Audio-Technica launched its flagship 50 Series of elite studio microphones at AES in San Francisco, with the AT5040 cardioid condenser microphone. The hand-built studio microphone offers 'profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound'. It features a proprietary breakthrough element design and employs four ultra-thin rectangular diaphragms that function together. It is designed as a vocal microphone, with smooth top end and controlled sibilance, but its large diaphragm characteristics and fast transient response also make it ideal for recording acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar, strings and saxophone. The microphone has advanced internal shock mounting that effectively decouples the capsule from the microphone body. For additional isolation, each AT5040 is also provided with the new AT8480 shock mount, which is engineered to not only isolate the microphone, but to rid the apparatus itself of any unwanted resonances and audio aberrations that could be transmitted to the microphone.
Also debuting at the show was its new System 10 digital wireless system. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, it offers instantaneous channel selection, sync and set up. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency co-ordination problems or group selection issues. System 10 receivers and transmitters have an easy-to-read digital ID display. The system is aimed at houses of worship, musicians and corporate applications, with an economical price point. System 10 ensures clear communications by providing three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time and space. Frequency Diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies for interference-free communication. Time Diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots to maximise immunity to multipath interference. Finally, Space diversity uses two antennae on each transmitter and receiver to maximise signal integrity.