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the FINAL word on the 414 Condenser Microphones
Old 18th August 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
the FINAL word on the 414

what does everyone think about the akg 414's

which are the hottest the u bls ir the new ones.

i am about to buy a pair for everything (lots of bright zithers, bowed, struck, plucked, voice, room mics)

are these worth getting and keeping, and which of them is best all around.




side notes:
what about cheap ribon mics,
i have a 3K budget
what other mics might help
(omni, dynamic?)
and are my motu traveler and allen&heath mix wizard pre's good enough, or should i invest in others?
Old 18th August 2007
  #2
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hangman's Avatar
 

if you have 3 grand to spend... why are you looking at the 414?
Old 18th August 2007
  #3
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heathen's Avatar
 

1 word for all the mentioned things you want to record.

KIWI!
Old 18th August 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
KIWi, im not sure what you mean, or why you bother, maybe ask yourself that question.

i have 3 k but i would like a pair of high output large diaphram mics + another mic or two to compensate.

now what do you say about the new vs old 414's
Old 18th August 2007
  #5
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

For that much $ there are a lot of better options which I will tell you about as soon as you apologize to Heathen.
Old 18th August 2007
  #6
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UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 

Quote:
KIWi, im not sure what you mean, or why you bother, maybe ask yourself that question.


Link to Blue Kiwi website, it is a great mic!

Pzz
Old 18th August 2007
  #7
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heathen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by augustin187 View Post
KIWi, im not sure what you mean, or why you bother, maybe ask yourself that question.

i have 3 k but i would like a pair of high output large diaphram mics + another mic or two to compensate.

now what do you say about the new vs old 414's
fuuck
Old 18th August 2007
  #8
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camerondye's Avatar
 

Being rude is such a thread killer...
Old 19th August 2007
  #9
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

4 posts and that comes out... Not cool man! tutt We don't need that stuff around here.
Old 19th August 2007
  #10
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i've worked with some of the older model 414's, and they're great mics for pretty much everything

i haven't tried the newer ULS/XLS versions...which of course, like anything else new, get trashed on a constant basis

for $3k, you could easily afford a pair of 414's, along with a couple other mics...you mentioned wanting some ribbons - maybe a stereo pair of the fathead II's? i think those, paired with some 414's, would give one some great mic'ing options.
Old 19th August 2007
  #11
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustin187 View Post
KIWi, im not sure what you mean, or why you bother, maybe ask yourself that question.
Dude, clearly you are in the market for a Blue woodPECKER.
Old 19th August 2007
  #12
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustin187 View Post
KIWi, im not sure what you mean, or why you bother, maybe ask yourself that question.

i have 3 k but i would like a pair of high output large diaphram mics + another mic or two to compensate.

now what do you say about the new vs old 414's
Way to piss everyone off there, newbie.

Ignoring your lack of social skills for a second- I wouldn't bother with 414's.
They are quite harsh/hard sounding, imho and I have used them a lot.
AKG 451's or AT4033's are pretty similar and less than 1/2 the cost.
Or a couple of Shure KSM-44.

If you want better then get a pair of Josephson series 6's.
Old 19th August 2007
  #13
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

Where'd he go?
Old 19th August 2007
  #14
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It's great to want to like the AKG 414 because they are well made and cheap. Harsh and flat would be a good description of the 414, but they do have a place in the mix. For me they are good on EG cabs, room mics, OH's and choir mics and if 414 TLII were the only mic I had for vocals then I could live with that. But there are better mics out there and here at Slutz is the best place to find out which will work for you. (if you're nice)
As for the Kiwi I would definitely get it over the AKG 414 IF you can afford it.(kiwi that is)

nIC
Old 19th August 2007
  #15
Gear Addict
 

414s are great. good for the money. alot of people like the 414EB. You can find a good 414B/ULS or TLII. i like the newer models better.
Old 19th August 2007
  #16
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hangman's Avatar
 

I'm not a fan of the 414. even if I had the money to buy 50 microphones of my choice, it might not make the list.
Old 19th August 2007
  #17
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangman View Post
I'm not a fan of the 414. even if I had the money to buy 50 microphones of my choice, it might not make the list.
What if you could have 51?
Old 19th August 2007
  #18
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MusicKat's Avatar
 

The Audio Upgrades / Jim Williams mod to a 414 turns that microphone into a very usable mic for many applications. Well worth the price of the mod.

( and no, I don't work for Jim! )
Old 19th August 2007
  #19
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softwareguy's Avatar
 

The Jim Williams mod to the 414 ULS takes the harshness right out of it and makes it an amazing mic. Pretty much the mic that I, at least, was hoping for it to be. Neutral, but beautiful and deep. I own a pair and consider them to be really wonderful all-rounders.

That said, none of the new ones sound like the old 414's with the original capsules in them. That is its own vibe, with its own special capabilities. On the other hand, if you get one of the old capsules you don't know how long it will last and you have to make peace with the fact that these are now made out of unobtainium. If they go, they are gone for good.

There are probably easier ways to find a "go to" microphone. The search function is your friend in this regard.
Old 19th August 2007
  #20
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

"harsh" isn't a word I'd use for 414's. a touch bland and flat,yes, but not "harsh." while i like the 4033, i'd say it sounds more harsh than any 414 i've tried.
Old 19th August 2007
  #21
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

ive got 2 of the older 414 b uls.
i think they are lovely on many things.
ac gtr, e gtr, toms, room mics, piano, OH's and vox.
great utility mic.

they rarely make me go WOW, but they always do the job.

i used to have 2 ksm 44's which sounded crispy and harsh to me compared to the older 414's.
havent heard the newer ones though.

my buddy has a hamptone JFET mic pre that just makes my 414's sound special for some reason.................... especially on vox where it does sometimes leave a little bit to be desired.

ive got an audio clip of a song i recorded and mixed using only 2 414's and the hamptone. if i could figure out how to post a song for download here i would, but i dunno how to do that.

