AKG 414...then and now

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by xy, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. westerly_skygate@yahoo.com (Tracy Johnson) wrote in message news:<a0d43b69.0308262224.52cf4e2@posting.google.com>...
    > echang@cvrecording.com (Eric JT Chang) wrote in message news:<f2d83441.0308252021.317c5882@posting.google.com>...
    > > genericaudioperson@hotmail.com (xy) wrote in message news:<6c38b64b.0308221206.23995e20@posting.google.com>...
    > > > Does anyone know the history on this mic design?

    Hi,
    >I noted that no one mentioned the earlier models except in reference

    web sites (History of AKG).
    >I have an AKG 414 EB P48 that I purchased new well over 23 years

    ago.It was the first generation after the nickel version ie no battery
    compartment. It has a serial number 29189. The ring on the capsule is
    bronze. It is a twin diaphragm.
    >The spec sheet (schematic) has mention of a CK12 which I "assume" is

    the famous c12? diaphragm.
    David you'll have to correct me on this if I'm wrong.
    Anyway, this was one of two mikes I recorded with for years (the other
    an SM57)and I really think its a great mike. Then Dave sold me a
    vintage pristine U87i. Well I haven't used the AKG for the past
    month. (Now if I only had another U87i a whole nother thread!!!).
    >I do wish I had bought another 414EB back then as a matched pair, but

    in those days $650 was alot for me,(even now its alot!!). I'm
    reluctant to buy one on Ebay as many things purchased haven't been
    what I would have expected. And unless a reputable person sells it
    (I'm plugging Dave Satz here)I wouldn't buy an old or new mike on
    E-Bay.
    > By the way, I'm not implying that folks on Rec. audio.pro aren't reputable.I've bought alot of new old equipment from manufacturers contibuting to this web site and I can say I'm a very satisfied customer.
    >I would also be concerned about AKG with regard to a repair on the

    mike since they no longer can reproduce the "old capsule".
    >Perhaps B.L.U.E. does a repair.
    >I haven't heard the newer mikes in comparison to my old mike, but it

    indeed seems to be nothing more than a shame if a mike manufacturer
    can't obtain or recreate materials from years ago, and make a
    consistent mike. So many people are complaining about these different
    414 versions.
    AKG made a decent product that has many applications. Isn't anyone
    happy with it?
    R. Morrow
    Purely Analog
  2. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Guest

    In article <e6a68193.0308251003.6486d0d1@posting.google.com>, David
    Satz <DSatz@msn.com> wrote:

    >when a cameraman shows up, sometimes an engineer who is
    >using a less well known, less photogenic microphone will whip out something
    >bigger from the cabinet--something that looks more like what the public
    >expects to see in a studio photo.


    More often the photographer chose the mike for the photograph. REAL
    session photographs are very rare and become less common as you move
    back in time.

    --
    Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN 615.385.8051
    Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
    http://www.hyperback.com/olhsson.html
    Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
  3. In article <13bb29a2.0308270440.3cc1509c@posting.google.com>,
    Richard Morrow <rbmrocket@aol.com> wrote:
    >>I have an AKG 414 EB P48 that I purchased new well over 23 years

    >ago.It was the first generation after the nickel version ie no battery
    >compartment. It has a serial number 29189. The ring on the capsule is
    >bronze. It is a twin diaphragm.


    This is not the original capsule, or you're goofing on us. AKG
    switched over to their new capsule in the middle of the C414EB series,
    and the EB P48 was much later than that. I have a pair of EBs, one
    with the old capsule and one with the new, and both are 100% stock.

    There's no battery compartment either - you're confusing it with the
    U87i which lost it's battery compartment when they switched to the 'A'
    version.

    >>The spec sheet (schematic) has mention of a CK12 which I "assume" is

    >the famous c12? diaphragm.


    That's the problem - they call all of the things that fit inside of a
    C414 a CK12, regardless of their design.

    >So many people are complaining about these different
    >414 versions.
    >AKG made a decent product that has many applications. Isn't anyone
    >happy with it?


    When you consider that it's at the end of a long and famous chain of
    amazing mikes, it's sort of sad. As you go back in time, their mikes
    seem to sound better for most people, and the current stuff can be
    pretty disappointing if you've used better. The EB is the last 414
    model I'll buy - the newer stuff isn't really worth using. And even
    at that, I use the 414 EB pretty rarely, mostly as a rack tom mike.

