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Why no love for AKG's?
Old 29th November 2006
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
sr2000's Avatar
 

In our band's first studio experience, we tested numerous mics before I recorded my vocals ( including many multi-thousand $$ mics). The good ol' AKG 535 ($300 mic) won out over many high end mics that we tried. To this day, I haven't found a better mic for my voice.

During that same shootout - my wife (who is the lead singer in our band) settled on the Lawson L47 - in fact, the AKG sounded horrible on her voice.

Whatever works best for each situation is cool w/me - don't care if it retails for $300 or $3000 - don't care if it's a popular mic or not, just want it to sound great!
Old 29th November 2006
  #32
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I love my XL-II

Its not going to go anywhere. I tried to score a used TL-II on ebay for a few months, and just gave up....prices can get close to a new one of anything. That may say something for the mic!!!??

Im not hip on the new electronic switching, nossir dont like it. Oh well.
Old 29th November 2006
  #33
Gear Maniac
 

AKG C4000B is great buy and the best in the price range what I've tested.

On one project we tested AKG C414-ULS (older model) on male vocals and it was really good, but then C4000B sounded almost the same, but it has a bit of positive edge. If needed, that can be EQ'd off, but you can't EQ it back to C414.
Old 29th November 2006
  #34
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edvdr76's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadly View Post
I think there's a huge gap between what people write on Gearslutz and reality.


Case and point: anything but the original 414 gets a lot of hate when it comes to 414's.

Reality: Every studio I've worked at has 3 to 4 414's of various types. Usually a pair or two. I own a pair of 414s. Want some hand percussion to stand up in the mix? Break out a pair of 414 TLII's.

The deal is, the 414 is a great utility mic. It works on many things pretty well. It doesn't slay vocals. It doesn't guarantee amazing overhead sound. They're tools. In a pinch and need to do midside? Your 414's will do. Need to do a choir today? Jazz date the next? 414's will do.

And hence, because it doesn't rock the casbah like insert mic here on this source, it doesn't get the favorable buzz on GS.


My philosophy: Buy a lot of great mics. It takes time to do this, as I'm not well off by any means, but is completely worth it. My 414TLII's spend time in the closet for weeks on end, only to be put into heavy service for the next couple. Why? Because I like to have a wide range of brushes to paint with. Same thing with my D112. Love it! A month will go by and it won't see the light of day, then (bam) in use on a couple sessions.


My final, parting shot: Don't dismiss AKG because of the hype. Dismiss AKG because you've tried it and don't like it.
I find myself doing the same thing with my TLII's. I do have a pair of 451 eb's and a D112 that are in heavy rotation right now.
Old 29th November 2006
  #35
Gear Nut
 
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I think AKG's problem as of late is the fact that the 1000 and the 3000 are horse**** mics. Ya know what? The solid tube is a pile too. That said, I am happy to use any of their other products.
Old 29th November 2006
  #36
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Many akg bashing comes from gear snobbery. They have many very good mics at an affordable price. Take a look at d112, c451b, the ck's, and many other. But because they don't have that agressive 'we are the high end' promotion, many thinks that they are not amongst the best.
But actually they are among the best.
One more. It's interesting to see that, between the hands of real engineers many akg's sound superb. Maybe there's a secret? Or not?

Tamas Dragon
Old 29th November 2006
  #37
Lives for gear
 

I can make AKGs work just fine.

It just depends on the application.

As an example:
In the studio I'd use an AKG 451 long before I'd use a Shure SM81.
Live I'd use the SM81.
Why?
The 451 are EXTREMELY sensitive to wind noise.
In fact, one studio I used for years had low velocity HVAC ducts, but they did plop out a bunch of air. They didn't have a grill that would "focus" the air flow, but still I had to be carefull where I set up drums if I used 451s for OHs because of wind noise.
I'd be a low, but LOUD rumble with 451s!
Why was I using 451s?
I had a lot of other stuff to mic, too!

I'll be honest guys... unless you are in a studo with A LOT of mics... and I mean A LOT OF MICS... and you are doing a big session (say a full C&W band, or a full string/orchestral date) you WILL be using some AKG 414s.

