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  #1  
Old 06-22-2009, 05:53 PM
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bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
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Default The AKG C 460...has AKG produced a good substitute?

Hey Folks--

I've heard alohachris and others sing the virtues of the AKG C 460 for micing an acoustic, but it seems to have been discontinued (unless I've misread the AKG website). In your opinion, has AKG come up with a new product that matches it? Or would you recommend I try to snag a used 460?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2009, 06:45 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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The 460 was a re-engineered 451E. The pressures that fueled the re-engineering were brought on by the switchover from analog to digital recording in the '80s. In analog recording, it was preferred to have a mic with a slight presence rise to counter-act the generational high-end loss, high-end masking hiss, and high-end sag that occurred on tape beginning right after recording. Once we transitioned into digital, a hue and cry arose amongst theorists the recording industry demanding that presence peaks be eliminated because they were "unnecessary" in a lossless format. As a result, the AKG 451E was eliminated and the 460B (EB) was created. To my ears, the 460 was something of an SM81 with a higher price tag: It was actually kind of dull and cardboardy for a small diaphragm condenser, eliminating its utility when you wanted a mic with some "sizzle."

However, recently, engineers made it clear they wanted the 451 with its presence rise. AKG re-engineered this venerable mic with a transformerless preamp and surface mount technology. They reproduced the CK1 capsule from the 451E and made it part of their new, one-piece 451B.

The results, as always, are a matter of taste. Some like the brightness of the 451B, some don't. I work with all three: 451E, 460, and 451B. We have the first two in our mic locker at work and I purchased a pair of 451Bs for home.

You can read my review and hear a quick sample HERE .

I prefer the 451 series, my little self.

Hope this helps!

Bob
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:14 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Bayou!

Aloha Bayou Bengal,

AKG replaced the 460 with the more expensive 480. It's a great mic but you won't find many guitar site guys talking about it because it list for almost $1100.

Both the 460 and 480 use CK 60 series caps and require 48V phantom power.

I have liked 400 series AKG's ever since I heard them close mic'd in stereo on those early Windham Hill solo guitar albums in the 70's and 80's. I loved the 452's!

When old-friend Alex DeGrassi came out here a few years ago, I got to play through his 460's a couple times. I really loved it.

So I tracked down some new CK61 cardioid capsules and two mic preamps online (almost stole 'em the prices were so good).

I sent them to Jim Williams in Carlsbad,CA. He gutted and modded the originals and returned them in just a couple days - better than new!

As soon as I fired one up, I knew I'd found what I was looking for - in both a single LIVE external mic and in recording mics.

Subsequently, I bought a matched pair of Schoeps CMC6 Mk41 hypercardioids, considered to be abought as good as it gets, but also around $3500.

My 460's shound as natural and clear as the Schoeps, which truly reign supreme on the upper transients, balance and headroom, for lack of a better term, IMO. The Schoeps are simply the best I've ever heard. But the modded 460's are also very,very good mics for solo acoustic guitar. Many have recorded with it. It's DeGrassi's favorite mic.

That's my suggestion if you don't want to go with 480's which go for around $750.

Ya know, the guys on taperssection.com have a real fixation with 460's and 480's for their nefarious activities. That's a good place to post that you're looking for a 460/480. I got one of my 460 preamps from a great guy on there for only $100!

Check that out, Bayou!
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:39 PM
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bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
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Thanks so much for the quick responses, Bob and Chris. Great review, history and wonderful clips, Bob! Chris, I saw the 480 and thought it was a bit steep in price for me. A used 460 or new (or used) 451 look to be more in my price range.

I'll try to see if I can at least test out a 451 at a store and then I can scour online for a used 460 in the Bay Area.

Thanks again, guys!
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:13 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Bayoubengal

Aloha Braddah Bayou!

Just remember that there are the old 451's and the newer reissue ones. Both use the CK1 cardioid capsule (or other CK 1 types), which I find accentuates the upper frequencies more. Very clear and accurate sound from these mics.

The 460's and 80's use the CK 61 cardioid capsules (or other 60 types). There are sites for buying adapters (expensive adapters) that allow you to use say, a CK1 cap on a 460, which some people really like.

Many players here love the new 451. But that 460 has something special that talks to me. Just an opinion BB.

In any case, AKG makes incredible and affordable mics.

Eh, when you have some time, go to taperssection.com and check out the discussions about the 460 and 480. It will help you form an even more informed opinion before you buy. Of course, if you can try 'em out first, that's the best. Hit West LA Music, Brah!

