AKG Perception Live P5 by Mario-C.
The AKG P5 is amazing. No other dynamic mic I've tried offers this (excellent) sound quality at this price point.
It's the killer dynamic mic no one knows about. Which is why I decided to write this review.
From recording Hacks:
¨The mic is similar to AKG’s D 5 model but lacks the “Varimotion” capsule. It appears to be identical to the D 88 S from the CCS series.¨
The P5 is a versatile super cardioid dynamic microphone. It works great on male and female vocals, it sounds very smooth across the whole frequency range, you have to try hard to make it feedback, it has great clarity in loud band situations and a hot output, which makes the vocal pop right out in a mix with great cut. I compared it to an SM58 and the P5 won every time, at a recent club gig all the singers who were using 58s had lots of feedback problems, when I put the P5 in the stand the problem was solved, zero feedback for the entire show. I've also compared it to a top of the line Sennheiser e945 (which I own and is a great mic) on male vocals and much to my surprise I thought the P5 sounded better ! Remarkable, the e945 sounds a bit brighter and tighter in the lows, it has a much tighter pickup pattern, the P5 is more forgiving if if you move your mouth away from the mic, it also has more output and it sounds bigger but not boomy or muddy, it's less bright and not harsh or peaky, I'm actually considering selling the e945. I own a rehearsal studio and the P5 has been very useful so far, singers who like to use SM58s and sometimes bring their own 58s leave very surprised when they sing through the P5.
The AKG P5 also sounds amazing on guitar cabs, I first tried it on a MESA 2x12 rectifier cabinet on a recent recording session just for fun not expecting to like it, I was very surprised, the P5 sounded great ! it sounded so much better than my 57 and very similar to my D40's (also made by AKG) the D40 sounds a bit more condenser like but in some cases the P5 sounded slightly bigger and the band's guitar player preferred its sound, combined with a D40 I got a very big sound that sounded just like the cab in the room, the 57 sounded small, grainy, honky and fizzy when we did a quick shootout, the difference was huge.
I tried the P5 live on a big stage/venue on a Fender Twin, I asked the FOH engineer if he'd let me try a new I brought instead of the usual SM57, he said "sure, let's hear it", when we did a quick soundcheck he loved it "which mic did you bring ? it sounds killer, let's use it for the show" he was very pleased with the guitar sound that night, he mentioned he barely touched the eq. The supercardioid pattern gave us better isolation on stage.
I recently recorded a custom made Mills Acoustics 2x12 cab with Fane F90 and EV Black Label speakers (amazing sounding cab), used an AKG D40 on the EV and the P5 on the Fane, the band wanted to go with an SM57 so we did a quick comparison but their jaws dropped when they listened to the sound the AKG's delivered, killer combo
As an instrument mic the P5 is very useful, I've used it on toms and snares with great results, the super cardioid pattern is very helpful here, hi hat and cymbal bleed is totally manageable, the toms sound like they should, snares have plenty of crack, it sounds much better than the usual 57 on drums.
In closing the AKG P5 is an amazing deal, it seems it's targeted to low end users on the online videos I've seen (a big marketing mistake IMO) but this mic does not sound like a low end mic at all, it delivers great sound quality that surpasses its competitors at this price point and sounds a lot better than other mics costing 4x times as much, I bought it as an extra mic for my rehearsal studio but it's becoming one of my go to mics for guitar amps and live vocals, I liked it so much I bought two more, highly recommended.