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414s
Old 13th May 2006
  #1
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414s

thinking about purchasing a pair of 414s... how much do they vary from the ones produced 10+ years ago to newer models? someone mentioned to me that the newer 414s sound a little more brittle, but i figured i'd ask for other opinions. thanks.
Old 13th May 2006
  #2
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Do a search of this forum. This topic has been covered to death here. I just bought one of the newer ones and am quite happy with it. I never heard the older ones so I can't give you a good answer.
Old 14th May 2006
  #3
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i did a search, and couldn't find what i was looking for, so i thought i'd ask. so if you'd kindly maybe point me in the right direction, thatd be awesome.

thanks again
Old 14th May 2006
  #4
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Basically, what are you using these on? Generally I would rarely put a vocalist infront of a nerwer 414, but there are many things that I would. Snare bottom is good. Front of kick is good. Overheads can be good depending. Acoustic guitar is good. Piano is good.

It just all depends.
Old 14th May 2006
  #5
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http://www.saturn-sound.com/Curio's/story%20of%20the%20akg%20c414.htm

From the "Famous" C12 to ........

It all started when the famous AKG C12, valve classic, was superceded by the C12a. Rather then using the 6072/12AY7 valve, as in the C12, the C12a utilsing a miniature "Nuvistor" type valve. This, together with smaller/modern components, enabled the body of the C12a to be very much smaller then it's predecessor. The C12a was our first introduction to the famous rectangular box shape that we have come to recognise as a kind of "trademark" from AKG.

When AKG introduced their modern semiconductor designs, the prefix of the figure 4 was utilised. The first microphone to carry the new number scheme, being the C412 i.e. a semiconductor version of the C12/C12a. Still using the same CK12 capsule as that in the C12 and C12a. The C412, had 2 on board switches. One for polar pattern selection, the other for attenuation. There seems to be various "Attenuator/Pad" levels e.g -10dB & -20dB, throughout the history of units produced. However ..... as the attenuator was purely a potential divider in the output stage of the microphone, there still were minor problems with distortion, as the FET amplifier could be still easily be over-driven by high SPL's. The C412 had only 3 switchable polar patterns i.e. Omni, cardioid and fig'8. Whereas, the C12 and C12a had 9 possible polar pattern settings. This was OK for some users, but many found this a move backwards. The BBC, one of AKG's respected/influential customers, found that the C412 was unable to fill the place of the C12/C12a, as 3 polar patterns were insufficient for many applications. After much back and forth conversation's between the BBC and AKG, and other users, an up-dated version of the C412 was introduced. Basically the same as the C412, with an improved attenuator i.e pre-FET amplifier stage, and more importantly, the addition of a Hyper-cardioid polar pattern. As this new microphone had 4 polar patterns, the last digit of the older C412, was changed to a 4 i.e C414. Thus the start of the C414 series of microphones.

The C414 was available in 2 versions. Either, the C414E, with cannon type connector or, the C414C with a connector to the "Din standard". The C414 proved be a strong competitor to the Neumann U77 and U87. The U77, being Neumann's first semiconductor version of the U87. Note that the U77 was one of Neumann's earliest microphones with a transformer-less output stage. Mainly due, to the 12volt "T" powering technique used at that time..

The next version of the C414, was the C414EB. Much the same as the C414, with the addition of a 3 position Attenuator switch (0,-10,-20dB) and 3 position Bass roll-off switch (Flat, 75, 150Hz). One of the major, long term, improvements, was that of the connector type. Since the introduction of the C12a, including the C412 and C414, a stand mount/connector combination had been used for mounting, and electrical connection, of the microphone. This would prove to be very unreliable throughout it's life, so the introduction of a built-in cannon type connector on the C414EB, was of great benefit to all users.

During the production years of the C414EB, manufacture of the "original" CK12 capsule ceased and a modern nylon version (2072-Z-0005) was introduced. This replacement would never live up to the standard of the famous CK12, that had previously made AKG large capsule microphones so wonderful. The tonal qualities of the nylon CK12, are just so different from it's predecessor.

