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Need help rewiring a C414 i just bought

Member for

21 years
I didnt know if this is the correct forum but i need help rewiring this mic....but i bought a C414 today, from craigs list local, for 500$. it says C414 but no EB, its not any of the new models...it has the brass ring capsule as far as i can tell (its all brass )

the base of the mic is like a weird screw in type thing and it looks like its basically a 5 pin xlr female that connects up into the body of the mic, and it looks like the cable that tethers down to connect to the actual mic cable to the preamp, this short little 6 inch cable doesnt look like it came with the mic...

so there is a fatter white cable, i presume the XLR, that was soldered into the middle pin (5 pin female combo connector i think??) and it looked like there was a little piece of metal going from that pin to this little ring on the outside (like a ground or osmething?)....then 2 skinny wires, a white and a red....these were soldered into pins 1 and 2..........the trouble is that i dont remember which was soldered to which. i was going to just guess red 1 white 2, but then i realized with phantom power guessing might be A HUGE mistake....


ive sort of researched it and it seems that i might have a multi thousand dollar mic on my hands, for only 500$ :)

can anyone help me figure out which to solder to which?


ps.....some of you may be thinking why did i unsolder it in the first place? well as you can see the wires are pretty messed up and they didnt seem very stable, also, that little ...what i theorize is a ground connection to the chassis of the casing of this little connector....was not connected, and when i tried the mic out i couldnt get the bottom connected very well and so most everything was loose but especially the connection it kept going BURP if i moved it and would cut out and yeah it was just not right so im trying to resolder it....

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Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 03:36
if you're as wise as your age, you probaly wont read this til the morning...

http://mixonline.com/TECnology-Hall-of-Fame/1971-akg-c414/

is where i got that schematic, which matches the "c414" (purely simply c414) in the link you provided...

as close as can be, thats the right schematic, the mic named 'c414 comb' in that article is the only pics ive seen that match mine exactly, and have only the -10 db pad, no bass rolloff.

i am as confident as ill ever be i suppose with this....and although this means nothing really, because as you pointed out, i AM a space case....it was a nickname i earned at my first job at taco bell because im spacey and i and "really out there" according to my peers...as in i am just not normal, out of the box...

oh yeah back to what i was saying before i sidetracked, at certain times tonight i had thought "man i remember the 2 white ones being closer together (from looking at it from the point of view of the gap in the pins being on the bottom...) meaning the red wire is pin 1 and white is pin2....and that is what i had contemplated taking a guess and trying it...

i do thank you for your help remy, i believe you are sorta like the computer science and alg2/trig teacher i had.....hes much more interested in teaching you how to teach yourself....and thats what i am big on , which is why i suppose i fearlessly took it upon myself to unsolder this, gleaming with excitment because the best mic ive ever touched thus far are the new sm81s i got earlier this week....and well maybe you're right, maybe this is crap.................but its something new to explore and it sure has a nice "energy" to it....like its calling me.....................................yeah im just insane whatever

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 05:01
okay well i got the soldering done....red to pin 1 and white to pin 2....


the bad news...theres a constant hum..........but it works and it will pickup sound....

and then if i invert the phase on the preamp, it cuts the signal and i dont hear the hum or any sound being picked up......

also again when i move the mic around it seems to cut in and out....im not sure my soldering job was pro but what else could cause the connection to cut in and out i wonder???

these were nice people they would probably let me have my money back if this is just total lemon sauce :P

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Fri, 08/22/2008 - 06:40
Its lousy being an insomniac. But like I said, your version is the European version. I've not had any cause to pursue all of the European varieties. I'm in the USA. Glad you found the right one.

You're smart enough to have purchased a pair of my favorites. I liked them so much, I have four.

