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Akg c414 xls/xlii or mojave ma-201/301? Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd April 2018
  #1
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Akg c414 xls/xlii or mojave ma-201/301?

I'm trying to decide on a great single mic for recording acoustic guitar and male vocals simultaneously. I think I have narrowed it down to the AKG C414 XLS/XLII and Mojave 301 fet (or possibly the 201.)

I like the XLS on everything I could find and think the numerous pattern selections could be helpful using it as a sole mic but the Mojaves also seems to have a great sound too with a little more mojo?

I have a focusrite 2i2 gen 1 and a fairly untreated room, so saving some money on the mic would be great to improve those items, but I don't want to be disappointed in the long run over a hundred or two dollars.

I am a hobbiest recorder but a serious player of 20 years and play out with my Gibson j15, Aer 60/3 and Sennheiser e935 as often as I can. My j15 is
a truly awesome copy and deserves a good mic.

If anyone has an opinion that would be awesome!
Old 22nd April 2018
  #2
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Mojave 301 fet has a flat somewhat v-shaped response. looks voiced very poorly. the xls is presence boosted around 3-4khz. the vocal presence is from 3 to 7khz. so the deeper part of the vocal presence is emphasized more for conventional singing. the xlii focuses more on the 5.5khz region which covers a better region for spoken word type sounds that you'd make with your mouth rather than your throat. I personally use mics for voice over so i would never ever buy the xls. the xlii is ok tho. i like that mic. good choice. i like the tlm 103 a little better but thats heavily presence boosted but smoother. less contoured lumps. xlii is still a ok choice tho. wide cardioid response may sound a little better for singing than cardioid. i really like the rode nt1 big fan of it. similar to the tlm 103 and tlm 67 voicing wise.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #3
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I'm a fan of the flatter response 414's, so personally prefer the XLS.
It's multi-pattern, so Figure 8 would be great!

I also highly respect the new (Black) NT1, it's Gear$lutz so get both!

Chris
Old 22nd April 2018
  #4
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For what it's worth, I just found the Sweetwater mic shootout page and the ma-201 didn't sound very good at all imho. The ma-301 was decent but the AKGs seems better. So maybe it just comes down to the xls or the xlii.

My guitar is on the bright and shimmering side and my voice can be a bit nasal so that's why I am leaning toward the XLS initially in my mind, but I do like the XLII better from what I have listened to. I don't want to make things brighter, but extra clarity is nice.

I've also searched a good bit on the AT4XXXX and don't care for them or the Rodes, they seem all seem a bit strident to me. I'm trying to avoid the complexity of a tube mic, the LCT 940 being the only one that I think is worth it (but is way more than I want to spend)
Old 22nd April 2018
  #5
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Nasal sound comes from a boost starting from 5.5khz and rising to 7-9khz. basically a (upper vocal presence-treble) region rise gives the nasal tone. u87ai is known to have this issue.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
I'm a fan of the flatter response 414's, so personally prefer the XLS.
It's multi-pattern, so Figure 8 would be great!

I also highly respect the new (Black) NT1, it's Gear$lutz so get both!

Chris
I don't know how the NT1 slipped under my radar - I had looked at the NT1-A and wasn't that impressed because it was harsh, but the NT1 looks really flat with just a little bit of lift and rolloff at both ends. The debate continues!
Old 22nd April 2018
  #7
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Guitar "bright...shimmering", voice "nasal"...

Get Thyself an XLS!

Don't laugh but a very good alternative, is the Studio Projects CS5, in case budget is a concern with a 414.

IMHO the new NT1 isn't strident-actually quite smooooth.

Chris
Old 22nd April 2018
  #8
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I think I'm going to give my wallet a break (for now) and give the NT1 a go since they have them at Guitar Center. If it doesn't work out I can take it back hopefully before they go bankrupt. Sad times we live in! Really happy I found my Gibson before they hit the fan too.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #9
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the sibilance on the nt1 is a little harsh. i sometimes put a windscreen on it and it dulls it out a little.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DatMicrophoneDo View Post
the sibilance on the nt1 is a little harsh. i sometimes put a windscreen on it and it dulls it out a little.
Hopefully since I plan to be a good foot and maybe a half away that shouldn't be too much worry we'll see this afternoon!
Old 22nd April 2018
  #11
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IMHO you'd prefer the newest NT1, over the NT1-A (silver). Chris
Old 23rd April 2018
  #12
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MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
IMHO you'd prefer the newest NT1, over the NT1-A (silver). Chris
To the best of my knowledge there's been three iterations of the NT1. The first had a silver body, the second the gray painted body, and now the black one.
I wish Rode's naming had been NT1 mk1, NT1 mk2, and NT1 mk3 or similar to minimize confusion when someone says the 'NT1' is a great and wonderful sounding mic without elaborating as to which version.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #13
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rhizomeman's Avatar
I've used a 414XLS to record acoustic guitar and vocals for years. VERY happy with the results and I do not feel/hear the need to ever upgrade. My interface is a ULN2.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF48 View Post
To the best of my knowledge there's been three iterations of the NT1. The first had a silver body, the second the gray painted body, and now the black one.
There's at least one more... the very first ones in the mid 90's looked like a U87, with a wedge shaped windscreen. I've got one

Cheers,

John
Old 23rd April 2018
  #15
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I picked up the NT1 this afternoon and put down a quick track and I think it's a keeper - pretty much exactly what I needed. Glad I posted here! Much nicer than the ST55 I had a few years ago. The C414 or maybe a KSM141 would probably be a cherry on top that I'll add when my wife isn't looking. Will post a sample when I can get the house quiet this evening.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #16
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Here it is, not the best performance but I only did one take. First one is dry mic -> focusrite 2i2 1st gen -> Reaper. Second is .5db lift @ 5.5khz, a little reverb and master bus compression. 96khz/24bit->44100/24bit->320kbps CBR MP3
Attached Files

night we met dry.mp3 (6.53 MB, 766 views)

night we met wet.mp3 (6.53 MB, 752 views)

Old 23rd April 2018
  #17
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Thanks! I enjoyed hearing both tracks.

So...

Did you get the NT1-A, or was it the (black) NT1?

Chris
Old 23rd April 2018
  #18
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Schoeps mk22
Old 23rd April 2018
  #19
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Advanced Audio CM414 is better and cheaper than anything AKG offers now.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Thanks! I enjoyed hearing both tracks.

So...

Did you get the NT1-A, or was it the (black) NT1?

Chris
The black NT1. I think a little room treatment and mic placement and it will be great for what I need, which is quick smooth tracks without a lot of fuss to see how I'm sounding.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Advanced Audio CM414 is better and cheaper than anything AKG offers now.
I'll have to look at that. I searched around for the warm audio 14 but from what I could find it seemed too mellow and didn't have the in between patterns of the akg.
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