New Gear Review: Audio-Technica Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica_AT5045With its large, rectangular electret capsule set in a rugged housing of aluminum and brass, the hand-built AT5045 side-address cardioid condenser is the latest addition to A-T’s 50 Series and is available separately or in stereo pairs badged AT5045P.

It uses a two-micron thick, vapor-deposited gold diaphragm that is pre-aged to ensure the mic’s sonic characteristics are fixed and constant over time and as a close instrument microphone, the AT5045 has the ability to handle sound pressure levels up to 149 dB SPL.

One of my first tests was to mic a Fender Blues Junior amp. I positioned it off-center to the amp’s twelve-inch speaker and it perfectly captured the amp’s sound without distorting. Next I tried both AT5045 mics in the AT5045P kit set up in a coincident X-Y stereo pair to record an ESP steel string acoustic guitar. I loved how accurately I could set the two capsules’ angles. The sound was present and clear without being too bright or excessively boomy.

The AT5045s are perfect for drum overheads, percussion, acoustic guitar and string instruments. With the AT8481 isolation clamp, AT8165 windscreen and custom hard-shell carrying case, the AT5045 sells for $1,399 MSRP. The AT5045P stereo pair is $2,499 MSRP.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazinebarryrudolph.com