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AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
- Engineered for highest linearity and neutral sound for beautifully detailed recording of vocals and any acoustic instrument
- Nine selectable polar patterns for the perfect setting for every application
- Three attenuation levels (-6/-12/-18dB) for close-up recording or high-output sources of up to 158dB SPL
- Three different switchable bass-cut filters to reduce wind noise, subsonic noise or proximity effect
- Overload warning with audio peak hold LED to detect shortest audio peaks
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From the manufacturer
A LEGEND SINCE 1971the most versatile microphone for vocals and instruments in studio and on stage
The C414 XLS multipattern condenser microphone offers a choice of nine polar patterns for the perfect sonic capture for every application. A peak hold LED displays even the shortest overload peaks. For live-sound applications and permanent installations, all controls can easily be disabled for trouble-free use.The C414 XLS maintains the sonic character of the legendary C414 B-ULS, the most popular AKG C414 version since 1971. Engineered for highest linearity and neutral sound, it has been the most versatile large-diaphragm microphone for decades.
The legendary C 414 is a tool found in most recording studios and has been used on thousands of hit records; it’s been on stage with artists of every musical genre and is also used by leading broadcast facilities the world over. The C 414 family has been one of the world’s most widely-used and respected studio and stage microphones in audio history. New useful features and even greater ease of use are the answer to the demands from our ever–growing customer base all over the world.
Nine Pickup Patterns
The new C 414 XLS offer nine pickup patterns that enable it to choose the perfect setting for every application. For live-sound applications and fixed installations, all controls can be disabled easily for trouble-free use, and the peak hold LED displays even the shortest overload peaks. The new C 414 XLS has three switchable bass cut filters as well as three pre-attenuation levels that allow lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed in even the densest mixes.
The C 414 XLS maintains the sonic character of the legendary C 414 B-ULS, the longest-lived C 414 model. Engineered for the highest linearity and neutral sound, it is the most universal and versatile large diaphragm microphone released in decades. Widely used for accurate, beautifully detailed pickup of any acoustic instrument, the new C 414 XLS combines proven reference quality, leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art components.
Unique Sonic Signature
The C 414 XLII is the successor of the famous C 414 B-TL II. It shows the unique sonic signature of the highly sought-after AKG C 12, which enables lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed even in a dense mix. The unrivalled up-front sound is also well known for distant miking applications like classical music recording or drum ambience miking.
Classical Music Recording
PEAK HOLD LED
The polar pattern indicator LEDs also provide an overload indication. With conventional peak indicators, overload peaks lasting only for a fraction of a second may easily escape your attention. The new peak hold function makes sure you will notice even the shortest overload peak: If the output level of the microphone exceeds the overload limit, the currently active polar pattern LED will change to red for about 3 seconds.
- Audio Frequency bandwidth 20 to 20000 Hz
- Sensitivity 23 mV/Pa
- Equivalent Noise Level 6 dB-A
- Signal to Noise 88 dB-A
- Preattunation Pad -6; -12; -18 dB
- Bass Cut Filter 160; 80; 40 Hz
- Electrical Impedance 200 Ohms
- Recommended Load Impedance 2200 Ohms
Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone with Nine Switchable Polar Patterns
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When I want to record my tenor sax, I leave the mics on their drum overhead stands but I tilt the angle of the mics slightly into the room, down toward the sax, and they give a wonderful round, natural, full room-ambient stereo sound. To this I add my Neumann U87 right up the middle, and between the 3 mics, I get a killer fat sound on the horn, round and buttery and crispy-edged and everything you love about a tenor saxophone. Really makes me conscious of every nuance I play, because every nuance will be captured. I use this same 3-mic setup for vocals, too, with the same nice effect.
So, I apologize for the lack of tech-speak, all I can say is what I hear: these things sound great.
I was really tossed up between this and a used 414XLii, and I think I'm going to eventually scoop up the 414 as well. Some of my friends who work in studios told me I was dumb for thinking this could hold up against a C414, but I didn't know if it wold justify the extra $300-400 for the 414. I guess if I could do it again, I probably would've gone for the 414, but hey I guess that's life. I'm in no way unsatisfied with this purchase, but can definitely see myself upgrading sooner than if I had just gotten the 414 the first time. I don't necessarily need the polar patterns, but the 414 is industry standard, and the 214 is still going to be seen as a "budget" model.
If you're on a budget, I would definitely recommend this mic, but if you can afford something a little more industry standard, I would definitely choose the latter.
Again though, I still love this mic and don't plan on parting with it even if I choose to upgrade.
I own many mics and they all have their own characteristics. The standout characteristic of this microphone is it's very low self-noise. At 50dB gain, in my "quiet" room, on a very quiet Liquid Channel preamp, I register ~ -110dBFS across the spectrum. This is sensational for my recordings of quiet sound effects and acoustic guitar.
Particularly with an acoustic guitar, paired with a small diaphragm condenser mic, the sound is just beautiful. Quiet picking or a strum sustaining never gets caught up in the noise floor. I can crank the track all the way up in post and never hear more than room noise.
Vocals are great on this mic, both speaking and singing. I do adjust EQ a bit in post to boost some of the high end, but it works out fine. It handles loud and quiet segments beautifully without distortion or large swings in volume. Some of my mics require much more adjustment of the singers distance during recording than this mic. And since the noise floor is so low, I can compress my tracks much better.
It is expensive but it is a tough-built, all around mic with exceptional audio quality. Think of the price as relating to a lifetime of use, especially if you plan to make money recording with it. It will work so well for you, put up with abuse, and resell for a good price.