(l-r) Kenji Sano and engineer Kenji Nakai.
Photo by David Goggin.Los Angeles, CA (June 21, 2010)–Recording engineer Kenji Nakai purchased a matched pair of new Telefunken Elektroakustik AR-51 microphones before starting on a Kenji Sano solo project.
Nakai, who came to the U.S. in 1990 and has worked with such artists as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Celine Dion and Tom Petty, remarked, ”
“I wanted a new microphone that has some of the properties of the classic Telefunken Ela M 251. The new AR-51 is a phenomenal microphone and it’s really a Telefunken, so I took a chance, and I was right about it.”
Sano, who has played bass in the Hawaiian group Kalapana for 30 years, assembled a top group of musicians, including drummers Gregg Bissonette and Alex Acuna, guitarists Jay Gradon and David T. Walker, and vocalist Bill Champlin, for his solo album.
“I first used the AR-51 for lead vocals and found it to be a excellent sounding mic,” remarked Nakai. “It beautifully captures the nuance and detail of the voice and the sound you get is very easy to deal with when you come to mixing. All of the information is there, so you are free to work with your favorite EQ and compression. I also used the AR-51s as a Blumlein pair for a choir and achieved a perfect balance between direct voices and the sound of the church. Not too roomy, not in your face, it was exactly the right combination.”
The new Telefunken R-F-T AR-51 utilizes a vintage New Old Stock (NOS) tube and a circuit board designed for current handling, permitting the amplifier to have full access to the necessary “power on demand” for low frequency and transient information. Included is the same European manufactured output transformer found in every ELA M 251 E built since 1960.