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Author Topic: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?  (Read 4158 times)

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Offline jazzgtrl4

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Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« on: May 27, 2016, 08:55:24 PM »
I know Jim Williams isn't doing mods anymore. Just wonder if there are anyone else. ? I emailed klaus heyne and he doesn't do the mod anymore to the bULS model. Maybe I should ask the people on gear slutz as well. Thanks
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AKG C414 B-ULS
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beenjammin

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2016, 10:57:13 PM »
You may want to get in touch with Rens Heijnis. He's modded a set of DPA 4006 and has built me a preamp. He's well respected in classical circles. I use his stuff for nature recording and couldn't be happier.

http://www.rensheijnis.com/homer.htm
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 10:15:33 AM by beenjammin »

Offline dactylus

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2016, 07:02:20 AM »

^
Thanks for the Rens Heijnis link.  Very interesting mods that he does.
hot licks > microphones > recorder



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Offline DSatz

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 04:17:38 PM »
From the Web site referred to above:
Quote
What is wrong with phantom power?
Phantom-fed microphones are inherently less suitable for high-quality audio usage since they work as compressors: when, for instance, high dynamics are required, strong demands are made on the current supply of the phantom. As a result, the current supply drops drastically and the stereo image and frequency response collapse with it.
I'm not aware of any professional condenser microphone that draws increasing current from the phantom power supply as signal levels increase. Class-A circuits are pretty much the norm in condenser microphones, and they inherently draw constant current from the supply.

What limits the maximum undistorted voltage that a condenser microphone can put out is generally the first-stage FET or tube, and/or the output transformer if present. Their overload point is (or points are) generally quite clear, because the distortion as a function of input level suddenly starts to rise at a relatively sharper angle. As an example, see the attached THD+N curves which I obtained some years back when I compared a modified KM 84-series amplifier (upper curve) with its stock counterpart (lower curve). (Among other things, the modification undid the feedback loop in the amplifier circuit, in keeping with the prevailing audiophile belief system.) The KM 84 was specified for a maximum SPL (<0.5% THD) of 120 dB; it could have actually been specified at 125 dB. Around 128 dB you can see the results of the FET saturating, but the rise still has a moderate slope; the sound quality up to that point is still quite OK for occasional peaks.

If on the other hand this distortion were due to limited supply current, it would look more as if it had hit a brick wall.

Of course if you try to drive a preamp or recorder that has too low an input impedance (generally < 1 kOhm), you will run into distortion sooner--but that has nothing to do with phantom powering.

(Also, WTF would it have to do with stereo imaging or frequency response even if this type of effect did occur?)

Quote
The problem with a SMD board is that the sound quality of the tiny SMD components are much worse than the old
through-hole components. Plus the SMD board is cheap an tiny, so its now possible to use much more components
and that's what manufacturers do.
Result: a circuit board with to much components which has a bad sound quality.
That's an unsubstantiated statement of opinion that just happens to coincide with his self-interest. Who woulda thunk it?

And tell me, exactly why would any manufacturer ever use a greater number of components than necessary, which only makes the microphone more expensive (i.e. a competitive disadvantage)?

--best regards
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 11:22:54 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline yug du nord

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 08:12:11 PM »
.......and that's the truth, Ruth!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2016, 08:13:57 PM »
Thanks for that takedown, DSatz.  Hopefully Jon is watching this thread, as he uses a lot of SMT components in his builds so I'm sure he would have some choice things to say about that ridiculous paragraph.

It's also not like these mods are for cheap mics to replace inexpensive components a manufacturer used to meet a low price point; they are from companies who I'm sure are putting the best of what they can into their mics.  The only mod I've seen for mics at this level that makes sense is the CMC4 > 5 conversion.

I will say that the two Sonodore omni mics (his own brand) I've heard recordings of, the RCM-402 and LDM-54, sound as good as any other high-end omnis out there.  Some of the classical folks on GS consider them on par with or even above Gefell or Schoeps.  Curiously, he offers the RCM-402 in a 48V version, though the specs are slightly worse.

