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AKG microphones are among the most respected and widely used in the field of professional audio, qkg there can be few, if any, studios that do not use some models from their extensive and varied range. The D and D reviewed here, are high quality moving-coil, or ‘dynamic’ mics, with a cardioid pick-up pattern and extended frequency response.

Both these microphones use the ‘two-way’ technique developed by AKG as long ago asin which separate transducers are used for high and low frequencies, the outputs of the two elements being phased together by a built-in crossover network. As in a two-way loudspeaker design, this enables the transducers size to be optimised for the particular range of frequencies d20 it is intended to handle, resulting in a large diaphragm for bass frequencies and a smaller unit for high frequencies.

Operating on the ‘pressure-gradient’ principle, which exposes both sides of the diaphragm to sound pressure in order to achieve a directional effect by various phase cancellations, these models have additional rear ports or openings, near the base of the microphone body which provide a long low frequency rear sound path to eliminate proximity effect the rise in bass response normally exhibited in close-up use of a cardioid mic.

A well controlled cardioid pick-up pattern is produced, in which the frequency response is independent of working distance, and off-axis colouration is minimised. The majority of the tapered body is made from a tough, rigid plastic material, but the mic has a distinctive appearance, largely due to the striking design of the rear sound entry slots protruding from either side of the metal base section, which also houses the XLR output connector and a recessed response switch.

The diaphragm assembly is protected by AKG’s very tough, but acoustically transparent ‘sintered bronze’ grille material, which is finished, like the body, in a non-reflective black.

Within the two-way transducer system, the low frequency diaphragm handles only the 20 to Hz region, while the high frequency unit mounted in front of it, takes over from Hz up to the nominal 20 kHz upper limit of the response.

The design utilises a hum-cancelling coil to reduce external field interference. This is an additional coil, similar to the diaphragm coil, but wired out-of-phase; interference is picked up equally in both coils, but then cancelled out by the opposite phasing.

A three position bass-cut switch is also featured, kag 0, 7 or 20 dB of attenuation at 50 Hz, to assist in reducing handling noise and other unwanted low frequency sounds. Subjectively the D has a rather ‘neutral’ tonal character, with no particularly prominent mid-band colourations, and a response that seems well extended at both extremes, but particularly smooth at low frequencies.

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The mic is well suited to a wide variety of applications; the BBC, for example, uses s extensively for speech pick-up, while in recording studios it is frequently encountered in use as a bass drum mic, where the smoothness of the bottom end of its response assists in achieving a ‘tight’, well controlled bass drum sound.

The absence of any proximity effect is also useful in this application, as the bass response does not alter when the distance between the mic and the drum head is changed, so it’s easy to experiment with different mic positions inside or just outside the bass drum. The specified sensitivity, although alg particularly high at dBV, is about average for a mic of this type, but the can withstand up to dB SPL sound pressure levelso close-miking of most sources will cause no problems.

The D performs well in all the areas where dynamic mics are traditionally preferred, such as close-miked drums, percussion and amplifiers, but it can also be used to good effect in the recording of brass and reed instruments, or the larger ak instruments in multi-mic orchestral sessions.

AKG D202 – Classic Dynamic Microphone – Vintage

A wide-range dynamic, like thecan sometimes be usefully employed in preference to a condenser mic, for situations where the natural transient and frequency response of the condenser might result in a sound that is too ‘hard’ or ‘brittle’, such as with some types of tuned percussion notably vibes and with certain brass instruments, where overemphasis of upper harmonics, caused by close-miking, can cause much of the ‘warmth’ of the sound to be lost.

Although it is sometimes criticised as having a rather characterless or unexciting sound, I have always found the D to be a most useful and versatile mic, with a response that is well suited to many practical recording situations.

Interestingly, AKG once considered dropping the D from their range, and the model disappeared from their catalogues around The more expensive D was thought to offer a similar, but superior performance, while the D, another ‘two-way’ design, was available at a more competitive price. However, the D, despite a styling and finish that give it the appearance of a scaled-downis not able to offer the same level of performance.

The D continued to be in demand and has since been fully restored to the range.

Like the D, this model is a two-way moving coil design, with separate transducers for high and low frequencies. It has a cardioid pick-up pattern, with a well maintained off-axis response, and no proximity effect, due to the distributed rear loading of the diaphragm assembly.

AKG DE1 & DE Microphones (HSR Jun 84)

A hum compensation coil is featured, to assist in rejecting induced akh, while mechanical noise, handling noise, floor vibration etc, or unwanted low frequency signal components, can all be reduced by a 50 Hz cut switch, which has -7 and dB positions.

The specifications of the two models are so similar as to suggest that the D might offer little more than a cosmetic upgrade from the D, but in fact the HF response of the newer model seems subjectively better maintained and distinctly smoother.

The overall performance could be described as quite smooth and refined for a dynamic mic, with speech and acoustic instruments sounding clean and kag, and percussion in particular having a fine incisive quality.

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Like the D, some LF handling noise is evident, although stand mounted use is envisaged for most recording applications. However, the relatively low sensitivity of this type of mic might need to be taken into account under certain circumstances, and close-up working is advisable with low level sources, in order to avoid d02 problems arising through excessive mic-amp gain.

The Ramblings of Some Audio Guy: Living Room Laboratory – The AKG D “Rocket”

The D shares most of the inherent qualities that alg made the D popular in the broadcasting field, although its rather more stylish, but unobtrusive appearance suggests a greater suitability for TV work.

Rather unusually, this mic is supplied with two foam windshields; under conditions where wind noise is amg problem, additional protection is needed for the rear sound entry ports located just above the XLR connector, necessitating the fitting of a windshield at both ends of the mic! The DE1 and DE have low impedance ohmsbalanced outputs, and as usual with AKG products, the quality of construction and finish of both models is very good, the mics being supplied in a useful, rigid, foam lined protective case, with stand adaptor and individual frequency response plot included.

These versatile AKG models offer a high quality audio performance, suitable for coincident-pair recording or close-miked techniques, combined with the intrinsic ruggedness and user convenience of dynamic mics. While the D has the superior overall performance, the D still finds favour in many applications and might perhaps be considered more cost-effective in some situations; but both models have something to offer and would certainly make a most useful addition to any microphone collection. You can send us a note about this article, or let us know of a problem – select the type from the menu above.

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If you value this resource, you can support this project – it really helps! Neutral Subjectively the D has a rather ‘neutral’ tonal character, with no particularly prominent mid-band colourations, and a response that seems well extended at both extremes, but particularly smooth at low frequencies.

Applications The D performs well in all the areas where dynamic mics are amg preferred, such as close-miked drums, percussion and amplifiers, but it can also be used to good effect in the recording of brass and reed instruments, f202 the larger stringed instruments in multi-mic orchestral sessions. Conclusions These versatile AKG models offer a high quality audio performance, suitable for coincident-pair recording or close-miked techniques, combined with the intrinsic ruggedness and user convenience of dynamic mics.

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