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What's the best sounding AKG 414? Condenser Microphones
Old 10th January 2009
  #1
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What's the best sounding AKG 414?

What's the best sounding AKG 414 for a fat, darker (less presence) sound?
Old 10th January 2009
  #2
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414 EB with the CK12 capsule
They are pretty hard to find and generally they need a bit of work on them
Old 11th January 2009
  #3
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Player1

Any second best choice?
Old 11th January 2009
  #4
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B ULS
Old 11th January 2009
  #5
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The C12a heh
Old 11th January 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diegofficial View Post
B ULS
thumbsup. love it
Old 11th January 2009
  #7
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A handful of replys and 3 different answers already.

We have some ULS & TLIIs over here. When Siggy is in tracking, & asks for a 414 on something, he says they don't sound like 414s. He is used to the old silver EBs.

Good stuff:
Story of the AKG C414
Old 11th January 2009
  #8
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You are not gonna go wrong with any of the 414 models. The only one I would advise you watch out for is the TLii which has a hyped top end and may not suit everything as well as the others.

Peace

G
Old 11th January 2009
  #9
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The brass capsuled EBs and Combs are probably my fave but an EB with a Teflon capsule is still fantastic! Both are underpriced on the used market IMO.
Old 11th January 2009
  #10
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ULS
Old 11th January 2009
  #11
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B ULS is the worst, Tinny bad sounding. The TL II's have more on the very high end, but does not sound as harsh.

The C414's up until the EB (C412, C414, C414B) is the only true world class mics of the lot. Mid-way in the EB production, they stopped using the original CK-12 capsules.
The EB's thereafter is still pretty useable.

So theres A, B, EB, P48, ULS, TL, AND XL-series electronics and
CK-12, Teflon and CK-12VR(TLII, XLII) capsule variations which mainly makes up the differences amongst the 414's.
Old 11th January 2009
  #12
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Player1

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffhen View Post
B ULS is the worst, Tinny bad sounding. The TL II's have more on the very high end, but does not sound as harsh.

The C414's up until the EB (C412, C414, C414B) is the only true world class mics of the lot. Mid-way in the EB production, they stopped using the original CK-12 capsules.
The EB's thereafter is still pretty useable.

So theres A, B, EB, P48, ULS, TL, AND XL-series electronics and
CK-12, Teflon and CK-12VR(TLII, XLII) capsule variations which mainly makes up the differences amongst the 414's.
Wow! I amazed at all the different 414's. I own several high quality mics and I have always steered away from the 414 to get mics with more top end. The time has come for a mic with more girth and darker. I thought that would be the 414 but I'm not so sure now. So to sum up the 414 question, which 414 would be the richest model with out the hyped top end. Also any other suggestions, for a little darker, fat sounding mic? I would like to use this for the bottom snare position in particular.
Old 11th January 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player1 View Post
Wow! I amazed at all the different 414's. I own several high quality mics and I have always steered away from the 414 to get mics with more top end. The time has come for a mic with more girth and darker. I thought that would be the 414 but I'm not so sure now. So to sum up the 414 question, which 414 would be the richest model with out the hyped top end. Also any other suggestions, for a little darker, fat sounding mic? I would like to use this for the bottom snare position in particular.
If that's the case get an original Gefell UM70. It will give you everything you are asking for in this post.

btw a real 414EB with the CK12 capsule sounds almost like a Sony C37A (tube mic) IMHO. So those EB/CK12 versions are the 414 I would go after... expect to pay 2K for one now though! Or 1K for the Gefell...

Best of luck!
Old 11th January 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diegofficial View Post
B ULS
Love Em !!!

ps: i did not care to much for the C-214 which was suppose to be a lot like the 414, too much high sizzle.
Old 11th January 2009
  #15
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I have an old EB P48 with the teflon capsule. It sounds really good on vox. Rich & round with a nice, kind of silky top end. I never liked some of the newer 414 -but I have not tried all models.
Old 11th January 2009
  #16
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XL-Series
C 414 B-XL II

C 414 B-XLS
Old 11th January 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player1 View Post
which 414 would be the richest model with out the hyped top end.
Brass-capsule 414, hands down. You have to search to find a good one because most of the old capsules have deteriorated. The one I have is very lush with harmonic overtones and sounds more rich than any solid state mic I've used (including U-47FET). I've never heard a modern mic with that kind of character either.
Right now is the time to buy! They were going for over $2K a few months ago but I picked one up recently for $1K and someone was selling one here recently for the same price. I'm hesitant to talk about them because I want to buy a couple more in the future and I don't want to create any competition! heh

Once again though, there's a lot of good 414s out there, but the brass caps are just the richest w/o a hyped top. I wouldn't choose that version if I wanted something accurate.
Old 11th January 2009
  #18
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i'm thinking of buying a pair of the new 414s.

can anyone tell me what the difference is between the XLII and XLS?

i've read everything on the AKG site and for the life of me can't discern the difference. the published specs are identical, so what's the difference in the SOUND?
Old 11th January 2009
  #19
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are you shure you've read BOTH spec sites (incl frequency graphs) and not one twice? *gg*

the pages say clearly:

