AKG Perception Mod Kit
Our "Perception Mod Kit" is for all the AKG Perception microphones with true condenser, large diaphragm capsules and a fixed Cardioid polar pattern. This includes: Perception 100, 200, 220, and P220.
This kit replaces the peaky, hyped AKG capsule with one that has a much smoother response. It will reduce the mic's high-frequency peak at 10-12kHz by 2dB, resulting in a much more balanced-sounding microphone.
If you find your Perception microphone to be too hyped, shrill, peaky, or sibilant, this mod will help.
The U87 Connection
The circuit in the Perception 220, and presumably all the solid-state Perception LDCs, is a fairly direct copy of the Neumann U87. Yet the finished microphone doesn't sound at all like a U87: the P220 has solidly 4dB higher output at 12kHz, making the mic sound like so many other Chinese-made condensers.
Frequency Sweep Test
We tested a Neumann U87Ai and a Perception 220. Then we modified the Perception and tested it again. Here are the results:
The first two generation Perception microphones used ceramic input capacitors. The input coupling cap is arguably the most critical capacitor in the microphone, yet AKG used a common ceramic component. If your microphone has this, choose the mod kit that includes a selected polystyrene film capacitor. Styrene caps are widely regarded as among the best-sounding capacitors for audio applications.
All of our Perception mod kits include a selected RK-87 capsule. This is a dual-diaphragm capsule that will work in both the Cardioid-only Perception microphones, as well as the multipattern models.
How to perform the modification
Documentation is online: AKG Perception Capsule Swap Tutorial
How to Order
We strongly recommend that you open up your Perception microphone before ordering. This serves two important purposes:
- It proves that you can open the mic. That is one of the more difficult steps in the mod. (See the tutorial linked above.)
- It lets you confirm whether your mic has a leaded, ceramic input coupling cap, or a surface-mount input cap. The latter cannot be changed.
Here's a photo of the input coupling cap on an older (blue) Perception 220. It is the yellow ceramic cap on the switch PCB, behind the switches, joining the two 1G ("1KM") resistors:
If your Perception microphone has this component, order the kit with the replacement input capacitor. Alternatively, if your mic's switch PCB has only surface-mount components, order just the bare RK-87 capsule.
What about the Perception 120?
The kit is not compatible with the Perception 120; the 120 lacks a DC converter, and requires an electret capsule. No true condenser capsule will work in the Perception 120.
What about the three-pattern AKG Perception mics?
The RK-87 capsule, which is used within this kit and also sold separately, is compatible with the 3-pattern AKG mics: Perception 400, Perception 420, and P420. However, we do not have capsule installation documentation specific to those models. You would need to refer to the general procedure for RK-87 installation.