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AKG C414-EB vs C414 XLS or XLII Condenser Microphones
Old 27th March 2005
  #1
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John_McEnroe's Avatar
 

AKG C414-EB vs C414 XLS or XLII

Hey all. I have been thinking of picking up one of the new AKG C414's after being impressed with it during a friends session. Someone has offered to sell me one of the older silver "EB" models for $700 usd, but I have no idea how it compares to the newer ones. I did a search here on gearslutz and someone had picked up a pair for quite a bit less than this. Is the guy offering to sell me this mic completely out of reality with his pricing? If its a goood mic I would love to save the money off buying a new one, but at the same time I dont want ot end up with an old mic within a couple of years of the end of its life just to save a couple hundred bucks.

Any input would be appreciated greatly.
Old 28th March 2005
  #2
Gear Head
414

I think the EB is really an older mic. I just bought a 414B-ULS for $500 from one of the folks here on this board.

Go to the site listed below and click on "brochure" at the bottom left hand side of the page. It will take you to a brochure that also gives the history of the 414 and the difference among the various versions.

http://www.akg.com/products//powersl...nguage,EN.html

Yes, I know...specs don't tell you how it sounds, but you may find this interesting.

Don
Old 28th March 2005
  #3
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I have an EB and I wouldn't sell it. I traded an SPX-90 for it (back in the day) with a friend who owned a studio- good trade. I had to replace the capsule in '91, but the electronics are all original. I've heard the new 414's and I don't care for them. My EB sounds really open and natural, especially in omni. The new ones have the same sonic idea basically, but they sound, I don't know, kind of "plasticky", if that makes sense. I don't know the market for them today, so I don't know if $700 is a good price, but I would pay it in a second if I had to replace this one.

The capsule replacement was expensive though, so make sure it's in good shape before you buy.
Old 28th March 2005
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Don't the EB's use a real C12 capsule? A friend of mine has one and it sounds great. Great air on the top end, and rich low mids. But it does seem like I've heard of these being a little tempermental.
Old 28th March 2005
  #5
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zimv20's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvetfreddy
Don't the EB's use a real C12 capsule?
they started with it, but at some point in production they switched it out. the one i've got with the lowest serial no. is 4853 and it does not have the C12 capsule.
Old 28th March 2005
  #6
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zimv20's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_McEnroe
I did a search here on gearslutz and someone had picked up a pair for quite a bit less than this.
probably me you're referring to. i got mine for $375 each at the local GC. someone came in and sold a bunch of his mics to buy one really expensive one (i forget which).

before i grabbed 'em, i found this page, which lists the average EB price of $555. i have no idea how good the data is.

fwiw, i've not heard the new 414s and can't compare. but so far, i like the EB's i got. one is a bit darker than the other, fwiw.
Old 28th March 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I have an EB and a ULS, and I definitely prefer the EB. It's a little darker than the ULS, and just sounds a little warmer overall. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a great sounding, versatile mic.
Old 28th March 2005
  #8
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The EB's are pretty bright to my ears, but in a good usable way.
The newer one's are slightly darker to me, not quite as open sounding.
I think 414's really shine on overheads. That's about the only place I use them.
Good on rooms now and again too.
I'd expect to pay about $400 - $500 each for them.
If it's a EB with the C12 capsule way more.
Old 28th March 2005
  #9
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

http://www.akg.com/mediadatabase/psf...5c0ffc4faf.pdf
Attached Thumbnails
AKG C414-EB    vs    C414 XLS or XLII-c414.jpg  
Old 28th March 2005
  #10
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AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

Another vote for the older EB. The term plasticy used earlier perfectly describes the new 414s
Old 28th March 2005
  #11
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Someone forgot to squeeze the 412 in there between the C-12a and the first 414....
Old 28th March 2005
  #12
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chadly's Avatar
 

Quote:
So what capsule did the 414 Comb have? The EB Capsule? Or the C12?

(ps, it sucks when the stand adaptor rubber gasket on those go out!)
Old 28th March 2005
  #13
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly
So what capsule did the 414 Comb have? The EB Capsule? Or the C12?

(ps, it sucks when the stand adaptor rubber gasket on those go out!)

I found the replacement gasket at a hardware store for 60 cents.
Old 28th March 2005
  #14
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doorknocker's Avatar
Try the mic in question and see if you like it!!

My 414 B/ULS is my favourite vocal mic and works great on most singers,...so I don't care how many people hate this particular model....

