The ADK A-51 is among the most classic of large diaphragm microphones of its time and the newer Type V model only adds to that legend. Why is this microphone so famous? When Larry Villella, the founder of ADK microphones, first described his microphones to Gearboom, he said “The whole idea of our mic line was NOT to clone, but rather to create an homage to the classic Austrian and German Tube mics. We use modern specifications, but offer the flavor of vintage.” Don't confuse this terminology with that of the knock-off models. We have all seen a knock-off, clone microphone at some point, made to both visually and audibly resemble a classic. You show me an AKG C12; I'll show you an Avantone CV-12. You show me a Neumann U47; I'll show you a Bock Audio 407. Hand me an Elam 251 and I will hand you a Peluso 22 251. The list goes on forever.
This replica craze had a beginning, but not many audio engineers are familiar with the behind the scenes details. The folks at ADK had front row seats because they were there at the starting line. They began with a single vision in mind: "make affordable microphones that actually sound like the vintage mics we love!" In other words, they weren’t trying to copy microphone models. They wanted to duplicate the sound. Located out in Oregon, ADK set out to do just that and in 1998 they made audio history when they created the ADK A-51, a pseudo-replica of the vintage Neumann sound found in the U87 and U67 models. The microphone world was forever changed.
Suddenly microphones that cost thousands of dollars were accessible to the public for prices at or under $500. In terms of appearance, these ADK microphones looked the part, and certainly set the physical standard for all future vintage-like models to come. But, what of the actual sound? Marvelous! Simply stated, they’ve gotten as close to the sound of legendary as possible in this price point. Since the release of the ADK A-51, the company has moved on to countless other classics, including upgrades, mods and newer versions of the original A-51, such as this model Type V.
The Gearboom vision is simple: to offer a historic, hands-on tour of the entire spectrum of audio history, presenting as many models of various kind, shape and price to our customers along with as much of the exciting historical tale as is possible. In other words, we are to audio engineering history what “VH-1 Behind the Music” is to music history. How could we not feature the ADK A-51 in our repertoire? It is as much a classic as the original vintage microphone sound it reproduces!
- Great on vocals, instruments, drums, acoustics, cabinets, etc.
- Fantastic affordable quality
- The sound of the vintage classics
- Legendary American quality