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Looking for budget minded mic comparable to AKG C 414 B-XLS
Old 21st January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
Looking for budget minded mic comparable to AKG C 414 B-XLS

As like most people, I've heard and played around with the AKG 414 and fell in love with it. What I didn't fall in love with is the price.

Is there anything comparable out there for the sub $500?

I'm looking for an overall work horse mic. 85% vocals, 10% instruments 5% foley.

I already have an NT1a, but it doesn't compare as well on average pre's as the AKG.

Last edited by djgizmo; 21st January 2009 at 09:29 AM.. Reason: subb'd
Old 21st January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
a cheap 414 is a CAD M179. For vocals though i would want another option as well but thats all part of building up a mic collection anyway. so start with a CAD and go from there.
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


For "85% vocals" you are going to want a few mics (unless it's a single voice, then you have to find one that works).

Get a M179 for $180 or so and start trying other mics.

You might like the Kel HM7u if you liked the BXLS. Kel has great mics for the price and a generous return policy.



-tINY

Old 21st January 2009
  #4
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elamberth's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Have you thought about the BLUE Bluebird?
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
$180 for a CAD M179 and $325 for an Shure sm7b. Those two would give you alot of flexibility.
Old 21st January 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djgizmo ➑️
As like most people, I've heard and played around with the AKG 414 and fell in love with it. What I didn't fall in love with is the price.

Is there anything comparable out there for the sub $500?

I'm looking for an overall work horse mic. 85% vocals, 10% instruments 5% foley.

I already have an NT1a, but it doesn't compare as well on average pre's as the AKG.
If you "love " that mic, save up and get that one...the price point is within reach.
Try the below link...$675
AKGΒ CΒ 414Β B-XLS...

Good luck!
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamberth ➑️
Have you thought about the BLUE Bluebird?
I've thought about it, but haven't had a chance to try one out in a controlled environment. I wish Guitar center had a control/live room for these things
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
You can buy the real thing for under $500...
Used 414s go for around $450 on ebay all the time. Sometimes less. I haven't used anything that I would say is a good substitute if you really like the 414 sound.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
ihate eBay now and only deal with the site as last resort.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
well if you limit your options to where you can buy things from of course you're going to have next to an impossible time finding a good deal on something or picking up what you really want.

Not sure why you hate ebay but as long as you use paypal through the ebay site you are guaranteed. So there really shouldn't be any issues. Paypal accounts are pretty much free and when you do have small fees and stuff it's usually no where near as bad as paying full price for something at a typical retail store or wherever. Obviously not everything on ebay is a great deal and there are scams but that can be anywhere and as a consumer most of that is your responsibility to filter through. I don't know if I'm lucky but I've used ebay for probably 15 years now and I've not once had an issue with it.

Try going through local classifieds and craigslists. Especially right now when the economy is rough it's a buyers market a lot of people are unloading things they don't need to survive. I see a lot of music equipment at great deals. A lot of people are moving and need to unload fast and cheap because they don't have space/time/money to take stuff with them.

If you want a C414 you are probably going to just have to get the real thing. Just make sure you know the differences between the models available they all sound very different and one might not be what you want at all.

The only similar mics (not exact replicas) to it that cost less are imo the AT4050 and CAD M179.

Now if you don't really need the C414 there are limitless options.

Get a big, beefy, meaty sounding LDD like a Heil PR40, Sennheiser MD421, Shure SM7b, Electro-Voice RE-20.

and then get a nice warmer sounding condenser like a Blue Bluebird (has a really nice sweet top end), Blue Baby Bottle (warm and very forward sounding mic), KEL HM7u (nice thick and glossy), AT4047 (kinda like the HM7 only it has more of the vintage FET vibe like a stereotypical vintage german mic), Sterling Audio ST77 (to my ear similar to a Neumann TLM103, I have my flame suit on, but I like the TLM103 these sell for $200-$400 all the time on ebay and on used gear classifieds), etc.

If you want a nice clean transparent workhorse mic AT4040, KSM32, GT57 or GT55 (sterling audio ST55 and ST59), CAD M177/M179, AT4050, AT4033, list goes on and on.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djgizmo ➑️
ihate eBay now and only deal with the site as last resort.
I can certainly understand that.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
I've recorded one of my songs with the 414 and it was a really Neutral mic. If you want a mic where you can EQ after, the 414 is great, if not, get a more colored mic.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe ➑️
Not sure why you hate ebay but as long as you use paypal through the ebay site you are guaranteed. So there really shouldn't be any issues.
Shouldn't be and what actually happens is 2 different things.