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Offline hi and lo

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2016, 10:18:06 PM »
Some would say that not all SMT parts are equal.

http://www.davehilldesigns.com/smt_resistror_distortion_rev1.pdf

Offline DSatz

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2016, 11:24:37 PM »
Right, just like any other technology. Should we not use a good "X" just because a less good "X" exists somewhere?
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 04:12:41 AM »
Yeah thanks DSatz! That dude sounds like hes just spitting out whatever he feels like! Components are smaller and cheaper and sound better than ever right now, so I'll take my low noise 70D's with all sorts of SMT stuff, that only cost me $150, and be amazed at technology once again ;) However, like Hi/Lo said, not all parts are=, but that is the way it is with anything electronic nowadays! Some companies strive to put out the best they can, and not just to fill a quota :)

BTW, to the OP, what type of mod are you looking to get done? I take it you aren't happy with the 414's stock sound, or just want to try something new? ;D
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Offline jazzgtrl4

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 12:09:49 PM »
Yeah thanks DSatz! That dude sounds like hes just spitting out whatever he feels like! Components are smaller and cheaper and sound better than ever right now, so I'll take my low noise 70D's with all sorts of SMT stuff, that only cost me $150, and be amazed at technology once again ;) However, like Hi/Lo said, not all parts are=, but that is the way it is with anything electronic nowadays! Some companies strive to put out the best they can, and not just to fill a quota :)

BTW, to the OP, what type of mod are you looking to get done? I take it you aren't happy with the 414's stock sound, or just want to try something new? ;D

hey Bean,

Not sure, its not that im not happy, maybe i should just leave them alone..I got into looking around Gearslutz and remember the Jim Williams mods and how they made the 414's more "open" and flat sounding and thought i would look into it.  I emailed Klaus Heyne as well and he wont do it he said:

  "I have never offered mod on this model, due to the inferior capsule and transformer, compared to the silver-bodied 414 models"

he also said:

" The benefits are so small that the cost involved to turn this mic into a better sounding one probably don't justify such efforts by anyone with enough knowledge.

Put another way: a higher resolution amp modification would only highlight the grayo-sounding capsule more. It would not elevate the mic into another class- which was probably your goal, but Gearslutz testimonials may not be a reliable predictor of true outcomes. I suggest therefore that you first listen to a"modified" ULS side-by-side with your stock one, before investing further money or effort.


and then this:

"How can I put this politely? Jim is, from all I read, a fantastic electronics expert with deep theoretical and electronics audio knowledge, - way more advanced than I- but we disagree in our (audiophile) listening preferences:

Removing the transformer? OK, but that way you hear even more of the transistors doing their work. The transformer was the remaining (and buffering) advantage over the TL (aside of the TL's better capsule). I simply disagree with that philosophy. And while we are at it: I am all for upgrading capacitors, but Gearslutz posters often exaggerate their effect, especially when there are much bigger fish to fry. A bad sounding mic will not lose its character, simply by upgrading capacitors- they are too far down the foodchain."

 
Best,

KH


KM140/50's>V3>MiniMe>Marantz PMD661/MTII
Telefunken ELA M260's>Sonosax SX-M2>ad2k+
KM84i's seq s/n
AKG C414 B-ULS
SD Mixpre6

Offline DSatz

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2016, 02:24:36 PM »
Well, if it tells you anything, back in 2003 as an experiment I sent microphones to Klaus Heyne, Jim Williams, and Stephen Paul, since those three seemed to be the most highly regarded "modders" around. The ones that I sent to Jim Williams were a pair of C 414 B-ULS. With prior agreement from Klaus and Jim (both of whom knew that this was an experiment, and were interested in learning the results), I then sent the microphones that they had modified to Schoeps, where they were tested and measured.

Microphone manufacturers regularly test each other's products "just to know what's out there," so the Schoeps engineers had already measured "stock" microphones of this type before. By comparison, they found that Jim's modifications had reduced the noise level by some 4 dB and lifted the high-frequency response slightly. However, the modified microphones were also found to be highly sensitive to radio-frequency interference, e.g. from a cell phone across the room.

I had really only bought the AKGs for the sake of this experiment. All in all I never particularly liked their sound, either before or after the modifications, so I sold them soon afterward. In the process I basically lost all the money that I'd spent on the mods. It can be much more difficult to resell a modified microphone than a stock microphone of the same type; you almost never get back what you've spent, unless you are a very good salesperson.

--best regards
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 07:42:06 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline gabasa

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2018, 04:55:28 PM »
I just noticed this older topic.  I've got mod instuctions for C414 B-ULS as well as C460B.
If you PM me your email address, I can send you the files I've got.

:cheers:

Offline nebulax

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Re: Anyone doing 414 mods nowadays?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 12:19:11 AM »
Peluso is doing their own take on a vintage 414 that they're calling the P-414. Not sure if they do repairs on the original AKG models, tho.

http://www.pelusomicrophonelab.com/microphones/P-414.html
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