Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Stafford, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I know there have been many discussions on this mic, but I'd like to know if anyone on the Acoustic Music forum uses these. I know some people use nothing else on piano, and others like them for mains. Of course many people HATE these mics with a passion. What intrigues me most is that they're supposedly used for their ability to deal with complex sources, yet loads of people say they lack detail.

    Just curious really, especially now that there are so many people involved in this particular forum. I don't recall these being discussed on this part of the website, but forgive me if I'm wrong.


  2. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    We are in the camp that loves them, particularly on piano. We have a pair of 414's and the magnificent C426B. I find these cleaner and more "open" sounding than stock standard U87's and they are quiet. The resulting sound is muscular, fat, flat, with beautiful deep bass, extremely satisfying on piano, as spots, and as a far reaching main pair.
  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Thank you David. Unfortunately I can't afford the C426B (although there's always hope as I trawl through ebay searching for items incorrectly listed -it has worked in the past!).

    It's great to hear differing views on a mic. as controversial as this one. I'd love to get the opportunity to try the XLS at some stage. It really is amazing the way the price has dropped on these over the years, yet the U87 has hardly budged. It's a shame they don't drop the price of the C426; that's the one I really want!


  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    There are so many varieties of the C-414 that it is not too hard to understand why certain people hate them and others love them. I used a pair of the OLD C-414s that had been around a while and used them for piano recording with lots of success. Then a friend of mine lent me a pair of the latest C-414s for a project and they sounded bright and almost shrill compared the older models. I think a lot depends on what vintage you are talking about when it comes to the "sound" of the C-414s.
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    We've just gotten a pair of the "NEW" 414's (dunno the additional model #, but they've got the new switches, too) at my client's studios here in Phila. (WRTI-RM Temple Univ. Public Radio).

    They just put 'em up on some stands, and are using them as the de-facto mics for interviews in the "live" music room, whenever needed. It's been suggested by their tech that I leave my AT 4050's home the next time I'm doing interviews there (heaven forbid!!!) but I'm open minded enough to at least give 'em a try.

    One of my live-sound client/partners uses them all the time for drum overheads (he sneaks 'em in before I can offer him my 4040's! grrrrr......) but I have to admit they're really quite nice; not bad at all!

    I admit I've never been a big fan of them; I think my original poor assessment was with a pair that really wasn't all that hot at the time (Back in the late 80's....?) who knows WHAT was the reason back then.

    I'll let ya know how the new ones sound in a week or so, after our next session with them.
  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    The new ones have an incredibly low noise floor, like 7dBA, which is astonishing, similar to the TLM103.

    I am waiting for the announcement of the "new" 426 stereo with the new low noise capsules. I am hoping that they allow a standard 5 pin XLR into the body of that thing so that we can hang it in the hall on its mic cable without requiring the multipin signal cable as well.
  7. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    With the lack of support that AKG has shown for the 426, I would rather doubt that they would offer a new one... Part of the reason for the funky cable is because of the pattern changing abilities... How are they going to do that on a 5 pin cable? You'd have to put the pattern control on the mic- something that I would really not like.

    As for the 414's... I really like the original EB's with the CK-12 capsules in them. I recently used some TL2's in omni and thought they sounded pretty good. Not a huge fan of the B-ULS, but when modded by Audio Upgrades, they sound MUCH better.

  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I feel a little cold about the 414s in general. They do pretty well on piano, and if I had $1500 to blow on multi-pattern mics, they would be on the short list, but a few others would be a little higher. Most notably would be the AT4050.

    I would rank these far better than the TLM103 (compared to above) and they are less expensive. The older version with the C12 capsule, while noisier, does seem to be a bit more friendly to my ears.
  9. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    But if you do not want the pattern changing abilities, ie. you want the "raw" output of both Fig8 capsules, then a 5 pin XLR should be possible to use instead of using the multipin and box in the ceiling.

    This mic would sell a lot more if AKG just thought a bit about live recording in a concert hall and what the problems are. Neumann have done it with the SM69, why can't AKG.

    Also, I am a bit puzzled as to the usefulness of the pattern change box. Who changes pattern mid concert. We certainly have never changed the pattern mid anything.
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm also pretty mystified about the 426 (I had a 422 - an earlier version of it...)