Ebay/Paypal used to be cool up to about 2 years ago (I've been using ebay since 99, and pp since 01), then they reworked both companies to work against the consumer. Now, as a seller on ebay, in order to get your money from paypal, you either need to wait 21 days, have the buyer post positive feedback, or provide information that the item has been delivered.

I've recently been burned on a transaction on ebay (over seas purchase) and basically paypal said, so sorry so sad after a dispute. By the time the dispute was finished, I was unable to even leave feedback.

I hope you can see why I might have a bad taste in my mouth from ebay. I still use paypal, but won't use it with ebay due to the nature of things. (btw, now the only option to sell on ebay is with paypal, not even check/money/cod/escrow order is allowed)
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe ➑️
The only similar mics (not exact replicas) to it that cost less are imo the AT4050 and CAD M179.

Now if you don't really need the C414 there are limitless options.

Get a big, beefy, meaty sounding LDD like a Heil PR40, Sennheiser MD421, Shure SM7b, Electro-Voice RE-20.

and then get a nice warmer sounding condenser like a Blue Bluebird (has a really nice sweet top end), Blue Baby Bottle (warm and very forward sounding mic), KEL HM7u (nice thick and glossy), AT4047 (kinda like the HM7 only it has more of the vintage FET vibe like a stereotypical vintage german mic), Sterling Audio ST77 (to my ear similar to a Neumann TLM103, I have my flame suit on, but I like the TLM103 these sell for $200-$400 all the time on ebay and on used gear classifieds), etc.

If you want a nice clean transparent workhorse mic AT4040, KSM32, GT57 or GT55 (sterling audio ST55 and ST59), CAD M177/M179, AT4050, AT4033, list goes on and on.
thumbsup
Thank you for the list of substitutions. I don't really 'need' a 414, that's why I was asking for a comparable.heh I've heard a sterling mic the other week on a acoustic guitar and it sounded really nice.

I just wish I could go and test some of these out. It does no one any justice to just a buy a mic for the sake of buying a mic.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djgizmo ➑️
Shouldn't be and what actually happens is 2 different things.

Ebay/Paypal used to be cool up to about 2 years ago (I've been using ebay since 99, and pp since 01), then they reworked both companies to work against the consumer. Now, as a seller on ebay, in order to get your money from paypal, you either need to wait 21 days, have the buyer post positive feedback, or provide information that the item has been delivered.

I've recently been burned on a transaction on ebay (over seas purchase) and basically paypal said, so sorry so sad after a dispute. By the time the dispute was finished, I was unable to even leave feedback.

I hope you can see why I might have a bad taste in my mouth from ebay. I still use paypal, but won't use it with ebay due to the nature of things. (btw, now the only option to sell on ebay is with paypal, not even check/money/cod/escrow order is allowed)
I noticed that too....the fees are getting rediculous now....I thought maybe it was just cuz I hadn't sold anything for a couple years....still can't complain too much cuz sometimes it's better than craigslist or here if my stuff doesn't move and obviously much better than selling to a music store or music go round
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithMoonwannabe ➑️
(to my ear similar to a Neumann TLM103, I have my flame suit on, but I like the TLM103 these sell for $200-$400 all the time on ebay and on used gear classifieds),
dude, I like you more and more LoL

I love tlm103s. great mics, compared to non-neumanns it has a TON of vibe and is super well built and very versatile.

it's more pricey than that here though $600-$800 used typically (sold one of mine for $500 or $600 but I'm a sucker).

getting flamed is fun - its nice to be noticed, even if it's because you walk against the grain a bit. :-)

PS, I know several BIG local studios that swear by the tlm103 - I think the anti-103 thing is a gearslutz effect
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley ➑️
dude, I like you more and more LoL

I love tlm103s. great mics, compared to non-neumanns it has a TON of vibe and is super well built and very versatile.

it's more pricey than that here though $600-$800 used typically (sold one of mine for $500 or $600 but I'm a sucker).

getting flamed is fun - its nice to be noticed, even if it's because you walk against the grain a bit. :-)

PS, I know several BIG local studios that swear by the tlm103 - I think the anti-103 thing is a gearslutz effect
I've recorded with the TLM 103, never liked the sound of it.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
oops I meant to say the Sterlings are that price used....hahaha that'd be a heck of a deal for a Neumann
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djgizmo ➑️
ihate eBay now and only deal with the site as last resort.
I hate GC now and only deal with the site as a last resort.

