PZM-185 output level vs. Sound Grabber II output level
I used to have a Sound Grabber that I loved for its ability to pick up any sound (seemingly regardless of distance). When it finally failed I replaced it with a PZM-180 which I assumed was the same but with different cabling. I have installed a 6V 28a battery and the sensitivity is particularly weak, even when compared to ordinary mics. Will a different battery make a difference? Is there a difference between this and the Sound Grabber? Could there be something else wrong with the PZM-180?
Reply: Both the PZM-185 and PZM-180 have an XLR (3-pin pro audio) connector. Are you plugging that connector directly into your recorder, or are you using some sort of adapter cable (like XLR to mini phone)?
The PZM-185 and PZM-180 are 8 dB less sensitive than the Sound Grabber, which is about half as loud. That's because the Sound Grabber is high impedance but the PZMs are low impedance. All else being equal, low-impedance mics have lower output than high-impedance mics. To compensate, low-impedance mic inputs have more gain than high-impedance mic inputs.
If your recorder has a mini phone jack, there are two ways to increase the output of the PZM-180 or PZM-185. These methods change the PZM from low impedance to high impedance, which increases its output level: