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AKG 414 EB or early 414 w/C12 capsule?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by raregroove, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. raregroove

    raregroove Guest

    Anyone have any correct info on the differences between current 414UBLS, TLII, and the 414EB. I understand some of the early EBs had C12 capsules? Sonically what's the difference?

    thanks,

    raregroove
     
  2. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    Originally posted by raregroove:
    I understand some of the early EBs had C12 capsules? Sonically what's the difference?


    The current line of 414's are underwelming to say the least in my experience. The EB's that were well maintained in their lifetime actually sound good. I'll leave it to the experts to feret out the technical details.
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by raregroove:
    Anyone have any correct info on the differences between current 414UBLS, TLII, and the 414EB. I understand some of the early EBs had C12 capsules?

    The first was the C-12, followed by the C-12a and C-12b, these were the first to look like the 414's of today. They had NuVistor tubes and an external power supply.

    Then came the C-412 which was the first of the FET versions, the next FET version was the C-414. The 412 and 414 had a similar 'screw on' base to the C-12a and C-12b.

    These were followed by the C-414-EB. The "EB" indicate that the microphones had an XLR mating connector on the mic, and a bass rolloff switch [or maybe it was the pad switch...it was one of those damn switches].

    This was the last in the line to use the venerable CK-12 capsule that was found in the original C-12.

    Around 1980 the 'accountants and morons' got into the act, and the C-414-EB p48 was the beginning of the end. They changed the capsule to some really harsh sounding teflon ringed piece of $*^t, and made the amplifier run on the new 48vdc phantom power standard.

    This was followed by the C-414-BULS, which had the same shitty capsule, but a slightly better sounding amplifier. There have been a couple of other "improvements" [spelled, "mostly marketing hype"], like the TL-II, which has no output transformer [they say it sounds better, the reality is that it's cheaper to make with a differential output].

    There is also the 'VR' which I believe they wanted to stand for 'Vintage Reissue' [Vulgar Revival?] which AKG claims has a capsule that sounds like an original CK-12 [it's about as close to an original CK-12 as a Dodge "PT Cruiser" is to a late 40's "Hot Rod", in other words more marketing BS.

    Sonically what's the difference?

    Up until the C-414-EB p48 they were really good sounding mics, since the C-414-EB p48 they have a harsh and quite unpleasant characteristic...but a legacy that has helped them sell really shitty sounding microphones for the last 20+ years.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. dbock

    dbock Guest

    "like the TL-II, which has no output transformer [they say it sounds better, the reality is that it's cheaper to make with a differential output]."
    Actually, that output is phony differential, it's really single ended, as are Neumann's transformerless mics. It is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to build this way. Depending upon the design and manufacturer's purchasing power (quantity), a transformer output could cost from 6 to 36 times what a transformerless output costs, calculated in dollars only (lead times not factored in). The true differential tranformerless mics available today include Schoepps, A-T & CAD, mabeee the Rode NT2 (but why bother?).

    "There is also the 'VR' which I believe they wanted to stand for 'Vintage Reissue' [Vulgar Revival?] which AKG claims has a capsule that sounds like an original CK-12 [it's about as close to an original CK-12 as a Dodge "PT Cruiser" is to a late 40's "Hot Rod", in other words more marketing BS."
    Very true, the new CK12 sounds so unlike a CK12 it's atounding!
    Your mileage won't vary on this!
     
  5. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Originally posted by David Bock:


    <snip>

    The true differential tranformerless mics available today include Schoepps, A-T & CAD, mabeee the Rode NT2 (but why bother?).

    <snip>



    The NT2 may not be worth bothering with by most, but I've got to say between those four makes, the CAD's (at least the large diaphragms, especially the tubes) are the most outstanding in their uselessness.... :)

    IMO, YMMV, etc...
     
  6. raregroove

    raregroove Guest

    Thanks for the info guys. Some of this stuff is hard to come by.

    regards,

    raregroove
     
  7. Stephen Paul

    Stephen Paul Active Member

    If you'd like to know a little about the capsule changes, feel free to post it down in my area...

    I don't stop by up here much anymore... but there are some things that you might want to additionally know.
     
  8. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Whilst in the presence of such venerable wisdom I hate to disagree but here is one vote for a 414 ubls. I have had mine for a long time and with the exception of certain vocalists have never found it harsh or cold. It has been a workhorse that has sounded very very good on a wide range of applications and is a mic that I would sorely miss if it were no longer there..... It could be that I have no 'ear', it could be that my 414 has been damaged in some way which has resulted in a considerable 'warming' of its sound, who knows, I just remember listening to a bunch of mics when I bought the 414 and it was the nicest sounding of the mics I listened to and I have yet to regret my decision.

    Simon :)
     
  9. Stephen Paul

    Stephen Paul Active Member

    How can something with no high end be cold? ;)

    In addition, the excess of looseness of the current tension spec ensure that the mike will be 'warm'... but clarity is entirely a different issue. and that I'm afraid will never be the province of a capsule that snaps together.

    It's a toy in my opinion... But who am I? I've got dozens of 'em cluttering up the lab... if you want one, let me know.
     
  10. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Originally posted by Stephen Paul:
    How can something with no high end be cold? ;)

    In addition, the excess of looseness of the current tension spec ensure that the mike will be 'warm'... but clarity is entirely a different issue. and that I'm afraid will never be the province of a capsule that snaps together.

