Published by Sim on 12th January 2012
I've literally review this mic just to let people know how terrible it is.
The sound- the mic sound how sounds that bad it's like it has a mp3 quality adc built it to it it's awful. The high end is fizzy and mussy with no really definition. The mids sound blurry and the low sounds bloated and fake. The fact that it takes battery makes huge as it it's not and inch wide already so good getting some where tight. I thing I'll give is it robust and i haven't seen a broken one yet. The some how turns transients in mush like a horrible cheap tube pre amp or something. I've never used the hyper cardiode adapter you can get for them but hey you can't polish a turd. Plus why put an led on a microphone that's not gonna used in studio unless it's used to nail and picture up or knock some sense into an assistant. So you use it live and the led is like a really bright that you can spot it a mile off...nice one.
Akg make and made some great mics but this really hurts their rep they should just get rid off mic all together. I had this mic as my first stereo pair i don't the tolerance in the manufacturing is good enough to be acceptable as a stereo pair but hey. Sorry AKG
In reply to the below thread: AKG C1000s
Low budget mics have come a long way since the c1000 and since the review in 2003 there's to much competition that offer far better results. Andy hong uses it as a guitar mic as he likes it he doesn't once say it' a good mic. I had this mic for 5 years and used it on anything and everything I had no other mics and it just sounded awful always. When you first start and you have 2-3 mics in the cupboard the last thing you want is a mic that only might sound good on guitar if you like maybe. c'mon
By jnorman on 13th January 2012
i am going to have to rebut the previous review, simply because there are far too many beginning engineers who just do not have enough experience to know how to use mics properly. having been involved in recording engineering and production since the early 1970s, i have learned that even the most expensive mics can sound horrible with incorrect placement and angling, and even the most humble of mics can do a perfectly good job when used appropriately. i mean no disrespect to the original poster/reviewer here - i originally had a similar reaction to many pieces of gear - i remember my first expensive preamp, and comparing it to preamps in a little mackie mixer and being basically unable to hear why i had just spent $2000 - it can be quite disturbing...
the AKG C1000 is one of those mics that has somehow developed a poor reputation because, due to its relatively low cost combined with the AKG name, is often the first SDC mic purchased by entry level project studio engineers. these generally inexperienced engineers, not understanding the intricacies of careful mic placement and off-axis angling, will try to use the C1000 at very close range, directly on-axis, and conclude that the mic is harsh or distorted.
I have successfully used C1000s on several commercial recordings, and while i do have other, much more expensive mics, i can certainly get acceptable results from the C1000.
here are a couple of excerpts from a review of the C1000 from andy hong of Tape Op for your consideration:
" My all-time favorite guitar amp microphone is the AKG C-1000S electret condenser."
"Alongside my trusty C-1000S, I’ve tried many different mics — cheap to expensive, standard to whacky. Shure, Neumann, Schoeps, Sennheiser, Royer, Earthworks, RØDE, RCA, Radio Shack, even built-ins on portable tape recorders — you name it. In essence, I do a shootout between the C-1000S and a second mic every time I record an amp. The C-1000S almost always wins. Something about the quality of its creamy midrange response makes it really cut through in a mix — without sounding woolly, brittle, or harsh!"
"For example, on very distorted guitars, I found that a Neumann U47fet going through a Great River MP-2NV sounded similar to a C-1000S through a Neve 1272 — enough so that I had a hard time differentiating the tracks."
"Where can you hear examples of the C-1000S on guitar? Check out any of the studio albums released in the last four or five years from Karate, Helms, Victory at Sea, and Rosa Chance Well; Chris Brokaw’s tracks on his split with Viva las Vegas; or Thalia Zedek’s latest EP. All of these recordings feature the C-1000S as the primary guitar amp mic."
Another way to judge this mic against its peers is listening to Lynn Fuston's comprehensive 3D Mic CD, which allows for blind listening comparisons of a large number of mics ranging from the venerable SM57 to vintage U47s and ELA-M251s. I think you will find that the C1000 turns in perfectly fine tracks. in fact, i am confident that you will be unable to discern most $500 mics from $5000 mics, and you may be amazed at how wonderful even the sub-$100 sm57 can sound in the right hands. sure, the mics will all sound just a tad different, but "different" does not necessarily mean "better"...
As always, do not buy gear based on opinions you read on forums - find actual recorded material featuring the gear you are interested in, and use your own ears to make judgements. test the gear yourself if at all possible.
By FirstLoveStudio on 16th January 2012
C1000 - perfect mic for...
