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Microphone Month

Audio-Technica AT4033/CL Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Reviews

4.5 stars based on 29 customer reviews
Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4033/CL Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Audio-Technica AT4033/CL Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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  • from Boston February 3, 2017Music Background:
    musician / recording

    under rated

    I've been using mine for 16 years for vocals and still sounds sweet. I will put it up to other microphones more than twice the price and it will out perform them,especially on vocals. The 10db pad and 80hz roll off switches are a big deal especially for close proximity vocals. The capsule is a mid size, permanent charged electret condenser -not a standard condenser, but reproduces vocals amazingly without having to use alot of EQ. Sounds great also on acoustic guitar. Some try to give this mic a bad review, which doesn't make alot of sense to me. I've A/B'd this mic against others the I own such as Neumann TLM103 ,Rode NTK and NT1, and Shure SM7B - they are all nice on vocals ,but this one beats them all and holds it's own for micing amps,acoustic instruments and as a room mic. I also own the AT4040, which is a nice mic but really not as good. Try one out, and you will hear the quality.

  • from Gulf Coast December 23, 2016Music Background:
    Semi Pro

    Very Clean

    I use it for my mandolin. Nice flat response. Self noise is a little more than a Shure KSM32, but not noticed. The 80Hz roll off switch is a big help. I highly recommend this mic for use onstage and in the studio. It's well made and can stand up to the rigors of the road. 3/4" diaphragm is perfect for any instrument and it's a cardioid pattern so even if you move around you're covered.

  • from August 7, 2016Music Background:
    Musician / Recording Engineer

    Awesome Mic

    Best band for the buck. Awesome mic. I used it on drums, vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar cabinets, etc etc. It's a well round workhorse mic, sound good almost on everything.

  • from South Louisiana October 14, 2015Music Background:


    I have two of these that I bought from Sweetwater. I bought the first because it included a pair of ATH40MX headphones. I'm pretty much blown away by both! This bad boy doesn't do ANYTHING that's not VERY good! Vocals, acoustic guitars, mic'ing guitar cabs- all very well done with the proper placement! I bought the second because of how much I liked the first one! It's sweet to have a stereo pair of very good mics. For the price, it's hard to beat. If the rating scale had tenths I might give it a 4.7 or something- but not because I'm not enamored with it! It's just in today's world, a perfect rating should be reserved for perfect stuff. But it's perfect enough for me- especially at less than $400.

  • from Fredericksburg VA October 10, 2014Music Background:

    Great Mic

    This is my first good Microphone, I never knew it would make this much of a difference.

  • from Minneapolis, MN July 7, 2014Music Background:
    Home recording enthusiast

    The AT 4033CL sounds incredibly good.

    I love this microphone! I compared it to an SM57 on my Marshall amp (1982A) through an M-Box 2's built in preamp and the difference is phenomenal. I like the 4033CL's warmth and clarity. I also love the way vocals and acoustic guitar (both classical and steel string) sound with it, that is, crisp yet warm.

    The shock-mount is a bit tricky to use, but it's very effective by way of isolating the mic from its environment. I would recommend this microphone to anyone looking for an all around great mic, at a very reasonable price!

  • from Ivor,Va USA November 29, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Recording Engineer

    Really happy with this AT condenser!

    I purchased this as primary vocal mic for my Project Studio. Recorded hip hop vox, female vox for a musical, and one song male vox on rock/metal genre in past two weeks. "This mic just sits perfect in my mixes."
    I have read that quote many times reading mic reviews...now I understand. This mic requires hardly any eq'ing after a take. It is also forgiving if the singer gets too close, or strays a little far away from mic during take. BEST $400 ever spent! + FREE $150 HEADPHONE REBATE to boot! *My first review written because I cannot how good this mic sounds. Thank you.

  • from Dallas December 9, 2011Music Background:


    This microphone has a very clean open sound. This mic sounds great recording vocals and instruments. Very low noise. Finally the mic is great at capturing acoustic space in a live room while maintaining its focus on the primary instrument. Highly recommended.

