Neumann TLM 102 serves as an affordable model suitable for people looking for an entry-level Neumann mic. It is considered by many as a good product to introduce people to the superior quality of Neumann mics. On the other hand, AKG C414 is a more expensive condenser mic, but the features and capabilities are very interesting. Which one should you get? Read the comparisons of Neumann TLM 102 vs AKG C414 below for the answer.
Neumann TLM 102 comes with a compact yet durable construction, however it doesn’t lose the distinctive Neumann design character. It has a length of about 116 mm and a diameter of 52 mm. It is very lightweight at about 210 grams. It is a large-diaphragm microphone with a pressure gradient transducer, featuring a transformerless circuitry. See also our previous post about Neumann TLM 102 vs U87 here!
On the other hand, AKG C414 is slightly bigger and heavier. It measures 160 mm long, 50 mm wide, and 38 mm thick. The weight is about 300 grams. It looks very stylish and professional with the dark gray and gold finish. On the front side, you can see an LED indicator which is to warn about an overload or audio peak. The construction is sturdy and rugged.
|Blue Spark||Blue Yeti|
|- Transducer Type : Condenser, Pressure Gradient||- Capsules : condenser, pressure gradient|
|- Polar Patterns : Cardioid||- Polar Patterns : cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo|
|- Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20kHz||- Frequency Response : 20Hz - 20kHz|
|- Max SPL : 136 dB SPL (1k, THD 0.5%)||- Max SPL : 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)|
One of the biggest differences between Neumann TLM 102 vs AKG C414 is the polar pattern. Neumann TLM 102 only has a single polar pattern, which is cardioid. This polar pattern is suitable for most recording purposes, as it captures audio signals from a single direction while rejecting the rest.
However, AKG C414 offers a greater range of versatility and adaptability. It has nine selectable polar patterns for the best setting for every need. The polar patterns include cardioid, wide cardioid, hypercardioid, figure eight, and omnidirectional. So, you can choose the most suitable polar patterns for different vocals, instruments, and conditions.
Neumann TLM 102 has a high maximum SPL handling by default. It can handle voices as loud as 144 dB, which is good enough for most singers and instruments except the very loud ones. In addition, it has a very low self noise level, which is only 12 dBA. It uses an XLR3F connector.
On the other hand, AKG C414 has a default maximum SPL handling of 140 dB. However, it is also equipped with a selectable pre-attenuation pad which can be set to -6dB, -12dB, or -18dB. So, you can have a maximum SPL handling of 158 dB with this mic, which is high enough for most loud singers and instruments.
In addition, AKG C414 also features a selectable bass-cut filter which attenuates the frequencies under 160 Hz, 80 Hz, or 40 Hz. This is useful for reducing wind and handling noise. It has a very low self noise level of just 6 dBA.
Both of these two mics have excellent sound quality. They both have a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz.Neumann TLM 102 tends to be brighter due to the slight presence boost above 6 kHz. Meanwhile, AKG C414 is also somewhat bright; it has a soaring sound that is the typical of condenser microphones.
Neumann TLM 102 Vs AKG C414
In general, AKG C414 makes the better choice. It offers a great value for the money. It is a lot more versatile with the features and capabilities.