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Thread: preamp for AKG C411

  1. #1
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    Default preamp for AKG C411

    Hi,
    I've checked to see if there's already a thread dealing with this but didn't find one.

    I use a AKG C411 in live settings and plug it right into the PA but I'd like to find a preamp to use to have a little more control over volume/eq. I guess the AKG is technically a mic and not a pickup and so I've heard I need a mic preamp rather than a pickup preamp. I guess I'm not sure what the difference is but I've noticed that a lot of preamps don't have xlr inputs. Anyway, does anyone have a mic preamp recommendation?

    I think the Schertler would probably be very good but I prefer to spend about $200.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    I use that mic but I ran it through an AER amp and ran to the board. I didn't use a pre but this link looks interesting. Perhaps others will have had experience with it.

    http://www.ehx.com/products/12ay7-mic-pre
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  3. #3
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Mike mentioned one option -- use an acoustic amp that has an XLR mic input with phantom power, and some onboard EQ. That also gives you a local monitor, and you can send the DI output from the amp (assuming it has one) to the house sound system.

    I'd be leery of a pedal like that EHX.... it does at least have a high-voltage power supply, but the ad includes the telltale marketing buzzword "warm," and it has no EQ. All you really need is clean amplification, so that may not be a good choice.

    Another option is the TC G-Natural pedal, a bit expensive, but it's the only floor unit I know of that has a mic input with phantom power and a programmable EQ section. It includes some other useful stuff like a boost switch for solos, a tuner with mute, and onboard effects like delay and reverb. It's a solid unit (I used one for a while). The only major drawback is that your settings need to be "set and forget" at the gig, because it isn't easy to quickly change something like an EQ setting without paging through menus.

    Yet another option would be a small mixer with a good EQ section, like an Allen & Heath Zed 10, or Zed 10FX (with onboard effects). These are fairly small, with a good EQ section and very clean preamps. It's more channels than you need, but this would work better set on a nearby table or barstool for quick adjustments, if you don't want a floor pedal like the G-Natural, or an acoustic amp.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Thought I'd send this link to the AER amp the I use. They really are great amps.
    http://www.aer-amps.com/index.php?op...100261&lang=en
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    that link employs a wonderful german take on the english language.
    Mitch Russell

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    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Joe Meek ThreeQ would be an elegant solution (I picked one up for around your pricerange).
    Nice sounding preamp and EQ. It has an insert point so you can put a muting tuner in line... Very handy.
    The output is balanced TRS, use a TRS to XLR adaptor and mic cable to get into the mixing console.
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Thanks all. Theoretically, I like the idea of an amp to send a DI out from and second as a monitor.
    But my band usually plays in a tiny corner of a bar. I just can't see how any more equipment would fit. I'm going to look into those preamps you guys suggested.

  8. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    yea Mic Pre, and one with Phantom power since the condenser need juice.
    [unless you got the battery power-supply version.]

    but you can get a small passive mixer,[many brands]
    which includes a mic pre in at least a couple channels ..
    then you have a higher line level output rather than a Low Z DI output.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  9. #9
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    I don't think a passive device would work here (we are talking about an active microphone for starters).
    A small mixer would work but would probably be a compromise on things like EQ (lack of sweepable mid etc) and have features you probably aren't going to want such as aux send etc. Steer away from brads like behringer, the sonic degradation and limited lifespan just aren't worth the savings you make at purchase.
    Putting your budget into one channel (if that's all you need) means you get a full featured quality sounding channel strip complete with line level output (if it ain't then it ain't a mic preamp, right?)
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

  10. #10
    Registered User Bauzl's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    I used to use the AKG C411 together with an AKG B29L battery power supply. You can connect up to two mini XLR mics to it, each input has its own volume setting, so you can blend the two signals. It has a clip so you can mount it to your belt or better to the strap. The XLR output can be switched from mic level to line level.

    If you just need some limited control of your level, this rather low end device might be an option, if your C411 is equipped with a mini XLR connector.

    As you said, the C411 is a condenser mic, so the mic preamp of any reasonable mixing desk will do. So even the AKG B29L is not really needed if it has a grown up standard XLR connector (or an adapter). Or you can use any decent mic preamp or acoustic amp, of course.

    Even though the C411 is a mic, I later decided that I prefer either an external mic or a clip on mic, which hears the instrument via the sound waves travelling through the air instead of the instrument's body's vibrations. In other word, the C411 has similar characteristics like a pick-up in my opinion. Of course it lacks all the problems of the very high impedance of a piezo transducer.

    Also I am now in an acoustic band and no longer need the high gain before feedback, which I needed when playing regularly with an electric band.


    Have Fun!
    Bauzl
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  11. #11
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    Mike mentioned one option -- use an acoustic amp that has an XLR mic input with phantom power, and some onboard EQ. That also gives you a local monitor, and you can send the DI output from the amp (assuming it has one) to the house sound system.

    .
    That's exactly what I do, a strong signal to the board and a strong monitor for me. Someone was concerned about size, I replaced my stolen Cube 60 with an Alpha, 40 or 50 watts (they've boosted them to 50 although the website only lists the old 40's as yet), and they are 10"x10"x9" and weigh about 15 lbs. I love it, I can put the C411 and the cables etc. into the carrying case for the amp and sling it over one shoulder and my mando over the other and away I go.
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    I use the AER Compact 60 too
    I also have a Lunchbox Aco amp (very small and my super portable rig, but AER sounds better)
    Also have a small mixer
    And a tube mic pre

    If you are on a tight budget , a small mixer would imho work better than a preamp/amp

    Thanks

    Robert VanLane

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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    I've just switched from a Baggs Radius to an AKG C411L. The Baggs was on a Gibson F5, and produced a very bassy, 'thumpy' tone and far too much handling noise. I'm using the AKG phantom power adaptor (essentially a voltage regulator that restricts phantom power to the 9v or so the C411 needs), running this into a Headway EDB 1 preamp, then out to the board. The preamp blocks the phantom supply from the board, but supplies it's own 18v phantom power. There is a really nice EQ on the Headway that can be focused on the pitch range of the instrument, and there is a notch filter and phase switch. Very robust bit of kit for gigging, and the C411 sounds fantastic; a comment from our gig last night; 'it sounds like the Gibson, only louder'.
    Tim Mundy
    www.slipperyhill.co.uk
    2002 Gibson F5 Fern
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    Gold Tone MBT-1 Resonator Tenor Guitar

  14. #14
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    Thanks for the tip on the Headway. I've made some inquiries.

    "Even though the C411 is a mic, I later decided that I prefer either an external mic or a clip on mic, which hears the instrument via the sound waves travelling through the air instead of the instrument's body's vibrations. In other word, the C411 has similar characteristics like a pick-up in my opinion. Of course it lacks all the problems of the very high impedance of a piezo transducer."
    Bauzi, I totally agree, and use an external mic when ever possible. The AKG is the best compromise for me.
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  15. #15
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: preamp for AKG C411

    as the piece Bauzl added is a blender , the 2nd channel can be an AKG mini-mic ,
    for the instrument , or singer .
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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