Vacuum Tube Mic with 1" Twin Diaphragm Capsule Design and 9 Selectable Polar Patterns
AKG C12 VR image 1
AKG C12 VR image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $1,500.00 MSRP: $7,499.00
Special Financing - Ends Jul 6

Or just $167/month§ for 36 months

0% interest for 36 months**. 36 equal monthly payments required. Valid through 7/6/2017. Learn more

Special Order
Special-ordered from AKG and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Special Order

Captures the Beauty of the Original, Legendary C12!

The AKG C 12 is one of the first famous tube microphones in the history of recording. This collector's item is still very much sought after and engineers all over the world love it for its fantastic, unique sound. Now, AKG's C 12 VR offers a remarkable renaissance of the original, with new self noise and distortion specs optimized to meet the current state of the art.

AKG C 12 VR Tube Microphone at a Glance:
  • Recreation of a legendary tube mic with improved performance
  • Combination of diaphragm and tube deliver remarkable sound
  • Filters, pads and sensitivity adjustments let you tailor the mic to your needs
The C 12 legend, now improved!

AKG's C 12 VR is similar to the original C 12, from the capsule sound to the original 6072A vacuum tube. The only difference is that its self noise and distortion specs were optimized to meet the current state of the art. The C 12 VR version is even more rugged, less susceptible to hum interference, and provides exceptionally low self noise. You'll be impressed by its remarkable performance!

A sound beyond words!

The return of the 1-inch dual-diaphragm capsule and the original 6072A vacuum tube give the C 12 VR the same sound characteristics of warmth, clarity, and presence that had made the C 12 world famous. Forget your EQ - the C 12 VR provides a perfect sound with no external processing. From omni to cardioid to figure-eight, no less than nine polar patterns are selectable on the remote control.

Rolloff, pad and sensitivity, all adjustable

With two remotely controllable bass rolloff filters, switchable preattenuation pad, and selectable 10dB increase in nominal sensitivity, the C 12 VR will meet the most diverse challenges. The output transformer uses a special winding to minimize low-frequency distortion, and internal shock mounts effectively reduce handling noise.

AKG C 12 VR Tube Microphone Features:
  • Classic 1-inch condenser tube performance of the original AKG C 12
  • Dual diaphragm, 1" diameter gold sputtered mylar foil
  • Multiple patterns remotely controlled with silent switching
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8, with 6 intermediate patterns (silent switching)
  • Uses the original 6072 vacuum tube
  • Uses the original 1950's dual diaphragm design for sound that has the same warmth, clarity and presence of the original
  • Internal microphone switching for pre-attenuation of -10, -20dB and boost of +10dB to accommodate all studio requirements.
  • External (in control unit) two-position bass cut/roll-off
  • Frequency response 30Hz - 20kHz (+/-2.5dB from published curves)
  • Impedance: 200 ohms (+/-25%) Recommended load impedance: 1000 ohms or greater
  • Output connector (from control unit): XLR (pin 2 positive)
  • Output connector (from microphone): Tuchel 12-pin
  • Sensitivity at 1kHz: 10 mV/Pa for all patterns; -40dB (dB re 1 V/Pa)
  • Equivalent noise level (A-weighted): 22dB (DIN 45412)
  • Sound pressure level for 3% THD: 128dB (equivalent to 50 Pa)
  • Pre-attenuation: -10 and -20dB (at microphone)
  • Sensitivity increase: 10dB (at microphone)
  • Low frequency roll-off/bass cut: two-position (at control unit)
  • Power requirement: 115/230 Vac Microphone
  • Aluminum flight case, N 12 VR remote power supply, H 15/T elastic suspension, MK 12V R 30-foot connecting cable and W 42 foam windscreen included
The AKG C 12 VR Tube Microphone: An improved version of a classic!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

AKG Cut Sheet: C12VR
Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Tube Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8
Diaphragm Size 0.98" (25mm)
Frequency Response 30Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 148dB
Output Impedance 200 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 72dB
Self Noise 32dB
Low Cut Filter 100Hz (-6dB/octave), 130Hz (-12dB/octave)
Pads -10dB, -20dB
Color Green
Connector XLR
Weight 1.5 lbs.
Included Accessories Power Supply, Cable, Shock Mount, Windscreen, Aluminum Carry Case
Manufacturer Part Number 2221Z00040

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Write your review

A Proven Winner

I had the good fortune to use the AKG C12 VR for an extended session that included supreme vocal talent such as Donna Summers, B. J. Thomas, Crystal Gayle, Amy Grant, Maureen McGovern, Bobby Caldwell and more. The mic is superior in every way and the project ultimately won a Grammy. I had been (and still am) a fan of the U87, but if I were looking for the ultimate, this would be my choice.
Music background: Gold/Platinum/Grammy winning producer.