So, you said the microphone worked originally but was intermittent. You didn't indicate that it had any hum, which you would have known earlier. If it didn't do that earlier? You're soldering job is bad. If you're inverting phase and everything goes away including the microphone, you're soldering job is bad. If the microphone remains intermittent, it may not have survived shipping? But you should have notified the seller when you received it in intermittent condition. Unless they indicated it was being sold "AS IS" due to its age. Was it shipped insured?? You may have a claim? But with what you've done??? I wouldn't take it back. You probably melted the insulation on one of those tiny wires if you are not a good & professional solderer. I just don't understand why you did what you did? I guess you have plenty money to spend, throwaway? Why not try brain surgery also? You don't need no stinking school.

???????? it's the left one.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Wed, 08/27/2008 - 19:58
You should have contacted Klaus from the gitgo especially when you opened up the mic and had your first moment of loss of equilibrium right before you took on a task you were neither qualified AND ill-equiped to do. Even at a bargain price of $500, it is a poor choice to throw caution to the wind when dealing with equipment such as this. Your bargain is now a paperweight.

I have sat by and watched this ensue and now I think that it is finished.

Mr.orbit...I'm glad you were able to recoup. I'm proud of you for your restraint in dealing with Remy's personality. She did appoligize and then worked hard to 'help'.... Becase you called her to task. Bravo.

It does not diminish in any way her contribution to many on this board over the years. Nor will it diminish her expertise in all things recording in the future.

I will say that if you have a thin skin and are easily offended then a BB is NOT the place to seek help. A simple search of the information available on the net can score you many sources of competant assistance. This is more of a general statement to all rather than to 'orbit'.

As a moderator/administrator here, I want to thank Mr. Klaus Heyne for his post and would like to invite him to spend a bit more time here if he so desires. I can personally vouch for his work as he has operated on a mic I own and the results were interstellar at a minimum. Thanks Klaus.
I really appreciate where you're coming from with the advent of so much disinformation rampant on this net we all visit. It is a pleasure to know the truth of things.

Thanks to all who participated here. I'm going to leave this open for a while and then its locked and gone after a bit. Enjoy.

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 08/27/2008 - 22:04
Hey dave, thanks for your input!

i wouldnt call myself a person with thin skin, i put little to no stock in anything negative someone has to say about me...however when 98% of the threads ive ever posted, she comes in and relentlessly acts like she does........its just not productive, for anyone. and the funny thing is that i LIKE a-holes...i generally consider myself one! she somehow transcends that status in my mind however...

i dont want to be ungrateful however, being that she scared me so bad that i didnt wait til it was too late to try to get my money back. well also klaus' suspicion that the capsule was possibly something other than i thought it was. i figured if worst came to worst i could find someone who would buy the dang thing just for the capsule and that i could at the very least recover my funds...then after the only thing i was willing to do, made no difference in either direction, realized that i really dont like messing with that kind of stuff and i like even less the thought of sending the mic to someone who DOES know their stuff...thats time and money im just not willing to mess with..

with the funds i got back i ended up buying 2 AT4040's as there have been many good things about them on gearslutz.com (the other forum i frequent) and the shootouts posted by one of their members (warren from frontaudio) also showed me that i like that mic....since having bought them last week im VERY happy thus far with them...

not that i have alot of LDC to compare them to HAHAHA...an m audio nova and a SP C1 is the extent of my experience with LDC's....so whatever, i ended up with something (two of something!) that makes me happy.


i think, after having had a few days to cool down........maybe im just jealous of her ability to transcend NORMAL assholery :P hehe, ive never doubted, nor wanted to distance myself, from her knowledge however...

Thanks again, Dave...i have grown to really respect your opinion, especially since you can impart it with such neutrality :)

EDIT: yes i also VERY MUCH SO learned my lesson that i should not tinker with things i know not about..........generally thats my style cuz lets face it, im a paranoid ridden hippie......yeah my space-caseyness is my own doing, Remy...

