AKG C 451 B Cardioid Condenser Microphone

No longer available at zZounds
Accurately capture transient-rich sources -- drum overheads, piano, and much more -- with the classic AKG C 451 B small-diaphragm condenser.

A classic by now, the CMS Series CK 1 capsule from AKG was a best-seller from the moment it was launched in 1969. Comprising a range of interchangeable capsules and preamps as well as then innovative, dedicated accessories, the CMS Series from AKG quickly became a legend until it was discontinued in 1993.

Responding to growing demand from recording engineers, AKG decided to produce the C 451 B with identical acoustic behavior of the popular original C 451 EB + CK 1 microphone again, with dramatically improved specifications and outstanding price/performance.

The capsule is fixed permanently to the preamp to eliminate the mechanical problems of the screw joint. Using an extremely light diaphragm, the C 451 B is almost totally insensitive to handling noise. An all-metal body provides excellent protection from RF interference and the microphone is rugged enough to give excellent results even under very harsh conditions.

The C 451 B is an excellent tool for accurately capturing signals rich in transients such as drums, overhead miking, or other instruments with a percussive sound. The airy sound, high overload limit of the capsule and electronic circuitry, and improved engineering details of the C 451 B are a solid foundation for creating another legend.


- Identical acoustics as the legendary CK 1
- Rugged construction
- Flat on-axis frequency response
- Precise, nearly frequency-independent read more cardioid
- Extremely accurate signal transfer
- Transformerless output stage for minimum distortion at low frequencies
- Protected against electrostatic and magnetic interference
- Selectable 10 dB and 20 dB pre-attenuation pads
- Switchable high-pass filter (75 Hz or 150 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
- Operates on phantom power to DIN/IEC between +12V and +48V
- Complete with SA 60 stand adapter and W 90 windscreen
- Each microphone comes with its own individual frequency response plot
read less

Frequency Range: 20 to 20,000 Hz +/- 1.5 dB from published curve

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Preattenuation: Switchable to 0 dB, -10 dB, -20 dB

Highpass Filter: Switchable to flat, 12 dB/octave at 75 Hz or 150 Hz

Sensitivity: 9 mV/Pa (-41 dBV re 1 V/Pa)

Impedance: <200 ohms

Recommended Load Impedance: >1000 ohms

Equivalent Noise Level to DIN 45 412 (A-Weighted): 18 dB-A

Dynamic Range: 117 dB max. (A-weighted)*)

Maximum SPL for 0.5% THD:
112 Pa (135 dB SPL) with 0 dB preattenuation*)
355 Pa (145 dB SPL) with 10 dB preattenuation*)
1120 Pa (155 dB SPL) with 20 dB preattenuation*)

Power Requirement: 9 to 52 V phantom power to DIN/IEC 45 596

Current Consumption: <2 mA

Operating Temperature: -20 degrees C to +60 degrees C

Relative Humidity: 99% (+20 degrees C); 95% (+60 degrees C)

Connector: 3-pin male XLR

Finish: Satin nickel-plated

Size: diameter: 19 mm (0.75 in.); length: 160 mm (6.3 in.)

Net/Shipping Weight: 125 g (4.4 oz.)/760 g (1.7 lbs.)

This product conforms to EN 50 082-1 (1997) provided it is connected to CE marked equipment.

*) Values measured with 48-V phantom power. Reduce by 2 dB for 24-V or 8 dB for 12-V phantom power.

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 818-920-3212

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. (12 ratings)
Submitted September 6, 2003 by a customer from hotmail.com
"Really good, straightforward, usable sound"
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
WARNING - it's an electret mike, not a true condenser (just like C3000B). AKG say it will lose about 3db in sensitivity over 30 years. I _bet_ it's less than that in the real world.
Really good, straightforward, usable sound. Doesn't have that hard, honky sound that my C3000Bs have. But tradeoff is it's not that sensitive, and self noise is pretty high compared to large-diaphragms.
Nice case. Individual frequency response printout (although not altogether clear). Standmount. Throw away the windshield - it leaves little bits of foam all over the capsule.
Beautifully made, apart from the disintegrating windshield.
A tantalising taste of the 414 sound for very little dosh.
The Wow Factor
I think it's a real 'classic', and fortunately not that expensive. But it has an electret capsule which, although pretty much as good as a proper condenser capsule these days, lacks sex-appeal.
Musical Style:
1 of 2 people (50%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!