Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions  (Read 1212 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bobby bourbon

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« on: March 24, 2017, 01:54:25 AM »
Hi. It's been a long time since I've asked questions here and I'm grateful to want to be asking some now. I used to record a lot of concerts and occasionally use the same rig Ive had for 20 years to record other things and those other things have led back to wanting a stereo microphone again. I loved having one when I did. 
I lost my taste for concert recording a few years ago for a few reasons but Im interested again and also look at the opportunity to record sounds in general more conveniently with a single point.  I am likely going to be getting a C34 soon and have some mic control bypass and cable/connector questions Im sure this forum can shed light on.  I'll left the cable questions in the mic section since these things are connected.

Im excited about a 20M cable but most of the time I wont want to use that much. The person selling me the mic kit can modify the stock cable before I take delivery. Perhaps make some as well but if I can be sure of what needs to happen, any out of the ordinary requests are probably better asked of a friend of mine. I've read here Amphenol makes the connectors and C091 is the base part number. I can see a few places where I might be able to buy these things if the seller does not have them.  I can see the different types of connection and build quality I think.  First off, is there a version of this connector that I may look for that is better than the OEM issued one or one I may want to stay away from?  Its my intention to have the cable cut into a typical working length ask to attach a M&F to the ends so they can be rejoined or used independently. To buy another to do this is probably an unnecessary expense but maybe some day.

Is there anything particularly good about the AKG cable itself that may dissuade me from purchasing some "other" cable and have built from that?  If I did that I would want to buy a version of the 12 pin connectors and cable that at least matched what was used back then but maybe something better exists. Catalog I have from 1988 indicates cable is MK 42/20 and later 426 uses the same part number but are they still the same inside with the amount of actual connections in the pins? Somewhere I read it may be only 8 of 12 connections and if that is the case perhaps I should purchase 8 conductor cable or ask to have the 4 extras doubled up on both sides in the points where it may benefit.  Sorry for the long post but Im pretty much asking who knows about this. I like to get these kinds of things out of the way at a convenient time if I can.

**My most important question** for owners of this mic or its larger counterparts is about not using the box. During initial conversations I asked if I had the mic and didnt want to use the box, did I have to. This may have been spurred by a C34 I saw on line which is a MS mic thats got a problem. No box, 5 pins out of the base and I guess designed to do 1 thing but is working as an XY now. Im not going to want to use the box all of the time if I don't have to for a few reasons. Initially I was told if the capsule set is not told to be at figure 8, the back side will not pick up and pretty much sits there while the main side does whatever else its asked to do. It probably sounded like I didnt know what I wanted, but I did get the impression that if I had a cable that went from the 12 pin from the mic to L&R 3 pin that without the
S 42 the capsule would pickup in cardioid pattern and it stood to reason the C34 could essentially be a C33 if I wanted it to be.  When I asked about this recently when it seemed like this thing may come to fruition, I could tell it wasn't something that was going to be suggested as a good idea. There may be a chance of something happening because the voltage controls the pattern and I guess this voltage control is what the box does. I didnt want to be annoying in asking about this deviation from intended use too much but was left with a different idea along the lines of, I may not want to do that because something bad could happen to a nice old mic. But does someone know?  I was thinking its 48 but now think 48-52 can go into the box and it does what its supposed to do. I obviously don't know the ins and outs of this box but if there is a SAFE way to get around it, it would be wonderful to get some 12 pin connectors and the correct cable type or maybe even buy another if I can and have a few different lengths of 12 to 2 3s made. I am enthusiastic about learning the possibilities of the mic and box and 20M reach but I also know there will be times when I may want not much more than a yard or few of cable, no box, no stand, no bunch of stuff to be concerned with with and a simple recorder and a means of sending the correct voltage to the microphone. This is sort of what got me into this to start with. I had an AKG 522 a long time ago and have wanted something I could walk around with again. I am glad I didnt react to some of the possibilities thus far because I can learn things with the mic but do want to know if I can use it in the most simple way I can see with a custom cable with no risk to it getting unfettered performance in cardioid pickup at 48V.

If you've gotten this far thanks for reading and I look forward to understanding more about my questions and ideas or suggestions in general.

Also if there is a wind screen that is not just plain foam that will grip on to this properly I would like to know. I want to be using this outside in quiet places sometimes.


Offline Nick's Picks

  • Trade Count: (28)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • I thought I heard.......
    • Nick's Picks
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 09:29:37 AM »
I do believe the pattern selector box to be a requirement.  That c34 MS mic is sort of
an outlier in this case as it's just a mid-side stereo mic and would only require a 5pin output, two for R, two for L
and a shared ground.
LMA recordings and what-not


Live music: hauling around a Marshall stack whose output will get squeezed through a single SM57, then mangled by a Guinness-soaked mixer and shoved through suspicious-smelling power amps into a pair of grungy cabinets whose best days were before they left the factory, all of which are under the control of an engineer who would much rather be at home watching television.