If you work in a studdio that has so many mics that you can mic a FULL band or small orchestra without using any AKG or similar quality mics, please raise your hand and identify yourself.
ummmmm hmmmmmm.....

Danny Brown
Old 30th November 2006
  #38
Gear Nut
I think that a lot of hostility toward AKG mics is based on the fact the many pros think the mics currently offered are not as good as the older models. I've got a pair of C414 EB with the brass caps, and they sound great. I've never really done a comparison with a newer 414.

I also have a pair of C460s, modded by Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades, and they sound wonderful. Obviously, for that to be so, the capsules must be of high quality, and Stephen Paul mentioned to me on the phone a few years ago that he thought those caps were perhaps the best thing AKG was currently making.

I think that Neumann is facing the same issue, or will eventually. The new transformerless mics are cheaper to make and sound different than the classic tube mics they are sort of named after. I'd rather have an M49 than an M149 any day. But the new stuff is quieter, cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to purchase. Time marches on...........
Old 27th August 2007
  #39
414

The 414 ULS is great on my voice. It beat several Neumann's in a blind test. The only mic that beat is was the C12VR, but that was a rental, and many consider it overpriced. Most use the TL-II on vocals, and I've never tried it, but I like the ULS...

Maybe I'm biased because when I was 16 I went to a small project studio, and the 414 was the mic used on my voice. I've been partial to it ever since, but like I said it came in above the Neumann's in a blind test, so at least I know it's not just my eyes that are partial to it, it must be my ears too.
Old 27th August 2007
  #40
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hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nadsatrebel View Post
I think AKG's problem as of late is the fact that the 1000 and the 3000 are horse**** mics. Ya know what? The solid tube is a pile too. That said, I am happy to use any of their other products.

Thank god someone is sounding reasonable in this thread.

C1000, C2000,C3000,SolidTube, are all lousy. I've owned them... and when it came down to it, NEVER chose them over anything else. I used them as a last resort (damn.. I've used all my good mics... *sigh* guess I'll have to use *chokes back vomit* the c3000...)

I'm sure some of you can find situaitons where a c3000 might have just the texture you need... I never did.

as for the 414, c12 and such, you wont see me buying them, but Im sure they're useful.
Old 27th August 2007
  #41
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gm5k's Avatar
 

i would never part w/ my TLII. i want another one!
Old 27th August 2007
  #42
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Why no love for AKG's?



Because the quality gets worse every single year.
Old 27th August 2007
  #43
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutmeg II. View Post
Why there is no love for AKG?
Well they used to make some of the best mics in recording history, but now adays they just do mediocer stuff.
Like already said if you take a "modern" AKG and look at the price and listen to the sound you will always find something that sounds better for the same price or something cheaper that sounds as good.
Pretty spot on there....

I've used original C12's and they are great- the VR is pretty good but I wouldn't buy one.
I love the 451 but not too much else.
D112 is my least favourite kick drum mic on the planet.
I've used 414's a hell of a lot.
414's are 'hard' sounding and for $1000 you can get better sounding LDC's- esp for overheads.
I'd prefer a pair of Groove Tubes GT57's for overheads rather than 414's- or Shure KSM44's- but that could just be a personal quirk.
Plenty of people like 'em.

I still own a Solidtube, which is an average sounding mic- bought before I knew better. Anyone want to buy it from me?
Old 27th August 2007
  #44
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We've owned many AKG's over the years -- including five 414's -- and at this point have gotten rid of all of them.

There are many AKG mics that I would say are good and useful, but for every one of them, there is a better sounding or more useful alternative for the same money or less. That's all. I can't think of an AKG that I could recommend over everything else in its price range, other than maybe the 451's.

I agree with those who find the 414's are not such a "go-to money mic" but more of a solid utility mic. Frankly, they're damned expensive for utility mics, and as utility mics, are they really any better than the cheaper AT4050 -- which many folks (including me) would actually prefer? A-T provides much better customer service, too.

