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Looking from the perspective of vocals first, then just about anything else, how would you compare these two microphones.



Cucco Thu, 01/12/2006 - 23:38

K2, K2, K2

Sorry, was that enthusiastic?

Yep, in almost any situation, I would pick the K2. There's something magical about the sound. Whereas, with most of the 414s, I don't find magic, I find a similar feeling as sleeping with the same woman for 10 years. It's still good and fun, but it's nothing to mark on the calendar. As for the K2, it's like tag-teaming Jennifer Connelly and Monica Bellucci! (Okay, maybe not THAT good!)

But seriously, I have found the K2 to be one of the more versatile LDCs around. No kidding when I tell you I was in the market for a new tube condenser and my Sweetwater dude talked me out of a nice new Neumann tube simply to TRY the K2. I tried it and spent the remainder of my money on other stuff. Yeah, I like it that much. I've used the M149 a lot and I dig it (that was the Neumann I was gonna buy), but I truthfully got everything I wanted out of the 149 from the K2. That's saying a hell of a lot.

I will say this though - if you have that female vocalist that just doesn't understand that screetching isn't the same as singing - you'll want a different mic. But, then again, the 414 won't help you there either...

J. (y)

anonymous Fri, 01/13/2006 - 03:07

I like the K2 too. I've heard some people saying even nicer things after replacing the stock tube (stilll waiting for my telefunken ...)

You will find the "Infinitely variable control of the K2’s polar patterns" as Rode calls it very useful. It helped me a lot to get a decent sound in my less than decent sounding room.

By the way: Jeremy, you need to update your website man. Ain't no K2 there, you know... :wink:

There's my 2 Euro cents for ya!

maintiger Fri, 01/13/2006 - 08:56

I second the k2- I've been using it since it came out and I even went and got a second one- as well as a wonderful vocal mic, 2 of'em make a great stereo set up for recording percussion. the vocals are just so clear and range from in your face sound in cardioid (male vox) to a more mellow sound in between omni and cardioid somewheres (depends on the singer) For spoken voice I've found some great spots in between cardioid and figure 8. For female vox i tend to go a lot towards omni to tame the wild beast- 9am will do for a lot of otherwise hard to record screechy kind of singers- though I agree with jeremy that with xtreme cases it won't do it- I will usually pull out a dark ribbon. :D

what about changing the tube? anybody experiment, get better results doing that? I'm kinda unwilling to mess with a good thing but i might try it if.... hummm, please comment on this subject if you will- 8)

RemyRAD Fri, 01/13/2006 - 18:02

I know " stickers" has one and has posted some samples of acoustic guitar which sound very sweet to me. I'm almost considering selling off my 2 U67s and replacing them with a couple of those K2s? I have been impressed by a number of the Rode Australian microphones. Most people that have tube microphones seem to frequently have 12AX7s and/or another dual triode and although quieter than a Pentode, they just don't sound the same. About 20 years ago when I got the microphones used, I attempted to put 2 new Sylvania EF86s in. THEY SOUNDED HORRIBLE! I then went back to the older Telefunkens, which are still in them today. So those of you who are following this thread, just know that all tubes are not created equally! They are an Art, not a science. We all must be picky when choosing our tubes.

Give me 5 grids! Or give me death!
Remy Ann David

baslotto Sat, 01/14/2006 - 00:33

Remy Ann David is a great source of information. Thanks for sharing and keep it up, I'm learning great things!

PS: I was actually looking for the next pair of mics and I'm looking into tubes now. Any parallel suggesions? Are the K2 the "professional" best for the price as some people say? What would you get for that price or a "little" more?
I prefer to buy someyhing that I'll keep forever because of its special sound. Would you trade in your K2's for soemthing a little better?
Sorry for the confusion, I hope you understand my train of thoughts.


AltheGatman Sat, 01/14/2006 - 03:55

I bought my K2 when the AKG rep told me to, I was looking at either a 414 or the solidtube at the time, and he said straight out to me that the K2 would run rings around either of them. (and he was right in my opinion)

I have to admit it is a damn good buy. The valve in it packed up pretty soon after I got it, but from what I can tell they had a bad batch of them down this way. Warranty covered it though, and has been great ever since!

I ran into a U67 that a radio station here was getting rid of, got it for a stupid price, it seems to be losing gain at the mo, so the valve's probably in need of replacement. means I can't really give you a real opinion on how they compare, but.... on the thing's where I have made some vague comparison, the K2 has been more responsive to subtle dynamics all round.

Now I just need to get a second one.
:) :)

anonymous Sat, 01/14/2006 - 09:21

RemyRAD wrote: Doesn't the K2 have an EF86 in it? If so that is the same Pentode tube you find in the Neumann U67 which sounds way different from many of those microphones that use the dual triode 12AX7 types.

Remy Ann David

From RØDE's site:

Twin Triode - 6922
Suits: NTK & K2

Is this the EF86 tube?

:) TIA :)

AltheGatman Sat, 01/14/2006 - 22:45

out of curiosity, I had a look in my 2 and the U67 has a sovtek EF86 in it, the K2 has what loks like a pretty budget chinese valve, the only marking I can make out is 6N11 J .

Are these essentially the same valve? I need one for the U67 anyway, but if they are the same I'm thinking I may as well get a pair, I'm sure the one in the K2 is not the highest of quality by the look of it.....

RemyRAD Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:32

Okay I've gone to the Rode site and they seem to indicate that the "6922, dual triode is a fine replacement in the K2"??? Now, NO that is not a Pentode. You cannot replace a Pentode with a dual triode, so I have contacted them with a query about this and will let everybody know as to what their response is. Now I'm not quite sure what that microphone contains anymore? " Manufacturer has the right to make changes without notice". Something we have seen many times throughout the years.

