Since it’s introduction in the late 60s, the AKG C-451 received a justifiably solid reputation over the years as a go-to mic whenever you needed a fast-response small diaphragm condenser (SDC), especially on cymbals and acoustic guitar. That said, the design of the mic changed quite a bit as time went on in an effort to improve the product or be more cost-efficient. The most popular capsule of the mic, the cardioid CK1 capsule, was discontinued for economic reasons in 1994, and eventually the entire C-451 line was retired (it’s since been revived by the current Harmon-owned AKG). Now Austrian Audio, the remnants from the original AKG company, has introduced a new SDC called the CC8 that has all the features that harkens back to that original C-451 model but with an eye firmly on the future.
It’s All In The Capsule
What gives this new small diaphragm microphone its sound is Austrian Audio’s OCC7 condenser capsule, which is inspired by the beloved CK1 capsule used in in the original C-451. The cardioid OCC7 capsule and transformerless output give the CC8 a super linear frequency response (almost flat except for slight boosts at 6kHz and 12kHz) and very low self-noise.
In order to achieve this quality level, each capsule is hand-built in Vienna, then measured and tuned in Austrian Audio’s in-house anechoic chamber. Before leaving the factory, each microphone is measured to a tolerance of +/- 0.5dB sensitivity at 1 kHz. This means that any CC8 can be match-paired with any other, regardless of production dates.
The CC8 has a 2 position high-pass filter at 60Hz and 120Hz, and a 3 position pad for 0, 10dB, and 20dB of attenuation. Having a switchable attenuator is much faster and more convenient than the original in-line attenuators that had to be screwed on after the capsule on the original model. This design of the capsule and electronics, along with the built-in pads, allow it to handle extremely high sound pressure levels of up to 156dB without distorting, which is way better than the original C-451.
The CC8 comes with a wind screen, mic clip and carrying case and carries a very reasonable MSRP of $479. A stereo set is also available with an additional carrying case and stereo bar for $949 MSRP. Shipping begins in November.
Click to find out more directly from Austrian Audio, or watch the video below.