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Best Mic Like a C12??? Condenser Microphones
Old 3rd August 2008
  #1
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Best Mic Like a C12???

hello fellow sluts,

i had the privilege of my first recording session this past week in a top-notch studio in

LA.

before we recorded some tracks i'm working on for publishing purposes,

we did a quick vocal shootout on original Telefunken 251, original AKG C12, and

a Sony C800g. We chose the C12 as the winner over the Sony as it had a little more

air, although it was not a significant difference. I had never recorded my own voice

previous to that and now am ready to see which mic I can get that sounds closest to

the C12 so I can move forward. Any suggestions would be great my budget is

anything under 2000 (usd). Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Old 3rd August 2008
  #2
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genre

FWIW I sing R&B if that make a difference...
Old 4th August 2008
  #3
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Matti's Avatar
Peluso has something liked or rent

Matti
Old 4th August 2008
  #4
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Not much in that price range is going to sound like a vintage C12...Was it one of the really old silver ones? Those things sounds great...You might want to consider the Telefunken M16, they are supposedly in the C12 style...I haven't tried one, but I thought the AK47 was a really nice mic with a little different take than most other 47ish mics out there. I thought the Peluso P12 was pretty nice - a little scooped though. I know Wunder Audio has some C12 copies but they're in the $6000 range...
Old 4th August 2008
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

you could try the red type a with the b6 capsule.
not exactly it, but close and in your budget.
Old 4th August 2008
  #6
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pics

Best Mic Like a C12???-microphones.jpg

i was told this is a vintage c12 but there's the pic for clarification. fwiw i've heard good things about the red b6 and p12 i think i'll have to give em' a try...
Old 4th August 2008
  #7
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Looks like a vintage C12 to me... I owned one for a while and it was a tough mic to part with when I sold it.

There's nothing like a vintage C12.... NOTHING!

A vintage C414 EB with original CK12 will give you a somewhat similar sound. Although they've pretty much dried up... Be careful, as many sellers will tell you it's all original and you'll find out later the capsule has been swapped, and the mic has been RUINED (without that capsule, it's basically useless to me).

The P12 is pretty good, although seems a little stronger in the lower mids to me (in comparison to my C12).. it makes vox a little more upfront.
Old 4th August 2008
  #8
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mics's Avatar
 

THere is nothing quite like a real c12, but there are few new mics around that you could try, avantone, peluso, telefunken, aa etc.
Old 4th August 2008
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
I'm not sure how much it is... but the InnerTUBE "Mag Mic" is surprisingly similiar to a good C-12... I think they're in the $2k range but could be wrong about that.

Peace.


__________________

Edit: 10 August 2010 - When I originally posted this I worked for Mercenary Audio. This was also before the AR-51 had entered the marketplace.

While I still love the Mag Mic, if this thread had come up today, I would not have commented at all as I feel it is unprofessional for those affiliated with microphone manufacturers to comment on threads like these -- unless asked a direct and specific question.

Just wanted to clear up any possible misconceptions of my original comment from 4 August 2008.
Old 4th August 2008
  #10
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castle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I think they're in the $2k range but could be wrong about that.
$2800 at VintageKing

InnerTUBE Audio MM-2000 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser Mic | VintageKing.com
Old 4th August 2008
  #11
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Jamz's Avatar
You can also look for a used Manley Gold Reference mic. Very C-12 like characteristics.
I've seen them go for anywhere from $2,600. to $3,400. used.
Old 4th August 2008
  #12
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johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

AKG C12A Looks like a 414 and sounds A LOT like a C12 (Exact same capsule and a nuvistor tube). It was the replacement for the C12. You can still pick them up in the $2K to $2500 range. Great mic that isn't talked about much around here. You can bet they will be going up in price.
Old 4th August 2008
  #13
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I've been loving the Peluso P12 lately, for the mics under $2000 range. Vocals are sounding beautiful through it. It's worth every penny paid and then some. I found one used for $900. They're about $1200 new I think.

-Mike
Old 4th August 2008
  #14
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Al Rogers's Avatar
 

Audio Technica makes a tube mic which seems well liked by many pros. Based on reading rather than hands on experience, Audio Technica mics are closer to the AKG sound than to the Neumann sound.

Mix has some classic vintage mic articles by Stephen Paul which are available on their website. You can find them HERE. They will help you understand why the vintage mics sound the way they do.
Old 4th August 2008
  #15
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1monkey1 View Post
you could try the red type a with the b6 capsule.
not exactly it, but close and in your budget.
We compared a C12A with original CK12 capsule (no mods, all original) to the B6 capsule with the solid state RED body and were amazed at the similarities. The original C12A had more happening under 100hZ, with some shelf EQ we could not distinguish the two.

War
Old 4th August 2008
  #16
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jjblair's Avatar
You're going to hear a big difference between a C12A (nuvistor, tiny transformer) and a C12 (6072 and T14/1). Even with that grill, you're losing high end compared to the loose mesh of the C12.

The closest thing to a real C12 were the Pape clones that were made a few years back, using many original AKG parts. Some have CK12s, and some have Haun capsules, which are a hair brighter.

