Versatile studio Mic? AKG 414

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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dadsoda
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Versatile studio Mic? AKG 414

Post by dadsoda » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:51 am

I am upgrading my mic locker. Specifically drum overheads and vocal mic. I was planning on getting a pair of Rode M5s ($199) and a vocal mic in the under $500 range. Now i'm thinking about getting a pair of AKG 414s ($1,430) since they seem to have a very flat response and don't sound harsh. I would then use them for overheads, vocals, and to accompany a SM57s on guitar cabs. This will break the bank for a while yet I am a firm believer in "buy it nice or buy it twice." Anybody use these mics or have harsh feelings towards them? I just want to make sure if i'm spending that much money on two mics that I wont be looking for an upgrade in six months.

If anyone has other suggestions for a versatile mic I am open to anything.

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Re: Versatile studio Mic? AKG 414

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:01 am

Before you buy, learn a bit about the 414 and its various iterations. It's more confusing than most microphones, just because AKG kept the same basic name despite changing the recipe several times, often drastically.

Here are a few things that are all commonly-referred to as an "AKG 414":

AKG C-414-comb (1971)
AKG C-414-EB (1976)
AKG C-414-EB-P48 (1980)
AKG C-414-B-ULS (1986)
AKG C-414-B-TLII (1993)
AKG C-414-B-XLII
AKG C-414-B-XLS
AKG C-414-XLII
AKG C-414-XLS

All of those will sound and perform differently, sometimes radically-so.

The first two on the list are among the best FET condenser microphones ever produced (as long as they're still equipped with their original brass-ring CK12 capsule). They're usually priced accordingly, and are not cheap.

The next two (the EB-P48 and the B-ULS) are fine utility microphones, having the later nylon-ring CK12. They have a street price of about 600 bucks used, and while aren't quite as incredible as their brass-CK12-equipped older siblings, are generally quite good and usable! A sweet spot of price-performance.

I have a less-favorable opinion of the subsequent, transformerless revisions. They can be okay. But they seem to street for around the same price as a 414-B-ULS, which I generally prefer.

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Re: Versatile studio Mic? AKG 414

Post by dadsoda » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:05 am

Thank you for all of the information! ;D

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