R/E/P > Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab

AKG Serial Number Dating

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I've been trying to find a resource for dating a couple AKG 414EB's that my studio has recently purchased.  Does anyone have a good resource for that kind of thing?

Klaus Heyne:
Regrettably, there are no resources for dating AKG mics by serial numbers. This has also been confirmed by the hosts of AKG's web forum, where this question comes up occasionally.

Is there any way to date them other than that?  Are there any date-coded components inside that might shed some rough light on their age?

Perhaps the best question is about when did the brass-ringed CK-12's disappear?  At the very least, it'll give me an idea that these mics are at least xx years old.

Klaus Heyne:
http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/181997/318/?src h=CK12#msg_181997

It's safe to say that the original CK12s in the 414EB were there when the mic was introduced (ca. 1976) and disappeared in the early 1980s.

As I said, many people would like to know more about the birth of their favorite (now called 'vintage', if you can believe it) transistor mics, but I have not found a person or department inside the company who has kept a log. Austrians are different from Germans in that way, I believe. (That's not necessarily a criticism.)

You could do a component search inside the mic's amp and look for that rare component that may have a date code, but AKG used mostly undated larger components and Tantalums as polarized capacitors, rather than elcos with dates, as found in Neumann mics.

The other thing that is unique about the 414EB is that there was never an update (which could thus be part of a database) of the model: the last one looked exactly like the first one, except that it had a higher serial number...

In some ways, that seems really unfortunate as far as their tech department is concerned, but considering some of the more recent missives from AKG (especially in regards to the D19 issue), I guess it's in keeping with a sort of tradition.  At any rate, it's farly safe to say that these mics (both 5xxx serials...if I remember right they are within a couple hundred of each other, but I am away from the studio right now) are at least as old as I am (22).  It's a start.  Who knows...maybe we'll find some Berliner who worked at AKG and had a thing for cataloging serial numbers...


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