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AKG mics...now made where ?
Old 29th June 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
AKG mics...now made where ?

I came across an eBay listing for the now-discontinued AKG CBL99 boundary layer mic, and was surprised to see proudly labeled on the the underside "Made in China (PRC)" I'd assumed they were all made in Austria ?

An image search confirmed a few other samples of the same mic are similarly labelled, so not just a fluke or a knockoff....

A wiki search comes up with the following recent AKG history:

"In 1984, AKG became a public company, listed on the Vienna stock exchange. As a blue chip company, it was one of the most traded stocks.

The company was acquired by the American company Harman International Industries in 1994. By this time, AKG's United States subsidiary had been established (in Los Angeles in 1985). AKG Acoustics USA, still headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, also houses regional offices for Crown Audio, another Harman Industries subsidiary.

In 2010, the company received the prestigious Technical Grammy award.

In 2016 it was announced that the AKG Vienna facility will be shut down in 2017

2016 – Harman was bought by Samsung Electronics"

So where are current and future AKG mics being made: China, USA, Mexico, Sth Korea ?

This GS thread suggests that Hungary is the latest place of manufacture, for AKG C414 at least: AKG C414 now made in Hungary?

That thread also contains the posting: "Not only AKG as I've recently found out. Studer manufactures broadcast consoles in Hungary as well.."

Oh well, as long as the quality is maintained...more power to the Austro-Hungarian empire
Attached Thumbnails
AKG mics...now made where ?-akg-pzm-mic.jpg  
Old 30th June 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
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dunno about akg but studer: they were dissatisfied with the manufacturing at soundcraft in the uk but did NOT want to move production too far away from regensdorf, switzerland (the nerds are still there) and certainly not to china or elsewhere in the far east for various reason...

here's a link to a video with some information on the new factory.

YouTube
Old 30th June 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
An impressive video...in a corporate kind of way ( the talking heads say the 'right things' about customer responsiveness, etc....what else would you expect ?)

The bigger picture..of what happens to these smaller entities like Soundcraft, Studer AKG et al...what happens to their vision, their direction and innovation once they are subsumed by the bigger conglomerates (ie Harman, Samsung) ?

Do these smaller entities retain their individual directions and observance of their niche customer bases...or does a whole new set of goals become imposed upon them by the parent company ? Is Pecs, Hungary purely a manufacturing hub of high quality for many of these named companies...or the beginning of a whole new multifaceted octopus ?

I'm confused...can't see the big picture, or where trends are headed for the future.
The Samsung C414 just doesn't have that familiar ring of quality assurance about it.....although the workers in the Pecs plant hardly look exploited or unhappy. I wonder what % of its functions are robotic.
Old 1st July 2018
  #4
Gear Guru
The better AKG engineers started their own Austrian audio company. Expect new mics from them soon.
Old 1st July 2018
  #5
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The high end AKG mics are made in Hungary now. It is a brand new modern factory.
Old 1st July 2018
  #6
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
As long as these companies maintain their quality controls and customer service I could really care less about where they are manufactured. The plant in the YouTube video looks clean, neat, efficient and modern. Harman certainly has the money to work with and they seem, for the present, to be spending it in the right places. FWIW
Old 1st July 2018 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
The better AKG engineers started their own Austrian audio company. Expect new mics from them soon.
can you unveil any secrets?
Old 1st July 2018 | Show parent
  #8
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mpdonahue's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
can you unveil any secrets?
Austrian Audio: ODM Experts in Microphones, Headphones and Acoustics
Old 1st July 2018 | Show parent
  #9
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1 Review written
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many thx - any 'new' contender with a serious background is welcomed!
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
many thx - any 'new' contender with a serious background is welcomed!
I like their approach re taking the old with them: "And we pretty much went in to the old R&D center & factory (where our team had previously developed and produced some of the audio world’s most trusted tools) and removed the best anechoic chamber and reinstalled it in its new home with us"