The Best

I recently purchased a C12VR... I conducted a mic shoot out as soon as it arrived. I plugged my C12VR, Neumann U87, Neumann TLM-103 Anniversary Ed., and my Rode Classic II into identical Apogee solid state preamps for sound comparisons. I equalized the volume setting, and let the fun begin. In the end, the AKG C12VR and the Neumann U87(I had modified) were my finalist. It was like comparing apples to oranges (my vote was for the C12vr), so I brought in four musician friends to get their opinions. The AKG C12VR won the competition (all four picked the C12vr). The U87 sounds very "What you see is what you get". But, the C12VR makes everything sound warmer and magical. Also, the C12VR seems to cut down on sibilance, which is great. However, like all mics, EQing is a must. This is one of the best microphones in the world. I dare you to find a warmer microphone.
Music background: Guitarist, Engineer, Producer, Vocalist

perfect mic

AKG C12 VR is a good sounding mic. perfect warmth,presence,a nice tube sound. Dont understand the bad reviews of this mic on the net..I suppose it is just a matter of taste, but it certainly is NOT a C12..and I can understand when people say it Doesnt Sound Like A C12...Because it dont. Akg could perhaps called it a C(something else).. This mic is too dark to be compared to an original C12. But again, C12 VR (Vintage reissue) is something special. It cuts through the mix, and the vocals sits perfectly. I have tried it with a Neve pre..and a ****** Behringer pre...this mic sounds unbelieveable whatever you puts it through. NR.1!!! Remarkable sound! one of my favorites! AKG RULES!
Music background: composer


After a many years of searching for the „perfect mic“ I've finally got my hands on a brand new AKG C12VR and I was blown away with results!! I use it in my studio with Avalon VT 737sp and RME Fireface 400....and the mic sounded perfect on everything I recorded with it, (lead vocals, back volcals, acoustic guitars, sax, etc...)...and it really translated the full range very evenly and have nice even tone and velvety warmth and presence....simply, it delivers a remarkable sound and performance!! So, in my experience and IMHO the nine remotely selectable pickup patterns make the AKG C12VR a necessity not only for vocals, but for instrumental solo recording, as well. Providing a sound beyond words, the AKG C12VR is the ultimate in microphones, trully „high-end class“ mic,...and a worthy investment for the professional artist. I just love it!!:)))
Music background: Pro Musician

An excellent arrow in my quiver

it's time to properly respect this nicely-made product and understand where it fits in your locker. The VR is, in fact, a very usable mic with a unique sound signature. The slight dip at 2K can make most male voices seem confined, distant...which is actually nice for blues and lyrics that convey darker emotions. For example, the mic was used to good effect to heighten Alanis Morissette's closed-in sound...emphasizing the paranoia and unhappiness in Jagged Little Pill...while also taming the shrill passages just a tad. In this fashion, the mic is quite a different tool than the very open-sounding C12. It is difficult to EQ this mic to sound more peaky in the midrange, which reminds us that EQ is different than resonance...the real reason to properly select a microphone. On females, the VR has no peers. The sound overall is somewhat similar to the C414B-ULS, but the head basket produces a full-time "air" on top and the tube fattens the lower midrange a tiny amount. The result it a highly refined, musical sound that can make some vocals and instruments stand out in a mix. The comparison to the C12 is unfortunate. The acoustics of the head basket bears no resemblance to the almost transparent screening of the original mic. This one is more screen heavy...and it achieves the high-end air by beating upper high frequencies together inside the basket, thanks to a fairly dense, second, micro screen...which also is used to acoustically cancel out the harshest sibilance. This is one of the best built mics I've ever seen...and it's a pleasure to use on any source that does not require extra midrange resonance. I have about 20 LDS's in my collection, and none of them sound like the C12VR. So it is the only mic that accomplishes what it does. And it does it very well.
Music background: Producer, Engineer, Bass player

Sweetwater Advice

Paul Lea

I love to use these mics on lead vocals that require a tight focused and close mic'ed sound. The C12 VR is so close to the original that Tom Petty used one when recording the Heartbreakers' Echo album.

Carson McClain

Good luck trying to find an original. You probably have heard your engineer friends who own the original say these words, "from my cold dead hands." This is a mic replicated from a 1950s design but improved upon. If you work with real singers, or need a mic with a pure sound, the C12 VR is it.
See also: Condenser Mics, AKG, AKG Condenser Microphones, AKG Condenser Microphones