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 09:58
i still dont see how your internet tough guy attitude helps? i hope you dont get this worked up over everything in your life....i may not be savvy with this electronics stuff, and i may be less cautious than i should be at times....but at least i know stress kills, and i cant believe you'd live a day past 50 acting as childish as you do...

no shipping............the gentleman is more than happy to refund me as the mic was intermittent in his house, and i passed it off as a soldering job 123 presto to fix it...............okay i had no experience soldering but one of my best friends recently just moved out and i'd seen him solder a hundred things or more and seen him solder mic cable stuff even more times. i figure if it can be done, i can do it with a little practice/trial and error.

so i took a step in that direction and tried to step up to the plate, because life is about learning. im going to try resoldering it again one last time, (only soldering iron i could find at the time had a terrible tip, just basically a block, no "tip" to speak of) and if it doesnt work then im taking it back to this guy....thank god i bought it from someone who is capable of compassion and they wouldnt dare just stiff me...

the truth is that neither myself nor the person who sold the mic......had any idea what this was until it was in my house and trying to be used....god knows how long this mic has been sitting in his ex wifes storage/house/whatever until she finally decided she could make some scratch...........they quoted half the retail price of a new one....a new one is 1000, they charged 500.....i thought i was getting a fairly new one, in working condition....we both thought it was the normal USA variety, no weird things going on.

i do have plenty of money to spend lately, but certainly not throw away.

im not sure when it stopped being "okay" to be human and make mistakes...im pretty sure somewhere down this windy (and apparently very lonely?? trying desperately to understand the cause of your atittude) "road of life" you have been in my shoes or similar.

you're right, probably melted the insulation...

do you think that the middle, pin 6, is supposed to have a ..how you put it, a jumper to the shell? it sure looked like from the very start, that this was no longer soldered to the casing/shell, and that it had previously been soldered onto the shell....so i guess im wondering if you agree that it would have been...

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 10:18
Epic thread.

If I can add two cents, I think you would be stiffing the seller if you tried to return it after you did "a little practice/trial and error" soldering with "no "tip" to speak of".

Now for the other ninety eight cents. Stop what you are doing. Document what you have done as best you can and call a professional. You don't know what you are soldering where, why and how... If you are going to return it you need to do so in the condition you got it in... Something someone who knows how to solder will need to do, and if they can figure that out they can probably fix it. If they can fix it you can keep it...

The buck stops here.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 13:18
worry not, i ran this by the previous owner....what, did you think i just emailed him and said i didnt LIKE the microphone? no i told him exactly what has happened....he feels terrible because he said it was in working condition, when i picked it up, that was obvious that he knew as much as i did when he was making that statement.

in all liklihood, ill probably take it back to him today because i doubt this will work............and they will throw it away.

i appreciate the 2 cents but you should really address the ethics of .......other people, not me....im not in the wrong, im just a dude who , yes, WAS overly excited about something that is perfectly acceptable to be overly excited about.

ps...yes i do think there is an ethical way to treat people who search for help in....................OMG?! a help forum!?

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 08/22/2008 - 19:47
well we swapped back, i got my money back...i resoldered everything this morning with a new tip and cleaned all the solder beforehand and the soldering is fabulous compared to when i got it....

resoldering everything made no difference, theres definitely something wrong with the mic but i am in no position to figure out what that is.

i'd like to thank you remy, for at least scaring me into trying to get my money back. other than that, i really hope i dont ever have the need to come back to these forums. i know its all too possible to give someone advice without being a total bitch, but i guess that is a difficult thing for some people. i dont mind being called stupid for doing something stupid....i totally did something stupid by not documenting what i was doing...i guess im just a child of the internet where ive never run into issues finding out information about anything i need to, so it didnt really occur to me to cover my bases.

i think the only thing that would make my recording.org experience more complete would be if remy banned me :)

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Thu, 08/28/2008 - 18:18
Dude, we're both there. So please accept my apologies for my brash tactless conduct? Glad things worked out. That's always a good thing. And while I might not be 100% accurate with all of my information I am 100% experienced. Verbal visualizations are not always accurate. We've all blown something up at some point in our careers. Particularly funny, especially when people don't get hurt. Just like few people know that George Neumann is more famous for inventing the nickel cadmium battery than he is for his microphones. Now it's nothing more than bad EPA karma. So his most significant contribution to the world will just fade quietly into oblivion, unlike his microphones.

