AKG C480 etc.

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Stafford, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I know these are very good mics, but how does this series stand up to the big boys like Sennheiser MKH and Schoeps. The bodies over here are not significantly cheaper than Schoeps, but the capsules are less than half the price. I'm particularly interested in the omni capsules.

  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, Ben and I are a bit divided on this. My thoughts are, they are great mics. They don't have quite the depth or warmth of a Schoeps or Sennheiser, but they certainly do capture a very accurate sound.

    I like the 460s as well and I think this is where Ben and I get quite far apart. Of course, it really depends on what you mic with them, but I find them to have a presence in the mids that is quite pleasing. I think he describes them as bright or overly bright. I haven't found this to be the case.

    If I had to choose between the 3, I would pick them last, but they aren't bad, just not quite as good as the Senns or the Schoeps.

  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Ugh... The 460 is way too bright. The CK 3 capsule (hypercardio) isn't too bad and I do use them as room mics and occasionally as spots. They are one of the last mics I reach for, though. The 480 is a big improvement, though. I'm also not fond of the blueline mics either...

    There just isn't the depth of sound that you'll get in a Neumann, Sennheiser, Schoeps or a lot of other mics...

  4. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Thank you both for your opinions :cool:
    I dont know if you agree with this, but I feel it's a little surprising that the creators of the glorious C426 doesn't do universally worshipped SDCs.

    Anyway, I was interested when I discovered there was an adapter that allows the old capsules from the original 451 series so they will work on the low-noise c480 -but I suppose that's a different matter.

    Thanks again,
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Yeah, I can see that. Though, I've never been that big a fan of the 426. (I know, I know - different strokes for different folks.) Not that it's not a good mic, I think it's fine. I just think it's overrated and well overpriced. My take on single point stereo mics are:
    They are the ultimate in convenience, yet strangely limiting. If I spent that kind of money on 2 quality mics, I could get a couple Schoeps with a variety of capsules and have a far more universal setup.

    As for the 451 caps on the 480 body, I can't say that I like this at all. They have a tendancy to get VERY strident.

    BTW, I think where I differ on the 460 from Ben is that my pair has been up to Audio Upgrades and some nice mods have been done. This has a tendancy to warm it up a bit. Though I don't go to the extreme that Ben does about their signal, I do think in nature, the C460 is a tad brighter than the C480.

  6. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    The problem is that adapter is no longer made so while it exists, good luck finding them. I personally prefer the CK 1 to the CK61- I actually think that AKG's capsules were better years ago than they are now...

    Now, as for the 460's being modded by Jim Williams.... That is a completely different story. They, for all purposes, are NOT a 460 as there are almost none of the original electronics inside it. Jim is a master of mods if you like the sound that he goes for. My personal take is that for certain things, he's amazing, but I have pieces that I would never let him touch because I like the way they sound (even if they aren't pristine/clear).

    As you know, I love stereo mics. It is not at all about convenience... Just sound. I like the image that I get with stereo mics that is a royal pain in the @$$ to get with a pair of mics. I like stereo mics where I can change patterns and dial in exactly the right pattern for a given room. I like the way that a stereo mic can integrate in a multi-mic system. The 426 is one of my favorites because of all of these reasons, but also because it never sounds bad on anything. I can be in the worst rooms with it and still get a first rate recording. In a good room, it is fantastic. I will say that there are plenty of stereo mics out there that I won't use because I don't like what they have to offer or because they are of limited use. (for example, I like Sanken's CMS-7S mic, but I'll only use it in production sound situations....)

  7. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    This is interesting!
    I must admit that there's something I love about the sound of the 426, but in my case (apart from the fact that I can't afford one!), I'd buy a few others first just for flexibility; I suppose a couple of omnis and a 426 would make me very happy :D

    I wonder if either of you have an opinion on the old fig.8 capsule of the CK-1 generation?

    I was reading about the adapter on the AKG forum, and I've just stumbled across one by accident! I didn't know it existed until today. I wonder why such a product should disappear.

    I'm intrigued when you say they paint a very accurate picture. I'm a total detail and transients junkie. I'm also thinking about the Blue capsules that are compatible with the old 451.

    Thanks for all the info!

  8. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    They came out around the time that AKG upgraded from the 451 to the 460 so that people that owned multiple 451 caps could use them on the new mics. The 451 (old style with the switchable capsules) hasn't existed for a long time so there isn't much need for new adapters.

  9. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Yeah, of course. I didn't think of that. Still, I'd like to be able to try the old fig.8. and other older capsules with the new low-noise C480.

    Thanks Ben.

  10. wilcofan

    wilcofan Guest


    Can you try to articulate further the c460 Jim Williams mod compared to stock? I have a c460b and while it's nice, I find it's not as airy or open as I would like.

  11. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I haven't used a 460 modded by Jim, but I have heard the 414 mods he does and they are pretty radical compared to the original... The sound becomes much more clear and open and much less harsh. It is hard to compare because it is so radically different.

    Jim's sound is very transparent with very fast transient response. I wouldn't want all of my gear to have that sound (I'd never send my 426 as I like its sound as it exists), but it is great for what it is.

  12. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    AKG Nashville had A60M thread adapters in stock for some time after the factory stopped producing them and the EU retailers ran out. I bought a pair so I could use the BLUE Lollipop capsules on my (modified) C460B bodies. I snagged another one that came with a CK1 and C460B.
  13. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    mod C460B's

    I have nine of them (really.) The gap between stock and modified is cavernous, really a whole different mic as Ben mentioned. In the case of the C460B with its substandard stock electronics, modifying it does not bother me in the least. If you like the transformer sound (or need it for foul environments) Jim can do the balance of the mod for $25 less than the full package.

    I like them for all sorts of stuff, though the CK61 is my least favorite of the capsules. The CK63 hypercardioid is smoother, though its off-axis response is not as smooth as the MK41. The CK62 omni is very, very good and I use them regularly.

    I find I usually prefer the direct sound of my AKGs to that of the Schoeps, but the off-axis response of the directional Schoeps capsules is more predictable. I've been told this is most likely due to the mechanical design Schoeps uses to get that near-perfect polar response.
  14. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    You have a CK4? I've been lusting after one for years.
  15. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    It was the adapter that I stumbled across.

    I don't know if you want to hear this, but a CK4 went on ebay for 220 euro from a Danish seller about a fortnight ago.

  16. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    If one comes up on ebay that is not visible to US users, I'll let you know. It happens from time to time.

  17. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    Thanks mucho.
  18. 2db

    2db Guest

    I would be lost without my 480's.

    Here is a piano trio in which I use the 480's as drum overheads.


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