Top 12 Best Vintage Microphones (And Their Best Clones)


Whether you’re a recording artist, engineer, producer, audiophile, gear-head, or collector, getting your hands on a vintage microphone has likely crossed your mind at some point. Many vintage microphones have grown to legendary status and are highly sought after for their classic sound and beautiful design.

What are the top 12 best vintage microphones?

Fortunately (or not) these discontinued vintage microphones have been cloned by many “new vintage” and boutique microphone manufacturers. Oftentimes the original manufacturer will also redo an older vintage model with new technology and production tactics.

In this article, we’ll get into each of the top 12 best vintage microphones, discussing their legendary status and history. We’ll also discuss the best microphone clones for each of the mics that are in production today.


What Is A Vintage Microphone And What Is A Microphone Clone?

Before we get into the top 12 vintage mics in this article, I’d like to quickly define what vintage microphones and microphone clones actually are.

What is a vintage microphone? Vintage mics (as we call them today) do not have a hard age limit or set of characteristics, though they often have the following qualities:

  • Were the top-performing microphones in their time and maintain a high level of performance to this day.
  • Introduced over 50 years ago.
  • Are ribbon mics or tube condenser mics.
  • Have been discontinued by their manufacturer.
  • Sell for much more than their original retail price.
  • Are highly sought after in the audio industry.
  • Have been cloned by “new vintage” mic manufacturers.

What is a microphone clone? A microphone clone is a mic that is built according to the design and performance of another, more famous or vintage, microphone. Legendary vintage mics that have been discontinued are likely candidates for cloning. Similarly, the famous Shure SM57 and SM58 have countless clones on the market.

With these definitions out of the way, let’s get into the top 12 best vintage microphones and their clones.


RCA 44-BX Ribbon Microphone (1932)

RCA 44-BX

The RCA 44-BX is the oldest vintage microphone on this list and perhaps the most legendary ribbon microphone to ever be produced. RCA introduced this microphone in 1932 and production ceased in 1955.

The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was a major American electronics company that was founded in 1919 and closed-up shop in 1986. They’ve engineered and produced much more than just microphones, but have created 2 of the most highly regarded vintage ribbon microphones (the 44-BX and 77-DX).

The RCA 44-BX was the greatest microphone of its time and is still considered an amazing choice for voice and music. This studio broadcast microphone.

Though the RCA is known for its smooth sound, it was actually quite a versatile microphone. The microphone even came with instructions on how to change its output impedance in order to alter its sound by rewiring the microphone’s circuitry.

The impact the RCA 44-BX microphone has had on the world is incredible. From critical broadcasts in America and around the world to cherished music records, to the spin-off of industry-leading microphone manufacturers like AEA. The RCA 44-BX is a legendary vintage microphone and wins the top spot as the oldest vintage mic on this list.

RCA 44-BX Ribbon Microphone Notable Specs

  • Element: 59.7 mm long x 4.7mm wide x 1.8-micron thin corrugated aluminum ribbon suspended in alnico magnet
  • Polar pattern: bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 50 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: -55 dBm (@ 94 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone)
  • Output impedance: 30, 150, or 250 Ω (250 Ω when shipped)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: N/A

Related reading: I wrote an article explain all the different microphone specifications. You can read that here!

Best RCA 44-BX Clone

Microphones Inspired By The RCA 44-BX

AEA
R44CE
AEA
A440
AEA
R84
AEA
R84A
Cloud
44-A

Neumann U 47 Tube Condenser Microphone (1947)

Neumann U 47

The original U 47 by Georg Neumann was the first Neumann mic to be designed and manufactured after World War II (after the company had had to move from Berlin to Gefell and back to Berlin). The U 47 was also the first-ever switchable pattern condenser microphone (with both omnidirectional and cardioid options).

The U 47 is revered by many as one of the greatest vocal mics of all time. George Martin (producer of The Beatles) even wrote about the U 47 being his favourite microphone. Many others share his sentiment, and many manufacturers have attempted to recreate its legendary character.

The U47 was always manufactured by Neumann. However, because the microphone was initially distributed by Telefunken, many early U47s have the Telefunken logo on their body rather than the Neumann logo. It was only when Neumann took over distribution in the 1950s that the Neumann logo was on every newly made U 47 (as pictured above).

