantom power (for “studio condenser” mics) is 48V. It’s not supposed to hurt a properly wired stage/studio mic that doesn’t require phantom power, but of course it’s good-practice to turn-off phantom power when you don’t need it.

Electret condenser “computer mics” get 5V (not phantom) from the soundcard or laptop.

Yes, I forgot to mention that this is XLR mic.

Yes, I forgot to mention that this is XLR mic.

The best solution is an [u]audio interface[/u] with a mic input or a “little” [u]mixer[/u] with a USB interface.

Another option is a “studio style” USB mic (AKA “podcast mic”).

This JVC M-510 will be used with Tascam DR-40 recorder that has an ability of phantom power.
It would be nice to hear from people who have (had) this microphone.
Also: A someone on internet said that phantom power gives more signal gain compare to a battery (48V vs 1.5V). I am not sure if that is true.

I use XLR to XLR cable to my mixer and it makes no difference if I feed 48v phantom power or not. And the microphone does not work if there is not a 1.5V AA battery in it even though I have phantompower turned on.
So it does not support phantom power.

One funny thing is that there is a secret -10 db switch in it. Unscrew the top of the microphone (only regular microphone not the directional microphone) Inside you will see a square stick that is + to the microphone capsule that you just unscrewed. You can turn it ¼ turns but a pair of tweezers and choose whether it should be 0 or -10db.

BTW. Does anyone know the specs JVC M-510? There is a clear difference between the normal microphone and the directional microphone. The directional microphone sounds more like you are in a can. And there is a clear difference between V and M on both microphone heads. M is deeper and more rich but there are more hum.

Also: A someone on internet said that phantom power gives more signal gain compare to a battery (48V vs 1.5V). I am not sure if that is true.

Not true.* Some microphones are more sensitive than others but they typically put-out a few millivolts (also depending on the loudness of the sound). Condenser mics have a built-in “head amp” and they are typically 10 or 20dB “hotter” than dynamic or ribbon mics (which don’t need power).

There was a time when phantom power was only available in pro studios so “stage” condenser mics were battery powered. Now most mixers (and audio interfaces) have phantom power. Very few (if any) modern mics are battery powered

1.5V is a clue that it’s an electret condenser like a regular “computer mic” that runs from 5V supplied by the soundcard… Computer mics are wired differently so it’s not phantom power. That doesn’t make it “bad” but it’s not a “true” studio condenser mic. There are electret mics that run from 48V phantom power, and there are some “true condenser” USB mics (5V) which presumably have a built-in voltage-booster circuit.

[u]What’s the difference between an electret condenser and a “true condenser” microphone?[/u]


  • There are some cheap electret condenser mics that look like studio mics and they are supposed to work with 5V soundcard power or 48V phantom power and they supposedly work “better” with phantom power.

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 10.48.07 AM.png
I think it takes that long because someone has to go into the dusty, back file cabinets and copy it.

No, I don’t think different voltages will affect volume, either. The only problem could be microphone damage. I had a body microphone I used with the 1.5 volt batteries for years before I found it would be perfectly happy with the 48 Volt phantom power I also had available. I think it was a switch somewhere in the microphone. When all else fails, read the instructions.

A condenser microphone works by making your voice vibrate tiny, delicate metal films close to each other (but not touching). That will produce a very nice, accurate, clear voice signal that won’t travel anywhere. To force your voice down a cable, they have to provide a current booster and that’s what the little transistor is doing. It’s not making the voice louder. It’s just increasing the horsepower and jamming the voice signal down the cable. Work horses don’t move all that fast, but watch one turn over your car.

It’s called Phantom Power because your voice is going down the cable at the same time the 48 volts is coming up. Same cable, but it is almost always restricted to XLR cables. Phantom Power needs the three wires.

The power to run the little transistor has to come from somewhere. So that’s the 1.5v battery (3.0 volts in my case), 5.0 volts from a computer sound card, or 48 volts from a mixer or sound interface.

Where on earth did 48 volts come from? That was the minimum needed to run a vacuum tube in 1939.