And while our nice Teutonic authority straightened out my inaccuracies regarding the numerous microphones mentioned, plenty of manufactures did produce numerous one-off's, concept pieces, mockups & prototypes. I know because I've been in the manufacturing business in Pro audio. And every manufacturer has always had a small disclaimer indicated somewhere within their literature and/or chassis indicating that "manufacturer reserves the right to make changes without notice". And so, we do, they do we all do do.

Now make some lovely recordings please.

Your friend
Remy Ann David

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Fri, 08/22/2008 - 21:04
Really, orbit, why would I ban you?? There's no crime in being stupid. Just don't function like a bug with a central nervous system, or an elephant in a China store. All of the equipment we use, are highly refined precision pieces. This includes miniature screwdriver adjustable, tape heads, variable potentiometers & variable capacitor's. Such as all the adjustments in analog tape machines. (Did everybody get that ?)

I'm pleased & surprise you got your money back. Just because the microphone has some intermittent problems is no reason for them to trash it. Very few items like that are trashed. They're simply repaired & restored by someone who understands those items. I mean, you wouldn't ask your best friend to take your appendix out and you wouldn't do-it-yourself. Yeah, I'm a bitch, just like your mother. You wouldn't talk back to your mother, or employer, like you have to me as I'm sure she would do more than just scold you as I have. And your boss would be looking for a new engineer. So think before you leap.

Your audio mother. Remember mother is only half a word.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

15 years

taxman Fri, 08/29/2008 - 21:21
Well, I guess there was no harm done in the end, but there was a better way to handle this. You rushed in to an operation before you got the education. If you had posted your query first, you would have known what connector to look for. You then could have made an adapater cable without ever opening the microphone.
Second, you should practice soldering on something larger than miniature components. This is especially true when most of what you were doing is unsoldering, which is harder to learn. It also takes special tools, such as tinned wicks to absorb solder.
Third, you could have also avoided all the multiple soldering steps by creating an XLR cable that terminated in aligator clips. Then, you could have experminted with alternative hookups without the multiple solering and unsoldering.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Sat, 08/30/2008 - 15:21
deep in the distant past
I recall
a modem to modem
international phone call
to a JBL Bulletin Board (BB)

to get plans for a PA speaker box
I also got data file of driver spec that went well beyond the simple typical power and resonance stuff

this data was fed into a modelling program called
LEAP

Loudspeaker Enclosure Analysis Program
yes
google it now and you will find it is still alive and well
but you will need to search something like
linearx + leap

I was using a 286
I still use a 386 to run my LMS card
Loudspeaker Measurment System
and to run my old version of
Leap

not quite the internet
and we do like the internet as it does make things much easier
8)
perhaps Noah recieved that email via Compuserve
or
Viatel

(don't bother with a google of Voatel cos it looks like the name has been re-applied to a very different business)

Member for

20 years 3 months

Klaus Tue, 08/26/2008 - 22:26
RemyRAD wrote: I know what your handle is ORBIT. IT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE A SPACE CASE!

What the heck are you doing purchasing a microphone for $500, taking it apart, unsoldering stuff and not documenting it? The connector that you have no clue about is the European version called a Tuchle. It's what all of the European microphones used to have.

The connector on this mic is not a Tuchel (sp) but a special design Cannon, exclusively made for the AKG models C12A, B, C412, and C414 comb. There was no exclusivity for the Tuchel company in supplying OEM connectors to European microphone companies. For example, AKG used LEMO connectors on many C24s, and Neumann, AKG and Schoeps used Sogie connectors on some of their models.

