“Affordable tube microphones often sound rather sterile and similar to conventional condenser microphones, but we wanted the Perception tube to have a real tuby, vintage character,” said Thomas Stubics, AKG´s Product Marketing Manager. “The first prototypes still sounded too neutral for us, and it was clear that it must be possible to get more sound out of it. As we can hear now, this was true.”
According to preliminary reviews from Europe, the extra work has paid off. Engineers and editors have embraced the Perception 820 Tube with open arms, with MusicRadar.com awarding it with a four star rating and stating that the microphone delivers a “warm, smooth and rich tube sound… almost regardless of the source.” UK based MusicTech Magazine echoed their sentiments in stating that the Perception 820 Tube “provides a taste of the classic AKG tube sound”; a sound described by Germany’s Professional Audio as a “full and rich vintage sound with pronounced tube character.”
Perhaps the most notable review came from the German magazine Beat. There, the Perception 820 Tube was the editor’s choice, due largely to the fact that “the cardiod delivers a smooth sound with a fresh high frequency range. The sound image is smooth and three-dimensional” The microphone ultimately gained six out of six stars.
In addition to the high quality, warm sound, the Perception 820 tube’s physical characteristics also proved attractive. Germany’s Professional Audio praised the “rugged, roadworthy design” and Sound and Recording noted that the Perception 820 Tube’s “workmanship is first-class… and the manufacturing precision is absolutely comparable with European products.” German based Keys cited many of the same features in describing the microphone as a “very robust, quality-built mic” with a “good sound quality…very classy remote control unit” and “lots of accessories”.
Being asked how high quality can be granted at such a low sales price, Stubics said, “The Perception 820 Tube was developed in Austria, and when selecting the components and tubes we highly value little tolerances. Production takes place in China according to our exact standards. What prevails at the end is the sound, and that was the ultimate goal for developing engineers.”
The Perception 820 Tube raises the bar in its class of affordable tube mics. In addition to allowing selection of nine different pickup patterns, the elegant remote control unit can be used to adjust the switchable bass-cut filter and the attenuation pad. More controls also grant the user with the ground lift switch that prevents unwanted hum, if necessary. Coming complete with a spider suspension, remote control unite, mic & power cable, a metal carrying case and a mini-poster, the Perception 820 Tube has raised the bar in its class of affordable tube mics.
AKG is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated. Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Audioaccess®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, QNX®, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.”