AKG Legendary Microphones: C12/C414


For over 70 years, AKG has been one of every of the leading microphone manufacturers worldwide. Many of its products, like the C12 large-diaphragm condenser, the D112 large-diaphragm dynamic, and therefore the C414 large-diaphragm condenser became industry standards

In today’s blog article, let’s take a look at the history and technology behind the C12 and C414, AKG’s most well-liked microphones. Today, let’s explore the C-Series’ evolution.




AKG was founded in 1947 in Vienna, Austria, and it didn’t take long for its microphones to become popular performers and broadcasters. By the first ‘50s, the corporation was vying with arch-rival Neumann for supremacy within the mic business.

 “Neumann and AKG were manufacturing mics that were very accurate and which gave lots of fidelity to the recording industry in the U.S.” Just like Pepsi and Coke” says JT Taylor.

The C12 was produced around that time. AKG is one of the foremost revered high-quality mics condenser ever, that featured a new CK12 capsule. The C12 has been one in all the primary multi-pattern condenser and remote-controlled mics to hit the market.


C12, one of the foremost famous tube microphones within the history of recording was the legendary AKG C 12. When the C12 was released for the first time, it was absolutely mainly used for capturing broadcast and classical performances, but the C12 quickly found its way into recording studios as the word of its sound quality spread. When used on vocals, it captures a high-end airy that was exceptionally flattering. Jackson, played by Elvis Presley, and Tom Petty are just some of the legendary artists who used the C12 for vocal recording.

There is really no mic in the world quite like the AKG C12. AKG manufactured the initial C12 for less than ten years, from 1953 to 1963. Today, original C12s microphones are rare and extraordinarily valuable. In 1962, AKG created a second version, the C12A, which featured the identical CK12 capsule, but a unique tube and transformer, and smaller housing.

Old AKG C12 with PSU
Old C12 AKG

Despite vast changes in microphone engineering, these microphones in condition are still a great deal wanted and very expensive. There was no single “C12 sound” because AKG’s engineers constantly refined the look. Most of those changes were made for reasons starting from improved Sonics to easier manufacture. Therefore, engineers in the recording industry vigorously demanded a rerun.




Since its original release in 1971, the AKG has produced a variety of various model variations of the C414. Currently, it makes two versions—the C414 XLS and also the C414 XLII. Except for little differences, the foremost main difference between the trendy C414 models is their capsules. Let’s take a look at these two microphones and see their features and use cases.

The C414 XLS (left) is a transparent sounding than the C414 XLII, but the latter includes a presence boost like the C12, which makes it quite flattering on many sources.


Designed for accurate transparency and reproduction, it has an identical capsule because of the popular C414 B-ULS. The transparency works if you would like to capture a sound source with little or no coloring, like drums, acoustic guitars, stringed instruments, and more

The XLS is neutral sounding and has the flattest linearity, which implies it’s totally transparent,” says JT Taylor, Senior Application Engineer, AKG. “It’s suitable for any situation, but really shines on strings and acoustic instruments—or whenever you wish a very accurate recording”.

The C414 XLS multipattern capacitor offers a choice of (9) polar patterns for the exact sonic capture for each application and a sprout of LED displays. For live permanent installations and sound applications, all controls can easily be disabled for trouble-free use.

The sonic character of the C414 B-ULS was kept on the C414 XLS, the most popular AKG C414 version since 1971. Engineered for the highest linearity and neutral sound, it’s been the foremost versatile large-diaphragm microphone for many years.

 The C414 XLII has an identical capsule design because the legendary AKG C12, with the same 3kHz presence boost, makes it a great choice for capturing vocals and solo instruments. Both C414 models are great all-around mics and deliver high-quality reproduction for a spread of sources.

Taylor says: “I use them on everything, from an opera singer to a side drum, to a symphony or a jazz singer, they’re incredibly versatile mics.”



The C414 gives users more control over how it picks up sound than most microphones. For instance, most mics feature just a single volume pad, but the C414 offers (3): -6dB, -12dB, and -18dB. Using any of those will reduce the output by the desired amount, which helps avoid overloads when recording loud sources like drums, horns, and guitar cabinets.

This microphone will work well with most string or wind instruments, and is often used for recordings requiring a well-defined rhythmic pattern.


The C414 can be qualified as the best-known microphone that AKG makes, alongside the legendary C12. User. Nevertheless, the C414 has passed through a variety of evolutionary changes over its long lifetime, adding and discarding transformers, changing shapes, and now, in its latest incarnation, sprouting LEDs! Although the general shape of the new versions is unmistakably C414, virtually everything about the microphone has been redesigned in an attempt to retain the first sound, while at the identical time improving the technical performance. AKG cites 15 Improved features, though one in every of these relates to the depth of engraving and therefore the color of the infill, so clearly some are of more importance than others!

The price range for the C12 and C414 models varies depending on several factors. However, we are looking at about $2,000 to $10,000.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the evolution of the long-lasting AKG C-Series.

First AKG C12 clone voice test from Mic&Mod in 2014 (U47 for guitar recording)


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Mic & Mod is specialized in DIY Vintage Microphone Kits since 2013. Why buy expensive vintage microphones in poor condition when you can build them yourself?

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