You're not the brightest gold sputtered diaphragm in the microphone locker are you??? In fact this microphone may not even be phantom power capable?? You may be hard-pressed to make that microphone work? There were numerous other ways to power microphones that were also popular in Europe that aren't even known about in this country, USA.

All AKG 414 models could be used with phantom power, including the mic in question.

What you need to do is pack it up and ship it back to AKG and hope they don't charge you another $500 to fix it!
AKG's U.S. service facility has stopped repairing this model 414 about 10 years ago.

Yes, that's the old C-12 capsule. That doesn't make it a valuable microphone. In fact, I don't think it's worth what you paid for it. I think you were little over anxious? Learn from your mistakes you just made good one.

The mic in question does not have an old C12 capsule (distinguished by an opaque clear/yellowish backplate), it also does not have the original capsule that came with this model (clear backplate with blueish tint.) It may have a newer, original CK12 capsule from the C414EB era, identified by a 'Golden Gate Red' backplate. However, either the JPG's colors are off, or the capsule in question has been repainted, after repairs/manipulations, with non-original paint.

This is a European bastardized, possibly modified microphone that may not have any available documentation. You're going to have to do a fair amount of research or turn to an independent microphone specialist for service. So what were you thinking anyhow? But like I said, your version is the European version. I've not had any cause to pursue all of the European varieties. I'm in the USA.
No special European or other versions of this model, the C414 comb, were made. (There were a few remote-controlled specimens made for the Austrian Broadcast Organization, ORF.) There was only one model, and the one shown is stock (except for a possibly manipulated capsule), and its schematic can be readily found on various internet sites like Coutant, and, as the poster already pointed out, on Mix Online (http://mixonline.com/online_extras/akg-c414-comb-sheet.pdf)

You're right, I'm very knowledgeable. I help a lot of people. I teach a lot of people. And you're not paying me for the hundreds of hours I've devoted to this forum. The information you provided & the mess you've made is not adequate enough for anybody to help you with this. GOT THAT? And unless it's an original tube C-12, your old pre-screwed up 414 is worth less than what you paid for it! 414's of almost any variety, in good condition, USA models, can regularly be had for $650.

An all-original AKG model C414 comb in good working condition is currently worth between $1500.- and $2500.-, depending on capsule condition, and its value is currently rising about 10% every six months.

Best regards,
Klaus Heyne

P.S.:
As if that wasn't bad enough, please know that companies like Neumann who have been producing the U87 since 1968 have had a misprint in their schematic that would prevent the microphone from working if you repaired it & wired it per the schematic.

Please enlighten me.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 08/27/2008 - 03:59
I had three of the AKG-C414s with the cannon multi-pin connectors and I made up adapters for all three and the worked well. I did a lot of recording with them.

As to working on microphones. Unless you are really really good at soldering and use to working on fragile pieces of equipment - DON'T EVEN THINK of working on one or even opening one. You may do way more harm than good.

A couple of years ago I got a chance to buy a C-24 (stereo version of a C-12) for very little money. I knew going in that the microphone had been dropped from its mount onto a cement floor and that the top capsule would not turn anymore. The person selling the microphone was very upfront with the information about the accident. His price was very low and it seemed like a good deal. I contacted AKG to find out the price of checking it over and maybe replacing the body. It was considerable but do able.

I decided against getting it for the simple fact that even after AKG worked on it I could never be sure it was doing what it was suppose to do since even AFTER they had worked on it there still could be damage to some sub assembly that would only show up later (cracked circuit card, pinched wire, damaged capsule) so I would have spent a little amount for the microphone, more for getting AKG to work on it and in the end I would still be wondering every time I used it if it were working correctly.

REMYRAD is trying to tell you the truth about what you did. Learn from people who have been there done that and even if they seem somewhat pissed you can still learn from them. REMYRAD has been there and done that probably more times then she cares to remember and she has a lot of wisdom to inpart but I think you need to understand a lot of her being upset is the way you posted your question from the beginning.

MTCW

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