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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #1
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Old Audio-Technica Mics, Your Thoughts?

Unfortunately a friend of mine passed away recently. His wife asked me to take a box of his "old AV stuff" off of her hands. The box was full of mostly low end consumer gear and some very nice items. There is a Telos One unit in there from his pod casting radio show days, imagine that.

There is also two Audio-Technica wired lavs. They are old (but perfect) AT831B capsules. They have been around forever but still in stock at B&H for $200.00. Mine must be old original models because they are hard wired to the power pack and not removable as they come now. I am wondering if any of you have experience with these mics and can provide any input on their characteristics? They are cardioid condenser mics which will be nice because my other wired lavs are omni.

There is also 3 Audio-Technica ATM41a cardioid handhelds. They have been discontinued for so long it is hard to find much information on them. The AT site says the original MSRP was $179.00. That is all it says. They have a frequency response range of 50 to 16,000 hz. The sensitivity is -56db (1.5 mV) re 1V at 1Pa. When I need a mic of this type I use my Shure SM58s. These ATM41As look like ATs competitor for that class of mic. My thought has always been that the SM58 is in a league of its own, especially when you consider the cost. I can't imagine an AT mic being anywhere near as good as a SM58? Does anyone have experience with the ATM41a? They are in brand new condition.

There is also a Samson 5 channel headphone DA/Amp and several old cheap wireless headphone sets, among other things. But you can never have to many mics!

Your thoughts appreciated.

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 06:15 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Re: Old Audio-Technica Mics, Your Thoughts?

Sorry to hear of your friend's passing, at least some of his gear may find additional use through you.

The Telos One, if in good working order, is certainly a piece of premium gear. I have had one for more than 20 years and still use it for interfacing telephone conference audiences during both small telephone or web broadcasts, and large live meetings that have a large audience in the room.

I still have three of the older AT803b cardioid lavaliers with the hard wired capsule. They work well if placed properly and connected to a clean preamp. They have a fairly low output level, but sound nice. They can also run on a AA battery if you don't have phantom power available. I didn't need them anymore and tried to sell them but had no takers. So I just keep them as spares or for odd jobs like going to a separate recorder for Go-Pro-type setups in cars, etc.

I've never tried the ATM41a, but I do love the pair of higher output neodymium hypercardioid ATM61HE (High Energy) that I have and use a lot. They have about twice the output of the regular dynamic Artist Series mics. See the photo I shot while playing around with my macro lens and strobe setup:

I say try them out for yourself. The AT gear of that period and those product lines was very good, especially for the price point. I've always preferred the generally flatter AT dynamic vocal mics to their Shure dynamic equivalents, but I do a lot more recording than I do band PA work (very, very little really...)
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Last edited by Jay Massengill; April 20th, 2016 at 06:45 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 08:31 AM   #3
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Re: Old Audio-Technica Mics, Your Thoughts?

A cameraman buddy had a few or them, and as I recall, they sounded decent.
They are a little large by today's standards but would be fine for sit-down interviews.
Try em' out for sure. The internal battery option is nice.

I have no direct experience with the ATM41. It's primarily design is a live performance vocal mic (like the venerable Shure SM58). It would not be of much use in typical ENG/film production. I'm sure some band would love to have them.
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Old April 20th, 2016, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: Old Audio-Technica Mics, Your Thoughts?

I've had a permanently wired one for years, and it finally failed just this week! It actually sounded quite nice. Sad it's gone.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: Old Audio-Technica Mics, Your Thoughts?

I got a chance to test these mics a little bit. The lavs will work out well for sit down interviews. Not quite as sensitive as I would like but thats ok. I think they sound good, I will know more after I put them in use.

The ATM41a kind of blew me away. What great mics. The best way to describe them is SM58. They do not seem to be a SM58 wana be. They appear to be everything a SM58 is. Heavy, well made, sound the same, and directional. In fact they might fall off just a little quicker than a 58 with that same type of rejection.

There is a total of six new mics in my kit now. A welcome addition except that my friend can't be here to use them anymore.

Thanks for the input guys.

Kind Regards,

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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