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I have the possibility to buy a pair of Akg C 391 B or two AT4051.
Both quite the same price (around 400€), the AT4051 slightly cheaper.

One question: are they both true condensor mics, i.e. no electret?

Adv of the AKG:
- easier to change capsule, there is even a bi-directional one that i could need
Dis of the AKG:
- they come without windschield and clams

adv of the at4051:
- they could sound better, according to many reviews I read
- they are a bit cheaper
- they come with a box and everything
- they should be a bit more sensitive than the AKG
dis of the At4051:
- it's not so easy to change capsule (not many used). there is no bi-directional capsule

My main uses are: field recording (low level sound), different kind of sounds; sometimes instruments (horn, piano, sax).
What would you suggest me?


TheJackAttack Wed, 11/27/2013 - 09:38

I own and have used both of these. Both are quite good microphones. The AT4051 have been a standard for me on jazz and rock stages and I have used them as stereo pairs. I have the cardioid and omni caps for these. They are "hotter" than the AKG SE300 series.

The AKG's are probably what I prefer for classical music support. I have all the capsules for them and made many live classical recording in MS using a 391/394 combo. I use the 398 for reinforcing the main image for art singers from the stereo pair mic stand.

I guess if you are recording ambient sound then the AT mics have the advantage because the preamp module is beefier. If you are doing classical or other acoustic recording and preamp gain is not an issue then it is a matter of what audio character you like. The AT's are excellent but to my ear sound like AT which is not bad or pejorative but just an observation.

anonymous Thu, 11/28/2013 - 04:48

If the AT's lack a Fig 8 pattern, you won't be able to do M-S recording - if you are planning on using the same mics in your paired array.

I think Audio Technica makes a fine microphone; solid, dependable, and good sounding. The factory is about 20 miles from me, in Stow, Ohio, and I have several friends who have worked there over the years, in both R&D and in servicing, and their QC is top notch.
They have also developed a solid rep as giving a lot of bang for the buck; and providing buyers with a good mic without them needing a second mortgage.

That being said, however, I've always leaned more towards AKG for mics. Just a personal preference, but across the board, all things being fairly equal in price and specs, I think the AKG's tend to sound silkier, less harsh/brittle on the top end, and with more definition across the spectrum.

I'm a pretty big fan of the M-S array, and so as I mentioned above, not having a bi directional (Fig 8) pattern available would be a deal breaker for me.

But...all this is just my personal opinion, of course. Many other talented people here might disagree with me. I can only go by my own past experience in using both AT and AKG mics.