You don't have any other pro audio dealers in your area? Many pro audio places let you audition mics at home, especially if you're a regular customer. Unfortunately, when GC is the only audio retailer left in the world, we won't have that option anymore.

If GC is your only option, and you can't find an internet retailer to help you out, consider bringing a backing track of your music without vocal to GC and have them import it into one of their standalone recorders so you can record your vocal through several different mics right in the store. Then burn a mix with the different mics and take it home to ponder the results.

Another option - find a studio like mine that has many different vocal mics in the under $1500 range and pay them for an hour of recording time to do what the GC goons wouldn't let you do. It would be money well spent in the long run.

For a 414 clone, try this guy.

Advanced Audio Microphones

I've been using the tube version with the Peluso CK12 capsule for a while now. It's my go-to vocal mic - sort of a 414 on steroids. Between that and a sm7b, you would have a lot of ground covered. Another interesting mic is the new MXL Gemini, but it's going to be more midrangey than a 414, which would put it closer to the sm7b.

There's also the cardiod-only version of the 414, the 214, but if you do any live guitar/vocal recording, the fig 8 pattern of the 414 is a must. (I was using my 414 on a female singer the other day. She was playing a miniature guitar from Chile, way up high, like almost right under her chin. I was able to place a mic down near the bridge for the guitar sound, but the 414 on vocal was picking up way too much guitar. Duh! It was set to cardioid. I flipped it into fig 8 and the vocal was almost totally isolated. Nice! That's why you need multi-pattern mics.)


What we all learn eventually is that buying cheap mics is not cost effective in the long run. Unfortunately, we usually have to learn that the hard way.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
I've recorded with the TLM 103, never liked the sound of it.
and it begins :-)
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ADK Vienna edition was VERY similar when the AKG was in cardioid pattern.

I had a pair of each and test them against each other.

EDIT: the original viennas. I haven't tried any of the newer ones.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley ➑️
and it begins :-)
Haha I know Hey is the 414 brand new from Advanced Audio? I'm definitely interested.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➑️
You don't have any other pro audio dealers in your area? Many pro audio places let you audition mics at home, especially if you're a regular customer. Unfortunately, when GC is the only audio retailer left in the world, we won't have that option anymore.

If GC is your only option, and you can't find an internet retailer to help you out, consider bringing a backing track of your music without vocal to GC and have them import it into one of their standalone recorders so you can record your vocal through several different mics right in the store. Then burn a mix with the different mics and take it home to ponder the results.

Another option - find a studio like mine that has many different vocal mics in the under $1500 range and pay them for an hour of recording time to do what the GC goons wouldn't let you do. It would be money well spent in the long run.

For a 414 clone, try this guy.

Advanced Audio Microphones

I've been using the tube version with the Peluso CK12 capsule for a while now. It's my go-to vocal mic - sort of a 414 on steroids. Between that and a sm7b, you would have a lot of ground covered. Another interesting mic is the new MXL Gemini, but it's going to be more midrangey than a 414, which would put it closer to the sm7b.

There's also the cardiod-only version of the 414, the 214, but if you do any live guitar/vocal recording, the fig 8 pattern of the 414 is a must. (I was using my 414 on a female singer the other day. She was playing a miniature guitar from Chile, way up high, like almost right under her chin. I was able to place a mic down near the bridge for the guitar sound, but the 414 on vocal was picking up way too much guitar. Duh! It was set to cardioid. I flipped it into fig 8 and the vocal was almost totally isolated. Nice! That's why you need multi-pattern mics.)


What we all learn eventually is that buying cheap mics is not cost effective in the long run. Unfortunately, we usually have to learn that the hard way.
Thank you again for the suggestions.

I think I know of 1 other pro audio shop, but I haven't been there in forever and there hours are kinda short.

I wish I knew someone else in the area that was into pro(sumer) audio that knew all the local shops.

Yea, thats another thing that I loved about the 414, with that mic I could do MS for live recording for scratch tracks for bands.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
maybe you should try a pair of CAD M179. They have variable patterns.

They really are good mics regardless of low price.

