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AKG 414 vs Neumann u87 vs AT 4050
Old 1st September 2015
  #1
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AKG 414 vs Neumann u87 vs AT 4050

Ok so I am about to buy one of these mics... has anybody tried all three? has anybody tried two? I would love to hear from you

I should also add that I will be recording vocals and guitars with the mics and am mainly interested in the omni patterns available on them



thanks!

Last edited by attaboy_jhb; 1st September 2015 at 12:52 PM..
Old 1st September 2015
  #2
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matucha's Avatar
C414s vary quite a bit model to model. I like the old ones (COMB, EB, B-ULS). There is a big difference with capsules, old brass one is very desirable with famous smooth bright sound. B-ULS has only the new capsule which is duller, but very usefull too. The same capsule in EB sounds darkish. It's great for taming agressive highmids. U87 is effectively the opposite of AKG sound, more focussed on midrange with pronounced presence in highmids. Complementary mics.

I've never used AT mics....
Old 1st September 2015
  #3
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

I own a 414EB and have owned a U87ai. For what you describe the Neumann would be a better fit. It works on more sources and sounds like a record.
Old 1st September 2015
  #4
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jpgerard's Avatar
If you're going to use those mics in Omni... I strongly suggest getting a proper Omni. LD dual diaphragm capsules in Omni have poor consistency off axis. Out of the 3, the 414 is my fav in Omni, but I haven't tried the current XLII or XLS, I can only vouch for the 414, 414E, EB, B-ULS and TL(-II). The Neumann has an odd off axis response in Omni, useable I guess, but nowhere near the performance of a good SD Omni. The AT is not bad but I still prefer the 414 B-ULS.
Old 1st September 2015
  #5
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The U87 and the AT4050 are very similar mics. I owned two U87s and one AT4050. Only sold the AT4050 because it was so similar to the U87 and clients always went for the Neumann name. If you are on a budget and want that sound I would definitely opt for the AT4050.

I have 2 AKG 414EB P48 mics. Very flat response and nothing like the U87 or AT4050. Very good workhorse mic that I have used on electric and acoustic guitars, as well as drum overheads. Even on vocals with some EQ.
Old 1st September 2015
  #6
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I own all three with the 414 being the comb model and the 87 being an iA.

I'd go with 87 if I were you.

My logic is.
The 414 can shine above all, but can also fail miseribly.
The 4050 works on everything, but rarely shines.
The 87 has the biggest shine wheel house, and still works on almost everything.

A poster above mentioned the 4050 being like the 87. I cannot disagree more. Way diff to me.

Good luck.
Old 1st September 2015
  #7
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I've used the modern U87 and the 4050. While I do find them to be similiar sounding, I think the U87 is a little warmer in the lowmids, maybe due to the transformer. With that said, the 4050 is a great deal. It's pretty neutral and works with nearly any source.
Old 1st September 2015
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgerard View Post
If you're going to use those mics in Omni... I strongly suggest getting a proper Omni. LD dual diaphragm capsules in Omni have poor consistency off axis. Out of the 3, the 414 is my fav in Omni, but I haven't tried the current XLII or XLS, I can only vouch for the 414, 414E, EB, B-ULS and TL(-II). The Neumann has an odd off axis response in Omni, useable I guess, but nowhere near the performance of a good SD Omni. The AT is not bad but I still prefer the 414 B-ULS.
Oh ok so nothing beats a SDC omni mic then?
Old 1st September 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I've used the modern U87 and the 4050. While I do find them to be similiar sounding, I think the U87 is a little warmer in the lowmids, maybe due to the transformer. With that said, the 4050 is a great deal. It's pretty neutral and works with nearly any source.
it is a great deal indeed and I have never heard bad feedback on it...it might just be the winner

thanks!
Old 2nd September 2015
  #10
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kennybro's Avatar
I've got 2 old U87's, 2 414EB's and I use a 4050 at another studio fairly regularly.
Definitely, the 87 and 4050 are more alike one another than either one is alike to your average 414EB.
87 and 4050 are balanced and honest. 87 is a bit smoother than 4050 in mid lows and more useful across the spectrum of need.
414 is much brighter in a really nice way.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #11
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

