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AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
#3034560 03/22/20 04:31 PM
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I have an opportunity to purchase one locally. There are two of them but one has a dead high frequency transducer and shows signs of a severe beating.
My best guess is these were used to record snare drum with the beaten one on the top head and the fully working one on the bottom head (out of harm's way).

AKG spec sheet at the link:
https://memory.loc.gov/master/mbrs/...ay%20Cardioid%20Dynamic%20Microphone.pdf

Not sre the price yet, more interested in experiences.
I've plugged it in and will be testing it this week on vocals.
Thanks in advance for any and all responses!!!

Cheers, Kuru


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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3034598 03/22/20 08:15 PM
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I have two D224s. I bought them new close to 40 years ago and they're still good as new. I was doing some field collecting back then and couldn't afford a Nagra. I bought a Sony TCD-5, a pretty high grade battery powered cassette recorder and got the D224s to go along with it. At the time, the word was that they sounded very close to the small diaphragm condenser mics of the time but didn't require phantom power. The combination worked out well, and I continued to use them for field recording, as well as in the studio, when I graduated from cassette to DAT.

It came with two windscreens, one with the hole all the way through it so it could slip over the rear holes. They were made from that kind of foam that turns to goo, and mine did. Fortunately, they held up until I stopped recording out of doors. I got some new replacements from a company that specializes in windscreens and had the mic listed in their catalog, but they didn't make one with the thru hole, so I had to hack it out myself. Not pretty but it works.

I have a couple of KM84s from a little later period, and some C451s that I got around the time as the D224s. They all sound different, but the D224 sounds more like the KM84 than the C451, which is a good thing for what I was using them for most of the time - a spaced stereo pair, I can see where the comparison with condenser mics comes from.

Fun fact: The D224 was resophonic plectologist (Dobro player) Mike Auldridge's favorite mic until someone told him that it was OK to use a condenser mic on stage.

Unless you can get it for a mere pittance, I'd stay away from the beat up one with the missing high end. The capsule assembly itself is pretty rugged, but the wires leading from it are really thin and are prone to breakage where they're soldered. It can be fixed, but it's a bugger to disassemble. I have no idea what a fair price for a working one is - it's whatever seems reasonable to you. Since it's local, see if you can borrow it for a couple of days (or buy it and return it for a refund) and try it on some things you might find it useful on.

Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
Mike Rivers #3034601 03/22/20 08:51 PM
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Thanks Mike, very helpful!!!

I have the mics in possession, testing showed that one works and the other is not to spec. I've got a few days to play with them.
And I have a good pop filter, since it will be indoors I don't need a windscreen.

I've read about the thin wires, I agree it is a pass unless stupid cheap - there was a one in a similar condition to that one on ebay that fetched almost $90.
I didn't look but some of them die without looking beaten, this one has some dents and dings around the head area, hence my conclusion about mic'ing a snare drum.

There is a Sennheiser 421 available too, I have it here. It works fine but the end of the grille shows lots of silver. The black paint appears to have been removed by multiple impact events.
So it was probably a tom mic, something the Senny is famous for.

I am going to let the seller state a price first. They purchased what was left of a music shop that had been in business for 40 years and are trying to clear it out for a fresh start. A friend of mine works there, she is in charge of the impending garage sale so I may get a great price without making an offer. That's how I'll play it for now. Used in good condition they seem to go for $350-500, which is a bit out of my range now. This one would look pretty nice but I see no benefit in cleaning it now!!! Not sure if I want or need the Senny, if the price is good I'll take it.

Cheers, Kuru


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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3034623 03/23/20 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
There is a Sennheiser 421 available too, I have it here. It works fine but the end of the grille shows lots of silver. The black paint appears to have been removed by multiple impact events.

I am going to let the seller state a price first. They purchased what was left of a music shop that had been in business for 40 years and are trying to clear it out for a fresh start. A friend of mine works there, she is in charge of the impending garage sale so I may get a great price without making an offer. That's how I'll play it for now. Used in good condition they seem to go for $350-500, which is a bit out of my range now. This one would look pretty nice but I see no benefit in cleaning it now!!! Not sure if I want or need the Senny, if the price is good I'll take it.

I can't remember how much I paid for mine new, but I'm surprised that they're going for $350 to $500 used now. As far as I know, it never was all that popular a mic, but maybe somebody famous wrote about it in an article and all of a sudden it's a cult thing. I wish I had bought a couple of Sennheiser 441s when they were cheap, but then they got a glowing reputation and they're up over $400 now. Such a business!

The D224 and 421 are pretty different, as I assume you'll discover when you get to playing with them. If the price is right, get them both. If not, then decide which one is likely to be more useful to you - my guess is the Sennheiser is better for drums and amplifiers, the AKG is better for acoustic instruments (which is why I got mine).

Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
Mike Rivers #3034631 03/23/20 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
There is a Sennheiser 421 available too, I have it here. It works fine but the end of the grille shows lots of silver. The black paint appears to have been removed by multiple impact events.