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 24th August 2010
  #15
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PhilipJ's Avatar
 

Capsule differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly View Post
So what capsule did the 414 Comb have? The EB Capsule? Or the C12?

(ps, it sucks when the stand adaptor rubber gasket on those go out!)
There is no such thing as an "EB" capsule. The C414EB originally had the "brass" CK12 capsule. That is the capsule that gave the original C414E, C414C and C414EB the classic AKG sound. During the production of the C414EB, AKG switched the "brass" CK12 capsule out for a newer teflon/nylon CK12 capsule. The newer capsule sounds different. People say that no AKG C414 since the C414EB with "brass" CK12 capsule has ever sounded quite like it.

Beware when people try to sell you a C414 and claim that it has the CK12 capsule. Make sure that they send you a picture of the inside of the mic.

Last edited by PhilipJ; 24th August 2010 at 08:51 PM.. Reason: making change to correct information
Old 24th August 2010
  #16
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AKG C414-EB vs C414 XLS or XLII

I had the XLII and it was so bad I practically gave it away. I was very disappointed. At $700 no AKG 414 is a good deal not even a new in the box XLII. Come up with $300 more and get yourself a good used tube mic. I found a Pearlman TM-1 for $1100 and it was the difference between pro gear and prosumer versus the XLII.
Old 24th August 2010
  #17
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bigbone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipJ View Post
If it is red-ish in color, it's the newer capsule. If it is black in color, then it is the original "brass' capsule.
It's not the color, a 414 EB with the C12 brass capsule , the ring is ''brass '' and the 414 EB with the teflon capsule is , guess what........... teflon ring......
Old 24th August 2010
  #18
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PhilipJ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbone View Post
It's not the color, a 414 EB with the C12 brass capsule , the ring is ''brass '' and the 414 EB with the teflon capsule is , guess what........... teflon ring......
I'm aware of the physical difference, I was looking for an easy way to tell at a quick glance, and there appeared to be a color difference. My mistake.
Old 25th August 2010
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
yotonic I had the XLII and it was so bad I practically gave it away. I was very disappointed. At $700 no AKG 414 is a good deal not even a new in the box XLII. Come up with $300 more and get yourself a good used tube mic. I found a Pearlman TM-1 for $1100 and it was the difference between pro gear and prosumer versus the XLII.
With all due respect the difference between pro and prosumer isn't an xl2 and a tm1. More the engineer. But it depends what you expect when you open the box. A 414 is not going to sound like a u47, or a tm1.
Old 25th August 2010
  #20
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I had the XLII and it was so bad I practically gave it away. I was very disappointed.
1/2 + 1

Also I had a new XLII for some months. It wasn't extremly bad but I didn't like it either. It sounded in lack of better words boxy and darker (less bright). My KSM32, U87 and SM7B sound better to my ears.
Old 31st October 2010
  #21
Here for the gear
 

C414's for sale - looking to buy

I'm looking to purchase a pair of C414's - factory matched if available. Anyone wanting to sell?

Thanks,
Chuck
Old 1st November 2010
  #22
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tampa's Avatar
 

Well regardless of what people think of this Mic, you can't beat this price with a stick.

AKG C414B XLII Microphone 414 B XLII c414bXLII C 414B - eBay (item 220685079765 end time Nov-18-10 02:00:00 PST)
Old 1st November 2010
  #23
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Tube World's Avatar
Here is a review if the newer Akg mics. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov0...es/akgmics.htm

Basically the 414's are pretty even sounding mic's. The gold one has more top end which makes it better for vocals and the silver one is flatter and better for instruments. I personally think the new ones sound great. A cheaper alternative is the Audio Tech 4050.
Old 1st November 2010
  #24
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The only reason AKG still makes 414s and they are so well known is they are STILL living off the reputation built by the CK12 brass capsule from 30+ years ago. The capsule was so good, they still sell mics ripping off that heritage without coming even close to living up to it...

It was probably the BEST capsule ever made... Something like 40-50% rejection rate. They cant even make them anymore...

NOT wont- CANT.

People pay 1500 to 2000 JUST TO PULL THE CAPSULE OUT and put it in a 251 or c12 clone... All they want is that original capsule.

So if you like the 414s great- but its the relativity that kills them! Put one next to an EB with a brass cap and you will want to throw the new one away... Yes, its that much better... The top end is nuts... Nuts.

