It all started with a microphone from TIE, model TCX200, which claims to be a condenser microphone. The assumption, of course wrong, was that it could be connected using the XLR standard with phantom power. The documentation from the vendor neglected to mention that the microphone cable comes with a TA3M (mini XLR) connector and requires an adapter.

On the first try, the pass-through adapter didn't work. Comments on Amazon confirmed that an active adapter is required.

Now, I have the one in the picture without knowing the source. As the adapter has no marking other than "CE," I can only suspect it is a TIE Phantom Power adapter.

Opening the adapter was relatively simple. Under the CE label, there is a screw. The screw holds the XLR male part and the electronic board. The TA3M connector can be unscrewed. Once the TA3M is out, the connecting wires can be desoldered, and the electronic board can be taken out for examination.

The schematic resembles an electret microphone adapter, which explains why using a pass-through adapter was a bad idea. The guys from TIE forgot to mention that the microphone is an electret condenser microphone and not a plain condenser microphone. In order to find out values for the capacitors, I had to take them out. I did not realize the orange caps were tantalum and not ceramic ones until I re-installed one of them reversed. I could hear the noise created by the capacitor.

But, but, but, I was having trouble understanding how exactly does it works. At this point, I went on the internet and found the original schematic. 

Things suddenly started to make sense. The documentation mentioned the output voltage of the microphone, which is, of course, the bias voltage for the condenser capsule. The adapter works but only by accident. As far as I can tell, the adapter electronics contain multiple mistakes on the XLR side. The 30k and 27k resistors got swapped, and the base and emitter of the transistor in the negative signal path are swapped. I also suspect that the same creative ghost swapped the 1uF and 47uF capacitors. The 47uF fits better on the power rail and not in the signal path.

What I ended up with was adjusting the adapter to resemble jet another variation of the behringer schematic. This was a bit of a hybrid between the board layout, schematics from the internet and parts available.

If you are stuck with the electret microphone from TIE and don't have an adapter, the easiest way to make things work is to get any electret to XLR adapter and replace the TA3M connector with whatever is needed by the adapter.

The internet was a great help:

Electret Microphones - Powering & Uses

Phantom Power - What It Is And How It Works

Mic Circuits From Simple to Professional

Powering microphones

Amazon Reviews containing some hints on technical specification

For the search engine: PRE-AP HB-XLR01

Documentation TIE TCX200