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C 414B-XL II
C 414B-XL II Package
(Click for a close-up)

For the last 33 years, AKG C 414 models have been widely-used around the world, and now AKG's new C 414 family, the C 414 B-XLS and C 414 B-XL II are in full production and are now shipping.

The new C 414B-XL models retain the "sonic character" and familiar look of their trend-setting predecessors, but every other facet of their performance has been improved with 15 new features and enhancements. Both models of the new C 414B-XL family are electrically-identical with transformerless output sections, but have acoustically different capsules so that the two models can be used to cover a wide range of applications.

To test the sonic character of the new models, AKG went to Grammy award-winning engineers like Bill Schnee, Peter Wolf, David Bianco and others who used the new models in their own studios. All thought that the new models had the essential sonic character of the legendary AKG C 414s but with improved detail thanks to their substantially lower noise and effortless dynamic range.

The new C 414B-XL models feature:

  • A fifth polar pattern--wide cardioid--has been added for additional flexibility in use.
  • All mechanical switches have been replaced with electronic switches, making the mics easier to use and vastly improving long-term reliability. Since the switches are so easy to use, AKG has also added a provision to lock their settings to prevent tampering.
  • All switch positions, microphone output overload, and power on/off status are indicated by LEDs so the user can see at a glance the operating status of the microphone. The LEDs are also useful in helping the engineer aim/position the microphone.
  • All function selectors are situated in the low-impedance section of the electronics to prevent problems from high humidity and to minimize switching transients.
  • An elastic capsule shock mount system minimizes stand-transmitted and other chassis-borne vibrations from interfering with the audio.
  • The three (-6, -12, -18 dB) pre-attenuation settings are achieved by changing the polarization voltage to the capsule, keeping noise and distortion the same in each setting. This also gives the user better signal-to-noise control.
  • Very tight sensitivity tolerance ( 0.5 dB) for superlative unit-to-unit consistency.
  • 6 dB Higher sensitivity than previous C 414 models
  • Three high-pass filters (0 / 40 / 80 / 160 Hz) with 12-dB-per-octave slopes at 40 Hz and 80 Hz, and a 6-dB slope at 160 Hz for minimizing proximity effect. The high-pass filters with varying slopes deliver incredible flexibility in use.
  • Extremely low self-noise (6 dB-A)--a class-leading specification.
  • Incredibly wide dynamic range (134 dB). The mics can be used in sound fields as high as 158 dB.
  • Ready for remote control of all switchable functions (optional remote control available later this year) with standard microphone cables.
  • Both C 414B-XL versions will be available as stereo pairs factory-matched for uniform frequency response and sensitivity in the cardioid mode.
  • Each C 414B-XL model comes with an all-metal carrying case, an H-85 shock mount, a windscreen, a two-stage external pop filter, a dust cover and an individually-measured frequency response graph of each microphone. Stereo pairs include the H50 stereo bar instead of the external pop filters.
  • Built in Vienna, Austria and backed by a 3-year parts and labor warranty.

The C 414 B-XLS is designed to accurately reproduce all acoustic instruments and for general purpose use, while the C 414 B-XL II has AKG's renowned "vocal-friendly" response that brings out the best in voices and is also used for distant-micing of instruments in natural acoustic settings.

The C 414B-XLS has a pro user net price of $999.00 and the C 414B-XL II has a pro user net price of $1,099.00---so their value is as "state-of-the-art" as their performance.

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