Which Audio Technica?


A friend of mine has a budget of $300 for a large-diaphragm condenser mic, for use with acoustic guitar and vocals. I like the AT mics, and use a AT 4050 a lot with nice results. That mic is going to be out of his price range, although a used one on eBay might be affordable. A used AT4033 would fit his budget. I see the AT4040 new for good prices, but I have no experience with that mic. I was wondering if anyone uses the AT4040 and could compare it's performance to the 4033 and 4050. Thanks.


I just bought a 4040 as my first LDC. Unfortunately, I am totally redoing the rest of my studio and don't have a full report on it. The 4033 isn't large diaphragm. I also considered some of the Studio Projects mics.

I tried it on acoustic guitar and instantly realized that these large diaphragm mics are totally different than the small diaphragm condensors and the 441 I am used to. You can't just point it at something and get a natural sound.

That having been said, the 4040 has a much more neutral sound than the others in its price range. I got it for a different flavor and not for a specific application; if your voice is the target than maybe you should audition it alongside some of the Chinese mics. The Studio Projects B3 is a tantalizing tube mic that I decided against at the last minute.


I'm not familiar with all the "40" series, but the old 4033, before it was redesigned, used to be an excellent flat all-purpose mic. Vocals would need some help in EQ with it, though.

I have a 4047 which is an excellent vocal mic for some people, a very nice high end. It bites ass as a guitar mic, but if you EQ it properly you could probably get better results than I did (I didn't spend a lot of time with it).

I have 4054 hand-held condensers, which are the same capsule as the 4050 with built-in bass rolloff for stage use. They are wonderful warm live vocal mics. I've never tried it on a guitar but if you say you've had good results then I think that would be the way to go.

I'm leery of buying a secondhand mic from someone I don't know. Who knows how it's been treated? About the only guys I'd trust would be Schefman or Peterson because they're so damned anal, like me.
I own a pair of AT 4047's which are kind of peaky in the high end but still give me good results. As mentioned the 4040 is kind of neutral.My 4047's are certainly brighter. The sound quality is very good for the price and I used a pair of them to track drum overheads with decent results.

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