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Preamp for AKG 414B-XLS
Old 8th September 2006
  #1
Preamp for AKG 414B-XLS

So,

I traded in my Grace 101's and bought a AEA R92 and AEA TRP. I also own a AEA R84. Just plugged in the AEA TRP and tried it and am very happy. So, I think I got the ribbon mic preamp problem solved (unless and until I get an appropriate tube preamp)

Now, for my AKG 414B-XLS. I have two (not stereo matched). I know a lot of people around here are not wild about them, but I like them a lot and have tried my fair share of condensers: TLM 103 (awful) AT 4040 (nice, but the bump at around 5k was a little too much), Rode NT1A (quiet but not that musical sounding). I like the AKGs for their versatility (SIX POLAR PATTERNS), their quietness, and their fairly neutral musicality. So................I want a two channel preamp that suits them. Definitely something that keeps that neutral sound or even darkens it a tad. Any recommedations? DI capabiity is a plus.

For what it's worth, I liked the Grace's, but I really thought that something was going on in the high end that I didn't like. Can't explain it......Thanks.........
Old 8th September 2006
  #2
Okay, I just wanted to add that I tried my AEA TRP again just now. All, I can say is.............FANTASTIC!!
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Hey...you could get an in-line phantom unit...I think AKG or Neumann make one, and use the TRP. Other than that, I've had great success with AKG C414s with API pres, as well as as the Portico (with "silk" engaged), and Hardy's.
Old 8th September 2006
  #4
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danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post
So,

I traded in my Grace 101's and bought a AEA R92 and AEA TRP.

Now, for my AKG 414B-XLS. I want a two channel preamp that suits them.

...
You could get a phantom power supply and use the TRP.

edit:

Audio Technica AT8506

http://www.atlasproaudio.com/gearcombos.html

Last edited by danasti; 8th September 2006 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: include the unit and link
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

DAV BG-1 will do what you are looking for...neutral, but will "pretty color" it a bit.

Ive got 22 channels and have 2 to spare of my DAVs, so if you want to borrow one, Ill send it out to you..
Teddy
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Teddy,

That's a very kind and generous offer. But I'm way too reckless/sloppy a person to borrow gear. As for the external phantom power supply idea......

Well it says right on the AEA TRP not to externally supply phantom power, however I saw a thread on the 3db audio forum in which Fred Forssel, the TRP designer said it was okay, providing XYZ.....

So, I just need a techie person to recommend an external phantom unit that won't hurt my TRP or my AKG's and I'm off.....
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post
Teddy,

That's a very kind and generous offer. But I'm way too reckless/sloppy a person to borrow gear. As for the external phantom power supply idea......

Well it says right on the AEA TRP not to externally supply phantom power, however I saw a thread on the 3db audio forum in which Fred Forssel, the TRP designer said it was okay, providing XYZ.....

So, I just need a techie person to recommend an external phantom unit that won't hurt my TRP or my AKG's and I'm off.....
but you said you needed a "neutral" pre with a touch of "vibe", right??does the AEA have any "color"???isnt it squeaky clean?

I love the AKG and AT phantom power modules.

I dont mind sending it out to you, Seriously..and it is very rugged, you wont break it.
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by danasti View Post
You could get a phantom power supply and use the TRP.

edit:

Audio Technica AT8506

http://www.atlasproaudio.com/gearcombos.html
I'm sure Mercenary (or was it Atlas) knows what they're doing. But are you SURE you can use that AT8506 phantom power supply with AEA TRP when using condesners. It says right there on the preamp not to use external phantom power...................
Old 8th September 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post
I'm sure Mercenary (or was it Atlas) knows what they're doing. But are you SURE you can use that AT8506 phantom power supply with AEA TRP when using condesners. It says right there on the preamp not to use external phantom power...................
that seems like a no brainer..then dont use external phantom... they did build it after all..

get another preamp.
Old 9th September 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post
I'm sure Mercenary (or was it Atlas) knows what they're doing. But are you SURE you can use that AT8506 phantom power supply with AEA TRP when using condesners. It says right there on the preamp not to use external phantom power...................
Using the AT8506 or other properly designed phantom units won't damage either your condensor microphones or the TRP.