...rack tom. Ok, not perfect, but very good for the price.
Really good on rack tom. I'd agree its not the best mic in the world and I wouldn't use it to record anything like cymbals, acoustic guitar, vocals, piano etc. In fact, its not great for anything apart from rack tom. Its pretty good on floor tom.
I would however, rather make records with only this mic than use a C3000 on anything. I really dislike that mic - make the tope end go really horrid, but this is a review for the C1000. Actually, I'd rather use the c1000 than an SE2200 - the most overly bright ugly sounding mic I know.
Incidentally, my C1000 IS broken, which kind of wipes out the 'one good point' from the first hating review. The grill fell off, and it is very 'non-servicable' - I've had to resort to gaffa to stick it shut.
Also, it has an on switch. Terrible feature. For me it just means that the mic can a) be made to not work, b) that any time you're not getting a signal, you have to go check the switch. I guess it would be handy if using it as a hanheld mic or on location with the onboard battery, but I probably wouldn't choose the mic in that application
Actually, I prefer the top end of the C1000 to that of many other mics in the same bracket - eg Rode NT1a - it may not have the same detail but the top isn't as hyped. In a weird way, you could almost mistake the top end of the C1000 as 'analogue processing' - perhaps not that honest but kind of smushes up the highs in a quite pleasing way. Not really what you look for in a mic but I think there are applications where this sound is betal than the brutal cheap top end hyping of many mics in this price bracket.
There are better mics in this price bracket also - like the £100 area of the Thomann 'own brand' T-bone, but actually, there are some bad mics in that area too. I reckon £100 for a C1000 is actually pretty damn good - in fact, I might get another for those bands that have two rack toms
Still, it comes out for toms.
By Glynng on 18th January 2012
clean and easy
I've used this mic for 5 years on drum overhead after seeing it used by a drummer/music store owner friend. I was surprised at the clarity and simplicity of his set up. Three mics: kick, snare, and this mic for overhead. It picks up the cymbals and toms equally well and has remarkable separation from the horns that are often nearby. I never have a problem with feed back and the windscreen that comes with it is reasonably effective.
The only hassle has been the unusually large mic holder that's required. I now have three and use the others on my aux percussion players.
I've also used them on strings. Oddly enough, they weren't as effective with the strings as with the drums. Recording wise its fine, but not live. I just had difficulty getting the right mic placement between the few players I had. With a section of 5 or more I'm sure it would have been fine, but not for the two.
I managed to find all of them on the online auction site for about $70-100 each, so they've been a very good bang for my buck. They're pretty durable. I've dropped them more than once and they function perfectly.
No tens for anything that I cant use all the time, everywhere.
By BlindLemonOrange on 19th January 2012
Try it in mid-side
The C1000 is one of my go to mics for mid-side acoustic guitar recording. Used with a C414, the C1000 makes a perfect center channel mic. I've tried others from the closet, and this one has the ability to capture a crispness and clarity perfectly for this application. Just looking for an excuse to buy another.
By kojak on 22nd January 2012
I'd like to reiterate what was said above...because this is often a beginning engineer's first mic, many people have a bad first reaction to it, mainly due to bad placement or gain staging. In reality, this is a killer mic for the budget-minded and with the right placement (as with any mic) it can sound fantastic in a wide variety of uses.
I myself have used it as a drum overhead, on acoustic guitars, on quiet to mid-level electric guitar cabs (for a full out loud situation I'm inclined to go with a dynamic mic of some kind, ie. Sennheiser 609 or the like), even on vocals. Really the only thing I would shy away from with this mic would be very loud sources such as snare drums or brass, unless mic'd from a considerable distance. While it definitely is not world class, you would be hard pressed to find a more versatile mic for the same dollars. Even though over the years I've moved up to higher end mics, I still keep a pair of these on hand if I need something for a quick demo or a mobile situation where I don't want to take a nicer mic, and they do a more than admirable job.
By freerange on 22nd January 2012
A Great Microphone has been dissed.
I have used these for over 20 years with great success.
For those of you who remember the PZM scare, I want to make an analogy. Remember how you could put up a cheap PZM for a musician to demo in the studio, and they would ALWAYS pick that "in your face" sound over mics that were actually good and cost at least 10 to 50 times as much? When comparing that sound, the other mics sound so ..... polite. The AKG C1000 always has that vibe for me; the wow factor when it came time to play back the raw track. They seem like cheating. It is too easy to get an impressive sound with the C1000. I would suggest they have the quality to back up the wow factor. I loved these mics the first time I rented some for a big band jazz recording, and heard the drum track playback. I never had heard anything quite like it at the time, and I dont think I have since, except from my c1000's. The sound is not subtle.
