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AKG C414 XLS Stereo Set

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Condenser Large Diaphragm MicrophoneStereoset consisting of two matched C414 XLS condenser largediaphragm microphones

  • Successor to the C 414B XLS
  • Now with 9 switchable directional characteristics (cardioid, wide-cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 + 4 intermediate positions)
  • Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Dynamic range: 140 dB(SPL) max
  • Lock mode to save the settings
  • Peak-Hold display
  • Status LEDs
  • 3-Way switchable bass cut filter (0/40/80/160 Hz)
  • 3 Preattenuation pads (0/-6/-12/-18 dB)
  • Transformerless XLR Output (FET)
  • Incl. elastic mounting (H85), windshield (W414X), H50 stereo bar and aluminium case
  • On option available: pop filter PF 80
  • Dimensions: (W x D x H) 395 x 315 x 105 mm
Tube No
Switchable Polar Pattern Yes
Omnidirectional Yes
Cardioid Yes
Figure-8 Yes
Low Cut Yes
Pad Yes
shockmount included Yes
USB Microphone No
available since May 2010
Item number 240606
$1,399
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16 Sales Rank
A
AKG C414 - a studio classic
Anonymous 01.11.2014
Buying a pair of 414's is a pretty safe investment. Well known brand and product, always sell used for a fair price and they tend to last for years on end.

I chose to buy a new pair for a studio project as I was after a clean and closely matched pair to use in stereo recordings, with the ability to select polar patterns for different applications.

Having used a lot of previous generations of 414's, I was aware that some people dislike the newer generations sound. I can only speak for myself, but I was happy with the sound I got from this pair of mics. The stereo pair were very closely matched, much closer in terms of frequency response than many other matched pairs I own.

These new ones sound great for all things acoustic and the in-between polar patterns makes them a lot of fun to use.

My only criticism is that you can't check polar patterns, pads and filters before you send phantom power to the mics as they are indicated by LED's, I actually preferred setting these with switches as it's a hassle - particularly if you have them set up high on larger mic stands.

The mics themselves are great in terms of build quality, but the shockmounts don't last when used daily sadly. A nice touch with the stereo set though, is that AKG also include standard mic clips to put them on for use when you need to squeeze into a tight space. A quality AKG stereo bar is also included.

The flight case is also a nice touch, but the clips on these don't last. They have changed the clips for cheaper ones sometime within the last 3 years.

Overall though, these are great sounding, flexible mics which won't disappoint. My favourite application for these is acoustic piano. The only thing I rarely use these on is vocals, I tend to prefer something with more mojo (but that naturally comes with a cost).
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Very good microphones for OH and Acoustic Guitar
This_Is_Tomorrow 07.07.2019
The AKG C414 XLS Stereo Matched-Pair is probably one of the best options out there for drum overheads. I usually use them as an A/B pair and they really work great. These mics aren't overly bright, but they are very detailed, they can work well with both bright and dark cymbals without sounding harsh - I've seen them beat a matched pair of AKG C12.
On my acoustic guitar they sound really good too and the figure-of-8 polar pattern allows you to perfectly capture a singing guitar player without significant bleed.
On the other hand, these mics aren't that good for vocals, specially with sybilant high-pitched voices like mine. You can still work with them if you need for vocals, but that just isn't their strong point - if you want to record rock/metal vocals (belting and that kind of stuff) it might sound harsh and "metallic". They sound do sound good with some soft pop vocals.
All in all, really a great buy for OH and acoustic guitar, but not that great for vocals.
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bang for the buck
Bullerbü 10.09.2019
those are great microphones.
They may neither be as neutral as Sennheiser's MKH nor as colourful as Schoeps MK series, but they are no doubt great workhorses. Clean (no transformer), multiple polar patterns, amazing SPL handling, neutral sound.

Nevertheless - I bought a pair and had to send it back since one microphone seemed to have faulty electronics resulting in a buzzing and humping low-level noise.
The replacement set thomann sent me had another microphone with the same issue.

So thoroughly test if both microphones are working and clean - QC standards aren't on par with a once famous Austrian microphone brand.
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CP
Clarity, Fullness, Detailed
Classical Producer 13.05.2021
c414 is one of the best condenser mic that has flat frequency response on the market. It is clear, full and very detailed. I used for classical recordings and upright piano recordings and it is just great.

Multiple polar patterns, dynamic range, low noise floor are the important things that makes this mic very versatile.

It is also great for overheads. However, I recommend this pair for especially piano and guitar as well.
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