The 414 is a great instrument mic...bright and picks up more room sound. The better your room, the better it'll sound. I also agree the 4050 and the u87 are similar. Kind of like how the '57 and sm7 are similar. With the u87 being the sm7. They perform well on the same sources, the 87 just does everything better and smoother, with a better off axis response. They even have similar rejection qualities.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #12
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TobyToby's Avatar
 

Yes, similar in a way that both are microphones, yawn, but U87 and AT4050 are not showing resemblance in tonal characteristics

The U87 provides its known properties, bold mids and the Neumann timbre. The AT4050 is a good and rather flat sounding multi purpose allround mic

To get an idea (needs level matching)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS9vtL0JzNM


To me, the only significant similarities I could pick up from this thread so far are either based on deafness or fairy tales

Last edited by TobyToby; 2nd September 2015 at 04:25 AM..
Old 2nd September 2015
  #13
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TobyToby's Avatar
 

double post

Last edited by TobyToby; 2nd September 2015 at 04:53 AM..
Old 2nd September 2015
  #14
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Why omni?
Old 2nd September 2015
  #15
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DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Oh ok so nothing beats a SDC omni mic then?
Yep. Be aware, though, that there are a few multi-pattern SDCs, which can give good results in both cardioid and omni and maybe do a lot of what you'd be able to with an LDC. The Shure KSM-141 is a terrific mic and quite affordable, and for more money (a lot more), the Schoeps Mk5 capsule is world-class on any acoustic source. Either would be a brilliant addition to any studio and give you the unmatchable naturalness and spatial feel of a good omni.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCtoDaylight View Post
Yep. Be aware, though, that there are a few multi-pattern SDCs, which can give good results in both cardioid and omni and maybe do a lot of what you'd be able to with an LDC. The Shure KSM-141 is a terrific mic and quite affordable, and for more money (a lot more), the Schoeps Mk5 capsule is world-class on any acoustic source. Either would be a brilliant addition to any studio and give you the unmatchable naturalness and spatial feel of a good omni.
ok so this mk5 is just a capsule right... you still need a microphone?
Old 2nd September 2015
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Why omni?
I keep reading that omni gives a more balanced sound on acoustic instruments, especially in the low end as there is no proximity effect. Also, I always feel that cardioid mics tend to highlight some part of the guitar more than others. I would like to try omni pattern mics to see what they sound like.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #18
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jpgerard's Avatar
"Oh ok so nothing beats a SDC omni mic then?"

Well if you want an Omni, and a relatively flat one too, a small single diaphragm design will always be better than any dual, larger diaph design. Regardless of what the marketing geniuses say, you can't really bend the laws oh physics. DPA make the best medium/large sized Omnis today, but they're probably over your budget. If you need a multipattern mic, you have the choice between the flexibility of a LDC with electrically switchable patterns, or a SDC with interchangeable capsules. If you just want a good Omni, buy a pencil SDC with fixed Omni capsule. You need to be very clear about what you want to invest in... but I guarantee that a good SDC Omni will always come in handy in your mic collection. So would a good multipattern LDC, but I'm pretty sure that it will cost a bit more money.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #19
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
I keep reading that omni gives a more balanced sound on acoustic instruments, especially in the low end as there is no proximity effect. Also, I always feel that cardioid mics tend to highlight some part of the guitar more than others. I would like to try omni pattern mics to see what they sound like.
Depends on the situation. An omni or omni pattern will pick up a LOT more ambiance which can make it sound distant and thin. Especially with a poor room. Other times it's just the perfect thing.

Experimenting is cheap, educational, and fun! Dang, I need to copyright that!
Old 2nd September 2015
  #20
Gear Addict
If you're room is good enough to go Omni, get an Earthworks QTC-40
Old 2nd September 2015
  #21
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gutr2's Avatar
 

I've owned both the U87ai and the AKG, but also used the AT4050.

The 4050 is a good inexpensive mic, but I found it a bit too bright and small / boring sounding.
The AKG is a descent workhorse and I often preferred it over the U87 on certain sources. It's a little lean sounding compared to the U87.
The U87 is definitely the best of the lot if I were to pick one. I disagree that it's a neutral mic like others said. It's a very pronounced "Neumann" sound, it's weighty (big) sounding but it can sound tiring in the mid range and I didn't like the highmid boost.

