Review: Audio-Technica AT4047/SV Microphone - ProSoundNetwork.com

Review: Audio-Technica AT4047/SV Microphone

Audio-Technica's AT4047/SV is one of the first microphones designed to capture audio in the sonic tradition of classic field effect transistor (FET) mics, such as the famous Neumann FET47. The AT4047/SV was engineered to be a flexible, unique and wonderful sounding microphone that is both affordable and visually appealing.
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Audio-Technica's AT4047/SV is one of the first microphones designed to capture audio in the sonic tradition of classic field effect transistor (FET) mics, such as the famous Neumann FET47. The AT4047/SV was engineered to be a flexible, unique and wonderful sounding microphone that is both affordable and visually appealing.

Features/In use

The 14.5 oz. AT4047/SV ($695) is a large-diaphragm, capacitor microphone with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 18 kHz. The mic's nonglare, satin-silver finish looks fantastic and is reminiscent of microphones of yesteryear. It requires 48 V phantom power. The mic has a cardioid polar pattern and a maximum input sound level of 149 dB SPL. Its typical self-noise is only 9 dB SPL (A-weighted) so at maximum SPL it has a dynamic range of 140 dB. A pair of switches engages the 10 dB pad and the 12 dB/octave, 80 Hz low-cut filter.

I used the AT4047/SV in a variety of circumstances, yielding some fantastic results. As a vocal microphone, the AT4047/SV is wonderful. Like any high-end mic (although it lacks the price tag of most high-end mics), it works better with some voices than with others. While working on Jody Davis' (guitarist for Newsboys) solo project, I found the AT4047/SV to be the perfect tool for capturing his vocal performance. We used the mic to record both lead and backing vocals with no equalization and minimal compression.

I found that using minimal or no equalization in most circumstances results in a full and rich vocal. Occasionally, more often with female vocalists, I found myself boosting the high end - usually 1 to 3 dB between 8 and 14 kHz. I was pleased that even when boosting these frequencies a significant amount, the microphone retains its natural sound and never sounds piercing or edgy.

I recorded a string trio last week and used a pair of 4047/SVs for stereo ambient mics with impressive results. I typically use a pair of Neumann U 67s for this purpose and I found the 4047/SVs worked every bit as well. I also had several opportunities to use the 4047/SV to close mic cello and violin. The microphone proved excellent in both circumstances, capturing the body and warmth of the sound without ever sounding harsh or brittle.

I also used the mic on acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, piano and drum overheads and had positive results. The microphone is excellent for guitar amps and with the pad engaged it handles up to 159 dB SPL without overload. This is an impressive feat for a mic with the sensitivity to capture the precision of a violin performance or the subtleties of a vocal performance.

My only complaint with the microphone is purely mechanical: It is difficult to take in and out of the shockmount. I wish Audio-Technica had designed the case so the microphone didn't have to be removed from its shockmount to be placed in the case.

Summary

The Audio-Technica 4047/SV is a versatile microphone that is a true bargain at a retail price of only $695. It sounds natural, warm and smooth without the high-end boost typical of many of today's microphones. I expect the 4047/SV to be around for a long time.

Contact: Audio-Technica at 330-686-2600.