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AKG D-99 C Harry Kunstkopf Vintage Dummy Head D99C
Old 25th February 2009
  #1
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AKG D-99 C Harry Kunstkopf Vintage Dummy Head D99C

should I buy one of these? I love the effect of those sounds on the pink floyd album 'the final cut' which I heard used dummie head mics....



AKG D-99 C Harry Kunstkopf Vintage Dummy Head D99C - eBay (item 230322177515 end time Feb-26-09 13:40:47 PST)


what do yall think???

anyone used this kind of mic before?
Old 25th March 2010
  #2
Should you buy? Hmmm

Hi. I'm not sure what to tell you, because as you can tell from my user name, I'm pro-binaural, and the AKG D99 certainly is that (a binaural microphone).

I'm not sure that Pink Floyd would have used this particular mannequin head microphone, but more likely, either one from Neumann, Bruel & Kjaer, Cortex, or Head Acoustics. The AKG was first introduced right around 1974 - one of its weak points is its sensitivity (2 mV/Pa) which would (I would think) indicate that much gain will be needed, so quiet electronics (not really an issue these days) are probably a necessity.

Anyway, back to the bit about the mannequin head microphones...there is a lot of debate in the community (especially in the measurement / analysis community) about which head achieves the 'correct' head-related transfer function (HRTF), and I have read some good arguments from each manufacturer as to why theirs is the preferred equalization. In my opinion (and this is only my opinion) there's a lot of pressure to have a specific type of head be deemed 'standard' as comparatively few of these are made each year, and each manufacturer wants to be seen as the technological leader...and I think it's fair to say that in the research community, the differences between the types of mannequin heads is more relevant than it would be in the recording industry (and having worked in both, I think my point has some merit).

So, the short of it is, while there may be differences between the mannequin heads and how they perform, they are more alike than they are dissimilar; all will generate varying degrees of what could be argued as extremely realistic imaging, but generally, only when headphones are used...and as with speakers, the better the headphones, the more convincing will be the effect.

Those are my thoughts, opinions, musings, and reflections on the subject - nothing more.

If you want to know more, feel free to drop me a line via email, but you might want to experiment in building a mannequin head microphone - it can be a very inexpensive way to check it out for yourself - and if you don't really care about the differences between the head that you build and the others out there, then that's even better motivation to try it and see. What could it hurt?

Mark
Old 25th March 2010
  #3
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I have one and it's pretty awful-sounding. I can't bring myself to sell it, though. I almost never use it, but it's such a conversation piece.

The mics in it are dynamics-- I suspect to alleviate the need for phantom power in field use-- and not great-sounding ones at that. It's a very lo-fi-sounding mic. Not much extension either way, top or bottom. Almost as if it's very highly-filtered.

When I want to do a decent-sounding binaural-type recording, I'll use the D-99 as the head and put something nicer on either side of it, like KM84s or AT4051s. It works well for that. That and freaking out drummers.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 26th March 2010
  #4
Akg d-99

Yeah...I ran across some artwork for it - in German no less - not long ago. I have some KU-100 heads, so this was a sort of curiousity for me (the line art etc).

I know what you mean though - I'd almost like to have it for a conversation piece, but taht would (even at discount) be an expensive conversation piece.

Anyway, I was surprised to see its stated frequency response (+ 3 dB) as something like 50 to 10 kHz. However, like all microphones, if damaged then the frequency response that *was* is no longer the frequency response that *is*.

There's another difference with the D-99 and other 'modern' mannequin heads - the D-99 has its microphones flush with the side of the head, and not back in the ear canal, so that will definitely affect the timbre.

I alluded to this in a previous post - the shape of the ear is the subject of a fair amount of debate, and what is deemed 'typical' may not be representative of ear pinnae that are much different than those used in a given manufacturer's design.

One other thing that can be very important - differences observed in the HRTFs are usually most pronounced as a source gets very close to the ears of the mannequin, and less consequential when the source is at a greater distance.

Mark
Old 4th April 2013
  #5
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old thread, i know... does anyone know how to take this thing apart?
Old 22nd May 2014
  #6
D-99

Quote:
Originally Posted by makeitwork View Post
old thread, i know... does anyone know how to take this thing apart?
Well...I hope you've subscribed to this thread for updates. Sadly, I don't know how to do this, but there's a guy (company really) over in Europe (maybe Germany...I can't recall) called Madooma (you can find them on eBay). They sell all manner of gear along these lines (it's where I found my KU 100), and they're rather knowledgeable about that which they sell. Mind you, I don't know how current they are, however, I did see an AKG D-99 there once and exchanged some emails with the guy from Madooma (whose name now escapes me), but I mention it because you might try contacting him to see if he knows, or if he knows someone else.

This probably hasn't been a huge help, but I hope it was at least somewhat useful.

Mark
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