Is there a another gain to XLR than to mono Jack?
If i uses XLR - XLR cable to a 1.5V electric condenser mic i get ~10-20db gain versus XLR to mono Jack.
Is it an mono vs balanced, or XLR vs Jack that causes that?

Is there a another gain to XLR than to mono Jack?

Yes, but maybe not what you think. The little mono jack is subject to picking up interference and noise and is usually limited to no more than three feet in length. Once you get the phantom power XLR thing going, you can run that a hundred feet.

That trip from a screaming rock band microphones to the audience mixer can be 125 feet. No computer sound card is going to do that.

If you have an electrically quiet studio with well behaved wall power, and a good computer, you can do what you want. But there’s a reason once you get beyond a certain complexity (and cost), all the pro systems use XLR.

Many home style interfaces aren’t really using XLR. A full XLR system sends the voice on pin two and an upside-down protection signal on pin 3. Look closely at the end of the plug with a flashlight. They’re labeled. A real XLR system uses both signals. Pin 1 is the braided wire shield.

An affordable adapter only uses the signal on pin 2 and dumps the pin 3 signal in the trash. No, that’s not a good idea, but it’s cheap and inexpensive and can work as long as everything else in your system is working perfectly. It doesn’t have automatic noise reduction any more, so the heavy rubber XLR cable may look cool, but you may be limited to the three feet of a mono jack cable.


Is there a another gain to XLR than to mono Jack?

Not “mono”, “unbalanced”. :wink: A single mic is mono (unless it’s a rare stereo mic that picks-up directional left & right sounds separately). A TRS connection has two signal lines (plus a ground) that can either be balanced mono or un-balanced stereo (i.e. a headphone connection or soundcard output).

The main benefit to a balanced connection is that any electrical hum/noise pick-up is in-phase in both signal lines so it gets canceled with a balanced input (aka “differential” input). Stage/studio mics are balanced. Computer mics are unbalanced. Guitars are more prone to hum & buzz than mics because they are high impedance and because they are unbalanced.

Depending on how things are wired (on either end) you could loose 6dB with the unbalanced connection if you loose the signal form one of the (previously) balanced connections. Normally, the ground is floating on the microphone-end so you don’t loose anything by ground one if the signals, but it also depends on what’s happening on the preamp-end. Some interfaces & preamps that use a “Neutrik” combo connector automatically switch to higher impedance and lower gain when you plug-in a TS "(“guitar”) plug. Or maybe it just “throws away” half of the signal (-6dB).

Please note this magic complexity only happens when you’re trying to stand in both worlds at once. Home performers generally only use USB or the mono jack and studios only use XLR. In either case, plug everything together, record the show, and go home.

When you cross them… You get what you have.

A similar magic happens when a home user tries to go from a single microphone to two or more. A studio will just plug a second microphone into their system. A home user…doesn’t.

Just last week a home podcaster tried to add a second microphone for a guest and posted the problems on the forum. They may still be trying.


Well I tested with my JVC M510 on a Yamaha AG06. Used same line (1) with XLR to XLR 50cm. And I tested with the 5m XLR to “mono” Jack (original cable i think) and i got a diff in the sound gain out from the mixer. ~20db + on XLR cable. There was nothing else that differenced like noise etc. And I had no Phantompower on, only the 1.5V AA battery i both cases.
If I look for a XLR to jack online its almost a 3 pin jack (named balanced) in the store. The unbalanced jack cables seems to be for guitars mainly… What is the mani difference with unbalanced (2pin) and balanced (3 pin) if i uses it on a XLR (mono) microphone? Abot OT i know :wink:

I can bring back the discussion to topic though:
Found this on an ad in a magazine from 1983.
M-510 Electret Condenser Microphone Superdirectional undirectional pattern. Frequency range 40-20,000 Hz; sensitivity -68 dB super, 71 dB uni: S/N ratio > 50 dB; 13 -dB gain loss inpassive mode $190
And the text from the catalogue from JVC

Nothing about Phantompower anyware.

Do you still have this mic? If you’re not using it, I’d like to buy it from you for a fair price.