Here's what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JID8y2R1V7E
Old 2nd July 2018
  #11
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🎧 5 years
Terrible video !
Surely they could have mastered sound acquisition if the are 'Experts in Microphones'
Old 2nd July 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
So the wedges are only on the ceiling, floor and door, and the remaining surfaces are roughly 8" of low density fiber(glass?) batting?
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Terrible video !
Surely they could have mastered sound acquisition if the are 'Experts in Microphones'
Only experts in making mics not using them. Videographers fault. Mind you, when the speaker keeps talking while looking down at the floor wedges, the boom op would have to be quick to catch it.
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tailspn ➡️
So the wedges are only on the ceiling, floor and door, and the remaining surfaces are roughly 8" of low density fiber(glass?) batting?
Perhaps the wedges on walls are protected from humans brushing against them while working. So behind the fabric. It stops humans getting fibres in their skin and stops the wedges getting damaged.
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Only experts in making mics not using them. Videographers fault. Mind you, when the speaker keeps talking while looking down at the floor wedges, the boom op would have to be quick to catch it.
There no boom op David or radio, its on board
Ive been in the Range Rover Anechoic Acoustic, its huge, we had a string quartet in there.
This is a bit feeble
Roger
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
There no boom op David or radio, its on board
Ive been in the Range Rover Anechoic Acoustic, its huge, we had a string quartet in there.
This is a bit feeble
Roger
I know that Roger, I was attempting sarcasm.

Quote:
Ive been in the Range Rover Anechoic Acoustic, its huge, we had a string quartet in there.
Why, on earth.
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #17
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Ive been in the Range Rover Anechoic Acoustic, its huge, we had a string quartet in there.
David asked why.
To disturb them greatly?
Old 2nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Perhaps the wedges on walls are protected from humans brushing against them while working. So behind the fabric. It stops humans getting fibres in their skin and stops the wedges getting damaged.
Yes, thanks David. I see my confusion. At 3:11 of the video it shows the side walls with insulation batting to the building wall. Then they install the floor, then the front camera view wall. What's not shown is what they fill the space between the outer chamber wall, and the floor footprint.

I was hoping the batting they used from the chamber outside wall to the building was some super stuff that could be identified, and I could buy.
Old 3rd July 2018
  #19
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rumleymusic's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Hungarian and Chinese factories for an Austrian Brand run by an American Company owned by a Korean tech giant. I am so confused.
Old 3rd July 2018 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic ➡️
Hungarian and Chinese factories for an Austrian Brand run by an American Company owned by a Korean tech giant. I am so confused.
It's the Hungarian's job to build it to the highest robotically-assembled performance-spec possible, and the Korean's (Samsung) job to ensure it has the lowest selling price and end-of-service-life failure: comparable to their washing machines and DVD players....so you'll come back for more in a few years....

Last edited by studer58; 3rd July 2018 at 07:19 AM..
Old 3rd July 2018
  #21
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It would help to realize that, our preconceptions and desires aside, these companies were sold by the people who owned them. Voluntarily, most often, by their founders, boards of directors and/or stockholders. There was no robbery involved, or desire to ruin the product, to my knowledge. Things are what they are, and are not always as we'd like them to be. If you don't like the "corporate" versions, find a boutique builder of a similar design and spend a wad of dough there, supporting the craftsmanship. But do it sooner rather than later... before the founder/board of directors/stockholders decide to sell.

One old guy's opinion, and worth every farthing paid.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 4th July 2018 at 03:34 PM..
Old 3rd July 2018
  #22
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🎧 10 years
In my experience it's the responsiveness and caring about customer satisfaction plus attention to warranty issues which is the first casualty of most corporate takeovers and 'upsizings'. If it's simply empire acquisition and the individual entities are largely left alone to carry on their business more or less as usual, it can all work out fine.

However it's more common that the parent body will eventually neglect and/or wind down a small arm which caters to a niche market, especially if it comes across hard times and needs to 'rationalize' its assets and liabilities.

Yes, boards and shareholders will be the first to enact these, to protect dividend streams and company profits (and CEO wages/bonuses)...but the inevitable losers are the loyal purchasers of the legacy (and later) products, who are often left stranded when there's not even a n identifiable 'division' devoted to that product within the new corporate structure. If product ruination occurs, it's usually through neglect by the parent company rather than plain ill-intent. How many balls is Samsung already juggling....and will it care about the 'microphone wing' it's acquired from AKG/Harman ?

I'll put my money with the ex-employees and their new venture, as they're more likely to care about their products on a personal, reputational level....as well as carry expertise from prior years in the specific business.

An example of this would be Roger Jönsson the man behind the one-man show that is Line Audio, which has many supporters here
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #23
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
... I'll put my money with the ex-employees and their new venture, as they're more likely to care about their products on a personal, reputational level....as well as carry expertise from prior years in the specific business.