Neumann U 47 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: originally Neumann’s M7, later Neumann’s K47/49 (1956)
  • Vacuum tube: Telefunken VF14 (steel-covered)
  • Power supply: 105 V DC
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional and cardioid
  • Frequency response: 35 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: ~2.5 mV/dyne/cm2 (cardioid mode)
    ~1.4 mV/dyne/cm2 (omnidirectional mode)
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω
  • Self-noise: not specified
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.8% T.H.D @ 110 dB SPL, 1 kHz tone

Best Neumann U 47 Clones

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann U 47

ADK
Berlin-47 T
ADK
Z-47
Advanced Audio
CM47
Advanced Audio
CM47FET
Advanced Audio
CM48FET
Advanced Audio
CM48T
Bock Audio
IFET
Bock Audio
47
FLEA
47
JZ
Vintage V47
Lawson
L47 FET
Lawson
L47MP MKII
Neumann
U 47 FET
Pearlman
TM-47
Peluso
22 47 SE
Peluso
22 47 LE
Soundelux
E47
Soundelux
E47C
Telefunken
U 47
Warm Audio
WA-47
Warm Audio
WA-47 Jr.
Wunder Audio
CM7 FET

Neumann is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Studio Monitor Brands You Should Know And Use


Neumann M 49 And M 50 Tube Condenser Microphones (1951)

Neumann M 49

The invention of the Neumann M 49 marked a huge step forward in multi-pattern microphone technology. Neumann’s M 49 was designed with two big advantages over the U 47, which was the only other multi-pattern microphones at the time.

First, the M 49 maintains polarization to both diaphragms when the microphone is on, unlike its U 47 predecessor that completely disconnected the rear diaphragm in cardioid mode. This small change makes the M 49’s sensitivity fairly consistent across its three polar pattern options, especially when compared to the 5 dB drop between the U 47’s omnidirectional sensitivity and cardioid sensitivity.

Second, the switching of the M 49’s polar patterns was done remotely rather than with switches in the microphone body itself. Switching polar patterns was done via a dial on the M 49’s power supply. This helped to keep the microphone clean and durable.

The Neumann M 49 was a popular microphone in its time in both broadcast and studio markets. This legendary microphone is still sought after today.

Neumann’s M 50 was a single-pattern omnidirectional microphone that was largely based on the M 49. It had the same chassis and amplifier as the M 49, but a new and improved capsule.

The M 50 was and continues to be cherished for its rich character and a high-shelf-like boost of 5dB above 2500Hz.

Neumann M 49 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: originally Neumann’s M7, later Neumann’s K47/49 (1956)
  • Vacuum tube: originally Hiller MSC2, later Telefunken AC701 subminiature triode (1954)
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional (adjustable remotely on the power supply)
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: ~0.7 mV/dyne/cm2 into 1,000 Ω load
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω ± 20%
  • Self-noise: 32 dB (U 49 c model)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.6% T.H.D @ 114 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone

Neumann M 50 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: originally KK50, later KK53 (1952) and KK83 (1965)
  • Vacuum tube: originally Hiller MSC2, later Telefunken AC701 subminiature triode (1954)
  • Polar pattern: omnidirectional
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 1.0 mV/dyne/cm2 into 1,000 Ω load
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω ± 20%
  • Self-noise: 28 dB (U 50 c model)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.6% T.H.D @ 114 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone

Best Neumann M 49 Clone

  • Soundelux E49

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann M 49

ADK
Frankfurt-49 T
ADK
Z-49
Advanced Audio
CM49
Lucas Engineering
SC-9
Neumann
M 249
Neumann
TLM 49

Best Neumann M 50 Clone

  • Bock Audio 50

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann M 50

Neumann
M 150
Neumann
TLM 50

AKG C 12 Tube Condenser Microphone (1953)

AKG C 12

The AKG C 12 is one of the most important microphones in history.

This large-diaphragm tube condenser was the first to feature AKG’s CK12 microphone capsule, which is perhaps the most beloved condenser mic capsule of all time.

The CK12 did evolve throughout time (from 10-micron Styroflex to 6-micron Mylar). AKG also altered the chamber between backplates. Through these changes, the dual-backplate large-diaphragm capsule with twin edge-terminated diaphragms largely remained the same and grew into the legend it is today.

The C 12 had 9-selectable polar patterns and a remote switcher (the AKG S 12). Both the microphone and the switcher plugged into the C 12’s designated power supply (the N 12).

Roughly 2,500 AKG C 12s were produced in its 10-year manufacturing run. The microphone was discontinued in 1963.

However, its legend has continued to inspire microphone design, accumulating a respectable group of clones and tributes. Two vintage microphones on this list were even heavily inspired by AKG’s C 12 and its CK12 capsule: the Telefunken Ela M 251 and the AKG C 414 EB.