It is a mic that is so present, detailed and LOUD that the really great results are gotten with some experience and respect for the sheer presence of this mic. I dont know if they are actually quiet or not. They put out a hot signal; by the time you pad the signal down to something usable, any residual noise is gone.
In the last month I used one C1000 overhead at about 3 feet to pick up an on camera 2 person sit down interview for a documentary. The producer owned the high end Panasonic HD camcorder with Sennheiser mics. When he heard the set it and forget it detailed voices that came with the cardioid adapter in place on the C1000 he stopped the production and asked where he could get some of those mics today. Right now. He never heard such clear dialog with such a duct tape slam bang go setup. There was no attempt to aim the mic at the individual speakers, as in fishpolling the mic. C1000 straight into the camcorder pre amp. Everything in the cardiod or super cardiod "acceptance cone" is on mic with the C1000.
These mics kill on overhead drums. You can eq that huge glossy signal to sound like just about anything. The experienced engineers know, it is easier to tune out too much presence than to try to make up for not having it. Any drummer I have recorded hears their playback with these mics an is instantly in love with this sound for their cymbals. Lots of "air" and detail if that is what you are into.
I am not into the warm wooly transformer coupled everything vintage pre scare. I am of course making a generalization. I would expect at least decent results hotting up a vintage signal chain with the C1000. My modern API discrete solid state signal chain (DSM rack) stands up and barks with C1000 source material. How is that for a visual?
Based on the sound, you would find them either a fabulous bargain in a hot general purpose condenser mic, or totally unusable for anything; based on the range of opinion here. I guess I trend toward hot and cheap. The fact that these are rated so low compared to the useless IMHO Shure SM58, must mean that our tastes are all over the place. Either that, or some folks are not listening, and spending way too much time on the interweb. I do know that I leave the house with my trusty pair of C1000s, and come home with money in my pocket. I have not heard any complaints re: the AKGs. A company with way more hits than misses.
How many condenser mics run on an internal 9 volt to allow field production that is as easy as a dynamic mic? How many condensers can be field fitted for omni thru supercardioid without changing capsules? Sure you can do it by flipping the switches on a large capsule studio type mic. But I do not find those "out in the field" remote recording where I work. You have to know how to use the set of slip on adaptors that set different polar and eq responses. If you are considering buying a used one, you must get all the parts to make it work properly. It goes back to my earlier thesis. Experience and respect for the capabilities of this somewhat unusual tool is needed for best results.
This would not be my first pick for close male vocals. Female vocals can be really impressive if the singer has good technique, and not too much "lip". If your recording medium, or pre amps are not quite up to par, the potential sibilance of this mic could be a problem.
My old acoustic guitars sound great with this mic, usually a couple of feet away with a touch of something warmer closer to the body. This is a great mic to record or reinforce detailed finger picking.
If a pair of these was all I had for an acoustic piano recording, they could be made to deliver a very musical and detailed presentation. The placement might be more critical than some other microphones. Real warmth is in short supply.
I would call this a great documentary mic. If you go into different situations and need microphones that can grab whatever is in the air and turn it into usable product with minimal setup and bother, the C1000 tops my list. Would it make it onto a list of the 20 best mics of all time? Of course not. Would it make it onto the list of the top 3 all time best mics to grab and go out in the field and come back with detailed usable material for just about any purpose; C1000 is on that list. Tough and sensitive. If I could only own 1 microphone, I am afraid this one would be it. I would miss not having a specialty on stage super cardiod dynamic for my vocals, but this mic will work for vocal PA. I have had good enough results with these microphones for PA. It is almost as over the top as an SM 85.
It is musical, documentarian, very detailed, big sounding and these days sort of inexpensive. I hope the bad press here drops the used price. I need about 3 more. By the way, I think the 1st reviewer who started this string has a broken one. That description does not sound anything like my C1000's. Maybe modern ones are not the same as older ones ??!!? Or perhaps they have it confused with something else.........
By mahasandi on 27th February 2012
Gosh it not a good mic.
I mean its bright and edgy that is not to say that you would be unable to get a usable recording from it but .....it would be more work then I'd want to invest
Now an sm58 is not always better then this mic , but I think for its class a sdc you expect a certain standard and when this mic does not meet that it gets a lower rating then a mic with less competition.