If you only have the cash for the AKG, I'd go with that. I don't think the neumann, although better, is worth 3 times the AKG.

I don't own any of these anymore by the way, hence my slight negative comments.
Good luck!
Old 2nd September 2015
  #22
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DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
ok so this mk5 is just a capsule right... you still need a microphone?
You need an amplifier module - the CMC-6 is the standard pencil-type one. Once you have one or more of them, you can swap capsules around at will.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #23
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Michael Joly's MJE Hulk 990 is a better all rounder than any of your choices, and dirt cheap, yet no compromise is quality, at least compared to your stated options. I prefer it to all of them.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #24
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monkeyxx's Avatar
WOw, cool thread. You might add the Shure KSM44 to the list also, just for four corners. I am curious about all these mics and have owned none of them.

If you need a nice omni SDC for cheap-ish, I can recommend the Avenson STO-2, it's really good.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #25
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Sounds like the 87 is bestest or the brighter 414
Old 3rd September 2015
  #26
Gear Maniac
With a strategically placed sound absorber, I dig an 87 in omni for vocals even in my smallish room, though lately I've been getting into figure 8 of all things. I agree that 414s capture a lot of room character, which didn't work for me in the end.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #27
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Oh ok so nothing beats a SDC omni mic then?
If you need what an omni can do, then nothing beats a single diaphragm pure pressure transducer, yes.

There's a lot of competition here, Sennheiser's MKH 20 and 8020, the Schoeps CMC-mk2, mk2h, mk2s, and mk2xs, Gefell M221 and M296, DPA, Sonodore, Earthworks, Josephson 617, etc. just to name the ones that come immediately to mind. There are of course many many more omni SDCs.

What these omnis can do, is give you a really flat response from 20-20kHz (you'll need that bottom end on things like piano, pipe organs, etc.), and give you a very uncolored off-axis response. They are also excellent at recording everything, including the reflections of the hall. All of them, walls, ceiling, floor, all of it. Good or bad hall, an omni is going to hear it, and you'll record it.

If you don't need the extended bottom end, or the uncolored off-axis behavior, or you're in a small room that doesn't sound particularly nice, an omni might not be what you're after. Just sayin'.

The only way to really know, is to try a few omnis and have a listen.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
If you need what an omni can do, then nothing beats a single diaphragm pure pressure transducer, yes.

There's a lot of competition here, Sennheiser's MKH 20 and 8020, the Schoeps CMC-mk2, mk2h, mk2s, and mk2xs, Gefell M221 and M296, DPA, Sonodore, Earthworks, Josephson 617, etc. just to name the ones that come immediately to mind. There are of course many many more omni SDCs.

What these omnis can do, is give you a really flat response from 20-20kHz (you'll need that bottom end on things like piano, pipe organs, etc.), and give you a very uncolored off-axis response. They are also excellent at recording everything, including the reflections of the hall. All of them, walls, ceiling, floor, all of it. Good or bad hall, an omni is going to hear it, and you'll record it.

If you don't need the extended bottom end, or the uncolored off-axis behavior, or you're in a small room that doesn't sound particularly nice, an omni might not be what you're after. Just sayin'.

The only way to really know, is to try a few omnis and have a listen.
I have a 16 X11ft room and it is about as "treated" as it can be. There is pretty much no free wall space available. Covered in mineral wool 4 inches thick with a 3 inch air gap behind. It is not a dead sounding space because the floor is laminate and sounds very vibe...also I have some diffusers but don´t think they do much for me in my room in all honesty. I guess you´re right though, gotta try it.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
WOw, cool thread. You might add the Shure KSM44 to the list also, just for four corners. I am curious about all these mics and have owned none of them.

If you need a nice omni SDC for cheap-ish, I can recommend the Avenson STO-2, it's really good.
thanks will check it out
Old 3rd September 2015
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCtoDaylight View Post
You need an amplifier module - the CMC-6 is the standard pencil-type one. Once you have one or more of them, you can swap capsules around at will.
not sure I dig the switching capsule vibe...any omni SDC you can recommend under 800 euro?
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