From the designer, Fred Forssell:
"As I mentioned above, you can use external phantom power supply boxes with the TRP, but only IF the external supply provides DC blocking at its output (the connection to the mic preamp's input). I know nothing about such products made by other companies, but it makes sense to me that they should provide DC blocking at their outputs. However, if they do not provide such DC blocking, you can make your own DC blocking adapater."

That statement basically absolves AEA if you choose to buy/use a crap phantom unit.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #11
I haven't read all of the responses, but the DW Fearn mic pre is my fav for the C414 on a lot of things. It smooths it out and fattens it up, but the detail remains. A great combo, imo.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
Hey...you could get an in-line phantom unit...I think AKG or Neumann make one, and use the TRP. Other than that, I've had great success with AKG C414s with API pres, as well as as the Portico (with "silk" engaged), and Hardy's.
I've got an eighties AKG phantom box if someone needs one. Negotiable, of course.

414's work with any preamp. I've never used one with a preamp and thought "gee, it really doesn't work with this one!"
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhitney View Post
I haven't read all of the responses, but the DW Fearn mic pre is my fav for the C414 on a lot of things. It smooths it out and fattens it up, but the detail remains. A great combo, imo.

Fully agree with you - I've been using that combo extensively (mainly on toms) and I can say it shines in many situations...
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Well,

That's good news that I can run phantom power externally in-line to the AEA TRP. That Atlasprosound phantom power unit has four channels. Really only need two. Can anyone recommend a unit? Do you think I'd lose anything in terms of sound/S/N ratio by using external phantom and the additional cabling?

As for the Fearn, it's obviously a great unit. But more than I can afford right now, especially the two-channel pre.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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jackinthebox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.RayBullard View Post
DAV BG-1 will do what you are looking for...neutral, but will "pretty color" it a bit.

Ive got 22 channels and have 2 to spare of my DAVs, so if you want to borrow one, Ill send it out to you..
Teddy
i agree. best value for money and it's transient response would suit the clarity of the 414s.
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Well,

if memory serves, Teddy may be sending me a BG-1 on loan. If I like it half as much as the DAV-worshippers around here, I'll probably buy one. On the other hand the AEA TRP is FANTASTIC and if I can get as good a sound out of my 414''s using it with an external phantom power supply box, then I might just stick with that and maybe save a few$$$
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #17
hi..

I still have 2x AKG N66e (they go here for 1100$!! ) and 4x prefer E730 6 channel phantompower units, with a symetrical modification.

this is not secondhand gear classified

cheers
Old 10th September 2006 | Show parent
  #18
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Necola View Post

this is not secondhand gear classified

cheers
Yeah, sorry for that, too.

I only mentioned it to help out the original poster. It's not worth enough that I care if anyone buys it or not.

I won't do it again, I promise!

Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Okay, but how about a two channel phantom power unit that'll won't mess up the AEA TRP. Any recommendations? AKG N62E looks good, but its discontinued. None on ebay right now. Would that work with my AEA TRP? Would the signal path be high-end clean?

Actually, here's one on ebay (looks different from the one on the AKG site).

http://cgi.ebay.com/AKG-Phantom-Powe...QQcmdZViewItem

Whadaya think?

Last edited by PHILANDDON; 11th September 2006 at 03:40 PM.. Reason: add website
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post

Actually, here's one on ebay (looks different from the one on the AKG site).

http://cgi.ebay.com/AKG-Phantom-Powe...QQcmdZViewItem
That's the one I have. I works great. At least I've never had a problem with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post

Well it says right on the AEA TRP not to externally supply phantom power, however I saw a thread on the 3db audio forum in which Fred Forssel, the TRP designer said it was okay, providing XYZ.....

