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AKG C12B Multi-Pattern LDC Tube Mic #136 (Vintage)
The legendary AKG C12 ceased production in 1963 after a run of 10 years, to be succeeded by the models C12A and C12B. Just prior to the transistor revolution, the last stage of tube amplifier evolution was the 'Nuvistor', a miniature vacuum tube that replaced large and bulky tubes in all kinds of electronic equipment, including being used as a replacement for the famous VF14 in Neumann U47 microphones. To compare the Nuvistor to its predecessors such as the VF14, or the 6072 used in the C12 mics, is like comparing apples to oranges. It is not like them at all; it has its own character, and so do the mics that use them.
Case in point is the C12A and C12B. These were the descendants of the famous C12, but the only thing they have in common with their forebear is the wonderful CK12 brass ring capsule. The C12A was released in 1962, just ahead of the C12's demise. It was the first step away from the large cylindrical body of the C12, into the trapezoidal shape that is still iconic of AKG 414 series microphones to this day.
Taking advantage of the downsizing and new design possibilities of the much smaller Nuvistor tube, AKG went in a radical new direction that was ahead of its time. The new mic design utilized a output connector and stand mount that screwed directly onto the mic body, creating an overall shape that was very sleek and modern. The later version was dubbed the C12B, which had a slightly larger body, and a pad switch added to accommodate higher SPL's. In all other respects, the two mics are identical.
The reign of the C12A and C12B lasted until 1976; inevitably transistors had become the dominant force in electronics, and a FET replaced the Nuvistor. Thus the C 412 was born, which became the precursor to the whole 414 series that is still one of the premier microphones in recording studios around the world.
Used / Vintage
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