AKG C 414 EB worth it???

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Atlas, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    Here is my quandry. I have an old AKG C 414 EB that my father used on the radio in the 80s. He gave it to me and when I went to use it, it crackled like hell. I took it to the friendly pro audio electronics shop and the guy took a look and told me I had a little corrosion, he cleaned it, but still the crackling. He called AKG, they suggested it was the capsule. The capsule itself is $350. So I was going to go ahead and get it fixed, but the electronics guy said that these old AKGs were overrated.
    So my question is, do you think they are overrated, and if so, what is a comparable mic. Is it worth the $450 total it's going to take me to fix it, or is that money more wisely spent? I am going to do some side by side comparisons at the used gear store but I would also like input from 'yall.
    BTW I am going to use it as an all around mic. I want to invest in one mic that I can use for a lot of different applictions like:
    Male and Female vocals (singing)
    Acoustic guitars
    and speech and outside recording.
    Thanks alot....
  2. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    Is the capsule mounted in a brass or white teflon mount?

    If it's brass, you might have a real gem on your hands. I suggest sending it to a respected mic restorer, like Klaus Heyne for instance.
  3. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    I'll second that, if it is the brass mounted capsule, you can either get it restored or sell it to me for cheap.
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I remember it well... 1980, it was... Or '79.. or '81? I remember some of it pretty well.....

    I was at a real studio for one of my first freelance VO jobs. Kind'a nerve-wracking. The engineer asked me what mic I wanted to use. I said, very professionally and confidently, "The Electrovoice RE20, of course!". He said, OK and set it up, as well as some other mic, on a seperate stand right next to it, then went downstairs to his control room... He brought us up in my phones and said, ..."try the RE20". I said, "OK. Testing, testing 1,2,3... Yeah this mic is fine, love these things!"(Still do.). He said, "try the other mic." I said, "OK", trying to sound bored... "Te--!!! I'll use THIS one!", says I... It was the AKG C414EB. I've used them and dozens of other mics since, in lots of studios, in every imaginable price-range. I've never sounded any better than on that mic...

    $350.00 to get it in shape? No prob. I'd give any amount of my wife's money to have one of those. The "ultimate" mic? I suppose not. It's more than worth $350.00. I'll bet your Dad got a lot of good use out of it. I hope you will, too.

    Thankx for the memory flogger!

    Teddy G.
  5. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    Just thought I'd add, after re-reading my statements, that even if it's got the white teflon capsule, it's still a great workhorse of a mic. It's been a very long time since AKG has used components and circuitry of that quality...the last transformer balanced 414 if memory serves. Seriously, send it to Klaus. No "new" capsule will come close to the original CK12's mounted in brass that are often found in those EB's, and it takes a real specialist to restore them if funked.
  6. sushifish

    sushifish Guest

    Klause is the microphone master! He moded a vintage u87 for me that I'd put against a u47. Usially a 2month wait and quite costly but his work is amazing.
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    Thanks for the input.
  8. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Klaus Heyne charges $2500 to work his magic on the old 414s, but you will end up with one of the finest mics on Earth. Many consider it to be as good as the Telefunken ELA M251, which routinely sells for $20,000. I would imagine the price of the older 414 EB will be $5,000 in the not-too-distant future.

    The downside is that few of the capsules in existence have diaphragms that retain the correct tension, and Klaus Heyne thinks re-skinning is inadequate at best, so it's really a matter of luck regarding the condition of your capsule. There are some simple tests you can do, but they can be harmful if you don't know what you are doing. If very loud sounds cause the sound to drop out, it can mean the diaphragm sticks to the backplate, which is an indicator that the tension in insufficient. Any other tests should be left to a serious pro.

  9. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Late to the thread but I just picked up one of these unfortunately the Teflon mount.

    Will let you know what I think, and in happier climes, will definitely post it to Klaus,


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