Avantone Pro CK-1

Small-diaphragm FET Pencil Condenser Microphone with Included Shockmount, Wooden Box, and Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Hypercardioid Capsules
Avantone Pro CK-1 image 1
Avantone Pro CK-1 image 1

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Avantone Pro CK-1
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What a Steal!

Who knew you could get such a high-performing pencil condenser microphone for under $150? Avantone worked their magic with the CK-1, creating a fine FET microphone that offers the design, character, and performance of much more expensive microphones — priced to fit into any project or personal studio's budget. And once you hear the CK-1, you'll absolutely want it in your mic locker, regardless of what you paid for it. It's an unbelievable performer as a drum overhead microphone and percussion in general. Get a stereo pair and you'll be miking everything in sight. You've never heard your acoustic sound so good, for so little. Plus you get cardioid, hypercardioid, and omnidirectional capsules included for extreme versatility for whatever mono or stereo miking method you want to pursue in the future.

What's the secret behind the CK-1's high performance? Avantone gave this microphone high-grade Polysystrene and Metalized Polypropylene capacitors in the audio path. This is the sort of "upgrade" the microphone modding and hot rodding world is all about. But Avantone went ahead and decided to bring these favorite hot rods to an off-the-shelf microphone, saving you time and effort — and delivering the performance you want right off the bat. And while it's definitely performance you want out of your small-diaphragm CK-1, we can't help but comment on its looks. As a part of Avantone's Cabernet series, the CK-1 features a Cabernet Wine-Red finish that's accented with polished nickel trim. Sharp!

Avantone CK-1 Small-diaphragm FET Pencil Condenser Microphone Features at a Glance:
  • Small-diaphragm FET condenser microphone
  • Polar Pattern/s: Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Omnidirectional Capsules included
  • Frequency Response: 25-20,000Hz ± 3dB
  • Sensitivity: 15mv/pa
  • Output Impedance: <=200 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 138dB (0.5% THD @1000Hz)
  • S/N Ratio re 1Pa : 78dB
  • Noise Floor < 17dBA
  • Output Connector: Male XLR 3 pin
  • High-Pass Switch 80Hz 6dB/octave
  • Attenuation Switch -10dB
  • Finish: Polished Nickel trim / Metallic Cabernet Red Body
  • Includes: AVANTONE SSM Shockmount; wooden mic box; and Cardioid, Omni, and Hypercardioid capsules
  • Requires +48V phantom power
Get extraordinary performance without spending a fortune, with the Avantone CK-1 small-diaphragm FET condenser microphone!

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid, Hypercardioid, Omni
Diaphragm Size 0.75" (19mm)
Frequency Response 25Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 138dB
Output Impedance 200 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 78dB
Self Noise 17dB (A weighted)
Low Cut Filter 80Hz (-6dB/octave)
Pads -10dB
Connector XLR
Weight 0.31 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number CK1

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
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Great MIC!!

They sound amazing for Drums Overheads in XY and on Acoustic Guitars.

Great for Overheads

I went on a shopping spree and bought a bunch of new mics like the sm7b for vocals and guitar, the d112 for bass and kick drum, the e604's for toms. Out of all those mics I was most impressed with the CK-1's. if you need overhead mics but don't have a lot these are perfect. I hope to upgrade though because they still aren't top quality. but for $150 each they sound incredible. They look better in person than they do in the picture.

Great Room Sounds, Avantone is Awesome

I had purchased an Avantone CV-12 about a year and a half ago and it's been an outstanding mic, so when I started getting serious about recording room sound instruments, especially my classical guitar, I bought a couple of these and paired them with a Great River MP-500NV and a Shadow Hills Mono Gama. These Avantone CK-1 mics catch all the details of the guitar, and along with pre's, make both of my classical guitars sound incredible. One of the guitars is a high end Takamine and the other is a cheap Austrian brand, and they both sound stunning. I can't believe how good the cheap one sounds. It always this nasally character that I thought would shine on a recording, and sure enough what was in my head about that guitar came out finally with a great set of mics. So I had a chance to record some drums with my brother this last weekend and the experience was so good that I had to write about these mics. We've both been playing for about 30 yrs and toured regionally together when we were in college. We play all the time still, in bands and recording. He's a mechanical engineer by trade (meticulous to the core) and has a great Yamaha Custom Series birch kit. He also has a Shure PGDMK6-XLR drum mic kit. We were pretty happy with the overhead sound from the Shures, but tried the Avantone's out of curiosity, and what a difference. Same pre's (Great River and Shadow Hills). These CK-1's had a warm, rounded low end and a sheen in the high end that was so different than the Shure's, which seemed a little harsh in focus with no high end shimmer and no detailed lows. That's when I really felt the power of the CK-1's. They made the drums sound like what you hear on records. I have spoken directly with the owner of Avantone, and he was on the phone with me for almost an hour, incredibly friendly, driven, excited about his product. I also have the Avantone cube. I'm a big fan of this company.
Music background: Aspiring Pro Musician, Aspiring Producer

Bang For Your Budget Buck

Skeptical when I first saw this mic with all of the "extras". I was looking for a decent pair of mics for the choir and this one seemed to be the ticket. I was sold by the reviews but missed using for Christmas a couple of years ago waiting for them to arrive. The first use was on mandolin, then a violin, aux percussion then eventually the Easter choir presentation. I had a pair of Crown CM700's and two CK1's and the ability to pick up with clarity went hands down to the Avantones. They are built solid, look great, have an awesome shock mount (which I plan to pick up more of for use with the Crowns and possibly our SM81's). Some of the reviews have mentioned some manufacturing related issues. I had a couple as well. The grille on the Cardiod capsule came off but a dot of SuperGlue took care of that just fine. One of the mics seems not to have the groove for the female XLR connector machined out sufficiently. Some of our mic cables just can't be used with that particular mic. It's probably something that I could fix with a small dremel bit but we have enough cables that work fine so I've never even messed with it. All in all Avantone still has a rock solid product for the price. It makes me want to consider some of the other mics in their line.
Music background: Live Sound 20 yrs

Unbelievable deal

I haven't done any A/B tests against KM84s, but I have been very happy with recordings of piano and string section. The omni capsules in particular give a smooth and pleasing sound from close micing as well as back a bit for a roomier sound. The capsules are a bit tricky to change (very narrow threads), but all 3 sound great in their own way.
Music background: Musician, Engineer, Arranger

Sweetwater Advice

Derek Senestraro

I'm using an Avantone Audio CK-1 pair for room mics at church and am very impressed with their quality and the versatility. They sound very good and very responsive. I'm loving them.
See also: Condenser Mics, Avantone Pro, Avantone Pro Condenser Microphones, Avantone Pro Condenser Microphones