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Audio-Technica AT4047/SV, July 2000


For nearly 40 years, the people at Audio-Technica have been
dedicated to the advancement of electroacoustic design and
manufacturing, establishing an enviable reputation for building
good-sounding, reliable products. The company’s microphones, in
particular, can be found in leading studios worldwide.

A-T’s latest large-diaphragm, cardioidcapacitor microphone is the AT4047/SV, intended for
critical recording and broadcast applications. The microphone has a
gold-plated, XLR-type connector and ships in a foam-lined case
with a matching silver-colored shockmount. Options include the AT8137
large cylindrical foam windscreen, a variety of cables and the AT8430
stand clamp.

This 48V phantom-powered mic is housed in a
matte-silver-finished cylinder body that’s 6.69 inches long, with a
maximum body diameter of 2.1 inches, and a weight of 14.5 ounces. The
instrument has a frequency response of 20 to 18k Hz, a signal-to-noise
ratio of 85 dB (1 kHz at 1 Pascal), and an A-weighted noise
rating of 9dB SPL.

The AT4047/SV was designed to produce a sonic quality reminiscent of
early FET studio microphones, employing a transformer-coupled output.
The capsule’s dual, 2-micron-thick, vapor-deposited, gold diaphragms
deliver a dynamic range of 140 dB and improve the microphone’s ability
to provide undistorted reproduction of high SPL signals. These
diaphragms are aged using a proprietary five-step process to ensure
consistent performance over years of use. Internal shock-mounting
isolates the capsule from noise and vibration.

The mic’s frequency response is quite flat through the upper
midrange, at which point there is a slight bump of roughly 2 to 3 dB at
about 5 kHz. Set to the Low Cut position, a 12dB/octave (at 80 Hz)
low-frequency roll-off reduces the mic’s sensitivity to vocal
popping in close-miking applications or to low-frequency ambient noise.
A pad switch increases the microphone’s SPL capabilities by 10 dB.

The AT4047/SV has the look and feel of a quality instrument.
Further, the shock-mount adapter is one of the best I’ve encountered.
The microphone drops into the shock-mount’s center well and is secured
by a latex band that gently surrounds the lower portion of the
instrument’s main cylinder. This leaves just enough room for access to
the Low Cut and Pad switches. Once in the shock-mount, the microphone
has a secure resting place, yet this arrangement is more “fluid” and
provides better mechanical isolation than the shockmounts I’ve seen
from most other manufacturers.

My first sessions with the AT4047/SV were for dialog and vocal
recording. The symmetrical housing assembly surrounding the
microphone’s capsule and its open acoustical environment facilitates a
broad off-axis response that is ideal for vocal and instrumental
recording. The microphone does not, however, provide a fine-woven inner
headscreen. Consequently, it’s very important to use a high-quality,
sheer nylon pop filter-especially for close dialog work. Without it,
popping and sibilants are likely to require a fair amount of

For the dialog session, the microphone was positioned just slightly
above the speaker’s mouth, with the pop filter directly in front. With
the talent speaking roughly four to six inches from the capsule, I was
able to acquire very full, even-sounding dialog takes that exhibited
almost no objectionable sibilance. I experimented with the Low Cut
switch to determine whether I could reduce the small amount of low
popping sounds that I was experiencing. While the Low Cut made a
significant improvement, it also reduced the “fullness” of the sound.
Ultimately, I opted to use takes that had been recorded flat, as they
exhibited a more natural warmth and character along with a greater
overall sense of detail.

For vocal recording, the AT4047/SV performed equally well.
Positioning the vocalist approximately eight inches away, the mic
offered rich, full-sounding vocal takes with a pleasing overall sheen.
Throughout this session, the microphone exhibited its low noise floor,
and I had an abundance of gain to work with.

I was equally successful recording flute. Because the flute has the
least wind resistance of all wind instruments, flautists frequently
move a good deal while playing. This movement can make the process of
recording even-sounding takes a serious challenge. In this case, the
microphone was positioned roughly 10 to 12 inches in front of the
embouchure (the hole in the flute’s headpiece) and at a slight upward
angle. The AT4047/SV captured the performance with remarkable detail
and a sense of vibrancy that sounded very “live.” Of equal importance,
the ambience that the mic captured was astounding. The flute’s
“breathiness” was there, as was the natural sound of the performer
capturing her breath between phrases-all of which was coupled with a
sense of the small chamber hall where the recording took place.

My evaluation package contained two AT4047/SV mics. So, I couldn’t
resist trying them on a drum set. With its ability to handle relatively
high SPLs, the AT4047/SV is a terrific choice for drum overheads. I
found the mics captured a very full, detailed sense of cymbals, snare,
toms and kick without drawing one’s attention to any specific

Next up was electric guitar. For this recording, the AT4047/SV’s
10dB pad enabled me to capture the amp’s output with more manageable
signal level. With the mic positioned on-axis approximately 15 inches
in front the cabinet’s center, the AT4047/SV did an awesome job. The
recorded sound had plenty of depth and detail, sounded very big and had
all the character of the original performance.

Audio-Technica’s AT4047/SV is the first transformer-coupled
microphone in its 40 Series product line. With a capsule based on the
company’s popular 4060 tube mic and electronics similar to the 4054 and
4055 performance microphones, the AT4047/SV provides the best of both
worlds-the accuracy of a refined element with proven, dependable

The AT4047/SV comes with one of the best shock-mounts I’ve seen and
has a first-rate fit and finish. My only gripe is that I would have
preferred more than just a single polar pattern. What makes Audio-Technica’s new
AT4047/SV so attractive is its ability to function well in many
applications. It’s an outstanding mic for vocal and instrumental
recording-exhibiting a warm, full sound with plenty of depth and
detail. Further, the microphone handles surprisingly high SPLs with
ease and is awesome for ambience recording when used as a pair.
Considering the AT4047/SV has a suggested retail price of $695,
acquiring a pair is not so farfetched. I’d be thrilled to have three or

Audio-Technica U.S. Inc.,