While I agree AKG makes worse mics this is not my first choice.
for anything .
Looking at the reviews above I get the feeling that very different applications come to mind for different sets of ears, so I won't claim it can't do well, if your satisfied great.
When I think of mics in this range nothing can compete with line aduio cm3 and actually they compete with much more expensive mics , must share that.
from: AKG C1000S
The AKG C1000S represents exceptionally good value, not least because sharp competition in the home recording microphone market has forced prices down to the point where the mic is cheaper to buy now than its predecessor was ten years ago. Not only is this a good-sounding and versatile back-electret mic, it's also very solidly built and performs well on battery power if required to do so. It's perhaps true to say that because the number of low-cost quality microphones has increased so much in recent years, the C1000S is no longer the clear leader that it once was, but it still has enough going for it to merit a place on anyone's sub-£200 microphone short list.
and this is precisely my point, lots of better mics for the dough
Though there are more open-sounding back-electret mics available, I've always felt that the C1000 successfully combined the warmth and weight of a good dynamic mic with enough high-end detail to allow a sound to breathe properly. In fact I have used the C1000 to record the main vocals on more than one serious album project in the past, though to be fair, I'd almost certainly use something a little more sophisticated now.
I think its a starter mic for a lot of people and if you get used to using it and develop technique around it noone can tell you you dont get good results , but I think there are so many other options its worth checking out other mics in this range.
By This Is Barcode on 28th February 2012
I recently purchased two of these despite the somewhat bad press about them.
For the project studio owner, I think they are a great purchase but as mentioned, mic placement is all important as I can see how the sharpness and edginess of their sound can be on the tasteless side.
I use them as overheads with a pair of C214's as room mics and get some great results. Tried them on an acoustic guitar yesterday briefly but still yet to get a full thought on them in that aspect.
Overall, worth a shot for the project studio owner but it's key to finding their sweet spot.
By enginefire on 28th February 2012
i have to agree with the general consensus on this once, the c1000 is a great mic for the price! I got a pair for under $200. with hypercardiod adaptor they are really good if you are recording live off the floor for a bit of directional isolation. i have had good results with the on hihats and guitar cabs. Definitely "non critical" applications, but it is what it is. go spend a grand a pop if you got it, if not consider these mics. they are also cheap enough to bring on live sound gigs and not to make me worry about damage or theft.
By dbirch on 28th February 2012
This mike is worth a bit more than you pay for and is very rugged. I wouldnt use this for much more than an overhead (all I found them to be great for), but you could use it for a range of applications. Decently priced for what it is. Though I'd have to recommend m-audio pulsars anyday over these.
By tim sloan on 28th February 2012
Good for the right application
Okay, so these mics are not a be-all end-all product by any stretch of the imagination, but as previous reviews have stated, when you use them correctly, they do cool things.
The purpose that I have found for the AKG C1000 is as a stereo pair pulling overhead duty on a rock drum kit. There are times when you need your drums to have a punchy, present mid-range (punk rock, metal) and using these mics as overheads in a decent room, is how to get it.
These mics came through for me once at a low-end studio. Most of the mics I had reserved for the session were out. I ended up using a Senn. 421 in the kick, an SM57 on the snare, and a pair of C1000's, at 110 degree angle from each other, as overheads. Everyone was so used to seeing a large number of mics on the drum kit, that they thought I was cheating them. After playback of the first song, all they talked about were how fat the drums sounded.
I've only dropped them a couple of times, but they lived, so they aren't fragile.
Honestly, I haven't really experimented with them much. I found a good use for them, and I'm okay with it. Truth be told, you could do a lot worse.
By aspect7 on 25th March 2014
Sorry but i nearly did not purchase these mic's because of some reviews here, but after looking elsewhere and finally finding an audio comparison i got them anyway.
I have to say i really don't know what people could do to get a bad sound out of this mic, all i am getting is clear solid signal and no unwanted noise.
As this is a new mic i have only so far tried on my quick setup ( what i use at 3 am when i wake up with a tune in my head) ie: behringer xenyx on my gaming pc with a big fat noisy fan in a small untreated room.
So far recorded samples of : tin whistle, banjo, mandolin, bombard (from a REASONABLE distance)
all sounded great. angled away from my pc did not even get the fan noise with no additional baffles.
looking forward to the weekend when i can get the c1000 in a padded room and work it hard..will try them in front of a guitar and synth and some percussion.
Don't let reviews put you off rent, hire, borrow and try because it may be the sound that you want....or it may not.