AKG C414 B-XLS -> neutral, universal applications
KG C414 B-XLII -> more high end, especially for recording of solo vocals and solo instruments

BUT i don't know the mics in person so i could not tell you how they sound... so please don't blame me if AKG's description is wrong *gg*
Old 11th January 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaVogi View Post
are you shure you've read BOTH spec sites (incl frequency graphs) and not one twice? *gg*

the pages say clearly:

AKG C414 B-XLS -> neutral, universal applications
KG C414 B-XLII -> more high end, especially for recording of solo vocals and solo instruments

BUT i don't know the mics in person so i could not tell you how they sound... so please don't blame me if AKG's description is wrong *gg*
Sounds like the same thing they always said about the ULS and ULS TLII. I imagine the differences would be the same as those with the XLII being the brighter (potentially harsher) of the two just like the TLII was.
Old 11th January 2009
  #21
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Player1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
If that's the case get an original Gefell UM70. It will give you everything you are asking for in this post.

btw a real 414EB with the CK12 capsule sounds almost like a Sony C37A (tube mic) IMHO. So those EB/CK12 versions are the 414 I would go after... expect to pay 2K for one now though! Or 1K for the Gefell...

Best of luck!
I own two Gefell UM 70s already and they are fairly bright. I love these mics, especially for overheads, but I thought it would be nice to have something thicker sounding.
Old 12th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player1 View Post
I own two Gefell UM 70s already and they are fairly bright. I love these mics, especially for overheads, but I thought it would be nice to have something thicker sounding.
I own a UMT70s (which will of course be a bit different than your UM70s) but I find that the UMT70s is all about the mids. Absurdly smooth and musical mids. They do not have a big bottom end thickness or extension IMO so I think you are justified in looking elsewhere for the "thick" thing. thumbsup

Why must it be a 414 though? You might do better with a tube LDC for "thick"...
Old 12th January 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PheelTheMusic View Post
I own a UMT70s (which will of course be a bit different than your UM70s) but I find that the UMT70s is all about the mids. Absurdly smooth and musical mids. They do not have a big bottom end thickness or extension IMO so I think you are justified in looking elsewhere for the "thick" thing. thumbsup

Why must it be a 414 though? You might do better with a tube LDC for "thick"...
I'm not hung up on an AKG at all. I primarily looking for a little darker, thicker tone for the snare bottom mic. I have warm tube mics already but there's space issues that steer me away from using larger tube mics there. I'm open to suggestions, I just trying to get away from more of the brittleness of my current bottom snare choices. I've tried, Audix I5, Audio Technica 4050, Oktava 012. I use the bottom to blend but I don't want to take away from the fat snare tone I'm getting trying to induce the snare tone in to the mix. I would prefer to do this with out having to EQ.
Old 12th January 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
But I would be concerned that all the capsules are pretty much shot at this point. Can they be properly restored? I did not have a good experience with that.
No, can't be restored. You have to get it from someone reputable. Have them guarantee, as part of the sale, that it passes the "breath test" and still has a strong low-end.
If you're uncertain, probbaly better to pass.
Old 12th January 2009
  #25
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a 414 BULS Audio Upgrade modified one of course
ask others who own em and you will know why
Old 12th January 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE View Post
The brass capsuled EBs and Combs are probably my fave but an EB with a Teflon capsule is still fantastic! Both are underpriced on the used market IMO.
How does one know which EB's had the Teflon capsule? Did any of the P48's have them?
Old 12th January 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyToby View Post
I have an old EB P48 with the teflon capsule. It sounds really good on vox. Rich & round with a nice, kind of silky top end. I never liked some of the newer 414 -but I have not tried all models.
ditto
Old 12th January 2009
  #28
Gear Addict
I own the new XL II version and absolutely love it. Great for vocals, acoustic guitar and a few other things. It's brighter than the XLS, but definately not harsh. I rarely need to use EQ on vocals when I use this mic. Since purchasing this mic, I have rarely used my other LDC (AT 4050). BTW, I rented a (new model) U87 a while ago to have as an option for a male singer I was recording but we both agreed that the 414 XL II suited his voice better.

Just read the OP saying they are looking for a darker mic with less presence - sorry, this would not the the one as it has a fair bit of presence

Last edited by captainj; 12th January 2009 at 10:50 AM.. Reason: oops!
Old 12th January 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
How does one know which EB's had the Teflon capsule? Did any of the P48's have them?
Id you look trough the grille, if you cannot see a white circle of plastic around the capsule, it is a ck12, if you can see it, it is not.

Probably no P48 with CK12, altough I'm not sure. EB's seem to be 50/50, but a lot might be newer replacement capsules.

TLII and XLII does not sound brighter than the ULS and XLS to me.
The new "CK-12" capsules, the ones made for C12 VR/TL II/XL II are notoriously dark sounding capsules. Even if the published specs doesn't quite tell you so.
Old 12th January 2009
  #30
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Here is a review that gives some background on them and compares the XLS and XLII. AKG C414B XLS & XLII

Personally the silver one XLS I like better on instruments as it has a more even freq. response. The XLII I like better for vocals as it gives a little more top end which seems to be the more popular sound these days. Though it has a little more top end, it's not harsh or too bright. Great rock n roll vocal mic.
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