    It's a toy in my opinion... But who am I? I've got dozens of 'em cluttering up the lab... if you want one, let me know.


    Well Now Stephen.... ;)

    Hope you're well....

    Simon
     
  11. Recording Engineer

    Recording Engineer Active Member

    Stephen,

    I know the capsule of the C414B/ULS can be thrown out the window, but how about the electronics? Can they pretty much be thrown out the window with the capsule or does it have a chance? I know Fletcher said it has a sightly better amplifier than the C414EB P48, but is it still better off for flight? Baseball?

    If you'd rather me ask in the SPA Forum, just let me know.
     
  12. plexi

    plexi Guest

    I saw Bob Clearmoutain was using a CAD E-300 as the main vocal mic on a album he recently engineered/produced. Anyone familiar with this mic?
     
  13. Fletcher, how can you tell (other than by listening.. I've never owmed or used a C-12) if the C 414 EB I have does or does not a CK-12 capsule :confused:
     
  14. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Originally posted by Jon Best:


    The NT2 may not be worth bothering with by most, but I've got to say between those four makes, the CAD's (at least the large diaphragms, especially the tubes) are the most outstanding in their uselessness.... :)

    IMO, YMMV, etc...


    Talk about varying milage. My CAD E300 sounds better (in most instances) than every single other mic I've tried on my wife's voice. That includes Blue Dragonfly, Mouse, Kiwi, Neumann U87ai, Rode NTK, MXL 2001, 2003, V67G, and V77.

    Now if I could only fly up to Fletcher's joint and try out a U67, C12 and actually AFFORD to buy them, I'd be one happy guy.
     
  15. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by Screws:
    Now if I could only fly up to Fletcher's joint and try out a U67, C12 and actually AFFORD to buy them, I'd be one happy guy.

    Nah, then you'd just be pining over some console you can't afford to buy. It never ends. :)
     
  16. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Well, if I had been thinking about it, oddly enough, I would have put the E300 up as the single possible exception. Well, one of two- the E100's did OK on toms for me. The E350 is a bright, edgy piece of crap, and all the tube models (IMO) are kind of small and indistinct sounding. The 100's and 200's don't really float my boat either, especially in places you'd expect to find a large diaprhagm mic used- smeary. While they seem to have a pretty even frequency response, they sound to me like a *lot* of crappy parts are in the signal path. I have never messed with the live mics.

    I agree, though- they seemed to (accident or not) get the E 300 a lot closer to right...

    Originally posted by Screws:


    Talk about varying milage. My CAD E300 sounds better (in most instances) than every single other mic I've tried on my wife's voice. That includes Blue Dragonfly, Mouse, Kiwi, Neumann U87ai, Rode NTK, MXL 2001, 2003, V67G, and V77.

    Now if I could only fly up to Fletcher's joint and try out a U67, C12 and actually AFFORD to buy them, I'd be one happy guy.
     
  17. riconga

    riconga Member

    I took this from the eq forum I remembered seeing this a while ago thought others may find it interesting. ( I assume reposting this doesnt violate any forum protocal, if it does my apologies to the offended party ) hopefully Stephen will elaborate on this subject here or in his forum when he has time.


    Registered: Sep 2000
    posted 03-03-2001 05:59 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Hack (?)
    The one feature that separates the boys from the men when it comes to 414s is the capsule: pre- and post- CK12.
    The date of the funeral for Konrad Wolf’s glorious contribution to the world of audio-sex, the CK12, was sometime in 1982. That was when the last silver bodied C414EB left the factory in Vienna. From then on, all bodies of the 414 were black, and received the (in)famous “Teflon” capsule- a much more consistent, predictable and matchable (for stereo mics) machine manufactured version of the capsule, which, confusingly, to this date is still called “CK12”. All 414s since, whether called C414EB-P48, or B-ULS or ULS-XL, or even “The Tube” have the same identical capsule.
    There was one capsule change, in 1993: A special version of the CK12 Teflon capsule was created, after taking sonic impressions of a pair of C12 capsules owned by Austrian producer Peter Wolf (no relation), which I had modified for him. These new capsules were called “TLII”, and found their way into two mics: the C414 B TL-II and the C12 VR tube mic, which, aside from this “improved” capsule, and a gold plated head basket was 100% identical in circuitry to the “Tube” model.

    I would argue that, compared to the very audible capsule differences between the original CK12 and the later Teflon, conventional or TLII, it hardly matters to the sound whether this mic’s amp and impedance coupling is done via passive transformer or via active transistor circuitry.

    Kind regards, Klaus Heyne
     
  18. Tony C

    Tony C Guest

    Hey,check out that silver 414 EB on ebay......
    Now that looks like the real deal. Maybe a CK-12 capsule? hmmm.. Just thought I'd pass it on. If I had the bread now I might jump on it, oh well maybe another time..
     
  19. Hi all,
    There is one use for these reedy sounding 414's: Basoon & Oboe! while there not in use as a door stop.
    Regards Michael
     
  20. markrpaulson

    markrpaulson Guest

    so say we were considering picking up a silver C414EB. is that in and of itself a guarantee it'll be a C12 capsule? how would one go about checking? i don't want to drop the money only to find out it's a teflon.
     

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