The Telefunken AR-51 provides a smooth mid-range, open top end, and solid, well-balanced low frequency and 6 polar pattern stages.
The large diaphragm, multi-pattern TELEFUNKEN AR-51 was created to bring the classic circuit of the ELA M 251E and C12 into a new, more affordable microphone. Featuring edge terminated TK51D capsule, a European NOS (New Old Stock) ECC81 / 12AT7 vacuum tube and newly manufactured Haufe T14/1 output transformer, the AR-51 captures the same clarity as its predecessors and provides similar sonic characteristics, with its own unique distinctions.
In use, the AR-51 is a fantastic utility microphone. Its smooth mid-range, open top end, and solid, well-balanced low frequency translation make it a great choice on anything from vocals to drums and percussion to acoustic guitar to saxophone. With 9 variable polar patterns, the AR-51 has both versatility and superior accuracy in recreating your sound source as natural as it sounds.
The AR-51 features the same amplifier electronics of the Austrian designed C12 and ELA M 251E microphones and pairs them with a dual sided, 26.5 mm large diaphragm TK51D capsule. At the core of the R-F-T AR-51 amplifier is a NOS ECC81 / 12AT7 vacuum tube, which is coupled with the same German built Haufe T14/1 output transformer found in the C12 and ELA M 251E.
The AR-51's steel headgrille mesh and brass base ring are finished in black nickel plating, giving the microphone a unique look and vibe. The aluminum body tube is finished in a grey protective hard coat and is engraved with the microphone model name and serial number. An antique nickel plated TELEFUNKEN diamond logo badge is featured on the front of the microphone. The power supply is also finished in a black protective coating.
Each AR-51 microphone comes complete with M 901 power supply, M 801 25' dual-shielded TX-7 tube microphone cable, M701 elastic shockmount and wooden microphone box.
Type: Pressure Gradient Condenser
Capsule: TK51D - 26.5 mm Edge Terminated Diaphragm
Tube Type: National 12AT7WA (NOS)
Transformer: Haufe T14/1
Polar Pattern: 9-Pattern Variable including Omnidirectional, Cardioid and Bidirectional
Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ± 3 dB
Sensitivity: 13 mV/Pa, ± 1 dB
THD at 1kHZ at 1Pa (Amplifier): < 0.2%
Output Impedance: 250
Maximum SPL (for 1% THD): 128 dB
S/N Ratio: 86 dBA
Self Noise (Amplifier): 8dBA
Dimensions: 240 mm L x 46 mm Dia
Weight: 769 g
Current Draw from Mains: 50 mA
Power Supply: M 901 - 7 Pin Female XLR Input, 3 Pin Male XLR Output, Polar Pattern Selector
Cable: M 801 - 25 ft Accusound TX-7 Cable, 7 Pin Male & Female XLR's
Wooden Box: WB01
Flight Case: HC01 - Hard Shell Protective Case (not included), FC10S for Stereo Set
Five stars because firstly, it sounded great on the first take we sang through it. Very forgiving polar pattern and very workable mic. The overall character really suited an Alto opera singer with a massive clarion voice. She usually has to back off more on higher, louder passages, but this mic takes intensity very well, allowing the intimate focused tone to continue. I have tried this through a DAV, Vintech 573, and Hv3, and this microphone just sits very well in my mixes. Upper end has a touch of sparkle which suits vocals (depending on style) very well. The cliche is true: not much EQing needed, but takes it well when you do.
Secondly, for the price, it has put a huge smile on my face. It is in the same camp sonically to some usually heavy hitters.