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CardioidSanken Microphone Company, Ltd. CU-51

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The Sanken CU-51 is a fixed Cardioid condenser microphone with a unique dual-capsule design. It is part of Sanken’s Chromatic line of studio microphones.

Much like its sister mic, the CU-41, the CU-51 has two edge-terminated capsules. Details about the capsules are scarce, but from available photos, the capsules seem to be identical in size. This is in contrast to the CU-41 microphone which has one large- and one small-diaphragm capsule.

CU-51 CapsulesOne capsule is tuned for high frequencies and the other is tuned for low frequencies. The capsules are phase-coherent. Sanken does not state the crossover point for the two capsules.

Unlike the CU-41’s titanium capsules, the CU-51 has PPS or Polyphenylene Sulfide capsules. Sanken emphasizes that PPS is immune to temperature and humidity changes.

Also unlike the CU-41, the CU-51 is a transformerless microphone.

Like the rest of the Sanken Chromatic line, the CU-51 is designed to be as clean and transparent as possible. Toward that end, Sanken have made the CU-51 uniformly cardioid throughout the entire spectrum, and with a very flat frequency response up to 90 degrees off axis. The frequency chart bears this out: the off-axis response is very similar to the on-axis response, just 7db quieter. Sanken recommends this feature as useful for vocalists that move around while singing.

The CU-51 is sold with a vinyl bag and without a microphone mount. The KS-51, S-51, or RS-51 are recommended shockmounts, sold separately.

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The mic was released in 2016.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (31.6 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 138 dB
Self-noise: 14.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
430g (15.17oz) 157mm (6.18'') 41mm (1.61'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power

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