    It's got a really scooped out midrange and an amazing lack of
    presence, qualities I'm not so keen on for general use. One can do a
    lot better for the same money IMHO. The BLUE Baby Bottle for example
    is a lot more pleasing sounding mike IMHO.


    Regards,

    Monte McGuire
    mcguire@theworld.com
  4. ScotFraser

    ScotFraser Guest

    << However, if you record only in dead rooms and use only a cardioid pattern
    like so many engineers, the main audible differences among microphones will
    be due mainly to on-axis frequency response. >>

    It's hard for me to imagine making & recording music in a room so dead as to
    render all differences other than on-axis frequency response null & void.


    Scott Fraser
  5. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    In article <20030827122512.18128.00000007@mb-m06.aol.com>,
    ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:
    ><< However, if you record only in dead rooms and use only a cardioid pattern
    >like so many engineers, the main audible differences among microphones will
    >be due mainly to on-axis frequency response. >>
    >
    >It's hard for me to imagine making & recording music in a room so dead as to
    >render all differences other than on-axis frequency response null & void.


    That happened in the seventies. Studios so dead that you were uncomfortable
    in them because your own voice sounded wrong. Everything done with aggressive
    overdubbing to get the most isolation possible at any cost.

    Thank God all that is over.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  6. Rob Adelman

    Rob Adelman Guest

    Scott Dorsey wrote:

    > That happened in the seventies. Studios so dead that you were uncomfortable
    > in them because your own voice sounded wrong. Everything done with aggressive
    > overdubbing to get the most isolation possible at any cost.


    Hey that was me up until recently. One of the things I was enlightened
    to hanging out here on r.a.p. In fact my contribution to the latest CD
    was made under such circumstances.

    -Rob
  7. mcguire@TheWorld.com (Monte P McGuire) wrote in message news:<biikai$i0u$1@pcls4.std.com>...
    > In article <13bb29a2.0308270440.3cc1509c@posting.google.com>,
    > Richard Morrow <rbmrocket@aol.com> wrote:
    > >>I have an AKG 414 EB P48 that I purchased new well over 23 years

    > >ago.It was the first generation after the nickel version ie no battery
    > >compartment. It has a serial number 29189. The ring on the capsule is
    > >bronze. It is a twin diaphragm.

    >
    > This is not the original capsule, or you're goofing on us. AKG
    > switched over to their new capsule in the middle of the C414EB series,
    > and the EB P48 was much later than that. I have a pair of EBs, one
    > with the old capsule and one with the new, and both are 100% stock.
    >
    > There's no battery compartment either - you're confusing it with the
    > U87i which lost it's battery compartment when they switched to the 'A'
    > version.
    >
    > >>The spec sheet (schematic) has mention of a CK12 which I "assume" is

    > >the famous c12? diaphragm.

    >
    > That's the problem - they call all of the things that fit inside of a
    > C414 a CK12, regardless of their design.
    >
    > >So many people are complaining about these different
    > >414 versions.
    > >AKG made a decent product that has many applications. Isn't anyone
    > >happy with it?

    >
    > When you consider that it's at the end of a long and famous chain of
    > amazing mikes, it's sort of sad. As you go back in time, their mikes
    > seem to sound better for most people, and the current stuff can be
    > pretty disappointing if you've used better. The EB is the last 414
    > model I'll buy - the newer stuff isn't really worth using. And even
    > at that, I use the 414 EB pretty rarely, mostly as a rack tom mike.
    >
    > It's got a really scooped out midrange and an amazing lack of
    > presence, qualities I'm not so keen on for general use. One can do a
    > lot better for the same money IMHO. The BLUE Baby Bottle for example
    > is a lot more pleasing sounding mike IMHO.
    >
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Monte McGuire
    > mcguire@theworld.com


    >I stand corrected. I was mixing up the U87i with the later model

    U87's. What I should have said was the earlier AKG 414 eb mike was pre
    wired for 12 volts phantom power sources and could be modified by
    opening the jumper bridged across its internal 8.2 kohms dropping
    resistor.