Also, the most important part of the C12 sound is the CK12 capsule, and I have yet to hear a clone that sounds like a real CK12. I have also heard 4 reskinned CK12s, and none of them sounded as good, either, and I have seven CK12s of various vintages to compare them against.

The Manley is not going to give you the exact same thing as a C12, but if you like a C12, I would pick a Manley Gold before I would pick any other new mic. I've had one for 13 years, and recently, it beat out my M49, U47 and 251 for a particular singer.

The Audio Technica tube mic, the 4060, is NOTHING like a C12. Not even in the same universe. I thought I'd put that out there from somebody who has actually used one.
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Old 4th August 2008
  #17
Gear Head
 

You should look at a blue dragonfly as well. It has C12-ish attributes. It is not tube and does not have a transformer and at $799 or so it will obviously not replace a c12 or deliver all the magic but it has some of the vibe. It is also very, very sensitive to placement which you may like or dislike.

If you try it, you need to get about 1-3 inches from it and try swiveling it around to get a fair appraisal. It will not sound good if you sing via the standard 6-12 inch condenser distance and the brightness varies substantially with angle of the head/capsule.

The blue/Red B6 capsules for the Red type A or B are also advertised as similar to the C12. They sound smoother than the dragonfly to me but less c12-ish.

I think either of these will get you closer than a 414 especially if employed with tube pre but only you can decide if its close enough.
Old 4th August 2008
  #18
Gear Nut
 

get a aphex 260. do a search on mods new tube, peluso capsule, your in the ball park for probably around $700 I know a lot of people on here will say no way, just do a search. Some pretty good people like it
Old 4th August 2008
  #19
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thanks and more info...

thanks for all the suggestions so far... it seems like the p12 is the mic that's getting the best reviews that is the cheapest (a major factor unfortunately in my decision, but it's only for my home preproduction studio if i can keep going into this studio obviously it won't be an issue) when i get home i'll try to post an audio sample to give a better idea about my voice. also if it helps any the ideal chain we used was 1073 -> urei 1176 (black) -> apogee -> pt hd
Old 4th August 2008
  #20
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johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesp04 View Post
thanks for all the suggestions so far... it seems like the p12 is the mic that's getting the best reviews that is the cheapest (a major factor unfortunately in my decision, but it's only for my home preproduction studio if i can keep going into this studio obviously it won't be an issue) when i get home i'll try to post an audio sample to give a better idea about my voice. also if it helps any the ideal chain we used was 1073 -> urei 1176 (black) -> apogee -> pt hd
I owned a P12 for about a year and sold it about a month after I bought a Telefunken M16 MKII. The M16 MKII had a warmer more vintage vibe to it and was noticably smoother and more pleasing to the ear in the high end. I don't miss the P12 at all.
Old 4th August 2008
  #21
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johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
You're going to hear a big difference between a C12A (nuvistor, tiny transformer) and a C12 (6072 and T14/1). Even with that grill, you're losing high end compared to the loose mesh of the C12.

The closest thing to a real C12 were the Pape clones that were made a few years back, using many original AKG parts. Some have CK12s, and some have Haun capsules, which are a hair brighter.

Also, the most important part of the C12 sound is the CK12 capsule, and I have yet to hear a clone that sounds like a real CK12. I have also heard 4 reskinned CK12s, and none of them sounded as good, either, and I have seven CK12s of various vintages to compare them against.

The Manley is not going to give you the exact same thing as a C12, but if you like a C12, I would pick a Manley Gold before I would pick any other new mic. I've had one for 13 years, and recently, it beat out my M49, U47 and 251 for a particular singer.

The Audio Technica tube mic, the 4060, is NOTHING like a C12. Not even in the same universe. I thought I'd put that out there from somebody who has actually used one.
When I bought my matched pair of C12A's , the seller (a friend) and I did an A/B comparison between the pair of C12A's and 3 original C12's (He has 4) There was a noticable difference but not all that much. In fact, the difference was more in the low end than the high end. The high end of the C12A's came extremely close to the C12's.
Old 4th August 2008
  #22
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Matti's Avatar
"C12A (nuvistor, tiny transformer)" ?
Modyfied U47 maybe

Matti
Old 5th August 2008
  #23
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Hey JJ - have you tried the Wunder C12's? Just wondered how they were...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
You're going to hear a big difference between a C12A (nuvistor, tiny transformer) and a C12 (6072 and T14/1). Even with that grill, you're losing high end compared to the loose mesh of the C12.

The closest thing to a real C12 were the Pape clones that were made a few years back, using many original AKG parts. Some have CK12s, and some have Haun capsules, which are a hair brighter.

Also, the most important part of the C12 sound is the CK12 capsule, and I have yet to hear a clone that sounds like a real CK12. I have also heard 4 reskinned CK12s, and none of them sounded as good, either, and I have seven CK12s of various vintages to compare them against.

The Manley is not going to give you the exact same thing as a C12, but if you like a C12, I would pick a Manley Gold before I would pick any other new mic. I've had one for 13 years, and recently, it beat out my M49, U47 and 251 for a particular singer.