    With all the stuff that's done in stereo and 5.1 now, this mic should be touted as a "Must-have" for many things. I'm fairly certain the one I had wasn't working right (judging by how much Ben raves about his!) and assuming that's the case, a good, working stereo single-point mic should sell like hotcakes in today's market. Stick the thing anywhere for ambient pickup, or added stereo tracks, etc. (Make a version with less options and sell it even cheaper, perhaps).

    Now that I think about it, few good stereo mics are out there anyway. (And the newer Studio Projects stereo mic is soooooo huge as to be almost not worth the hassle of lugging it around....)
  11. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Great to see an interesting discussion!

    I wonder if the low noise version of the 426 would be basically two new 414s? Isn't the capsule meant to be similar? Of course there's more to a mic than that, but I'd love to hear how those of us who are fortunate enough to have the current C426 feel about the newer model.

    I think it's interesting to see how 'improvements' to classics divide the audio community. I'd love to try a C12a, or a really old 414, but unfortunately for me my collection is so small that I have to have versatility, so whatever I choose has to be quiet. After that, I can have some fun!

    BTW has anyone seen the new single pattern 4050 (4035sv)? It's not even up on AT's website yet, but apparently it's on sale. A pair might come in handy.

    Thank you gentlement for all of the great info :cool:

  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    BTW has anyone seen the new single pattern 4050 (4035sv)? It's not even up on AT's website yet, but apparently it's on sale. A pair might come in handy.

    I was kind've under the impression the 4040's were similar to, or a subset of the 4050's - without the double capsule/pickup patterns, etc.

    The 4033 is an FET microphone, and while it looks identical to the 4040, it's a bit different in sound and usage.

    Now I've gotta wrap my brain around yet another model, eh? Ok, bring on the 4035..... :cool:
  13. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I been trying to figure out what logic AT use to name their mics. Think of the difference between the 4040 and 4041, or the 4050 and 4049! It's a very odd system! Then to confuse matters they have a dual membrane single pattern 4047 -with a transformer :!: :?

    Anyhow, I'd love to know if the differences are purely in the electronics, or if the capsule has been mutilated as in the TLM-103. I hope it sounds the same as the 4050. There are so many cardioids out there, I'd prefer an omni version if they're going to restrict it to a single pattern. But I suppose that's just me, but there are very few LDC omnis.

    Oh yeah, and it's silver like the 4047. I think it's even cheaper than the 4040!

  14. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I don't change patterns mid concert, but I certainly do it mid-rehearsal. I am constantly dialing in the best pattern for a given situation. When the mic is hung or is on a tall stand, I don't want to have to pull it down to change the settings... I don't want to leave my monitoring location to change a thing- I dial in the pattern as I'm sitting there... That is also the problem with the Scheops CMT301. Pattern switches are on the mic body itself. (great sounding mic, though)

  15. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    The Tl-2 with the c12 capsule is not an older version of the uls , it was actualy built about 20 years after the original 414 , engineers sometimes see the tl-2 as a better version of the 414uls , but that is not true , they are two VERY different mics for different aplications.
    i wouldn't use neither of them for vocals ,
    mainly for piano\room mics\drums overhead i'd use a uls, the tl-2 is amazing on classic guitars , i've used it on guitar\bass amps with nice resaults as well.

    the uls is a very universal mic and it will sound good on anything , the tl-2 is a very choosy mic that will sound amazing on some things but will not work at all for others , i own a tl-2 and very rarely using it , i'm using a Lawson l47 for most aplications i need a large diafragm mic for (but i only have one) , it's in the price range of a 414 and it's in a totaly different class, but if you are doing mobile recordings i'd go for a 414 because it's very small and very reliable
  16. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Tan Tan
    Yeah, I can't understand why they were both called C414. So-called C12 capsule, much newer electronics. On the other hand the TLII was probably a transformerless homage to the C12A/414 Comb lineage.

    I don't think the newer models are as different from each other (are they not both transformerless?). And, AKG are no longer claiming that the TL has a C12 capsule -not that they've said it doesn't have one.

    Thanks for the Lawson info. I looked at their website and I was very surprised at the 'low'prices of the SS models. Still, I presume you actually have to pay the list price for a Lawson.

    BTW I'm also considering buying a Brauner Phantom for close vocals. I know it can be a little bright, but in a very classy way.


    PS has anyone heard when the remote control for the new 414 will be available?
  17. recordista

    recordista Active Member

    This is one of the things that intrigues me about the Josephson C700S. Record three tracks, pick any arbitrary pattern later (or even decode Ambisonically.)

    The price, OTOH...

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