The characteristics of the sound of the Pentode (5 grids) is considerably different from that of the dual triode (2 internal structures with 3 grids each), albeit perhaps a quieter tube.

A friend of mine has a modified U87 with a new capsule and the transistor removed and a triode in its place and likes the sound of my U67 way better. He thinks it sounds way smoother than his U87 (which by the way do not use identical capsules in their original specifications either, in addition to the numerous different thicknesses of aftermarket capsules available out there, the U67 being of a 6 micron thickness originally. Yes the thinner aftermarket ones have a brighter sound and therefore do not sound like a Neumann any more).

Ear-ily confused
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Mon, 01/16/2006 - 20:18

This news just in! The K2 does not news an EF86 Pentode tube but rather a dual triode!

Here is the following e-mail response from Rode.

The K2 microphone uses the 6922 twin triode valve. This is not a suggested replacement, this is the tube that works and comes with the mic. The person who told you that it uses the EF86 is mistaken. The K2 does not use the EF86 or any other pentode valve. I hope this clears up some of the confusion.

John Hayes

Tech Support
Toll Free: (877) 328-7456
Fax: (310) 328-7180

Well now..... What do all think of this??

Ms. Remy Ann David
and her old U67s

Sorry Jeremy.

maintiger Wed, 01/18/2006 - 09:20

methinks am with jeremy in this one and will stick with the originals in my 2 K2's for now as they are already sweet... of course if someone becomes a guiney pig and tries a new tube out (and comes up with something really really sweet) I might just change one of mine and do a comparison- a straight shoot out between the two- hey Remy, thanks for the info- 8)

anonymous Wed, 01/18/2006 - 10:37

OJG wrote: Looking from the perspective of vocals first, then just about anything else, how would you compare these two microphones.


I have to tell you - that was the exact question I had when I first started looking to upgrade my mic closet. I came to these forums and read and asked advice.

I ended up getting the K2 and a 414 primarily for vocals. I like them both, but they are different mics and comparing them would have to be based upon the application and material being recorded.

It's comparable as to why I use a particular guitar for a given song. I have to admit though, I really like the K2 so much so that I'll go to it first and if it doesn't fit I'll try something else - just really sweet on vocals in my opinion.

anonymous Wed, 01/18/2006 - 12:49


Thanks for getting this thread back to its origins.
A few questions then:
1) Do you feel comfortable with the K2 as vocal mic for male and female voices (possibly children voices too) ?

2) Did you come across a type of voice that just didn't work with the K2 ?

3) In your experience, for what applications is the 414 superior to the K2 ?

Thanks again.


anonymous Wed, 01/18/2006 - 19:13

Yeah it looks like this thread kinda took off on it's own K2 legs (pun intended) :wink:

Anyway to answer your questions:

First let me say that I just bought both of these mics this past year and have used both to a decent degree but, I know that there are people on this forum that have more expierence with these than I, and I hope they chime as well.

1) Yes I feel very comfortable using the K2 on both male and female singing voices. I don't care for it too much on childrens voices spoken or sung. Like I mentioned before, the K2 I usually go to first for vocals. Please rember that I am fairly limited to what I have in my mic closet. I use the K2 and the 414 for vocals because I was not happy with what I was getting ot of some other condensers I have.

2) Yes, I had some male rock vocals that just did not do it for that specific arrangement. This is not usually the case - I use the K2 for rock most of the time and it sounds great so I know it sounds a little political, but they are both great mics it's just my ear tends to lean more to the K2 for most applications.

3) I prefer the K2 for singing voices and the 414 for singing voices and spoken word. It's really hard question to answer straight because I've used the 414 on a lead vocal and then the K2 in figure eight for backgrounds and vice versa.

One thing that made a world of difference in my studio was getting a decent pre. That alone made my cheap mics sound great, and my good mics sound excellent. When I got the K2, I also got my UA LA-610 and hooked them up and started to experiment. It was exactly what I was looking for - sent chills up and down my spine hearing what was coming through the monitors. Then I got the 414 and similar results just a differnt timbre - there is a definate audible difference between the K2 as a tube mic and the 414 as SS in my opinion.

I need try these more on instruments other than voice. This is where I do not have enough expierence with both of them.

anonymous Wed, 01/18/2006 - 21:37

Agreed on the finite control of the 610, it has it's own personality but I like what it does going in and then I may do a bit more "in the box" if needed.

I didn't have any decent pre before the 610 so you could imagine my shock when I first heard the result -- :shock:

What I'm getting at is that the pre (whatever pre as long as it is quality) makes such a difference that mics almost seem to become icing and the K2 tastes real good most of the time. :D

Also just for info sake the 414 I'm using is the B-XLII

AltheGatman Thu, 01/19/2006 - 03:19

I use my K2 for most things, I have to admit I really do like it as a room mic on a Drumkit, I put it out about 4-6 foot in front of the kit, roughly about the height of the top of the Kick and dial it about 1/2 way between cardioid and omni. That mixed with a pair of NT5's as "standard" overheads sounds really good to me. ( I tend to pan it just off centre to where the snare sits in the NT5's)
Often those, and just a bit of Kick mic is my entire drum sound.

I have never owned a 414, but rented a 414BTLII for a job a while back, wasn't hugely excited by it, but I have to admit it sounded really good in front of a guitar amp. Had a nice midrange bite, without too much of that 1 to 3k harshness.

Still think I'll carry on with my good ol '57 for that and get a few other things before I get one of my own tho.

K2 seems to be becoming a bit of a standard.....Be interesting to see in 30 years or so whether it is held in the same regard as an old valve U87 is today.....

Al 8-)


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