R/E/P Community

R/E/P => Klaus Heyne's Mic Lab => Topic started by: Donn on July 21, 2021, 07:15:23 PM

Title: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: Donn on July 21, 2021, 07:15:23 PM

I have the opportunity to purchase a C414 non "EB" version (often called the "Comb" version). It's the type that has the removable cable connector with the permanently attached cable, and a serial number in the 1500's on the body of the mic.  My understanding is that these predate the "EB" version. This one, however, has a teflon ring on the capsule. Would this version originally have a teflon ring, or were these equipped with brass capsules?

Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: klaus on July 21, 2021, 10:48:53 PM
No 414Comb came with the Nylon (“Teflon”) surround. The mic’s original brass-screw capsule was changed out at some point, which sadly also removed most of this model’s attraction.
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: Donn on July 22, 2021, 06:05:31 PM
Thanks for the information, Klaus

Did the Comb versions all come with the red painted backplates, or were some of them the older clear ones?

Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: klaus on July 23, 2021, 11:35:48 AM
The C414Comb, introduced as the C412 in 1970, and finalized with added hyper-cardioid pattern as c414comb in 1972, did not have red paint on the CK12 backplates but used opaque-lear backplates, like previous CK12 versions.
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: David Satz on August 10, 2021, 09:20:42 AM
Klaus, what sense do you / did you make of AKG's use of "Comb."? What did it indicate that was different from microphones that didn't have "Comb." in their names? That has never been clear to me.

--best regards
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: klaus on August 10, 2021, 12:15:43 PM
It was explained to me by AKG's then technical director who also was in charge of the development of the model that "Comb" was chosen because it was the company's first mic whose patterns could be selected (combined) directly on the mic itself. (The ELA M251, which preceded the 414 as a mic with a pattern switch, was commissioned, named and marketed by Telefunken.)

As naming of mics is usually done by marketing, and not by R/D-lab coat types, I believe he, too, might have been speculating, as we are still today.
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: soapfoot on August 10, 2021, 02:02:52 PM
Speaking of speculation:

Since this was (I believe) AKG's first model to offer four patterns, I always wondered whether there might've been another word (perhaps even German?) that could stand in for "supercardioid," as the mic's patterns (in order) were:

Cardioid, Omni, (M?), Bidirectional

But I've never been able to come up with a suitable "M" word, so it seems likely that the order of the other three are just coincidence.

Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: Kai on August 11, 2021, 11:11:07 AM
I have no explanation for the name, but found a nice history of the AKG C 414, including a sound comparison professionally done:
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: gtoledo3 on August 11, 2021, 02:38:16 PM
I think “comb” refers to the offering of the mic as a full kit including in this instance the same phantom PSU that could also work with 451 mics, and whatever else would come with the “full package”. Kind of analogous to a Neumann Set Z. Note the mics have “414” engraved, iirc, not “414 COMB”.

AKG offered other mics in “comb” packages and non-comb (like the 480, others as well), and in those cases the difference seems to be that you get a base selection of items that work together, not the mic ala carte.

note p12: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/362186/Akg-C-480-B.html?page=12#manual

or here, 451 E, EB comb:


In the manual above it is noted that all “451E comb” specs are with the CK1, all “451E” specs are without CK1. It used to be that you could buy 451E, 451EB bodies as well as CK1 as individual products, but if you bought a 451EB comb, it would be the 451EB body with a CK1 and measurement plot, and the case.

Can’t seem to find a manual or catalog for the relevant years of 414 though.

I think something like this having a “comb” listing precludes comb referring to multi-pattern. https://www.akg.com/support/C747+comb_.html

So, I think comb is akin to combo, combination, a predefined kit of sorts.
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: gtoledo3 on August 11, 2021, 10:11:47 PM
This manual made when the 414EB was current refers to “complete microphone combinations” and uses “combination” in the same way “comb” is used in other AKG materials. Later it invoked the comb abbreviation within its pages.


On page 27, it lists C414EB Remote Comb. Comb package comes with a S42-E1 psu, which can also do remote pattern control and power two units, a stand mount, a windscreen and case.

I think that the original 414, non EB, came with a simpler PSU when sold in its “414 comb”
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: gtoledo3 on August 16, 2021, 01:44:15 PM
I did a little more research, and though there seemed to be no interest in my last post, I’ll share the additional facts anyway, summarized.