AKG C 12 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: AKG CK12
  • Vacuum tube: GE 6072 dual-triode glass tube
  • Polar patterns: 9 selectable (including omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional)
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz (± 2 dB related to published curve)
  • Sensitivity rating: 1.0 mV/µb unloaded
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω
  • Self-noise: <20 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level: not specified

Best AKG C 12 Clones

Microphones Inspired By The AKG C 12

ADK
Vienna-12 T
ADK
Z-12
Advanced Audio
CM12SE
AKG
C 414
Cathedral Guitars C12 CGJZ
Vintage V12
Peluso
P12
Telefunken
Ela M 251

AKG is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World


RCA 77-DX Ribbon Microphone (1954)

RCA 77-DX

The RCA 77-DX is a poly-directional ribbon microphone that was first introduced in 1954.

This microphone was not the first 77 model produced by RCA but was definitely the most celebrated of the bunch.

In the 1950s, multi-directional microphones were a hot new trend that RCA would capitalize on with their legendary RCA 77-DX.

Multi-pattern condenser microphones (there are 7 of them on this list alone) achieved their various patterns by combining the signals of two separate diaphragms (with a shared backplate) in differing amplitudes and polarities. However, this would not work with a ribbon microphone.

Ribbon elements are naturally bidirectional (figure-8) due to the ribbon shape and the suspension within the magnet. RCA achieved its various polar patterns by mechanical means, employing an acoustic labyrinth with a mechanical shutter on the rear side of the ribbon diaphragm. Varying degrees of shutter openness yielded varying polar patterns.

The RCA 77-DX also came with 2 separate high-pass filter options, a feature rarely seen on ribbon microphones.

RCA 77-DX Ribbon Microphone Notable Specs

  • Element: corrugate aluminum foil 2″ long x 0.054″ thick
  • Polar patterns: nondirectional (omnidirectional), unidirectional (cardioid), and bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating:
    -56 dBm @ 94 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone (nondirectional)
    -53 dBm @ 94 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone (unidirectional)
    -50 dBm @ 94 dB SPL, 1,000 Hz tone (bidirectional)
  • Output impedance: 30, 150, or 250 Ω (250 Ω when shipped)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: N/A

Best RCA 77-DX Clones

  • none

Microphones Inspired By The RCA 77-DX

none

Telefunken Ela M 251 Tube Condenser Microphone (1959)

Telefunken Ela M 251

The Telefunken Ela M 251 is a well known and well respected vintage tube condenser that has gained legendary status.

The beginnings of the microphone are quite peculiar and worth noting.

Telefunken, at the time the original Ela M 251 came, was not a microphone manufacturer but simply a brand name and distributor of high-end (mostly Neumann and AKG-built) microphones.

During the 1950s, Neumann switched over to distributing all of their microphones under the Neumann brand. This left Telefunken without a flagship large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone (formerly the Neumann U 47, along with the M 49 and M 50).

Caught in this situation, Telefunken contracted AKG to develop a large-diaphragm condenser based on the design of their, now well established and respected, C 12 model. The result was the now-famous Telefunken Ela M 251.

The main differences between Telefunken Ela M 251 and the AKG C 12 were:

  • Head basket design and a slight change in frequency response.
  • The C 12 had remote polar pattern switching while the Ela M 251 had its switches on the microphone body.
  • The Ela M 251 had an inverted tube and shorter wire runs for increased performance.

Telefunken Ela M 251 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: AKG CK12
  • Vacuum tube: Telefunken AC701k
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 0.9 mV/dyne/cm2 (omnidirectional mode)
    1.2 mV/dyne/cm2 (cardioid mode)
    0.9 mV/dyne/cm2 (bidirectional mode)
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω
  • Self-noise: not specified
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.5% T.H.D @ 114 dB SPL (1 kHz tone into 1 kΩ load)

Best Telefunken Ela M 251 Clones

Microphones Inspired By The Telefunken Ela M 251

Note that any microphone inspired by the Telefunken Ela M 251 is directly or indirectly also inspired by the AKG C 12.

ADK
Cremona-251 T
ADK
Z-251
Advanced Audio
CM251
Blackspade Acoustics
UM25
Peluso
22 251
Soundelux
ELUX 251
Soundelux
E251C
Telefunken
Ela M 251 F
Telefunken
Ela M 251 T
Telefunken
R-F-T AR-51
Warm Audio
WA-251

Neumann U 67 Tube Condenser Microphone (1960)

Neumann U 67

Neumann’s U 67, introduced in 1960, was designed to improve upon the U 47 and replace it in the updated product line. Many developments in microphone technology had happened in the 13 years since the introduction of the Neumann U 47.

The big improvement for Neumann in this updated microphone was the capsule.