    Does your akg booklet schematic for your later EB also state that the
    capsule is a CK12?
    For that matter, do all of the new mike manuals say the same thing
    CK12?
    I guess you can call it what ever you want but the new mikes don't
    apparently have the same specs as the older AKG 414EB.
    Some thread in the past said to identify a C12 in a 414 one should
    look for a brass ring with a certain number of screws around the ring.
    Well....I have a brass ring with a number of screws around it.I didn't
    open the housing so I don't know how many or if they are countersunk
    set screws or not. I guess it just doesn't matter what it is, After
    all, its not a U87!!!!
    Regards,
    R. Morrow
  8. ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:

    > << However, if you record only in dead rooms and use only a cardioid pattern
    > like so many engineers, the main audible differences among microphones will
    > be due mainly to on-axis frequency response. >>


    > It's hard for me to imagine making & recording music in a room so dead as to
    > render all differences other than on-axis frequency response null & void.


    I recall working in a newly completed studio once where the "designers"
    thought a nearly anechoic situation would make things easier. It made
    music almost impossible. Even a decent cans mix was out of bounds for
    that room, which subsequently got redesigned.

    --
    ha
  9. x-no archive: yes

    Richard Morrow <rbmrocket@aol.com> wrote:

    > I guess you can call it what ever you want but the new mikes don't
    > apparently have the same specs as the older AKG 414EB.



    <http://www.google.com/groups?q= " in EB and B-ULS?" group:rec.aud
    io.pro+insubject:Re:+insubject:AKG+insubject:414%27s+insubject:differenc
    e+insubject:in+insubject:EB+insubject:and+insubject:B-ULS%3F&hl=en&lr=&i
    e=UTF-8&selm=1e4p9ea.1c7ce4o26y0j8N%40alm-ts1-h1-27-138.ispmodems.net&rn
    um=1>

    Must paste it as a single line if it wraps. Lots of 414 background.
  10. Ty Ford

    Ty Ford Guest

    In Article <6c38b64b.0308261452.6a01146a@posting.google.com>,
    genericaudioperson@hotmail.com (xy) wrote:
    >how can a single diaphragm, mono signal sound "phased"?
    >
    >
    >>
    >> The only two now available from AKG are the TL II and the BULS. I compared
    >> the TL II with the BULS at my studio before buying. The BULS was much more
    >> direct sounding.The TL II sounded scooped and phasy. I got a pair of the

    BULS.
    >>
    >> Regards,
    >>


    Dear xy,

    The acoustic environment inside the headgrille can cause this, as might
    porting or several other things I'm not equipped to address

    BTW, The C 414 is a dual diaphragm mic, not a single diaphragm.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford



    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
  11. Ty Ford

    Ty Ford Guest

    In Article <biikai$i0u$1@pcls4.std.com>, mcguire@TheWorld.com (Monte P
    McGuire) wrote:
    >When you consider that it's at the end of a long and famous chain of
    >amazing mikes, it's sort of sad. As you go back in time, their mikes
    >seem to sound better for most people, and the current stuff can be
    >pretty disappointing if you've used better. The EB is the last 414
    >model I'll buy - the newer stuff isn't really worth using. And even
    >at that, I use the 414 EB pretty rarely, mostly as a rack tom mike.


    I'll respectfully disagree. I like the BULS, with the right preamp.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
  12. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Ty Ford <tford@jagunet.com> wrote:
    >In Article <biikai$i0u$1@pcls4.std.com>, mcguire@TheWorld.com (Monte P
    >McGuire) wrote:
    >>When you consider that it's at the end of a long and famous chain of
    >>amazing mikes, it's sort of sad. As you go back in time, their mikes
    >>seem to sound better for most people, and the current stuff can be
    >>pretty disappointing if you've used better. The EB is the last 414
    >>model I'll buy - the newer stuff isn't really worth using. And even
    >>at that, I use the 414 EB pretty rarely, mostly as a rack tom mike.

    >
    >I'll respectfully disagree. I like the BULS, with the right preamp.


    I don't like it at all, but the original TL, which is basically a B/ULS
    with the transformer replaced with a resistive network, is more usable
    to my ears.

