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Author Topic: AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary  (Read 262 times)

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Offline Candyman

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AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary
« on: October 25, 2020, 05:36:37 AM »
Hey all,

Hope you're well. I recently purchased a brand new AKG C414 XLS and to my surprise it was not made in Austria. It reads "Made in Hungary" in tiny print on the mic, as if they're trying to hide it. :hmmm:

While it does seem like a decent product, it bothers me a little that it's no longer manufactured by the experienced AKG engineers in Austria. I have since learned that those guys were all let go and started a company called Austrian Audio.

I'm sure this is old news to some of you, and perhaps my doubts are not justified. I am wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare the Austrian made C414s with the newer Hungarian models, and if so - what are your thoughts? How do they stack up?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 05:44:41 AM by Candyman »

Offline jefflester

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Re: AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 02:14:39 PM »
DPA4061 HEB/AT943 -> CA-UGLY -> R-09
Samson C02/Superlux S502/iSK Little Gem -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> AKG C460B -> DR-680MKII
AKG CK63 -> nBob actives -> Baby NBox -> R-09/DR2d

Offline EmRR

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Re: AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2020, 02:35:42 PM »
I'd be curious to hear a comparison.  I've actually not heard any of the newer versions, mine is a B-ULS from the '90's, and I've used some EB models from the early '80's.  I'd rather hear the new Austrian Audio dual output mic!
Mics: DPA 4060 w/MPS 6030 PSU/DAD6001/DAD4099, Neumann KM 131, KMR 81i, Oktava MK 012, Sennheiser MKH 105, MKH 20, MKH 30, MKH 40, MKH 800 TWIN, lots of other studio appropriate choices
Recorders: Zoom F8n, Sony MZ-R50, portable MOTU based multitrack DAW for client work

Offline DSatz

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Re: AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 04:55:35 PM »
The engineers who were at AKG at the end, and who went on to work for the new company, weren't the ones who had developed these capsules anyway; they're several generations removed. And this particular capsule type was already being made in a different way, and with a notably different sound quality, from the original 1950s CK 12 from which it is derived. More precisely, the company was making two very different "derived" capsules in this series--neither of which sounded like the original, and both of which had undergone production changes since they themselves had been introduced. AKG hasn't made the original capsule type in many years, and to my knowledge no one in the company was still around from when they did make it.

One thing to keep in mind as well is that the characteristics of surviving original CK 12s--all of which are quite old by now--form a rather wide range of "variations on a theme". If you gathered together a dozen recording engineers who own and love their original C 12, C 24, C 412 or C 414 microphones, probably none of them would be willing to trade their particular one for anyone else's; they would pale at the suggestion, since they are each in love with an individual microphone's particular characteristics. There are people who deplore this situation but others who think that it's great; the wider diversity gives them a better chance to find a sound that they like, if they get to choose among multiple samples.

For a clone maker--which, in later decades, AKG themselves became in effect--it's a difficult situation. No matter what you offer, its characteristics will never quite agree with the majority of the "original" capsules or microphones that people will compare it with, which are their own personal references. I've never heard of anyone who has an original C 12 (etc.) or Neumann U 47 who has ever said, "[Such-and-such's] clone version sounds every bit as good as my original." The CK 12 is definitely one of the top three capsules that people try to clone, though.

--best regards
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 01:19:37 AM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Candyman

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Re: AKG C414 - Made in Austria vs Made in Hungary
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 08:16:30 AM »
Thank you for your responses, everyone. I've decided to keep it, and when I eventually come across an older model like B-ULS or TL II, I'll post a mic shoot-out. (I just couldn't find one online.)

I have also learned a little about SE Electronics 4400a, which may be a strong and more affordable contender out there.

 

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