As for their other models, most folks shouldn't have trouble identifying the superior competition. Other than habit, the argument for owning and using them over other options is pretty slim. Just one man's opinion.

JSL
Old 27th August 2007
  #45
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Anyone have any experience with the newer C12s?

AKG C12 VR | Sweetwater.com
Old 27th August 2007
  #46
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown View Post
Anyone have any experience with the newer C12s?

AKG C12 VR | Sweetwater.com

Unfortunately
Old 28th August 2007
  #47
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown View Post
Anyone have any experience with the newer C12s?
Got rid of them. They aren't missed.

JSL
Old 28th August 2007
  #48
I regularly use the last generation of C414B-ULS, often as a stereo pair on percussion (esp. metalic percussion like vibes or triangle), drum overheads, room mics, and secondary piano mics (not the main pair). They can be a little too bright and thin on occasion, but they have never been muddy. Very useful, all-around.

I'd be interested in knowing how the newer XL series compare to these mics of several years ago.

I also use one, or a pair, of the C451B SDCs for percussion, (esp. snare), overheads, acoustic guitar, and sometimes as room mics. They're not great, maybe, but they've surprised me at times. I'm glad I have them, but I probably prefer Josephson C42s as a much clearer, bright-side SDC for a lot of things.

We have C1000s for general student use. I think they're just terrible sounding in comparison to most other condensers.
Old 28th August 2007
  #49
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We love some AKG mics. Just like most all manufacturers there are some good ones, some great ones and the dogs.

We have at the moment 3 414EB's with the C-12 capsules. 1 414EB teflon capsule. 2 pairs of 451E's, 2- 451 EB's and a few D112's.
The daddy of them all a very nice C24. Actually the C24 is in repair. Stopped working for some reason.

Peace, Todd
Old 28th August 2007
  #50
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
LOL

I just bought an AKG 414 the other day, so I am getting a kick out these replies. I could have bought a a RODE NTK or a Neumann TLM103, but I really have no clue what I would need to record in my project studio. I have a AT 4040, but I wanted something a little more refined. Given that the mic might have to perform a variety of roles until I can afford some other mics, I thought the 414 would fit the role, perfectly.

What else could I buy new with shock mount for $849 that would sound this good, and be this flexible? It's just at such a weird price point given the explosion of less expensive quality condensers. I don't think it is $600 better than the AT 4040, or Rode NT1a, but it significantly better, and will serve me well for years, and I, for one, welcome my new AKG 414 overlord.

BTW, subby, why take so much offense to your newbie recording status. If you were such a great composer, guitarist, and singer, you would have lots of other people worrying about what microphone would be worthy of your "precious as a falling snowflake" voice.

Someone needed to say it. Sorry.
Old 28th August 2007
  #51
Gear Head
 

I´m using some AKG dynamics. They are O.K.
What I really hate is C3000, Solidtube and C1000. Didn`t use them for anything.
Old 28th August 2007
  #52
Lives for gear
 

I love my C 414 B-XL II.

Sometimes I need to switch to other mics when working with some singers, but I usually always record vocals with the C 414 B-XL II.

That mic, going through neve preamp = great sound.. ;-)
Old 28th August 2007
  #53
Gear Guru
 
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414, c3000, D112 are great on most anything, they work well if you use them correct.
Old 28th August 2007
  #54
Gear Maniac
 

Guys,

I think a little history lessson is in place here.

Once upon a time AKG, like Neumann and schoeps among others built mics to a standard. A very high standard, and not to a budget price.
This also happened to take place in a post-war europe with lots of cheap over qualified labour, lots of german engineers not allowed to work on military technology for instance. It was also the time where electronics which works well in microphones. Discrete electronics, transformers, tubes where everywhere, and the base of expertise of that kind of technology was much larger than it is today.

The primary customers where state-financed public broadcasters with compared to today, unlimited funding to put out a high quality product.

Any europeans out there ever listen to nostalgia programs on your national broadcasters. Radio- theater pieces from the 50's and 60's, for instance, and being blown away by the sound quality.