The U 67 was the first mic to have the legendary K67 capsule, a world-class capsule that has become the most popular and most replicated capsule ever.

The K67 is built with a two-piece backplate. This allows for the tuning of each of the two diaphragms individually before matching them for an equivalent response. Ultimately, this means the K67 is an easy capsule to set up and will perform with precision and consistency throughout its life. It also means the capsule is relatively easy to fix if one of the diaphragms were to detune.

Another trend of the 1950s was that engineers were beginning to position their microphones closer to sound sources. This is partly due to the advent of multitrack recording in 1955. The issue with close-miking like this was the risk of exceeding a microphone’s maximum sound pressure level.

To keep up with this trend, Neumann equipped the U 67 with a -10 dB pad (passive attenuation device). This allowed engineers to get their microphones nice and close to sound sources with much less risk of overloading the mic circuitry and distorting the mic signal.

Of course, because the U 67 aimed to replace the U 47, it was fully capable of achieving omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional polar patterns.

Neumann U 67 Tube Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: Neumann K67
  • Vacuum tube: Telefunken EF86
  • Power supply: p/n NU 67
  • Polar patterns: Omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 16,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 1.1 mV/µb into 1,000 Ω load (omnidirectional)
    2.1 mV/µb into 1,000 Ω load (cardioid)
    1.4 mV/µb into 1,000 Ω load (bidirectional)
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω or 200 Ω ± 20%
  • Self-noise:
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.5% T.H.D @ 116 dB SPL (1 kHz tone into 1 kΩ load)

Best Neumann U 67 Clones

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann U 67

Note that any microphone inspired by the Neumann U 67 is directly or indirectly also inspired by the Neumann U 47.

ADK
Hamburg-67 T
ADK
Z-67
Advanced Audio
CM67SE
Cathedral Guitars
U 67 CG
JZ
Vintage V67
Neumann
M 269 C
Neumann
TLM 67
Neumann
U 87
Soundelux
U99
Wunder Audio
CM67

Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphone (1961)

Coles 4038

The Coles 4038 is a bit of an oddball on this list. It is the only microphone on this list that is still being manufactured today and one of the two that does not have any clones or attempted clones (the other being the RCA 77-DX ribbon mic).

The story of the Coles 4038 is a bit strange as well.

Coles Electroacoustics was only founded in 1964, which was 3 years after the introduction of the original 4038. The 4038 is a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) design and the manufacturer of the microphone was the British telecom company Standard Telephones and Cables (STC).

It was actually two employees of the STC who founded Coles Electroacoustics in 1964, and it was only in 1974 that Coles bought the rights to the 4038. And that’s how the Coles 4038 came to be.

Another peculiarity of the Coles 4038 is its Western Electric 4069 output connector. The microphone is most often sold with a 4069-to-XLR adapter for use with most professional audio equipment.

Since its introduction, the 4038 has been regarded as a high-quality ribbon mic with a smooth sound and incredible transient response.

This microphone features a 0.6-micron thin corrugated aluminum ribbon diaphragm, which is one of if not the thinnest ribbon diaphragm of any commercial ribbon mic.

Though many innovations have come microphone technology since the original 4038, Coles Electroacoustics continues to follow the original blueprints that made this microphone great in the first place. No clones or attempted clones of the legendary 4038 have been successfully brought to market.

Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphone Notable Specs

  • Element: corrugated aluminum foil measuring 0.6 microns. 1″ long x 0.23″ wide x 0.6 microns thick within permanent horseshoe magnet
  • Polar pattern: bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 0.06 mV/dyne/cm2 (-65 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: 300Ω
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 125 dB

Best Coles 4038 Clones

  • none

Microphones Inspired By The Coles 4038

none

Coles Electroacoustics is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.


Neumann KM 84 FET Condenser Microphone (1966)

Neumann KM 84

The Neumann KM 84 is the first FET condenser on this list and is, in fact, the first microphone to use the full 48 V DC phantom power we know today.

Note that the first-ever phantom powered microphone was the Schoeps CMT 20, but this mic was designed to run on 8.5 V DC and its ground pin was on pin 1 of its XLR connector.

The KM 84 is renowned for its incredibly consistent cardioid polar pattern and its beautifully flat frequency response.

To this day, the KM 84 is celebrated and used in recordings around the world.

Neumann KM 84 FET Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: KK 84 (originally known as KK 64)
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 10 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω
  • Self-noise: 17 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 130 dB SPL

Best Neumann KM 84 Clone

  • Mercenary Audio MFG KM-69

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann KM 84

Advanced Audio
CM1084
MXL
603S
MXL
604
Neumann
KM 183
Neumann
KM 184
Neumann
KM 185
Warm Audio
WA-84

Neumann U 87 FET Condenser Microphone (1967)

Neumann U 87

The U 87 is Neumann’s FET recreation/update of the legendary U 67 tube condenser.

