The AKG P170 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone in a traditional ‘pencil’ format that is most suited to instruments rather than vocals. SDCs (Small Diaphragm Condensers) tend to have a more open and pronounced high-end in comparison to Large Diaphragm condensers and are voiced to achieve open and airy sounding recordings.
Small diaphragm condensers can typically seriously loud signals in comparison to LDCs – the P170 is no exception! With 155dB max SPL when the built-in PAD is engaged, the P170 can be positioned near loud instruments without fear of distorting the capsule, making it a candidate for Snare drums or exuberant brass players!
The P170 is designed to be extremely rugged and lightweight thanks to its all-metal body, allowing it to be positioned in more precarious places such as over the top of a drum kit as drum overheads or on busy stages. Not that we would recommend dropping any microphone, the chances of the P170 surviving a great fall is very high!
The P170 has a cardioid polar pattern which means it rejects sound from the rear of the mic but still has a good amount of off-axis response. As the P170 only has a single Diaphragm, its polar pattern cannot be changed unlike other mics in the Perception series, however, a good Cardioid mic covers a massive amount of basis.
If vocals are more your thing, then the P170 may not be perfectly suited for you (although it works amazingly well for vocals ensembles and choirs), but that’s where other mics in the Perception range come in!