A remote control version of the C414EB was produced. Known as the C414E1. This would be very useful in "Fixed Rig" situations, as the polar patterns were remotely adjustable via the S42E1 remote control box. The S42E1, offered 9 polar patterns and facilities for 2 microphones. The C414E1 looked identical to the C414EB, without the polar pattern switch. The housing used, was that of the C414EB. Hence it still had C414EB stamped on it, with the addition of the word Remote, where the polar pattern switch would have been. The capsule and pre-amplifier, were the same as that used in the C414EB. However, the polarising voltages, for both sides/faces of the capsule, were derived from a DC/DC converter in the phantom powered S42E1 box.

The "Digital Age" was now upon us, and the need for quieter microphones was very apparent. Enter the C414EB-P48. Until this time, the previous C412 & C414 series of microphones, could be powered from any "Phantom" power supply, offering +12 to +52 volts. However, the C414EB-P48, was designed to work purely on +48v phantom supplies. The polarising voltage for the capsule, is taken from the +48v supply via very high value resistors and high voltage tantalum reservoir capacitors., rather then the previous way of using a DC/DC converter. The tantalum capacitors were to be a fault liability in the "long term".

A new model, the C414B-ULS, was the next microphone to emerge. The suffix ULS, denoting that the microphone had a "completely linear transfer characteristic of all transmission parameters". Looking just like a black/matt version of a C414EB, the C414B-ULS offered better performance figures and reliability, then the C414EB-P48. The electronics took on a highly complex design. Utilising no less then 17 transistors, as opposed to the previous 4 transistors in earlier designs. Whether or not this maze of components could improve the sound quality, would be food for thought. However, we did see the return of the DC/DC converter for polarising the capsule.

Getting the iron out of the audio signal i.e. no coupling transformers, was all the rage at this time. The C414B-TL (Transformer Less) version of the C414B-ULS was introduced. Offering less distortion at high SPL's then the C414B-ULS. Sounding somewhat dryer and more clinical then it's predecessor.

AKG were to re-create the sound of the original CK12 capsule, in a new nylon version (2072-Z-0009), similar to that already in production. This new capsule was to be used in the "Gold Grill" C414B-TLII, also in the C12-VR, valve microphone. The only audible difference, between the TL and TLII, being a "Presence" boost.

Currently, we have the "New Look" C414B-XLS, and a transformer-less version, the C414B-XLII. Many new features are found on these units. The capsule being mounted on a internal elastic suspension system, rather then the previous fixed block method. Logic circuitry is used for switching of all parameters. With LED display of chosen settings and overload. A big difference, is the provision of a 5th polar pattern i.e. Soft Cardioid. Therefore, I wonder why the microphone was not called the C415B, following the tradition of the last digit being the amount of fixed polar patterns available. Who knows ?
Old 15th May 2006
  #6
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thanks for the help!

i'll be using it mostly for OH's and vocals.
Old 15th May 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaka89
thanks for the help!

i'll be using it mostly for OH's and vocals.

I use mine for Snare, Kick, Electic Guitar, and Acoustics. It is definatly not my go to vocal mic, but I'm sure that it could be used for that if the voice is right.

You might want to check out some of the Audio Technica mics. I just recently purchased the AT 4033, AT4041's, and the AT4050. I been thoroughly impressed.
Old 15th May 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummin4christ
I use mine for Snare, Kick, Electic Guitar, and Acoustics. It is definatly not my go to vocal mic, but I'm sure that it could be used for that if the voice is right.

You might want to check out some of the Audio Technica mics. I just recently purchased the AT 4033, AT4041's, and the AT4050. I been thoroughly impressed.
I think you hit it on the cheek (not quite the nose )

I like the 414s on under snare, Front of Kick, Electric Guitar, though some acoustics I find just don't seem happy with the 414. For overheads they are fine just wasn't my cup of tea for my last session I used them on (too bright). I was looking for a dark rock tone for the drums and what I got was not so much...
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