As I've said here before, I "Rent to buy" great mics for a day or so all the time from Mainland suppliers so I can put a mic through its paces in MY rig. Hawaii has junk music stores and zero great mics.

PleasE, keep us informed, BayouBENGAL!

BTW, I guarded Pete Maravich 4 times in '68-70 at that old Cow Palace when I played hoops for Loyola of New Orleans. He kicked my aZZ but in the last game, we upset the Tigers because he went 13-43! from the field and wouldn't pass the ball to Apple Sanders or Fig Newton, who were good players. Ol' Pete couldn't hit anythang that night (but I saw him torch Tulane for 66!

I still remember the manure smell in that old barn of a gym, and all the "Yats" at the Cow Palace lighting pennies and throwing 'em at us in pre-grame warmups. And I got lots of extra vitriol because I was the Noo Yawk white guy playing with four brothers in an era before the SEC was even integrated.
It was intense and I loved every minute of the abuse. Especially when I hit a technical foul (called on Press Maravich) that sealed the game. You shoulda heard that crowd! Believe me, I took the full ten seconds to shoot that technical, loving everyone before I swished it for the victory! I transferred and played at UCONN my last two years. But it could never be as fun as at LSU.

But I never had so much fun in college as going up to Bengal Country and partying on football weekends. They should just retire the LSU jersey from all the "best party school" polls. NO place could be wilder than Baton Rouge on an October Football Saturday. Ancient history! But thought about it cause of yo' name, boy. Crab Po' Boy & a Dixie Anyone?
-alohachris-
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:19 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Sorry, I forgot Bayou!

Aloha,

Almost forgot. Jim Williams is an incredible and highly respected audio man. He did the mods on my 460's. His company is Audio Upgrades and he lives in Carlsbad, CA just north of San Diego. He's an audio encyclopedia, man. Talk with him on the phone about 460's. He's amazing!

Check out his site. He has a long list of mods he does and he does more. He's very creative.

A Hui Hou!
alohachris
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:25 PM
rwrrwr rwrrwr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohachris View Post
Aloha Bayou Bengal,

AKG replaced the 460 with the more expensive 480. It's a great mic but you won't find many guitar site guys talking about it because it list for almost $1100.
For that kind of money I'd go with the large diaphram C414 with the switchable polar pattern. A better mic and much more versatile.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:14 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default RWRRWR, AKG 414 is a great mic.

Aloha,

Glad you brought the 414 up, brah. The AKG 414 is definitely a "desert island" type of mic due to it's flexibiity and quality of sound.

But I've been gigging for 45 years. And that experience has taught me that although I sometimes love the sound of a Large Diaphragm mic in very quiet and controlled stage areas, it is not always the best choice for minimizing bleed and controlling feedback - especially in brighter rooms with crowds, switchable polar patterns like the 414 offers, or not.

I prefer Small Diaphragms like the 451 or 460 for my gigs which in the past varied widely in terms of sonic quality from night to night.

In fact, I asked Alex DeGrassi about that not too long ago. I reminded him that early in his career, he used a Sunrise magnetic pickup in combination with the AKG 414 LD. I asked him why he loves the 460 now. He said that the 460 SD mic was the least colored mic he'd heard for his touring guitars and that at this stage of his career, natural (without FX and coloration) guitar sound was the priority for his music. He used to use pickups and effects, but prefers the clear, uncolored sound of a single 460 at his gigs now and two when recording. He liked the 414, but was not able to use it in some of the settings he played while touring - for same reasons I listed.

Of course, guys like John Mayer use the 414 on stage with loud bands with success. So I guess it's the old SD/LD preference debate again, huh?

In quiet settings and venues, the 414 is hard to beat. It is more expensive than the 480. And you can get 460's and put em together now with a mod and still be in the $300 range.

A Hui Hou!
alohachris
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2009, 11:24 PM
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bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
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chris--

Great Pistol Pete story! As you might guess from my "handle" I graduated from LSU. Saturday night at Tiger Stadium...ain't nothin' like it! I still get out for a game a year even thought I'm now in Santa Cruz, CA. Just watched the baseball team on ESPN win game 1 in the CWS. One more to go!

Thanks to everyone for all the info! I'll let you know how it all plays out.
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1974 Martin D-28 (A gift for my 20th birthday from Mom and Dad)
"Frankenstein" 1948 Gibson J-50 Body/1938 L-00 Neck
2008 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
2006 Jubal Jumbo
2016 New Era Crooked Star Prairie State Jumbo
2016 New Era Crooked Star Senorita
2020 Iris Smeck
1972 Guild Killdeer F112-6 Part Deux
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