So, I just need a techie person to recommend an external phantom unit that won't hurt my TRP or my AKG's and I'm off.....
Do you have a link to this?

I tried searching over there but couldn't come up with it. I'm curious about what the issues could be.
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #21
I dunno what the issue is, but if you go to the AEA website they have a picture of the TRP with the warning right on it. It occurred to me that AEA might be worried about people dumb enough to externally supply phantom power to ribbon or dynamic mics....................

Here's the 3db audio forum link in which Fred Forssel, the designer of the AEA TRP, discusses under what circumstances you can use an external phantom power box with the AEA TRP.:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=8982
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Here we go:

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred forsell at 3D audio
There is no internal phantom power available with the TRP and it has no phantom blocking caps at its input. Therefore, if you use an external phantom power box this box needs to provide the DC blocking caps. Because the TRP have VERY high input impedance, these caps can be quite small (like 3.3 - 10 MFD/63v) and wired into an XLR barrel connector or had made cable, should the external phantom power box not provide the blocking. Also custom external high voltage DPA/B&K supplies (with DC blocking) can also be used with good success.
So it should be a simple matter of checking for the blocking caps or wiring some up.

I'll pull the lid off my AKG tonight and see if they're in there.
Old 12th September 2006 | Show parent
  #23
I sent an email to AEA about this and got:

"Hi, We do not recommend a Phantom box or using one with the TRP but... if this has a transformer output (The only type that is really safe) you should be ok."

So I have a real DUMB question. Does "transformer output" mean AC? I noticed Fred Forssel talks about the necessity of blocking DC current to the TRP. I'd be using the preamp at home so an AC phantom power unit would work just find for me.

It'd be nice to save all that money and get a great sound on the AKG's with external phantom power rather than buying another preamp (probably the DAV BG-1).

Thanks everyone!!
Old 12th September 2006 | Show parent
  #24
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

man,...another preamp is just another tool to work with! why limit yourself?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILANDDON View Post
I sent an email to AEA about this and got:

"Hi, We do not recommend a Phantom box or using one with the TRP but... if this has a transformer output (The only type that is really safe) you should be ok."

So I have a real DUMB question. Does "transformer output" mean AC? I noticed Fred Forssel talks about the necessity of blocking DC current to the TRP. I'd be using the preamp at home so an AC phantom power unit would work just find for me.

It'd be nice to save all that money and get a great sound on the AKG's with external phantom power rather than buying another preamp (probably the DAV BG-1).

Thanks everyone!!
Old 12th September 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #26
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max cooper's Avatar
 

so here's the guts of the AKG external phantom box in case anyone can get this sussed out.

The model number on the bottom is N-62E

I couldn't come up with a schematic, but I could perhaps be coerced into pulling the board if anyone needs to see the inverse side. I think desoldering the resistors at the output will free it up.
Attached Thumbnails
Preamp for AKG 414B-XLS-48v1.jpg  
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #27
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Here's the output end closer up:
Attached Thumbnails
Preamp for AKG 414B-XLS-48v2.jpg  
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #28
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Here's the outside of the box so you know we're looking at the same thing. Only products from Germany are allowed to be that color.

DPA's little box looks slick:

http://www.dpamicrophones.com/

I dunno how much it is, but it's 9V powered which is always attractive to me. I guess I think it's gonna be less likely to throw interference into the line.

AKG's new box is also 9V powered.

http://www.akg-acoustics.com/product...uage,ENUS.html
Attached Thumbnails
Preamp for AKG 414B-XLS-akg.jpg  
Old 14th September 2006 | Show parent
  #29
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

I do not hear a fav preamp for the 414, so you guys have give me so many ideas, thank you gearslutz..
Old 14th September 2006 | Show parent
  #30
So what's the word anyone:

Can I go from my AKG 414's into the AKG N62E phantom power box into my AEA TRP without hurting the AEA TRP (or my mics, of course)?.

Once again, gotta say I'm very happy with the sound of my AEA TRP, so if I can get the same sound off it with my condensers I say why not......................
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