Even if you upgrade you can always use em on toms.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago ➑️
Haha I know Hey is the 414 brand new from Advanced Audio? I'm definitely interested.
Advanced Audio is Dave Thomas, the Canadian mic mod dude who generated so much pad PR around here a while back. He would have you send your Apex tube mic up to Canada for him to mod, and then you'd have to wait six months or a year to get it back - after you'd paid him in advance. (Advanced Audio - get it?) I've got two of his modded tube mics, and I saved roughly $1500 by using his services compared to buying comparable mics from a retailer.

At least he has these 414 clone mics in stock, (as well as 47 and 87 clones) so you order it, he ships it. No problem. (I do recommend keeping track of the 40 day Paypal time limit on filing a claim, just in case.) Dave really is good with mics, and that's the bottom line. He gets these directly from China, built to his specifications, and then I would imagine he runs his own quality control/mods on them. In other words, if this mic was at GC, it would have the retail markup added by a company like CAD or Sterling and list for probably a grand, while buying direct from him they're only like $350 or something.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➑️
Advanced Audio is Dave Thomas, the Canadian mic mod dude who generated so much pad PR around here a while back. He would have you send your Apex tube mic up to Canada for him to mod, and then you'd have to wait six months or a year to get it back - after you'd paid him in advance. (Advanced Audio - get it?) I've got two of his modded tube mics, and I saved roughly $1500 by using his services compared to buying comparable mics from a retailer.

At least he has these 414 clone mics in stock, (as well as 47 and 87 clones) so you order it, he ships it. No problem. (I do recommend keeping track of the 40 day Paypal time limit on filing a claim, just in case.) Dave really is good with mics, and that's the bottom line. He gets these directly from China, built to his specifications, and then I would imagine he runs his own quality control/mods on them. In other words, if this mic was at GC, it would have the retail markup added by a company like CAD or Sterling and list for probably a grand, while buying direct from him they're only like $350 or something.
his mics do look pretty cool....hmmmm....
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Dave worked on my RCA BK5A.

While it took an incredibly long time to get it back, I think he forgot about it eventually, some of that wasn't his fault (he sent it to Peluso for reribboning, and that seemed to take forever as well).

No matter what, the mic that came back was wonderful. And Dave impressed me constantly with his knowledge. The more I've talked to people around here (he's from Vancouver area like me), the more I hear the same thing. Maybe not a great businessman from the point of view of product turnaround or communication with clients, but the quality of work and his microphones themselves are top notch.

Some say his advanced audio mics are the best you can get in the price range. certainly they're very good and I really really want to get his U47 clone which gets raves constantly.
Old 21st February 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
DamnYankee's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djgizmo ➑️
As like most people, I've heard and played around with the AKG 414 and fell in love with it. What I didn't fall in love with is the price.

Is there anything comparable out there for the sub $500?

I'm looking for an overall work horse mic. 85% vocals, 10% instruments 5% foley.

I already have an NT1a, but it doesn't compare as well on average pre's as the AKG.
The answer is: probably not because the C-414 is pretty much ruler flat and neutral. However, you should be able to pick up a used C-414 for under $500.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➑️
Advanced Audio is Dave Thomas, the Canadian mic mod dude who generated so much pad PR around here a while back. He would have you send your Apex tube mic up to Canada for him to mod, and then you'd have to wait six months or a year to get it back - after you'd paid him in advance. (Advanced Audio - get it?) I've got two of his modded tube mics, and I saved roughly $1500 by using his services compared to buying comparable mics from a retailer.

At least he has these 414 clone mics in stock, (as well as 47 and 87 clones) so you order it, he ships it. No problem. (I do recommend keeping track of the 40 day Paypal time limit on filing a claim, just in case.) Dave really is good with mics, and that's the bottom line. He gets these directly from China, built to his specifications, and then I would imagine he runs his own quality control/mods on them. In other words, if this mic was at GC, it would have the retail markup added by a company like CAD or Sterling and list for probably a grand, while buying direct from him they're only like $350 or something.
Interesting. I'd probably go for the mics he had in stock, I just couldn't justify to my wife spending money and not seeing a product for 6-12 months.

Thanks for the info!
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan ➑️
(I do recommend keeping track of the 40 day Paypal time limit on filing a claim, just in case.)
I've never heard of Dave screwing anyone.
πŸ“ Reply

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