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OmnidirectionalCardioidHypercardioidAudio-Technica AT4051a

Detachable-Capsule Pencil Condenser Microphone

The AT4051a is a pencil condenser mic that accepts multiple interchangeable capsules, all of which are externally-biased (true) condenser designs.

The preamplifier body is p/n AT4900a-48; it is a phantom-powered, low noise, transformerless output design with integrated pad (-10dB) and high-pass filter (-12dB/octave @ 80Hz) switches.

It ships in a padded plastic case with a mic clip and foam windscreen.

Electronic Musician

Audio-Technica’s small diaphragm elicited a unanimously positive opinion from the participants in the string listening session. The mic was repeatedly described as “smooth…” [I]t conveyed a “human quality” that was rich in depth and clarity without being too defined…

The AT4051a really impressed me when used as a close-mic on acoustic guitar. It seemed to have all the body of the warmer Neumann and Schoeps models, with the added benefit of a perfectly defined high-end sparkle. At a distance, it took on a smoother and more neutral character not unlike the Schoeps, but retained its characteristic warmth and presence.

The mic was revised in 2008; see the AT4051b for details on what changed.

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Compatible Capsules
Audio-Technica AT4049a-ELOmnidirectional Audio-Technica AT4049a-EL
Omnidirectional capsule
Sensitivity: 19.9 mV/Pa
Freq. Resp.: 20 - 20,000 Hz
MSRP: $245 | discontinued
Audio-Technica AT4051a-ELCardioid Audio-Technica AT4051a-EL
Cardioid capsule
Sensitivity: 19.9 mV/Pa
Freq. Resp.: 20 - 20,000 Hz
MSRP: $245 | discontinued
Audio-Technica AT4053a-ELHypercardioid Audio-Technica AT4053a-EL
Hypercardioid capsule
Sensitivity: 22.4 mV/Pa
Freq. Resp.: 20 - 20,000 Hz
MSRP: $245 | discontinued
Pads & Filters Impedance SPL/Noise
  • Filter: HPF: -12dB/octave @ 80Hz (Via Switch)
100 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 146 dB
Self-noise: 19.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
120g (4.23oz) 155mm (6.10'') 21mm (0.83'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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