Offline EV676

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Gender: Male
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 08:52:51 PM »
I would like to suggest contacting Richard Land in Nashville.  He's the go to guy for AKG, especially the vintage units.  He serviced a C422 I purchased last year.  He's familiar with the S42 box and should be able to answer your queries.  The C422 also uses the S42 pattern box.  Those connectors are pretty much un-obtanium.
Heart transplant recipient.

Please consider organ donation!

Offline barren4

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • Posts: 957
  • Gender: Male
  • AKG c480b/ck61,62,63,c414b-uls,c426b>V3>SD 722
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 08:25:52 AM »
Richard Land   615-338-4443

Offline dnsacks

  • Trade Count: (9)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1642
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 11:38:59 AM »
interesting question on the box and something I've wondered about -- seems at the highest level that these mics are a pair of dual diaphragm capsules.  Since it's my understanding that traditional selectable pattern mics use electronics/switches to select/blend the diagphrams to create appropriate patterns, and presume the controller box does the same thing, I wonder whether these mics' outputs (that feed to the external controller box) contain discreet outputs from each of the 4 caps and whether one could, using a 4 channel recorder, record each of these outputs independently and then mix them in post to create whatever pattern sounds best.

I.e. discard the 2 rear facing caps' signal to create a pair of x/y cards, blend in a bit of the rear in reverse phase to create x/y hypers, blend the rears and fronts in phase to create "omni" or blend rear and front out of phase to create blumlein.


Offline picklemic

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 515
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 03:20:31 PM »
I have been a long time owner of an AKG 522ms and eventually ran into a bit of a problem with the internal rechargeable leaking and messing up the circuit board. My experience with Richard Land was horrible. He wanted the mic and then claimed to not have any parts and I owed him his minimum $75 service charge  :banging head:. I got it back and sent it in to AKG and they attempted and got it working temporary, but a year later and the problem is back. Well I protested the Richard Land CC bill, he is a joke in my eyes. Always try AKG service first.

I was also considering purchasing another vintage AKG, but after that pain I got an Audio Technica  4050st MS mic and must say I really like it and I think I paid under 900 for it new with warranty.   https://archive.org/details/fav-picklemic  you can find some examples there.
AKG 522 c the pickle,v2,v3,R 44

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11176
  • Gender: Male
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 06:11:14 PM »
interesting question on the box and something I've wondered about -- seems at the highest level that these mics are a pair of dual diaphragm capsules.  Since it's my understanding that traditional selectable pattern mics use electronics/switches to select/blend the diagphrams to create appropriate patterns, and presume the controller box does the same thing, I wonder whether these mics' outputs (that feed to the external controller box) contain discreet outputs from each of the 4 caps and whether one could, using a 4 channel recorder, record each of these outputs independently and then mix them in post to create whatever pattern sounds best.

I.e. discard the 2 rear facing caps' signal to create a pair of x/y cards, blend in a bit of the rear in reverse phase to create x/y hypers, blend the rears and fronts in phase to create "omni" or blend rear and front out of phase to create blumlein.

Theoretically yes, but..

You'd need a custom mic powering box built which accommodates the powering needs of each capsule individually and provides 4 discrete outputs.  Also, within the AKG switch box there is circuitry which controls relative levels and polarities of the signals to achieve the various patterns, and I assume that circuitry needs to be carefully calibrated and trimmed.  That could be done afterwards on the computer, but the appropriate calibration would need to be determined for each pattern (except for maybe straight cardioids).

I'm certainly no AKG expert though.  Others here who are familiar with classic AKG stuff may be able to answer more specifically.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

Offline picklemic

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 515
AKG 522 c the pickle,v2,v3,R 44

Offline mountaintaper

  • Trade Count: (7)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 226
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 10:24:15 PM »
Bobby Bourbon, I've heard the best thing you could do with that C34 is bring it to Shohola and let your buddy use the piss out of it since you'll rarely use it. When he's done with it he'll wrap it up in a used hoagie wrapper and send it back to you.

Offline DSatz

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (22)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 2365
  • Gender: Male
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 09:22:09 AM »
In this type of microphone, the polarizing voltage for the front half of each capsule is kept constant (typically 60 Volts) while the polarizing voltage for the back half is varied from -60 through 0 to +60 to create the range of patterns. And then there is only one audio output from that capsule (its front and back combined).

As a result, you can't obtain four discrete signals from the "capsule halves" in this type of microphone. You would need to redesign/replace the entire electronics of the microphone to do that, and it would take highly specialized skills and knowledge, since it would involve the ultra-high-impedance circuitry that interfaces with the capsule. It's beyond the skill set of most repair technicians, in other words, even most of those who have experience servicing professional condenser microphones.

Back in the "quadraphonic" era, Neumann offered a "quad" version of its SM 69 fet stereo microphone called the QM 69. This microphone used a 12-conductor shielded cable, providing the signals from four near-coincident "half-capsules" as if they were four electrically separate cardioid microphones. Each "half-capsule" had its own electronics in the mike body, and four channels of phantom powering were required. I actually was recorded (as a student musician) with a QM 69 for an album on Golden Crest LPs back in the day. The SM 69fet already allowed the user to vary the microphone's patterns remotely (like your AKGs); the QM 69 microphone was intended for quad recording rather than as a means to allow "remote pattern control after the fact."