Now fast forward to today.
AKG is a Harman Kardon company.
The cheapest, most efficient way to build a mic to a certain spec driven(as in frequency response and noise) standard, using the cheapest components you can get away with, and still sell to your customers with a little help from aggressive wild west, marketing filled with subtle hints about their great past(the anniversary edition of the 414, anyone?) is what makes the bean counters, and via that, the owner company the most happy.

The sheer sound quality is put pretty far back in the equation.

So when I tell you that my Old, as in early seventies old 414 sounds better than my 414TLII's, That my D19's sounds better than any new AKG dynamic, That my 5, of which 3 are working D12's sounds better than any D112 I have heard, that the C12 sounds better than the C12VR, ot that my KM84's, 64's and 54's sounds better than my 184's or 140's, that our U47 sounds better than our U67, which sounds better than our U87, which sounds better than our U87AI, Which sounds better than the TLM 49 or TLM 103. That the Sennheiser MD 441 sounds better than the modern Sennheiser dynamics, that the Bang & Olufsen Ribbons of the 50's sounds better than the Royers, that the old SM57's from the 70's sounds better, and are a heck of a lot better built than the mexican ones as of today.

Then I hope you wuld at least put that subjective opinion toghether with the historical facts, and see that there might be something in this bashing of modern AKG and Neumann products.

And even if this where true, these are all different mics, so you should maybe believe that for some instrument at some point, a TLII or an XLII would maybe perform better than an old working condition B or EB.

The matter of fact is that I have never heard anyone say that, ever.

But please understand that this does not deny anyone thee right to produce and be proud of great music recorded with modern AKG mics.


Seriously.
Old 28th August 2007
  #55
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jslevin's Avatar
Some interesting comments. Your backstory is credible, and I would add that every product is priced (or should be) according to what the market will bear. If we assume the brand names AKG and Neumann are worth something, then we may also assume that the market will bear higher pricing on their products, thus, "paying for the name."

But ultimately, the "whys" don't matter -- the history doesn't matter, the paying-for-the-name theory doesn't matter. They are both speculative and beside the point. And the point is, how good of a mic are you getting for your money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
414, c3000, D112 are great on most anything, they work well if you use them correct.
Compared to what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by perx View Post
Sometimes I need to switch to other mics when working with some singers, but I usually always record vocals with the C 414 B-XL II. That mic, going through neve preamp = great sound.. ;-)
Compared to what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon View Post
I just bought an AKG 414 the other day, so I am getting a kick out these replies. I could have bought a a RODE NTK or a Neumann TLM103, but I really have no clue what I would need to record in my project studio. I have a AT 4040, but I wanted something a little more refined. Given that the mic might have to perform a variety of roles until I can afford some other mics, I thought the 414 would fit the role, perfectly.

What else could I buy new with shock mount for $849 that would sound this good, and be this flexible? It's just at such a weird price point given the explosion of less expensive quality condensers. I don't think it is $600 better than the AT 4040, or Rode NT1a, but it significantly better, and will serve me well for years, and I, for one, welcome my new AKG 414 overlord.
Finally, some comparisons! But I'm curious, what does "a little more refined" even mean? I suspect it means that you wanted the old, unassailable brand name of AKG, along with a nice shiny, pretty grill. Well, you got what you wanted, but as for the best mic, that's a whole other question.

First there, are plenty of less expensive LDC's that sound better, but I would agree that the field narrows considerably if you're looking for a multi-pattern. (As a side-note, is there a worse mic for the money than the TLM-103? Not in my experience.) As a vocal mic, however, the NT2 can hang with most 414's at half the price -- I haven't used its descendants, the NT2-A and NT2000 -- most if not all of the time. And as an all-around mic, the AT4050 simply cleans its clock.

(Another side-note ... no doubt a couple people are about to chime in with a note about how their 414 or 103 is just "magic" on a shaker track. Tell you what, you can just skip those remarks, save them for that other thread, "best shaker mic, $1000 range." I would hate for such brilliant advice to get lost by being in the wrong thread.)

