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AKG C414 XLII/ST Matched Pair Reviews

4.5 stars based on 5 customer reviews
Questions about the AKG C414 XLII/ST Matched Pair?

Questions about the AKG C414 XLII/ST Matched Pair?

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  • from August 25, 2015

    Amazing mic

    I've always wanted a 414, and I was building a studio, so I decided to go with the stereo pair. It's awesome being able to use them as drum overheads, record in midside, mic up a piano. For certain things I would rather have maybe another mic, but that's not how I judge these. I judge them by what they are made to do, and that is being an all around swiss army knife mic, and at that they are amazing. If you have to make a choice, this is the safest one. They're so flat that if you don't get a good recording with them, it's not the mic's fault. The high end bump makes them awesome on vocals. Seriously they sound REALLY good on everything. It's not like a kiwi where it will just make this beautiful tone come out. It's more like a brutally honest mirror. If you want a sound out of them, you have to find it with mic placement. Mixing them is always a joy. They're my babies.

  • from Chicago, IL December 26, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    A serious pair of large diaphragm condensers!

    I got the pair of 414 XLII's to use as drum overheads because of their flexibility of polar patterns. They have a very fast transient response for LDC's that make them an excellent choice for this application. I use one on vocals, as a spaced pair for acoustic guitar, room mics, and any other situation where a specific mic fails. The flexibility of these microphones are truly impressive.

    Unlike the XLS pair they have a resonance bump above 5kHz, making them brighter and more crisp. They still retain the smoothness a smoothness and body that my other LDC's lack. They take EQ incredibly well, and sits lead vocals and guitars up front in a mix.

    I got these for a great price through Sweetwater like most of my studio gear, and I'll be using these for months to come. My only complaint? The included AKG shockmounts are not metal, and over a few years I can imagine issues with the threading. But for the next ~5 years it will do just fine.

  • from February 25, 2012Music Background:
    Recording, Composing, Production

    Great Mics

    Honestly is was hard to justify the cost of these mics. But wow. The are great for every thing. The possibilities seem endless, so the money was worth it.

  • from Seattle, WA May 13, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Versatile and Modern

    These things sound great and are exceptionally versatile. The high-end bump lends a presence to the sound of these mics that I find pleasing in many applications. The multi-pattern selectors, HPFs, and pads make these extremely handy in the studio.

    The multi-pattern stereo pair allows you to execute mid-side, XY, 2-figure 8, and just about every other stereo technique you can imagine. For acoustic guitars the presence bump imparts a very forward, modern sound. In that way these mics are ideal for acoustic heavy singer-songwriters. A twin figure 8 setup allows for wonderfully isolated vocal/gtr performances. I have recorded many sources with these mics and find vocals, acoustic guitars, and drum overheads to be where they really shine.

    I do mostly rock music and I am not a big fan of these mics on a distorted gtr cabinet . The presence boost often tweaks the ranges around 2-3kHZ in ways I find harsh...though for ambience mics you can do some really creative stuff with all the polar pattern options. Up close to the cab for cleaner signals these mics can pick up some really awesome tones, but for close in, high-gain applications I go back to the 57 or other dynamic workhorse mics.

    For vocals these mics can add a sheen to most performances. For screamers a/o really breathy singers the presence boost can be a bit much...especially in productions where many vocal overdubs are to be used. It's nothing a little subtractive eq'ing can't help...but I prefer the mic to fit the sound source whenever possible.

    All in all I think these mics are amazing so long as you choose the them for the right applications. 90% of good sound is a good performance in a good space. Mics, pres, and signal processing is that other 10% and with a pair of these and a pair of regular 414s you'd be hard pressed to find a source that you cannot capture beautifully and in variety of ways.

  • from NJ October 31, 2013Music Background:
    Musician ,composer.

    Very versatile .

    Although some folks have a ho hum attitude about these mic's they sound excellent.
    They are bright but its not shrill, its open sounding. Clear .
    I had a very experienced horn player tracking in the last few days.
    His impression was very positive.
    He enjoyed the character of the pair and thought that the recording ,"sounded like me, not a kazoo".
    The results speak for themselves. The tracks have depth and detail.
    Equally impressed by their use on acoustic guitars and strings.
    Worth the paper.

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