    The 414 mikes are well-built, they have a good solid pattern with a nice
    null on the figure-8, but the top end just never sounded right to me on
    pretty much all the variants I have heard. But it does sound different
    on the variations.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  13. Tony Pearce

    Tony Pearce Guest

    "M. Im" <schoeps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:e2a7a064.0308262116.689ed63b@posting.google.com...
    > DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message

    news:<e6a68193.0308261009.334f99d3@posting.google.com>...
    > The correct analogy, but not as funny is, "vocal microphone" and
    > "portrait lens." Any microphone can used for vocals and any lens for
    > portraits.


    Not exactly true. Use a wide angle lens for portraits and you end up with
    perspective distortion. Too long a telephoto may limit your depth of field
    too much and restrict you to outdoor shots 50 feet away. Use a microphone
    susceptable to popping or sibilence for vocals, or feedback or handling
    noise for stage work, and the results may also be not what you are after.

    >Nevertheless, there are some popular and successful
    > techniques linking certain types of lenses to portraiture and certain
    > types of microphones to vocal recording and thus the development of
    > such phrases.


    Sometimes for good reason.

    TonyP.
  14. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Tony Pearce <TonyP@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >"M. Im" <schoeps@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    >news:e2a7a064.0308262116.689ed63b@posting.google.com...
    >> DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message

    >news:<e6a68193.0308261009.334f99d3@posting.google.com>...
    >> The correct analogy, but not as funny is, "vocal microphone" and
    >> "portrait lens." Any microphone can used for vocals and any lens for
    >> portraits.

    >
    >Not exactly true. Use a wide angle lens for portraits and you end up with
    >perspective distortion. Too long a telephoto may limit your depth of field
    >too much and restrict you to outdoor shots 50 feet away. Use a microphone
    >susceptable to popping or sibilence for vocals, or feedback or handling
    >noise for stage work, and the results may also be not what you are after.


    Right. But currently, the wide-angle lens is very popular for a particular
    sort of "big head" advertising portrait. Take a look at the Manley Labs ads
    in the magazines for an example of that. I don't like it at all, but everyone
    is going it these days.

    >>Nevertheless, there are some popular and successful
    >> techniques linking certain types of lenses to portraiture and certain
    >> types of microphones to vocal recording and thus the development of
    >> such phrases.

    >
    >Sometimes for good reason.


    Sometimes people want exaggerated unnatural effects. Then they use something
    different. Personally I am still looking for a 200mm f/2.8 Aero-Ektar for
    portraits....
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  15. AT

    AT Guest


    > >how can a single diaphragm, mono signal sound "phased"?

    >



    this also seems to happen to the solidtube when you remove the internal pop
    filter foam.
  16. DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message news:<e6a68193.0308260853.4a0de8ca@posting.google.com>...
    > Eric JT Chang wrote:
    >
    > > I have a pair of 414-ULS modified by Audio Upgrades. I used them on a
    > > children's choir concert (spaced omni configuration) recently through
    > > Millennia Media M2a/b and Mytek 8X96; I was very pleased with the
    > > result. I like the 414 after the modification.

    >
    > Have you used the figure-8 setting of the microphone much? By any
    > chance did you compare it before/after the Williams modification?
    > Or for that matter did you have a chance to compare the cardioid
    > response of the microphone before/after the mod? Any comments from
    > your experience would be appreciated.
    >
    > --best regards


    Hi David,

    I have used the 414s only twice (spaced omnis in both instances)
    after the mod. (string quartet and children's choir). I have not tried
    them in other patterns (Blumeline would be my next try). The main
    difference I have noticed is that, after the mod., the mid-range is
    cleaner. I have always felt the 414 ULS (before the mod.) sounded
    "muddy" (especially in the mid-range). And the mod. seems to cure this
    problem for me.
    For the string quartet session, I used Millennia Quad to power
    the 414s; I was not too pleased with the result. The 414s sounded
    quite uneven in the entire frequency range. But it may be the room the
    session took place. The 414s was merely a try-out setting; I ended up
    using "Straus-pakete" with 2 AKG460 omnis and 2 AKG460 cardioids
    through the Quad. Then "tube" process the signal through the Millennia
    M2a/b preamp. The result was very nice!
    I have many mics (Akg 460/414, Neumann 83/86) modified by Audio
    Upgrades. I would say I am pleased with their work. When I used these
    mucs in concert halls with good distance from the sound source (2.5-3
    meters above the ground, at least 1.5 meters away from the performer.
    For classical ensemble of course). The mics usually bring very good
    result. But when a recording sessions take place in studios or smaller
    rooms, these mics often sound overly bright. I suppose the distance
    (in concert halls) takes away some of the high frequency due to loss,
    yet retain the clarity the mod. brought out, which makes the sound
    more pleasing to my ears. One more thing to add, these modified mics
    seem to work exceptionally well with my Millennia M2a/b tube
    mic-preamp. But again, I have only the solid-state Millennia and Audio
    Upgrades pre-amp in hand to do comparison.
    Hope this info is useful.