IMHO 414's = pretty darn good.

for $3000 you could get 2 older 414's, a ribbon mic(perhaps beyer m160) and still have enough money left over to buy a used U87 or maybe a peluso tube mic to be the ace in your mic closet.
Old 19th August 2007
  #22
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Wilburguy's Avatar
The AKG 414B-ULS mics that I have sound at least good on everything and often great. They are a well made "swiss army knife" mic with multiple polar patterns, pads and hi pass settings. I have found them useful as drum overheads, vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles/violins.

I would describe them as a full bodied in the low midrange, with a relatively smooth top end.

Hope this helps.
Old 19th August 2007
  #23
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilburguy View Post
The AKG 414B-ULS mics that I have sound at least good on everything and often great. They are a well made "swiss army knife" mic with multiple polar patterns, pads and hi pass settings. I have found them useful as drum overheads, vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles/violins.

I would describe them as a full bodied in the low midrange, with a relatively smooth top end.

Hope this helps.
Agreed.

I don't know why people here at Gearslutz dog these mics. Probably 80% of your album/CD collection has used these mics on one thing or another. Will they make you go "WOW!"? Yes, if the person you are recording is doing his job correctly.

Why does everything these days have to make you go "WOW!"? "Gee, your breasts were nice before but after your augmentation surgery, WOW!"

"New Pepsi® extreme!!! Makes you go "WOW!".

And to those dogging the cat for being rude, while I agree that he overreacted for a novice, he did say in his post that he had 3 grand to spend. Two Kiwi's would set him back 4 grand. Offering advice that is unattainable for him at this stage is useless.

Now, back on topic. I suggest checking out/comparing a pair of Mojave Audio MA-200's, as well. In the end, let your ears be the judge.

Last edited by ArcCirDude; 19th August 2007 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: Mohave, Mojave.. Hava, Java... Tomato, Tomaato...
Old 19th August 2007
  #24
mds
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The 414 does get a lot of crap on these boards. It is a classic mic and has be used on sooooo many things. I've found the TLII to be a pretty decent mic on pianos and some guitars. Sax players always tell me they love the way 414s make them sound (for whatever thats worth). I think there are better mics out there, but I think there is value in proven designs.

Mike
Old 19th August 2007
  #25
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mds View Post
The 414 does get a lot of crap on these boards. It is a classic mic and has be used on sooooo many things.
Yeah very fashionable to hate on the 414. I don't know about ULS or the new ones, but I have a pair of old EBs and they are true workhorses. I have literally used them on everything from drum overheads to guitar cabs, to piano, to chamber music to rock vocals.

I have other mics that I prefer for this job or that, but none as versatile. For example, I have other mics I reach for first for vocals, but put them 10 feet away from a string quartet and they just don't cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangman
I'm not a fan of the 414. even if I had the money to buy 50 microphones of my choice, it might not make the list.
well if I had the budget to buy 50 mics, maybe I would say the same. Because I could buy a mic for every purpose.

But if my budget was only for let's say 3 condensers to do it all, making one or two of them 414s would not be an unreasonable choice.
Old 19th August 2007
  #26
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dlmorley's Avatar
I really like my TLII For a long time it was my only decent mic and I recorded loads of stuff with it and never felt it wasn't good.
Old 19th August 2007
  #27
not so bad...

I like the 414. I've not used it a lot on the stringed instruments you mention, but I know that with a preamp/compressor with some "character" it can sound great.

A lot of people don't like it for male vocals, but it's always been very kind to my voice. In a blind shootout, it beat several Neumann's on my voice. The only mic that beat it was the C12 reissue (which isn't worth the price, that's another story)...

I initially tracked a lot of vocals with the C12, but wasn't happy with the performances. I had rented the C12, so just used the AKG ULS to re-track, and was just as happy with the sound.

I used it in a signal chain with a preamp I can't remember and an Avalon 747 (another piece of dogged gear), and the combination was good. I think the Avalon did a lot to give the sound some character and smooth out the top end of the mic.

Again, on the stringed instruments, it might be a bit harsh. My guess is that it will really emphasize the attack on any plucked or picked instruments, and it will provide a little less "body"...

Last edited by kosmos; 19th August 2007 at 10:12 PM.. Reason: more...
Old 19th August 2007
  #28
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hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
.

But if my budget was only for let's say 3 condensers to do it all, making one or two of them 414s would not be an unreasonable choice.

My position remains the same. if I had to pick 3 condensers the 414 would not even come into consideration.
Old 20th August 2007
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
And to those dogging the cat for being rude, while I agree that he overreacted for a novice, he did say in his post that he had 3 grand to spend. Two Kiwi's would set him back 4 grand. Offering advice that is unattainable for him at this stage is useless.
3k in what? dollars? sterling? bolivianos?! it helps to know currency..if you're asking recommendations on price..kiwi is £1200 so that would work for a £k budget.

and he over-reacted for anyone, not just a novice...a simple "kiwi? what's that?!" would have done.

Not the way to get on the best side of anyone really...
Old 20th August 2007
  #30
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insomnio's Avatar
 

Last week I realized that the 414TLII is my most used mic but I didn't notice. Gets used all the time in Steel Guits, Piano and fem vox. I didn't treat it with enough respect either. Is many times my second mic in a stereo set.

Have anyone A/B'd a TLII and a EB? I really want to know the difference.
Peace.
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