Other than the switch from a vacuum tube and external power supply to a solid-state circuit and phantom power, the U 87 also has an upgraded capsule compared to the U 67. That’s saying something since the U 67’s K67 is the most replicated capsule ever.

The K87 capsule used in the Neumann U 87 allows for incredibly consistent sensitivity across the microphone’s 3 polar patterns. It also made it possible for the 48 volt DC phantom power to properly polarize the capsule in order to achieve each of the polar patterns.

The Neumann U 87 (and its successor, the U 87 AI) are world-renowned studio microphones and are considered by many to be the best vocal microphones money can buy.

Neumann U 87 FET Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: K87
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 16,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 8 mV/Pa ± 1 mV
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω
  • Self-noise: 18 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.5% T.H.D @ 122 dB SPL, 1 kHz tone (132 dB with 10 dB pad engaged)

Best Neumann U 87 Clone

Microphones Inspired By The Neumann U 87

Advanced Audio
CM87
Hammer Audio
HA-872
Neumann
U 87 i
Peluso K87iWarm Audio WA-87

AKG C 451 E FET Condenser Microphone (1969)

AKG C 451 E

The C 451 E was a small microphone but proved to be a big step for AKG. It was AKG’s first FET microphone and, on top of that, was a modular microphone preamp with detachable capsules.

Perhaps the C 451 E doesn’t even deserve a spot on this list since it’s really not a full microphone, but its status as a popular vintage modular microphone preamp wins its spot.

AKG made numerous capsules that were compatible with the C 451 E, making it extremely versatile. The amazingly clean sound of the C 451 E made any of its compatible capsules sound stunning when connected.

To this day, the AKG C 451 E modular microphone system remains a go-to in professional studios around the world.

AKG C 451 FET E Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: AKG CK1
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 9.5 mV/Pa (-60.5 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: ≤ 200 Ω
  • Self-noise: ≤ 18 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.5% T.H.D @ 120 dB SPL, 1 kHz tone

Best AKG C 451 E Clone

Microphones Inspired By The AKG C 451 E

AKG
C 451 Anniversary

AKG C 414 EB FET Condenser Microphone (1976)

AKG C 414 EB

The AKG C 414 EB is actually the second generation of the original C 414 (1971). It is the oldest vintage microphone on this list, but one of the most popular.

I chose to mention the C 414 EB rather than the original due to its extra features and greater popularity.

The AKG C 414 EB, like the original, combined the legendary CK-12 condenser capsule (introduced with the AKG C 12) with solid-state circuitry. The result was a microphone that sounded quite similar to the C 12 that could be designed smaller and produced cheaper.

The extra features included in the C 414 EB included a 3-way high-pass filter, a -10dB pad and an extra -20dB pad option. Each of these features, the HPFs and pads, were selectable via switches directly on the microphone body.

Since the original C 414 and the second generation C 414 EB “vintage” mics, AKG has continued to modify, improve, and reissue this remarkable line of microphones. The history of the AKG C 414 series is rich with high-quality sonically pleasing microphones.

AKG C 414 EB FET Condenser Microphone Notable Specs

  • Capsule: CK-12 
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional, hypercardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 6 mV/Pa (-64.4 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: ≤ 150 Ω
  • Self-noise: equal to 20 dB SPL
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 0.5% T.H.D @ 150 dB SPL, 1 kHz tone

Best AKG C 414 Clone

Microphones Inspired By The AKG C 414 EB

Advanced Audio CM414AKG
C 214
AKG
C 314
AKG
C 414 B-TLII
AKG
C 414 B-XLII
AKG
C 414 B-XLS
AKG
C 414 EB P48
AKG
C 414 LTD
AKG
C 414 XLII
AKG
C 414 XLS
Warm Audio
WA-14

What was the first commercial microphone? The first commercially available microphone was a tube condenser microphone called “the bottle” that was developed by Georg Neumann in 1928 (after the advent of electrical recording in 1925). This came 49 years after the first microphone was invented (by Emile Berliner and Thomas Edison in 1876).

To learn more about microphone history, check out my article Mic History: Who Invented Each Type Of Microphone And When?

Why are vintage microphones so expensive? The microphones we deem “vintage” today are expensive for several reasons:

  • They were originally very expensive, of high quality, and have aged well.
  • They are rare collectors’ items and highly sought after models.
  • They have a characteristic “vintage sound.”

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