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I have the chance to trade my old C414 for the new Shure KSM44. A friend of mine didn't like the Shure so I told him I would lend him my 414 and if he liked it I would consider a straight up trade with him.
Let me say that my best microphones right now are a C12VR, TLM 103, and the 414. I've been using the 414 less and less as I don't like the harsh high end it tends to have on most things. I do like it however for reeded instruments such as accordion and sax.
I have been able to audition the new Sure and I have mixed feelings about it also. I first tried it on my own vocal and didn't like it. I then tried it on a dark male vocal and preffered over my other mics. My most recent test was with a Takamine acoustic guitar in omni mode. Gorgeous sound.
If any of you all have any experience or thoughts on this trade I'm contemplating, please post. I don't want to get sucked in by the "it's new" so its better syndrome. Unfortunately, I have not been able to A and B them together as my friend was testing the 414 while I was testing his Shure.

I know the ultimate decision will be mine by weighing the advantages and disadvantages but I would like some more thoughts on how other people have used the KSM or the 414. (Especially if someone has both). Unfortunately I can't afford to keep both.

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Guest Wed, 04/17/2002 - 22:29

I'm assuming it is a 414/bULS, not a 414EB. If it is a 414EB, do NOT trade it to your friend for the Shure, sell it to me instead!

It seems the key to your decision might lie in your own statement:

"I've been using the 414 less and less as I don't like the harsh high end it tends to have on most things."

I always try to discipline myself to sell what I'm not using, rather than let it collect dust. If you think the Shure gives you a piece that you will use more often, go for it. The real question is, will the Shure enhance your collection by giving you a color you don't already have. Seems like you are saying yes, but you may want to check out a few other mics in that price range (BLUE Baby Bottle? Some of the Rode and Groove Tube models?) to make certain that is the option that will help you the most, seeing as it seems you are not going to be buying a mic every week (or even every month!) If you find something that really blows you away, maybe you should just sell the 414 and buy that mic instead.

anonymous Sun, 04/21/2002 - 14:14

interesting thread this, is relevant to me because I have a 414EB, and just bought two 414B-uls mics also for overhead work on drums (luv the 414's for overheads, soo good)


Why should one keep the EB? i agree it is less 'present' in the top end, but and details as to why I shouldn't get rid of it? was going to. :p

anonymous Mon, 04/22/2002 - 04:48

Whoa! :eek:

Well you guys must know something that the guy I bought it off didn't! bought it for about $300. It is kinda old, and from what I can see the gold sputtering on the diaphram of the EB is thicker than the B-ULS, so it is certainly different. Well this is all news to me.
The B-ULS mics are quieter, and more 'present' in the top end. Have not done a comparison properly yet, with say some good vox, but will soon.

So I should hang on to the EB then!


I must say, one thing I like about the 414 over some more modern mics, is its transparency, I find the artificial HF lift on many new condensers very irritating.

anonymous Thu, 04/25/2002 - 06:35

Wow, this is interesting!

A few months ago, I asked about the EB, and no one knew anything.

A few years ago, a member of my family (who knows little about recording) purchased a matched pair of mint-condition silver C414EB's at an estate sale for $50 a piece, because he thought they looked nice. The mics originally belonged to a man who did recordings for the Philadelphia orchestra.

Just thought I'd say... Thanks for the info!

anonymous Sat, 04/27/2002 - 11:57

Summarizing what I have gleaned from this and other threads and applying it to my own 414EB, I think I may have an early EB (silver body, no p48 over the pattern switch) but one in which someone has, unfortunately, replaced the original all-brass capsule with one that looks identical to the one in my THE TUBE mike and also identical to the one shown in the fullscale color photos in the C12VR brochure from AKG:

Gold-sputtered diaphragm rimmed in brass and encapsulated with white plastic; presumably Dupont's finest. I'm intentionally avoiding the T-word.

Sigh. Oh, well. Easy come, easy go. I bought it cheap.

But, boy, I sure was excited there for a second, thinking I had an old CK12 capsuled mike I might be able to send to SPA for some of Stephen's audio magic. I know he can make silk purses from sows' ears, but it seems reasonable to expect that less of his valuable resources would be required to restore and modify my mike if he had some original yet shabby silk to start with rather than pig parts.

Imagine my disappointment when I opened it up and saw all that plastic..... :( :( :(

Still, it was fun while it lasted. Great info, guys.