The larger problem is this: Whenever you vary the patterns on a coincident stereo microphone, you also want to adjust the physical angle between the left and right capsules to match the pattern--and you can't do that "after the fact" with this type of configuration. In practice you have to choose the angle between capsules and the location of the overall microphone when you set up; then you end up having very little choice as to which pattern will sound best within the constraints of that angle and the placement of the microphone.

So I don't think this is a route to audio nirvana. You might want to look into Soundfield recording and "Double M/S" recording, both of which are flexible, interesting, practical approaches as far as they go. But I would never want to limit myself to coincident miking techniques, except in the kinds of situations that require them (e.g. when you need stereo/mono playback compatibility, or when you need the absolute smallest two-mike setup).

--best regards
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 08:37:17 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline bobby bourbon

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: a few AKG C34 ( C422 C426 ) questions
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 11:43:56 PM »
I appreciate the feedback here so far.  I had a reply set to go the other day but was waiting to find out a few things but wanted to remember thanks for the use of the word "outlier". Thats a good one.   Its interesting how looking for something not thinking I know what I want works out sometimes. Picklemic, I will try to post the parts explosion here. There are things that you can still get for the 522 and things that you can't. If I found one, I was going to see if the battery could come out because with run of that mic being only 10 years or so and it being a strange battery to start with, it would have been preventative maint.  Ive suggested to the friend I sold mine to he try to do just that if its not stuck in the path of phantom power.  There is a beautiful MS version in Holland recently but grossly overpriced and is the same mic that was on a music stores site in Italy I think as a demo a few years ago for 600 less I think. I contacted that guy and let him know what I wanted to do with it and inquired about it being the same one (the picture was the same) and he didn't reply. Maybe this parts diagram will help. Thats a cool mic. It may not be a bad idea to contact the ORF directly and ask if they might have one or a studio geared forum.  If the battery solution isn't an easy one with replacement you might find people apt to sell them that aren't offering. Check out the drawings.

Thanks for advice on the cables and box. I was looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist yet. I know Im not going to want such a long cable first of all but also know I may want nothing more that a few yards. But really, its attempting to come up with a workaround solution thats not so necessary because its not like there aren't other options for a single point mic that can do good things and carry real easy. Its not like this needs to happen in order to use it, or have access to it like other workarounds that were actually necessary. But, it was explained pretty well to me. In theory, yes it would work and stay in cardioid but understanding only a little about how the voltage is what determines the pattern, and seeing a schematic of the box, it may be a complicated solution to a much more simple problem.  The short answer was yes if nothing went wrong but the longer short answer was why...  It was funny actually.... I have a tendency to ask a lot of questions and was told, Bob, no one has ever asked about this for this reason and I guess what I wanted to do might not have been brought up a bit more in the past decades.. What I was looking at had different voltages going to different capsules and Im not pretending to know about that but I'd be glad to have it explained what it looks like when I have it to open up. I don't even know how long that battery might last yet.  did get a shorter cable but not too short. So thats nice. A shorter piece, the 20 M piece, and XL when they're screwed together.

As far as limiting myself to a coincident mic? Hmmm. It is how I started out and it got me out of the Grateful Dead tapers section very quickly.  I loved rocking the 522 screwed into the base of the cane. Best mic stand I ever had and I could do whatever I wanted with my head!! But Ive had 30 feet available of Mk4V spread for over 20 years and certainly was able to record things I couldn't have in the same way with my stereo mic, but I want another. I'll do things with it alone and it seems like a great thing to have in the middle somewhere. And it would look much better in a hoagie wrapper lol.  Although if I had been on the ball a few weeks earlier when the C424 all spec'd up was still for sale on Reverb in Austria, I might have forgotten about the box question I may have been asking to borrow money. That one was really pretty. It had a little dent but really looked like a gem. https://reverb.com/item/4487496-akg-c424-stereo-quadrophonic-vintage-microphone-with-nylon-ring-ck12-c414eb-capsule-serviced.

** My 2 cents - 3 cheers for Richard Land. Ive been talking to people from just about the 4 corners about microphones over the past 6 weeks or so. He was incredibly helpful to me not just with this, but in understanding other things about this kind of stuff I hadn't thought of and now think is important for me to keep in mind. He was nothing less than a pleasure to do business with and had me feeling he had my best interests as a priority. He almost made me want to go find a broken vintage mic in a strange way..

Im probably going to have some questions about another thing or two Ive read about here before too long.  Thanks to anyone who shared their thoughts.  OK I think parts diagram for 522 MS and XY will attach if I split it up. 8pgs.  pretty cool!!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 01:31:15 AM by bobby bourbon »

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.234 seconds with 33 queries.
© 2002-2017 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF
Website Design by Foxtrot Media, Inc., a Baltimore Website Company