Differences between the AKG 414

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Guitarzandstuff, May 22, 2011.

  1. Guitarzandstuff

    Guitarzandstuff Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Warminster PA
    Thinking of picking up
    a AKG 414 see alot of different models of this mic... Can anyone explain the differences between them??

  2. straticus

    straticus Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    Nevada City, Ca.
    Me too!

    I just returned a pair of c 414's that I had borrowed from a friend. They were the B ULS I think. I used them as overheads and later, to mic a guitar cab. Awesome sounding overheads and the guitar tones are huge!
  3. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Do you need the different patterns? or only cardioid? If only cardioid, try the 214 for less than 1/2 the price. Other than the pattern it's the same mic. It has a nice presence and doesn't over emphasize anything.
  4. jmoose

    jmoose Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Earth, NYC metro
    I'm sure there's a wiki out there somewhere, maybe even AKG has a page that goes over all the specific differences over the last 4-5 decades...

    In general things started in the early 60s with the C12A, which was the first edition that "looked" like a 414 as we know it. Silver body, tube mic... CK12 brass capsule.

    The 414EB was introduced in the early '70s (?) and was also silver with the CK12 capsule... that's the "first" 414 as we know it. There are also black EB's though I'm not sure when they started to appear. A lot of these paticular mics have had their capsules switched out over the years...

    Black 414 EB came about around 1980 (?) and was initially shipping with the CK12 capsule. At some point in the run before the B/ULS variation in the mid 80s, the capsule was switched to a modern mylar capsule.

    The TLII was introduced after the B/ULS and is essentially the same mic with the major difference being that its transformerless.

    That's about where I jump off the 414 bandwagon... I haven't seen ANY of the newer issues from the last few years, like the XLS in my freelance travels.

    There are a lot more differences among the mics then the capsules and transformers... the preamp design and all sorts of other things add up.
  5. weshunter

    weshunter Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    i'm also interested in the differences - specifically between the models readily available now.

    what would be the best one for recording vocals and acoustic instruments? and would this one also be okay for guitar cabs (live and/or in studio)?

    is the 214 seriously just as good but with only the cardoid pattern?
  6. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

    Dec 16, 2010
    Encinitas, SoCal
    I never heard of the 214, but in theory a microphone attains patterns other than cardioid by having two cardioid capsules back to back. I believe they use certain polarity tricks to add omni or bi-directional pattern options.

    But if you have just one capsule it should the same mic, just cheaper because of less needed costly hardware (2nd capsule and the electronics for it).

    I always thought of the 414 as a VERY sensitive mic which a huge proximity effect and very prone to pops. It is a great vocal mic because of the sensitivity but better for ladies' voices and other mostly higher frequency sources.

    I think it is a little too sensitive for guitar amps (not that you would hurt it) but it will over-emphasize the bottom and the high freq fizz. Sometimes you want to smooth out an amp, not make it bigger. I usually go with a simple dynamic mic on amps. It's like choosing a vintage 30 over a blue alnico.
  7. Dave Klausner

    Dave Klausner Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    This is correct (BTW, did you know Norelco imported a C12A under their own badge?), although the C414BTLii had the capsule from the C12VR (vintage reissue). It's got a bit more color - a little drop around 4KHz and a bit of a top end rise, that drops off as you close in on 20 KHz. When they went to the new series (C414XLS and XLii), they changed the patterns a bit, and the XLS incorporated the transformerless electronics they developed for the C414BTLii, but kept the mylar ULS capsule.
  8. harpinon

    harpinon Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    the North Coast
    Unless you have an exceptional ear, I don't think youd notice much difference between them.
    Though they are an industry standard, I find them a bit brittle. They are highly useful for various applications, and a staple in many lockers. Not many deals on them that I've seen.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice