I am always a sucker for cool, older microphones that critics say still have great mojo. I was interested in enhancing my inventory of acoustic instrument microphones (guitar, piano, drums, winds), and read some articles about the 1970s-90s era AKG C451E. I found a pair for a good price, and just got them today. These small diaphragm condensers are modular - the preamp body is interchangeable with various capsules. I scored a C451E with a CK-1 capsule, and a C451EB with a CK-5 capsule (I can unscrew and exchange the capsules, as needed). The 451 is a transformer-coupled mic preamp body that accepts a variety of detachable capsules, extension tubes and pads. The "E" suffix indicates an XLR connection; the "B" suffix indicates a bass roll-off switch with positions at 75hZ and 150hZ. Both of my capsules are cardioid, and sound relatively bright. The CK-5 is actually a CK-1 inside of a windscreen enclosure intended for use with vocalists (hence, the bass roll-off feature for proximity effect reduction).
A fine acoustic guitarist is coming over tomorrow night to put the mics through the wringer. I'll report back later. When he heard about my acquisition, he couldn't wait to try them out!
Cool, love to hear any example too!
We will likely record a lot of acoustic guitar tomorrow night. I’ll render a WAV file or two.
My initial voice tests were quite good for 30-40 year old mics. I’m running them through a few different preamps, as well: Trident 80B rack reissue, ISA One, Ted Fletcher P10, and Audient ASP880.
The AKG 451E is a fine SDC microphone. I've used them countless times over the years, on acoustic guitars, violins, mandolin, percussion rigs, as well as for drum overheads.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you record.
Just make sure you upload the MP3 file directly to here, for best fidelity. Our media player supports resolutions up to 320kbps and can handle any stereo file up to around 12 meg (or so) in size. Use the "Upload a File" feature, located next to the post reply button. RO's media player is infinitely better in fidelity than SoundCloud is. Give the upload a few moments, as the rate is dependent upon your provider's speed. Looking forward to listening!