  • from Nashville, Tn February 19, 2010Music Background:
    Producer, Musician, Writer.

    shoot-out, hands-down, Winner!

    Blind TEN mic shootout including M49, U87, 67, 414, all kinds of great high-dollar mics. This thing won with ALL the judges hands down, no questions asked. Well until I asked "how much" and was just blown away. Used this mic for a day and realized after mixing and laughing with satisfaction, for a small studio, this is it! Very True but it's not like it's trying too hard. Just another one of those
    "must-have" mics.

  • from ny May 20, 2009Music Background:
    recording, composing, producing,

    If you can only afford one mic for your project studio........

    this is it- no kidding- i have ribbons, multi-pattern condensers, did the A/Bs with higher end mics, and this one still gets pulled off the shelf every session. i compared it to 414s, and it held its own- great on acoustic guitar, overhead on drums,and vocals. you just can't miss- even recorded horn sections with it- it works. It doesn't color the sound, but provides a true, clear sound-I think that's why it does well on acoustic guitars-
    It helps if you have a good pre on it, but even on one of my mackie 1604 mixers, this mic holds its own- Worth every penny, and AT has created a classic.

  • from California December 13, 2016

    Excellent classic!

    Awesome for acoustic guitar recording and certain vocals (male included). The SM58 of condensers!
    Excellent sale price at Sweetwater! Thanks!

  • from NC, USA January 21, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Composer

    Very well-rounded mic

    It picks up very nicely most types of voices, especially female vocals. I've had this mice for many years (over 10) and it's very consistent on the sound that is recorded. I don't have the best room set-up; and when I first started using this mic, I was recording in different rooms of the house; mostly due to space limitations. Once I recorded a vocal along with a guitar in a small room, which resulted in a great recording. There are many mics out there, this is one I can speak with a high degree of confidence, having used it for so many years with good results, time and time again.

  • from Kansas City, MO September 28, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer

    Great mic

    This is a great mic, really good for male and female vocals, acoustic guitar, and also as a "room mic" picking up natural ambiance and reverb in a room.

  • from Boston June 4, 2012Music Background:
    musician, recordist

    It's the foundation for your locker

    When I started my shopping for a project studio I was on a tight budget so I asked my Sweetwater sales engineer what my first mic should be and he said hands down the AT 4033 CL. Since then Iíve bought mics from Mojave, Rode, and others, but I still find this is the go to mic for almost anything from vocals to strings including standup bass and arch top guitars. The only reason it doesnít get a rating of 5 from me is it isnít multi-pattern. Iíve made some really great recordings with this mic and I would highly recommend it as the foundation of your mic locker.

  • from Santa Barbara, CA April 12, 2012Music Background:
    Home Recording Geek, Musician

    Excellent Home Studio Mic

    I've been using this mic for a few months now. It was an upgrade from the first large-diaphragm mic I'd ever purchased, a $90 MXL. You can read around various places and see that AT has starting making some really great quality mics for under $500 and this is one of them. Really, really clear vocals, low noise, built-in rolloff and 10dB attenuation. This mic will do for me until I'm purchasing something very high end.

    Also notice that the Hans guy who gave this mic a so-so review is rating it against Neumann mics that cost more than $2,000. Relativity is not his strong suit.

  • from Ca. October 30, 2010Music Background:
    Musician,Recording Engineer.

    Good all around mike

    I have used this mike on a lot of sources.I love it on acoustic guitar.i have used it on death metal vocals and it sounds great for that as well.For a affordable mic it definitely has a expensive sound.

  • from New City, Ny September 19, 2008Music Background:
    Songwriter, Engineer

    Go-to for a lot of sources

    I decided to pick up a 4033 after discussing microphones with another engineer friend of mine. His recommendation was for acoustic guitar, and he was right. This 4033 really did the trick (used with a Grace 101) to give me a nice clean acoustic track that I could warm up nice with a little EQ, Massey Tape-Head, and a little Massey CT4. Little did I know the 4033 would also be awesome micing up my bass amp. Turn the pad on, put it back around a foot or more (to taste) and I get a nice round bass sound that sits just right in the mix. I'm very happy with my 4033.

