Telefunken AR-51 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

Large Diaphragm Multi-pattern Condenser Tube Mic with Shockmount, Power Supply, and Wooden Case
Telefunken AR-51 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
Telefunken AR-51 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
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Telefunken AR-51 Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
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Put This Incredible Tube Mic to Work in Your Studio

Get big tube mic sound with the Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser microphone. The AR-51 gives you three polar patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8) plus six intermediate stages, so you'll always be able to find the setting that works perfectly on your sound source. You get an open high end, smooth midrange performance, and balanced lows from this mic - a perfect recipe for a studio workhorse you can depend on for the long haul. Sweetwater carries a full line of premium Telefunken microphones; call us today to find out how the Telefunken AR-51 is perfect for your needs.

Telefunken AR-51 Tube Condenser Microphone at a Glance:
  • Top-of-the-line components provide great sound
  • Real tube-fired tone that will impress
  • Variable polar patterns offer recoding flexibility
Top-of-the-line components provide great sound

Telefunken mics are renowned for both their top-flight build quality and their usefulness in the studio. The AR-51 is no exception. This fantastic tube condenser works amazingly well on an array of sources, including vocals, stringed instruments, drums, and even saxophones. Using the same premium, German-made transformer as the C12, the Telefunken AR-51 delivers classic tube mic sounds that every studio engineer wants. This coupled with its large diaphragm deliver an extended low end and smoother, more open highs.

Real tube-fired tone that will impress

You can't deny the warmth of tube-driven mics. You'll love the warm and detailed, accurate sound that the Telefunken AR-51 gives you, thanks to its tube design and NOS ECC81 tube. Get that elusive tube mic sound with the Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser microphone.

Variable polar patterns offer recoding flexibility

Not just a one-trick pony, the Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser microphone's power supply features switchable polar patterns. You get omni, cardioid, figure 8, and 6 other intermediate stages. In other words, no matter what you're miking, the AR-51 has a polar pattern to maximize it. Use the omni pattern to catch the sound of a great room or a group of singers, cardioid to reject unwanted sounds, and figure 8 is great for mid-side recording. The versatile and flexible Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser mic is ready for any session.

Telefunken AR-51 Tube Condenser Microphone Features:
  • The smooth top end and warm sound that only a tube mic can deliver
  • Selectable omni, cardioid, figure 8, and 6 other intermediate polar pattern stages
  • Utilizes the same amplifier as the Telefunken C12
  • Microphone grade ECC81 tube delivers stellar sound and performance
  • Incredibly realistic and detailed sound reproduction
  • Includes a power supply, shockmount, and wooden box
  • Requires +48V phantom power
Bring the warm sound of tubes to your mic locker with the Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser microphone.

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide
Want to hear this mic in action? Listen to high quality samples in our vocal mic shootout!

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8
Diaphragm Size 1"
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 138dB
Output Impedance 200 ohms
Self Noise 16dB (A weighted)
Color Black
Connector XLR
Weight 1.69 lbs.
Included Accessories Shock Mount, Wooden Box
Manufacturer Part Number AR51

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Write your review

You won't regret it.

For a short time I actually had a vintage Ela M 250, and it gave me the bug to try out other (more affordable) Telefunken tube mics. I got this mic and used it on vocals for a session - and it BEAT THE ELA M 250!!! Of course the Ela M didn't sound bad, it's just that this fit in the track perfectly. I didn't even end up using any EQ whatsoever! It's really is all that. Seriously, buy one. You won't regret it.
Music background: Recording and Live Sound Engineer and Educator

Very Good Purchase

I bought this mic on a whim as I don't really need another mic but I was looking for something between my BLUE Bottle and BOCK 151 so I thought I'd give it a try. I received it two days ago and did a shootout yesterday with a Neumann TLM49, this AR51, a BLUE Bottle with B6 cap and a Bock 151 which is basically a cardioid only version of his 251. For the test I used my voice (which is very dark) and my Martin D28 (both picking and strumming). All were going through API preamps with no processing. The first take away here is that the three tube mics all sounded similar. The TLM49 was my least favorite FOR THIS TEST so I'm dropping it from discussion however its a great mic. For my voice I prefer the AR51 and the Bock 151. I was doing close up work and the Bottle sounded too hyped. For me the BLUE is harder to EQ after the fact. If it's right - its right. If not then you need something else. The AR51 and the Bock 151 take post processing very well. With my vocals the Bock sounded big yet very intimate while the AR51 was similar but had less oomph in its proximity effect and just a bit boxier because of that. On my acoustic the AR51 was hands down the best. I was pretty blown away by that. I even switched out the Bottle cap to a B0 and it still won. Totally unexpected. Again these are all really good mics. The Bottle always gets picked by female vocalists and the many caps can get you a great sound going in almost all the time. The BOCK 151 and it bigger sibling (251) are killer vocal mics (among other uses). Given the mics I put the AR51 up against, it's relative lower cost and how well it did, I have to say it's a very good purchase. Although no mic does everything, this clearly fit in well with my current set and would be a good choice as someone's fist "big" mic purchase.
Music background: producer/musician


this mic looks a little like a sawed off AKG C12 yet it sounds more like a C12 than AKGs own VR version (which is a great mic) The build quality is impressive and the NOS tube is clearly hand picked and tested. It is NOT a dark mic, but it is really perfect for TV voiceover..low end is subtle, not HUGE in a hyped up "makes you sound BIG" kinda way. At the same time the upper miss and highs are smooth and non-sibilant so vocals really sound superb. When the "new" Telefunken company showed up in Connecticut they had some "bumps" in the startup I am seeing and hearing a company that is making some real contenders. And the AR51 is an affordable high quality piece of serious audio gear. I would have given it a solid 5 if it weren't for the rather cheesy shock mount provided. Telefunken could have easily charged 100 clams more and provided a better "vintage" quality shock mount. The stock mount works, but lacks a lot of "mojo". We wanted to purchase a Violet Designs vintage mount but never heard back from them. Went with John Peluso's version and with some modification it works much better.
Music background: studio owner/voice talent

Sweetwater Advice

AJ Becerra

When I first tried the Telefunken AR-51 on a recording session, I was nothing but impressed. It is silky smooth but very detailed, especially in the mids and top end, not harsh at all. The low end is gorgeous and rich, never tubby. The AR-51 is now my go-to mic for vocals, guitars, even as a mono room mic - no question!
See also: Condenser Mics, Telefunken, Telefunken Condenser Microphones