    Eric
  17. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin Guest

    "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
    news:binniu$bsk$1@panix2.panix.com...
    > Then they use something
    > different. Personally I am still looking for a 200mm f/2.8 Aero-Ektar for
    > portraits....


    I'll stay with an 85MM F 2 Nikor...

    --
    Dave Martin
    Java Jive Studio
    Nashville, TN
    www.javajivestudio.com
  18. ScotFraser

    ScotFraser Guest

    << I have always felt the 414 ULS (before the mod.) sounded
    "muddy" (especially in the mid-range). And the mod. seems to cure this
    problem for me. >>

    My issue with 414B-ULS response is a 'wooliness' in the 150-200Hz range. Is
    this the mud you felt was cured with the modification?

    Scott Fraser
  19. david

    david Guest

    I have always felt the 414buls was overlooked or overly pissed on here.
    I find it a great v/o mic, sometimes great on a snare drum, sometimes
    wonderful on acoustic guitar. When you need a sound to get pushed
    forward a bit it can help.



    David Correia
    Celebration Sound
    Warren, Rhode Island

    CelebrationSound@aol.com
    www.CelebrationSound.com
  20. RL,nyc

    RL,nyc Guest

    DSatz@msn.com (David Satz) wrote in message news:<e6a68193.0308261009.334f99d3@posting.google.com>...
    >
    > [2] There seem to be many engineers who arm themselves with a spread of
    > different microphones, and spend fair amounts of time trying out different
    > microphones for each application, listening and trying something else until
    > they find something they like. Then they "track" and are committed to the
    > pickup they've chosen. This, to them, is how a sound engineer should work.
    >
    > However, if you record only in dead rooms and use only a cardioid pattern
    > like so many engineers, the main audible differences among microphones will
    > be due mainly to on-axis frequency response. When two microphones have
    > distinctly different frequency response, the subjective differences in the
    > resulting tracks will manifest themselves through other aspects of sound
    > such as detail, spatial qualities, etc. But use a good EQ to match the
    > frequency response and those other qualitative differences often melt away.
    > Certainly not always and not 100%--but often to a very surprising extent.
    >
    > There's an important lesson to be learned from that experience, if people
    > would just be open to it and think it through. Instead of wasting quite
    > so much session time trying microphone after microphone, folks could make
    > their sonic decisions at leisure (after the session is over) and revise
    > those decisions at any time if need be.
    >
    > But the belief systems promoted by microphone manufacturers and dealers
    > ("Our microphones contain magic!") preclude taking this approach seriously.
    > So many engineers never try using flat-response microphones and never try
    > seriously to develop the needed EQ skills. So they never find out what's
    > possible, and they go on believing what they believe about microphones.
    >
    > [3] People in the above group tend to take each new "flavor of the month"
    > microphone too seriously, and undervalue the more neutral-sounding "long-
    > term investment"-type microphones.
    >
    > From a marketing perspective a more neutral-sounding microphone may not
    > seem to offer value for its price, as compared with a peaky microphone
    > that clearly "has more character" and is immediately distinct sonically
    > from whatever else a person might compare it to. This creates a real
    > sales advantage for crap microphones--and behold, more of those are being
    > made and sold today than ever before.
    >
    > No microphone is completely neutral, but in my opinion it ought to take at
    > least several trials of a microphone under varying circumstances before one
    > can tell just what it is doing to the sound. If you can tell right away,
    > then the microphone is of questionable value. But many people approach the
    > choice of a microphone with precisely the opposite mindset, unfortunately.


    This is great stuff. Deserves to be read over more than once. Thank you Mr Satz.

    RL, NYC

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