I am going to let the seller state a price first. They purchased what was left of a music shop that had been in business for 40 years and are trying to clear it out for a fresh start. A friend of mine works there, she is in charge of the impending garage sale so I may get a great price without making an offer. That's how I'll play it for now. Used in good condition they seem to go for $350-500, which is a bit out of my range now. This one would look pretty nice but I see no benefit in cleaning it now!!! Not sure if I want or need the Senny, if the price is good I'll take it.

I can't remember how much I paid for mine new, but I'm surprised that they're going for $350 to $500 used now. As far as I know, it never was all that popular a mic, but maybe somebody famous wrote about it in an article and all of a sudden it's a cult thing. I wish I had bought a couple of Sennheiser 441s when they were cheap, but then they got a glowing reputation and they're up over $400 now. Such a business!

The D224 and 421 are pretty different, as I assume you'll discover when you get to playing with them. If the price is right, get them both. If not, then decide which one is likely to be more useful to you - my guess is the Sennheiser is better for drums and amplifiers, the AKG is better for acoustic instruments (which is why I got mine).

Yes, VERY different mics! I am familiar with the 421, it is an excellent all-around dynamic mic and very sturdy except for the largely disliked mic clip used to mount it. My home studio is not a good place to record drum kits.
421 is probably a good electric guitar or bass mic. I do have a bit of percussion, should be good for that also. I worked with a drummer decades ago who sang through one, and a couple of the studios I lurked had them too. Very nice mic but I have quite a few dynamics that could perform well in the same situations here. Shure KSM 8 and Electro-Voice PL95 are both different but would serve well in a similar capacity.

The AKG is an unusual mic, dual diaphragms with a cross over. Should be good for all sorts of things around here. I will try it paired with my CAD D82 ribbon, that mic could use a bit of extra high frequencies and the AKG might provide that nicely. As you say, acoustic instruments - I have 6 and 12 steel strings, a nylon string, a requinto, a fretless banjo and some other fun toys.

Plus it ia apparently a cult classic now so there is an intrinsic value in that as well. Depending on the asking price the margin might be hard to ignore.
I should know more in a few days, by then I'll have a better idea what the D224 sounds like.


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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3034659 03/23/20 04:32 AM
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Just recorded a vocal using the D 224 into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Blue pop filter about an inch off the grille. I was back from the filter a couple of inches. No plosives and very minor sibilance.
The mic is very quiet, low self noise.

A full range sound, smooth as silk. I can understand cult status, I haven't used another mic quite like it.

Will try it through the Focusrite pre next and see what that brings. Hoping they don't want too much for it, I would keep it.


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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
Mike Rivers #3035472 03/28/20 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I wish I had bought a couple of Sennheiser 441s when they were cheap, but then they got a glowing reputation and they're up over $400 now. Such a business!
Wait, 441s are down to $400 a pop now? The last time I checked (which was a while ago), they were like $1000, the most expensive dynamic mics out there aside from that one Neumann for broadcast! What changed?


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) grin
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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3035503 03/28/20 06:24 PM
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Update. My friend that works at the music shop spoke with the new owners.
They told her they were going to donate the mics to a church they are associated with but the church told them that they have plenty of good gear now.

List of items, I took home to demo.
AKG D224 E, well used but seems to be fully functional. Great mic.
AKG D224 E badly beaten/dented and the high frequency transducer is not functioning. Reputably very difficult to repair, no parts are available. People still buy dead ones on eBay/Reverb for parts.
Sennheiser MD421-U-5, grille has had considerable paint beaten off of it but not dented, fully functional, older model.
NOS Direct Sound Extreme Isolation EX-25 headphones new in the box.

They asked her to sell them, she is in charge of clearing out old odds and ends in inventory.
She asked me what I would pay for everything. I figured start low and see what happens so I said "$100." She said "Let's make them really happy and go $125.00."
The store is currently closed but they can open up briefly for me to go in and pay.

I'd do it even if I didn't want any of the items! I'll find a use for everything but the broken mic, I'll just flip it. If the other one dies I'll flip it too. I'd be close to break even at that point.
So I can't go wrong.

Sometimes I get lucky! Cheers, Kuru


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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3035519 03/28/20 07:20 PM
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And you're doing something nice for charity. Win win!


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) grin
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Re: AKG D 224 E anybody have/use one?
KuruPrionz #3036464 04/03/20 05:53 AM
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I tried micing up the bridge area of my acoustic 12 string with the D224 flat horizontal and 45 degrees pointing neckwards - aimed just behind the bridge about a foot off.
It is a remarkably low noise microphone, I can get away with quite a bit of gain and still no hum to speak of, nice.

It is a good mic for that spot, detailed but the sound of the strike is not too bright - whether fingers or pick are used.

I aimed the King Bee at the 12 fret. It was a bit too crispy aimed at the bridge.
This is the fun of learning my mics, what is good.

I got a phase shift effect when I moved around a bit. I am not good at being still if I feel the music.
Moving them both back a bit would probably minimize.

Will do both at some point, I already know where to put the phasey sound.


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