But I'm only familiar with a few mics in this category. Check out this roundup from Elec Musician, which includes the above 414 and AT4050, plus the ADK A-51TL, CAD Equitek e300-2, Groove Tubes GT-57, and SE Electronics Z3300A. Whether or not you agree with the opinions in the article, it demonstrates that there are in fact several quality options ... for those who trust their ears more than a brand.

JSL
Old 28th August 2007
  #56
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i generally do all acoustic music, no vocals, so i use lots of SDCs. i have owned schoeps CMC64s, DPA 4011s, a variety of neumanns and gefells, ATs, etc etc. from my experience, the AKG C480s rank right up there with the best mics i have ever used. the build quality is outstanding, and they are clean, open, accurate, and nearly as transparent as my DPA 4011s.

the older 451EBs are also amazingly good mics for many applications. also, around here anyway, the 391s seem to be the standard choice of the local jazz musicians, and they often will request that specific mic in session work.

one more thing, contrary to many many opinions of other engineers, i find the C1000 a perfectly useable mic. yes, it is not my first choice since i have many other more expensive mics to choose from, but i have certainly used it on a few CD projects in the past with no problems. other than it being a tad large and ugly, it has utility as a battery powered mic for location work for those with less sophisticated systems. i would not be afraid to use a C1000 if i needed to, and prefer it over several other SDCs in its price range that i have picked up and discarded over the years.
Old 29th August 2007
  #57
Deleted 86c3d96
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Finally, some comparisons! But I'm curious, what does "a little more refined" even mean? I suspect it means that you wanted the old, unassailable brand name of AKG, along with a nice shiny, pretty grill. Well, you got what you wanted, but as for the best mic, that's a whole other question.

First there, are plenty of less expensive LDC's that sound better, but I would agree that the field narrows considerably if you're looking for a multi-pattern. (As a side-note, is there a worse mic for the money than the TLM-103? Not in my experience.) As a vocal mic, however, the NT2 can hang with most 414's at half the price -- I haven't used its descendants, the NT2-A and NT2000 -- most if not all of the time. And as an all-around mic, the AT4050 simply cleans its clock.

(Another side-note ... no doubt a couple people are about to chime in with a note about how their 414 or 103 is just "magic" on a shaker track. Tell you what, you can just skip those remarks, save them for that other thread, "best shaker mic, $1000 range." I would hate for such brilliant advice to get lost by being in the wrong thread.)

But I'm only familiar with a few mics in this category. Check out this roundup from Elec Musician, which includes the above 414 and AT4050, plus the ADK A-51TL, CAD Equitek e300-2, Groove Tubes GT-57, and SE Electronics Z3300A. Whether or not you agree with the opinions in the article, it demonstrates that there are in fact several quality options ... for those who trust their ears more than a brand.

JSL

That's all very good input, and eventually, I will probably buy some other mics, maybe some of your preferred choices. Considering where I am at this stage, at a certain level, it really doesn't matter much. Part of my purchase is probably based on nostalgia, some is just a matter of inexperience; on the other hand, it was a mic I would like to have, and I am cool with that. I like the sound, and was trying to buy a mic that was at a similar quality level/match for the rest of my signal chain. I didn't think I could go "wrong" with it, and i haven't had the opportunity to compare a bunch. I may say this mic is overpriced and overrated at some point. It's called learning, and experience. This mic is long used as a reference mic, and it will serve that purpose to me, as I reach a higher level many of you practice on.
Old 29th August 2007
  #58
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colinmiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
Whenever I hear someone comment and say it "SUCKS", its a dead giveaway for inexperience.

David Brown
Well that sucks...
Old 30th August 2007
  #59
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon View Post
I like the sound, and was trying to buy a mic that was at a similar quality level/match for the rest of my signal chain. I didn't think I could go "wrong" with it, and i haven't had the opportunity to compare a bunch.
All good reasons. You're on the right track.

JSL
Old 30th August 2007
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon View Post
. Part of my purchase is probably based on nostalgia, some is just a matter of inexperience; on the other hand, it was a mic I would like to have, and I am cool with that.

I have a hint for you; Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. Keep those memories intact by not shattering them with a dose of current reality.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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