The Audio Technica tube mic, the 4060, is NOTHING like a C12. Not even in the same universe. I thought I'd put that out there from somebody who has actually used one.
Old 5th August 2008
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fuertes View Post
You should look at a blue dragonfly as well. It has C12-ish attributes.
I have not used a C12 since college, but I do have 2 blue dragonfly's and so far they sound great, and currently there is a $200 mail in rebate so it would be $600 instead of 800$
Old 5th August 2008
  #25
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When it comes to the C12, get used to renting...... unless you can afford 7K for a wunder /tele reproduction.
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Old 5th August 2008
  #26
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MicSlut666's Avatar
 

What about the Lawson L 251?
Old 5th August 2008
  #27
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
Hey JJ - have you tried the Wunder C12's? Just wondered how they were...
No. Only listened to them at AES, which tells you next to nothing, IMO.
Old 5th August 2008
  #28
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyjellybean View Post
When I bought my matched pair of C12A's , the seller (a friend) and I did an A/B comparison between the pair of C12A's and 3 original C12's (He has 4) There was a noticable difference but not all that much. In fact, the difference was more in the low end than the high end. The high end of the C12A's came extremely close to the C12's.
Johnny, I've never gotten the chance to do direct A/B, so thanks for sharing that. My main experience with a C12A is the one at Mad Hatter, which never felt as open to me as a C12.

I honestly feel that the open mesh helps the HF response, though.
Old 5th August 2008
  #29
I used to own a Blue Bottle with the B6 cap, and I currently own a P12. the B6 was a little creamier, but overall, the P12 sounded better to me. I love it for female and R&B vox, and for about $1100, you can't go wrong. I posted a song with female vox using the P12 a couple of months ago. Take a listen.
Old 10th August 2008
  #30
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infopimpster's Avatar
 

I bought an Apex460 on FleaBay, then sent it to Dave Thomas:

Advanced Audio Microphones

Dave said:

Quote:

The CM12 (upgraded 460) is meant to emulate the AKG C12/ELAM 251 circuit like the Peluso 22251.

-

The modification includes:-

1) Replacing the stock 3 micron 32mm Chinese capsule with a 6 micron 34mm Peluso CEK12 (AKG C12) type capsule
2) Replacing the stock economical Chinese output transformer with a custom BV11 transformer wound to original Telefunken blueprints. The BV11 has 2-3db more output overall than the stock transformer and it yields 2db more output at 20hz. It will handle 6db more level than the stock transformer.
3) The generic 12AX7b tube is replaced with a selected 6072a which increases the headroom another 2-3db.
4) The output coupling capacitor is replace with a 2.2ufd metal film which increases the low frequency response and responds more quickly to change than the stock 1ufd electrolytic
5) I remove the cathode feedback in the front end circuit which reduces the gain by 4db further increasing the headroom of the tube amplifier circuit.

The total result is that the headroom is increased by about 10db. The frequency response of the CEK12 goes down lower and higher than the stock 32mm 3 micron Neumann style capsule. The larger output capacitor allows for these extended low frequencies to reach the BV11 output transformer which has a slightly lower impedance but also has a better low frequency response. The 1ufd in the stock circuit with the stock transformer has a -3db down point somewhere about 20hz which matches the 3db down point of the capsule to the input circuit. However, the economic 1ufd output capacitor has a tolerance of + or - 20% and this capacitance with decrease as the electrolytic ages. The hp filter effect of the capacitor is also related to the impedance of the output transformer and the plate resistance which is lower for the BV11 and the 6072a tube so the capacitor should be a bit larger hence the 2.2 ufd capacitor. Probably 1.5ufd would be sufficient but I also use this circuit with the even lower impedance BV8 transformer and 2.2 guarantees a flat low frequency response from the amplifier circuit that won't change over-time.

The high frequency response window is also extended as the MILLER EFFECT is reduced. The Miller effect is a seldom mentioned design criteria that states the grid to plate capacitance is multiplied by the gain of the circuit. The stock 12AX7b has a plate to grid capacitance of 1.7 pf and the circuit has a typical gain of about 60 which means the total capacitance across the input is about 100 pfd. This means the stock circuit would be 3db down at about 36khz. However, with the 6072a which has less than half the gain of the 12AX7 and has a lower grid to plate capacitance of 1.3 pf the hf window or 3db down point of the amplifier increases out past 70khz. The typical 96khz A/D converter is 70db down at 48kz and can handle a maximum input level of +21dbv. The microphone should produce and output +18dbv with the 6072a tube and the BV11 transformer and a 200 volt power supply. The 460 power supplies vary from 150v to 200v but this will only reduce the headroom by about 2db which is still double the output of a Rode NT2a or U47.

The bottom line is the microphone will have a smoother midrange response because of the CEK12 capsule and the BV11 output transformer having a better transient response and phase response. The CEK12 capsule has a better low frequency response and the tube circuit along with the BV11 can reproduce this more faithfully. The BV11 has a better transient and phase response and this coupled with the circuits extended hf window yields a more open sound. The microphone is also quieter because the gain is reduced and the output level is reduced slightly about 6-8db which means the microphone preamp is probably set more closer to unity gain where it is the quietist.
It was about $500 with S&H.
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