An example of this would be Roger Jönsson the man behind the one-man show that is Line Audio, which has many supporters here
Exactly.

HB

Vintage AKG and "new" Line Audio owner
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
In my experience it's the responsiveness and caring about customer satisfaction plus attention to warranty issues which is the first casualty of most corporate takeovers and 'upsizings'. If it's simply empire acquisition and the individual entities are largely left alone to carry on their business more or less as usual, it can all work out fine.

However it's more common that the parent body will eventually neglect and/or wind down a small arm which caters to a niche market, especially if it comes across hard times and needs to 'rationalize' its assets and liabilities.

Yes, boards and shareholders will be the first to enact these, to protect dividend streams and company profits (and CEO wages/bonuses)...but the inevitable losers are the loyal purchasers of the legacy (and later) products, who are often left stranded when there's not even a n identifiable 'division' devoted to that product within the new corporate structure. If product ruination occurs, it's usually through neglect by the parent company rather than plain ill-intent. How many balls is Samsung already juggling....and will it care about the 'microphone wing' it's acquired from AKG/Harman ?

I'll put my money with the ex-employees and their new venture, as they're more likely to care about their products on a personal, reputational level....as well as carry expertise from prior years in the specific business.

An example of this would be Roger Jönsson the man behind the one-man show that is Line Audio, which has many supporters here
i'm with you on that too, yet it's easy to say (and act accordingly!) as long as we're talking relatively minor items such as mics. not that they are unimportant, but at least to me, things look somewhat different when it comes to more sophisticated gear such as large broadcast consoles:
i wouldn't wana sit behind any boutique kind of console and possibly not get hold of the manufacturer when something goes wrong while being on air, potentially with thousands/millions of people getting affected...

in addition, some smaller companies can simply not keep up with the design expertise and the accumulated knowledge of a highly specialized manufacturer, let alone the manufacturing capability!
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
In addition, some smaller companies can simply not keep up with the design expertise and the accumulated knowledge of a highly specialized manufacturer, let alone the manufacturing capability!
I think I have the ideal manufacturer for you: Behringer
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
oh yes: i'm gonna trade in my studer vista consoles and get a ton of uli's gear!

seriously now: for political, economical, ecological, social and personal reasons (i got to negotiate a deal with him while i was working for a manufacturer of musical instruments in the nineties and met him several times plus he went to school with my guitar player around here), i'm having so much disrespect for him that i even started selling gear from companies that he bought in recent years...
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
(i got to negotiate a deal with him while i was working for a manufacturer of musical instruments in the nineties and met him several times plus he went to school with my guitar player around here), i'm having so much disrespect for him that i even started selling gear from companies that he bought in recent years...
I’m curious... What was your impression of him as a human being (if you can grant him that status) from your interactions? Everything that I’ve seen for public consumption is so carefully managed that I have no “read” on him at all.
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman ➡️
Everything that I’ve seen for public consumption is so carefully managed that I have no “read” on him at all.
that's my impression too - however, i'm not gonna say anything in public about someone (although a prominent figure) i met sporadically some 20 years ago...

(but i'll pm you)
Old 4th July 2018 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
that's my impression too - however, i'm not gonna say anything in public about someone (although a prominent figure) i met sporadically some 20 years ago...

(but i'll pm you)
And your pm will be a secret to the grave. I have no agenda regarding this guy or his company. I am genuinely curious because of the history of his company.
Old 27th February 2019
  #30
Austrian Audio
 
AustrianAudio's Avatar
 
As most of you know, Austrian Audio is comprised of the core engineering and management teams from AKG's heritage Vienna office.

At the moment, only one person is using this account. My name is "Kent" and I've been in the manufacturing and audio industries for over 25 years. I was formerly the Director of Product Management and Marketing at AKG.

I've seen a bit of discussion about us on this forum and I've been using it for years and know many of the core staff personally. I even help Jules troubleshoot an iBook problem over 10 years ago!

We will launch our first microphones and headphones on the 2nd of April at Frankfurt's MusikMesse. Our stand is C45. Please stop by and stay tuned to all of the usual channels for news and information.

You can also find us at: Austrian.Audio

Feel free to start threads and point me to them. I'm happy to answer most questions but tend to steer away from the whole Harman/Samsung thing.
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