Microphone (less than $1,000)

Audio-Technica AT4047/SV Our reviewer called it "heavenly sound at a down-to-earth price" - a description that sums up why Audio-Technica's new AT4047/SV
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Audio-Technica AT4047/SVOur reviewer called it "heavenly sound at a down-to-earth price" - a description that sums up why Audio-Technica's new AT4047/SV large-diaphragm condenser mic launched us into orbits of enthusiasm. Of course, we've long been fans of A-T's venerable 40 series of side-address mics. The AT4050/CM5, for example, snagged our 1995 Editors' Choice award, and in our circle of personal-studio friends, the AT4033 is somewhat of a staple.

With a nod to days of old, the 4047 breaks new ground for Audio-Technica. Designed to emulate the sound of vintage F.E.T. mics, it distinguishes itself from other 40-series, large-diaphragm mics with a generous bass response, and an overall warmer, sweeter sound. This is achieved by means of a transformer-coupled output, a "pre-aged" diaphragm, and a dual-diaphragm configuration. Go figure. The mic provides a 10 dB pad and 80 Hz highpass filter and comes equipped with a quality shock-mount and plastic storage case.

Our reviewer loved the 4047 on virtually every source, including male and female vocals, acoustic guitar, trumpet, trombone, tuba, flute, sax, and percussion. He was blown away to find that it compared closely to his best studio mic, the venerable AKG Tube. He was so impressed by the 4047 that he bought two of them for his commercial studio. You can't ask for a better endorsement than that.