Following the success of their OC18 and OC818 large-diaphragm capacitor mics, Austrian Audio have introduced a new small-diaphragm model called the CC8. The capsule used in their larger mics was a modern interpretation of AKG's CK12 design, and the OCC7 capsule in the new model is likewise inspired by an AKG classic: in this case, the CK1 cardioid capsule that was often paired with the C451 and C452 bodies back in the day.
However, the new microphone is much more than just a recreation of the C451! The capsule itself features several innovations, most notably the use of 3-micron thick polyethylene napthalate (PEN) as a diaphragm material; this is said to be more robust than conventional alternatives such as Mylar. Other neat developments including the use of a new filter fabric across the capsule's side vents help to deliver a very accurate cardioid polar pattern.
The CC8 boasts an impressively low self-noise figure for a small-diaphragm mic, at only 16dB SPL (A-weighted), and thanks to the two-stage onboard pad, can accommodate sound pressure levels up to a wince-inducing 156dB SPL. Both the capsule and the transformerless electronics are claimed to be outstandingly linear, and if that means picking up unwanted rumbles, there's a switchable 12dB/octave high-pass filter that can turn over at 60 or 120 Hz.
As with the earlier OC-series models, Austrian Audio have also succeeded in massively improving manufacturing consistency compared with older AKG mics! Every mic is tuned before it leaves their Vienna factory to have a frequency response and sensitivity that is within ±0.5dB of the reference standard. This means that there's no need for pair-matching for stereo use: any two CC8 mics can be considered 'matched'.
The CC8 will be available in October in Europe and elsewhere in November. It is set to retail at £359 (US$479) for a single mic or £719 ($949) for a stereo set that comes in a smart attaché case with a stereo bar and mounts. Expect an SOS review as soon as we can lay our hands on one!