  • from Seattle, WA September 28, 2007Music Background:
    Recording, Live Sound engineer.

    My go-to mic

    This has been claimed for a lot of microphones, but...

    This mic sounds good on everything.

    Really. I've used it on many different sound sources, and I liked it on each one. A stereo pair make incredible drum overheads, and sound excellent on acoustic guitar. I used two to mic a string trio. Each instrument found its place in the mix naturally. It's OK on acoustic bass, and sounded great on a soft-voiced female vocalist (though the mic I use for her vocals usually is an AT4047).

    I have yet to find an application for this microphone where the result was anything less than quite useable, and in most apps the sound is quite excellent.

    I bought these after doing a side-by-side comparison with AKG 414s. At half the price, to my mind, they sound twice as good. The 414s are dull and muddy in comparison.

  • from November 17, 2016

    Good for some sources

    It is a classic and it will work well on some sources and not as well on others. It certainly has a clear and professional sound with very little noise. The frequency response tends to emphasize the mids and high-mids around 5kHz which makes small sounding instruments sound bigger and more present in the mix but will also create harsh sibilants on vocals (It helps to sing further away with this mic and use a tube preamp to smooth things out). There is a drop in the highs frequencies above 8k and for this reason I do not use it on acoustic guitars. It is very obvious if you compare it to a C414.

    With its clear low frequencies It also works very well to record upright bass, bass cabs or kicks. Since it is a medium diaphragm you can successfully use two AT4033's for drum overhead as well. It is awesome on brass instruments and it is also a staple mic for Bluegrass vocals because of its emphasis on twangy/nasally singing.

    When it came out in the 90's it was the first time a budget mic could really keep up with high-end microphones, today there is a lot more competition and options out there.

  • from Missouri January 26, 2015Music Background:
    40+ years as a musician, singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, etc.,

    Great vocal mic!

    I have lots of high-end mics in my studio and this AT 4033, is the one I personally use as a go-to mic for my own vocals, as I have it on a single/straight stand with a SE sound absorber behind the mic. I have this set up just in front of and to the right of my mixing desk so I can lay down vocal tracks, while running the board, all by myself, when I am working on my songs and my writing partners are not in the studio. GREAT SET UP and produces excellent results! It is similar to using virtual musician software, (drums, keyboards, background vocals, etc.),no problems with dealing with humans in the studio.

  • from United States August 18, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Artist

    For the price..

    Smooth, crisp, decent bodied sound. This is a great mic for beginners and seasoned pros as well. Very dynamic and gets the job done. Hope you're ready for great vocals when you purchase this solid piece that is a beautiful addition to any studio!!

  • from Fairfield, PA July 19, 2013Music Background:
    Home Studio Enthusiast

    A Great Mic for Vocals and Acoustic Guitar

    I had this mic about 6 years ago and used it a lot. Then I bought more mics and this mic stopped being used. Since I was not using it in my home studio, I sold it last year. Now that I am preparing for my next album, I have been listening to some of my old songs and noticed that my recordings on some Pink Floydish type vocals sounded great. Also, the acoustic guitar was exceptionally done. Then I remembered that it was the AT 4033 that got the sound I wanted. I compared the acoustic guitar work with my AKG 414 B-ULS which I also like, but my cedar top acoustic sounds so much fuller with the AT 4033. So with my tail between my legs I called Kent Sallaz
    at Sweetwater (great salesman I have gotten to know in the past 2 years) and re-ordered another AT 4033. Besides the 4033 I own 2 Audio-Technica 4047/SV which I really like on male vocals and guitar cabs.

  • from Highland Lakes Nj August 25, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer (hobbyist)


    Do not let the price tag fool you. Very underrated mic. Great all around mic?

  • from Kalamazoo, MI October 13, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Very good mic.

    I needed a moderately priced condenser and the 4033 worked great!! I use it primarily as a single source mic for live performances of acoustic groups of 3-4 vocalists with insturments. (bluegrass type stuff) I was very surprised by how warm the low end sounded even at 3-4 feet from the vocalists. The high end is articulate without the harshness of some mics in this price range. The pickup pattern was good and the rear rejection allows for moderate volume monitors without a lot of drama. All in all a very good mic for the price!!

