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CardioidSanken Microphone Company, Ltd. CU-41

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The CU-41 is a unique dual-capsule condenser microphone designed for accurate and neutral sound reproduction. It was developed by Sanken and NHK, the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, between 1979 and 1982.

CU-41 Capsule AssemblyThe mic is one of a very few “two-way” condensers ever made. It has two separate capsules, each optimized for different frequency ranges. A small-diameter capsule, mounted near the top of the headbasket, picks up high-frequency information, while a large-diaphragm capsule carries low to mid frequencies. The output of the two capsules is mixed into a single mono output with a flat and extended frequency response. The crossover point is at 1kHz.

Detailed capsule size specifications are not available at this time, although Sanken has published a description of the diaphragms: both are 1-micron titanium. This composition makes the mic less susceptible to sonic changes due to temperature, humidity, or corrosion over time.

Both capsules are edge-terminated.

The mic has a transformer-coupled output circuit. (The CU-44X is essentially a transformerless version of the CU-41.)

The mic’s frequency response is described as “totally flat” by Sanken. The published plot shows approximately 2dB of variation from 20Hz to 22kHz, a smooth dip of -5dB centered at 35Hz, and a slight rise beyond that.

The CU-41 has a satin nickel finish. It ships with an elastic shockmount (Sanken p/n S-41) and a storage pouch. An optional aluminum flightcase (p/n TC-41) holds two CU-41 mics with a pair of S-41 shockmounts.

Note that the CU-41 cannot be disassembled without a special tool.

The Sanken Microphone Company, Ltd. CU-41 is also known as: CU41.

The mic was released in 1982.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
CU-41 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (7 mV/Pa; 20 - 30,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
Diaphragm gauge: 1 microns
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 140 dB
Self-noise: 15.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
600g (21.16oz) 187mm (7.36'') 50mm (1.97'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48 ± 4v

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