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9 polar patternsAKG Acoustics Perception 820 Tube

Multi-Pattern Tube Condenser Microphone

AKG’s Perception 820 Tube large-diaphragm, multipattern tube design with transformer-coupled output. It is the only tube microphone in AKG’s “Perception” line of project studio microphones.

AKG Perception 820 Tube circuit


The Perception 220, 420, 820, 100, 200 and 400 share the same capsule platform which is is one-inch, center-terminated and true condenser.

The amplifier circuit is built using discrete, through-hole components.

The external power supply unit, dubbed the “remote control,” provides access to 9 polar patterns — from omni to cardioid (with three unnamed wide-cardioid patterns in between), and from cardioid to figure-8 (with three unnamed supercardioid patterns in between). Front-panels switches enable the high-pass filter (-12dB/octave @ 80Hz) and -20dB pad. A switch on the rear panel enables a ground lift, useful for eliminating hum from ground loops in sketchy home/studio wiring.

AKG Perception 820 Tube power supplyThe tube in the amp circuit is an ECC83 (12AX7 type) dual triode of unknown (but likely Chinese) origin. The tube-and-transformer circuit is said to “emphasize even-order harmonics for rich, smooth and three-dimensional sound.”

The mic’s body is tooled from zinc/aluminum alloy. The grille is fashioned from stainless steel wire.

The 820 Tube kit contains the microphone, the “remote control” aka power supply, a 7-pin mic/power cable, an elastic shock mount, PSU power cable, and padded metal flight case.

AKG’s Perception microphones were designed by AKG in Vienna. Manufacturing is done in China, under AKG’s “strict quality control.”

The “Perception 820” branding was retired in 2014, although the same microphone was simultaneously (re)introduced as the “P820 Tube,” within AKG’s revamped collection of project studio microphones.

The AKG Acoustics Perception 820 Tube is also known as: 820 Tube, Perception 820, 820.

The mic was released in 2009.


Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Perception 820 Tube Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Perception 820 Tube Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - BidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
Perception 820 Tube Bidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (20 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Cardioid (20 mV/Pa; 33 - 20,000 Hz)
Bidirectional (20 mV/Pa; 100 - 18,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -20dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF: -12dB/octave @ 80Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 155 dB
Self-noise: 16.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
870g (30.69oz) 212mm (8.35'') 53mm (2.09'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Includes tube power supply

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