Nothing at this price AKG has managed to do what Hollywood repeatedly fails at: making a decent sequel. Video review Design and build They tick all the boxes a pair of headphones designed for portables should. The earpieces are slim, sturdy and adjustable, and of a hefty construction, while the soft earcups twist and fold inwards making the K s compact and easy to carry in your bag a carry case is also supplied. Smartphone users will rejoice at the inclusion of an additional cable that has volume controls and an in-line mic. We took the Ks for a stroll around town.
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It was designed to be adaptable to nearly any purpose; it could be outfitted with any of a whole system of modular components — such as screw-on capsule attenuator pads, extension tubes and swivels — that greatly increased its versatility.
The original mic used the NE dual-AC power supply that supplied volt phantom power and had a two-position, bass roll-off filter switch. As I found out by accident in my distant past as a second engineer, the mic would accept up to volt phantom powering without smoking. The original, externally biased CK-1 capsule had an extremely low mass, making the mic insensitive to handling noise and a favorite for handheld radio and TV use.
Much later, the C EB arrived, which is the same but runs on volt phantom only. The new C B capsule uses a backplate electret, self-polarized design with a three-micron, gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm suspended just 35 microns from the printed-circuit backplane.
The new capsule has the same cardioid polar pattern that the CK-1 has. The old mics were laboriously hand-soldered and prone to intermittents — a well-known fact among live sound engineers who shun their use on the road. This test is repeated six times on each of a group of mics that are randomly selected from the production line. To make the mic even more rugged, the new capsule is permanently attached to the C B preamp body.
Right on the C B body, near the bass roll-off switch, are and dB capsule attenuation switches. Also, both the pad and HP filter switches are improved over the original switches. The new switches are easy-to-see red, and they seem to be better made and easier to change with the tip of a ball-point pen. Cosmetically, the C B looks similar to the old mics, with sandblasted, all-metal, nickel-plated housing, and engraved wording and symbols.
Without going into explicit detail, all the mics sounded great, but overall, the C B is simply more pleasant-sounding than the others. I like the LF sound of the original Cs, too — just as I like using vintage Neve modules for the sonics of those transformers.
You can buy the C B in two ways. For this review, I received a stereo pair of two computer-matched microphones. They come with two clips, two windscreens and the H 50 stereo-mounting bar — all in a foam-lined carrying case. AKG uses a computer database comprising all of the frequency response results from a production run of mics.
Small-diaphragm mics excel at accurately reproducing the percussive transients of these instruments. In live sound use, I like eliminating one mic stand in a usually crowded percussion-miking setup. Acoustic guitar recording is exactly the same as with the old mics, except the C B produces tighter, cleaner lows. I like the presence of miking close on guitars, but proximity can be a problem. On a Gibson jumbo-body guitar, I put the mic about six inches over the soundhole, aimed toward the bridge, and I used the Hz roll-off.
The AKG C B reinforces my fond memories of using the venerable C E with the same but improved sound, and without the old, impractical quirks. Barry Rudolph is an L. Visit his Web site at www.
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