� The ultimate studio condenser vocal microphone, the AT5040 represents a milestone in design, build quality, and the depth, presence and purity of its sound quality �Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology currently celebrating �50 Years of Passionate Listening,� is launching its flagship 50 Series of elite studio microphones with the AT5040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. A-T''s ultimate studio vocal microphone, the hand-built AT5040 side-address condenser offers remarkably musical high-fidelity performance, with profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound. Featuring a proprietary breakthrough element design, the AT5040 employs four ultra-thin (2 micron) rectangular diaphragms that function together providing combined surface area unachievable in a standard round diaphragm. Designed as a first-choice vocal microphone with smooth top end and controlled sibilance, the AT5040''s large-diaphragm characteristics and fast transient response also make it ideal for recording acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar, strings, and saxophone.The first of A-T''s design criteria for the AT5040 was purity of sound. To achieve this, A-T engineers developed a four-part rectangular element, the pinnacle of recent breakthroughs in sound-capture technology. Four exquisitely matched diaphragms function together (with outputs proprietarily summed) as a single high-performance element � effectively the largest element Audio-Technica has ever created. By using four diaphragms as a single capsule, the AT5040 achieves remarkably large surface area without the increased weight and decreased transient response that are the expected limitations of expansive size.Another key AT5040 design feature is advanced internal shock mounting that effectively decouples the capsule from the microphone body. For additional isolation, each AT5040 is also provided with Audio-Technica''s new AT8480 shock mount. Featuring a proprietary design, the AT8480 was engineered not only to isolate the microphone, but to rid the apparatus itself of any unwanted resonances and other audio aberrations that could be transmitted to the microphone. It also features a unique locking mechanism that holds the microphone securely in place.Every AT5040 is hand-assembled and inspected for 100% quality control and is housed in an elegant case of aluminum and brass with gray chrome plating for durability and low reflectivity. Discreet components have been selected for optimized capsule performance; in fact, every aspect of microphone has been carefully considered to minimize any effects on the audio signal. To protect the AT5040, each microphone comes in a custom-designed hard-shell carrying case, padded with die-cut foam compartments for the microphone and shock mount.The AT5040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, the first model in Audio-Technica''s new flagship 50 Series of elite studio microphones, will be available January 2013 with a U.S. MSRP of $2,999.00. For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.