And if youve heard a great C12, it makes the 414 sound broken... Generalized statements of course, but when youve had them all side by side...
Old 1st November 2010
  #25
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andrew montreal's Avatar
I have an EB with the ck12 capsule on it... it's presently being cleaned up by Klaus. Thankfully, he's been able to take care of some major issues that were plaguing it. He has also informed me that the tension on the diaphragms are very good. heh

I love the mic. Even in the awful shape it was in - and I mean AWFUL - I still often chose it over either of my u87's for vocals (which are also being worked on by the man).

That being said, sometimes the mid-range scoop of the c414 is just what the ears call for. I once multi-tracked an entire song with a rented pair of those little guys (can't remember which one but it certainly wasn't an EB) and I have to say that it still to this day contains one of my favourite guitar recordings that I've produced - and the guitar wasn't much to speak of. It was able to tame the ugly edge that was occuring somewhere between 1.5kHz and 3kHz. In combination with a decent sounding room and the Vintech 473, the guitars sounded open, sparkling, and rich. Not too thick, not too bright... just right really.

I've often wanted to try them again and see what comes of it.

I've often wanted to pick up anothe
Old 1st November 2010
  #26
Gear Guru
Tests

I had an opportunity to test this old myth on several occasions. i.e. Older is better.
I tested an old silver EB, a black EB, a BULS, and a XL. All were clustered together as close as possible at the sweet spot of a Martin acoustic.
The result was very clear and simple. They got progressively worse.
Anyone visiting engineer who heard the files came to the same conclusion.
Ditto, 84/184. No doubt whatsoever.
IMHO it is more likely the electronics, particularly the absence of transformers etc. which causes this. The older mics are usually very simple. Cap,FET, Traffo.

DD
Old 1st November 2010
  #27
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Tube World's Avatar
All the 414's I have heard were transformerless. They seem to be pretty flat across the spectrum which make the silver ones or ULS good for instruments for a very even sound. Like I said before the newer gold ones have a raise that is designed for vocals. When I visited Dale Pro Audio in NYC they had the gold 414 and I tried my vocals through it with a Pend. channel strip and it sounded amazing. I would think if they previously had a transformer, it would be similar to a comparison of a AT 4033 (transformerless) and 4047 (transformer built in). Bascially the 4047 has more weight in the lower mids. I would not say one is better than the other; it really comes down to the application and what your looking for.
Old 6th November 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
IMHO it is more likely the electronics, particularly the absence of transformers etc. which causes this. The older mics are usually very simple. Cap,FET, Traffo.

DD
You really REALLY think it wasn't the CK12 capsule.... It was the EBs electronics???? Not that the electronics weren't better as well. But...

Wow...

Seriously, wow.

There is a top end on a CK12 that no mic has yet been able to capture. If I were you, I would test a bit more with that EB CK12 model you have...

Its just not even close. If you couldn't hear it, try again.
Old 6th November 2010
  #29
Gear Guru
C12

The EB I tested was a 414EB, silver. I am not sure what capsule it has.
Can a 12 be identified by viewing through the grille. I can take a peep, it is in a friends house nearby. The differences from then on appear to be elecronics only, i.e. more and more. They are still very strong very easily audible differences. Regrettably they are all downhill, although I hate to have to provide fuel for that 'older is better' fire. Fact is though, my tests of 414's and 84's are unequivocal. Older is better.
Now turning that opinion on my own situation, hey, I'm getting better every day....heh
DD
Old 6th November 2010
  #30
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Haz-Mat-Strat's Avatar
 

I just recently recapped a 414EB and changed out the capsule to Tim Campbell's CT12. The mic sounded so much better than with the Nylon CK12. There was an added depth and detail that is missing in the nylon capsule.

I did compare the CT12 to an original brass CK12 and they sound very close. The tone and action of the capsule was almost identical. The particular capsule Tim sent me was a slightly darker capsule that he tuned specifically for me. The CK12 was slightly brighter (2db @ 8k). When I added the 2db eq they sounded identical.

It is widely known that the brass CK12 capsules did not have a consistency in sound and tuning. Very few sounded identical and even the tuning between the two membranes even on the same capsule could be different. Some sounded good some had that Holy Grail tone.

The 414EB is one of the warmer sounding 414 variants. The age of these mics are such that they need capacitors changed to optimize the circuit. The ones I have serviced showed an overall sonic improvement and stability in the voltage specs.

I have an old 414eb that I bought in the early 80's. It had a nylon capsule. The nylon capsule is very consistant however when compared to the brass CK12, side by side:

thumbsup Brass kicks Asx stike




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