  • from Salt Lake City, UT October 11, 2006Music Background:

    A serious step up

    In my part time, home recording career, I've used a number of inexpensive large diaphram condensor mics. I had liked their sound, I thought the difference in microphones was purely subjective and that I didn't need anything fancier. I wanted to try the AT4040, but instead ended up trying the AT4033. Upon plugging in the 4033, I immediately noticed a very 3D sounding microphone, the captured signal sort of stuck out and felt more alive. I plugged in a few of my other LDCs and heard what I used to think was a decent mic, were by comparison, not very impressive. The 4033 also has a much smoother top end, even my own voice sounded delicate and pretty (which it is not). I have yet to try this microphone out on any other singers, but I would expect it to excel.

  • from Bellingham, WA July 15, 2006Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician/recording engineer

    Pleasant sounding, great value

    I have used this side-by-side with an AKG 414 ULS and though it has a lot of midrange color, it is a more pleasant sounding vocal mic. This may be annoying to some, but for the right voice it works wonders. I found that if a person sounds "nasaly" than it isn't the better microphone though.

    Try this on guitar amps - definitely a different approach than the typical SM57. It has a lot more bite.

    I paid a lot more for mine than the going price now and even still, I can't believe I got such a great mic for so little.

  • from Cleveland August 27, 2016Music Background:
    Producer, 18 years as a pro engineer

    Good but a bit shrill on the top end

    This is a good mic, but man you have to be careful. I find it way too crisp for most vocals. When you hear about shrill bright condensers, this is what they're talking about. This is why you buy an MA200. That being said, it is usable on acoustic guitars at 12", but even then you'll need some eq.

    If your budget is $400 and it's a first mic - fine. But believe me when I tell you, wou'll want and need a better mic right away.

    Most review on this mic are from guys who only have a 57 or have never heard a condenser. No wonder they're impressed. And AT is a good brand. But the 4033 is not their best offering. Honest review - I've owned this for many years and just use something else whenever I can.

  • from Sturgeon Bay WI November 23, 2010Music Background:
    producer, studio owner, pro musician

    4033 so so...

    Sorry to disagree with all the cheerful reviews but this one didn't cut it for me. Compared to a Neumann M147 or a TLM127 this mic didn't impress me- it was technically ok (no noise issues) but it reminded me of a Toyota Corolla, ca. 1998. Boring. The sound quality tapered off compared to above mentioned mics, especially with hi-end preamps. But, for the price it is an ok home studio mic. I sold mine on eBay.

  • from Connecticut January 1, 2004

    I tell you what...

    This mic is pretty damn good. To be completely honest, for what you pay for this mic, you get a great sound. Describing how a mic sounds is like telling a blind guy what color walls his nagging wife wants, but I'll try to enlighten you:

    -The sound is overall smooth. The high-end is crisp, but not too airy. I would give it a "sweet" quality-- accurate, but colored just the right amount so that very little (or none at all) EQ is needed. This is a great mic for singers. Instrumental use for this mic is limited- it will find its place if you don't have anything else, but stick to using it for vocals. It really shines as a voice-over or rap/hip-hop microphone. Like I said, the detailed sound is accurate, so all of your diction and articulation comes right through while still sounding natural. Vocals sit up front and are intimate in your mix.

    -If you buy this mic, get a tube pre-amp, or use a tube compressor on it. Introducing warmth to the signal that this mic provides makes it sound much better than you would ever expect. Some of my best vocal takes have come from a combination of this mic and a tube compressor. For some reason, it just works well. There are many better mics, but this one is reliable, so you will find yourself reaching for it time and time again because you know what you can get out of it.

    You owe it to yourself to have at least one of these mics. If you want to use something different on vocal tracks, use this one on harmonies, and a BLUE or Neumann on the lead. The sweet quality of this mic makes the harmonies sound AWESOME! It really makes the recording and mixing process easier. Keep this mic in your locker for one of these situations. For the price, it definitely works, and sonically, it is very underrated.

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