None of the early product release advertisements for the AKG C414 refer to it as a C414 COMB. The review for it in Studio Sound does not, nor is it referred to that way in the mic survey articles, which summarize all of the current mic models from a variety of manufacturers.

The AKG catalog which features C412 and C414 has no reference to COMB, though there is a single reference to a C451 combined package. I could not determine the date of this catalog. It likely 1972 or possibly like a 1972/1973 holiday season catalog.

A 1973 catalog lists C414 (no C412), but again, no comb references.

Ads for C414 seem to appear in Feb 1973. The 1975 review of the C414 in Studio Sound has no comb references, but seems to suggest that at that time AKG is working on what is to become the E or EB version of the circuit. They do talk about the phantom PSU and issues when the 9V version battery drains.

There are several references to “combined”, “comb.”, and “comb” throughout AKG literature, which all seem to suggest that comb refers to some combination of AKG products sold as a single unit. If there ever really was an AKG C414 COMB, I would assume it to not refer to the mic itself, but whatever was sold as a fleshed out mic package for it, as I have already stated above.

The only time I can actually remember seeing a reference to a 414 COMB from AKG itself was in a historical retrospective article that they made some years back, where it kind of walks through the years in a timeline fashion. At this point I think there is a strong chance that is actually in error.

As a side note, in AKG parlance, E seems to represent an additional circuit revision, and B seems to indicate bass rolloff.
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: klaus on August 16, 2021, 02:50:16 PM
Thank you for your research!

Please never judge interest in forum articles by the amount of responses. There are "chatty" forums, and there are information-based ones (I hope this one is in the latter category).

Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: David Satz on August 16, 2021, 05:10:47 PM
From all this I think it's clear that "Comb." refers to a package with a set price for a microphone plus accessories. What the representative told you, Klaus, must have been wrong as you seem to have suspected. For example the C 451 "Comb." includes only one capsule, which doesn't have a switchable pattern. And gtoledo3, thank you for your very accurate information.

Attached are parts of AKG's price lists from 1963 and 1968 respectively showing the use of "Comb." which is explicitly spelled out in the earlier example. This 1963 list also features condenser microphones (C 12, C 24, C 28 A - 29 A - 30 A, C 260) with no "Comb."s among them--but curiously, it lists a "C 28/29/30 A Set" (see attached, third image).

--best regards
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: klaus on August 16, 2021, 07:17:22 PM
Very informative, David, Thanks!
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: soapfoot on August 19, 2021, 09:15:40 AM
Great information here! Thanks George (and everyone).
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: gtoledo3 on August 19, 2021, 05:10:55 PM
Point taken Klaus, and thanks David, Brad.

I was looking into something else today and happened to notice a document that clarifies something above:


So, correcting/amplifying a point above; “E” stands for XLR connector, 100% certainty. 

At some point after the initial C451, the AKG catalogs begin to list AKG C451C as well as C451E, in addition to CB, EB, and 452 variants. The catalog description states that C in this position (post numbering) is a DIN connection, E is XLR.

I may put all of the substantiation of the points mentioned earlier in the thread, in a dropbox folder or on imgur at some point.

edit: Oh, I now see the attachment field I failed to notice earlier. Many points were covered, I’ll try to post some of the more relevant stuff in the near future. And it is nice to see even earlier examples David!
Title: Re: C414 "Comb" version
Post by: David Satz on August 20, 2021, 04:11:03 PM
E = export = XLR
C = continental = Tuchel (back then)
L = Lemo for the ÖRF (Austrian national broadcasting network)

which could be combined with:
B = bass control (low-cut switch)

so EB = microphone with XLR output and low-cut switch

452 = 451 with one resistor different, so that current draw at 48 Volts would be somewhat reduced (it was about 5.5 mA for the C 451, back when the DIN standard was still 2 mA maximum). However, as a result the 452 requires 48 Volt powering, whereas the 451 could accept 9 - 52 Volts. And even the 452 required ca. 3 mA. Back then, AKG and Schoeps' Colette system were like "outlaws" until the DIN standard was revised to allow a maximum of 10 mA/microphone at 48 Volts.