ADK Microphones S-51 by ntnsystems
I have been pleasantly surprised with this microphone on drum sources. I have used it on overheads for a couple months now and have found it to be less shimmery than other under $200 microphones I have tried. While I found it to be thinner in the mids than an Audio Technica 2035, those mics are know to sound more "in your face" in the mid-range. As compared to the 2035 I found the high-end nice and crisp without being harsh. I have also compared it with the Rode NT4 (stereo X-Y) and the ADK was the clear winner. The ADK captures the transients nicely on the cymbals and the attack of the toms are also tight. When trying out the NT4, I had several intances of "phasy" attacks that I just couldn't correct with mic placement. I have found the ADK S-51 was much quicker in finding the sweet spot.
Regarding the mic hardware, you get a roll-off switch and 10db pad. I leave the pad engaged for overheads and actually choose to leave the roll-off disengaged. I find the low end is not muddy at all and has very little need for roll-off. The only drawback I found was the lathing on the threads and the included clamp were a little off and required a bit of force to get setup... but I haven't had a problem after that first incident.
The case included is extremely nice wood and velvet, particularly at $173 that I paid for these mics. Not a bad touch at all ADK... your making me feel like a king! Overall, I have been very satisfied and would highly recommend the S-51 to anyone interested in drum, bass guitar, or other microphone needs where high SPL is required.
Here goes the product marketing material:
Description: Higher SPL “Big Brother” to the A-51, this upgrade of the Original A-51s (Model “S”) offers Improved Reliability, Improved Head-Room - A Broad-Brushstroke Multi-Application Mic!! Ray Charles had 6 Original “Model S” on Genius Loves Company CD.
Standard Configuration: The Mic, Piano-Black Wooden Jewel Case, and Heavy-Duty All-Metal Ring-Mount
“From Nora Jones Viola parts to James Taylor Guitar parts, we were amazed at how many uses we had for the ADK “S” microphone! We had twenty-two ADK Mics on Genius CD.”
- Terry Howard - Multiple Grammy® Winner – Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Willie Nelson.
Applications: S is for SPL! Vocals, Choirs, Acoustic Guitar, Fretted Instruments (Banjo, Mandolin, Dobro, etc.), Reeds and Woodwinds. Plus: Drums – Especially Floor Toms, Drum Overheads; Electric Guitar and Bass, All Percussion Instruments, Piano. In short, the "S" will do anything the A-51 does PLUS it is Designed for HIGH SPL MULTI-Applications. Mega, Ambrosia – Even Westlake Audio– use the "S" Series for Floor Toms. Mega also used them on Floor Toms and Bass Cabinets! YET: A-51s were also used to track the Reed and Woodwind Section of the Seattle Symphony for a Disney Feature Film. Think of it this way: The Model S is SUPER-VERSATILE: A ‘Swiss-Army’ Mic!!!
Model S-51 Mk 5.2
Polar pattern: Fixed Cardioid
S/N Ratio: 77dB (Ref: Pa/A-Weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 17dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5%THD: 130dB/ 140dB w. Switchable PAD
Low Cut filter (HPF): FLAT/ 100Hz (internal switch)
Power Requirements: Phantom power 48V±4V