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Review AKG C1000S MK4, Capacitor Microphone


Is this “Swiss Army Knife” of mics any good for vocals?

Item: AKG C1000S MKIV, Back-Electret Capacitor Microphone

Price: US $229, UK £179, EU E149

Mic Rating: 

At A Glance: Described as the Swiss Army Knife of microphones, the AKG C1000S is a multi-purpose small-diaphragm condenser mic suitable for both live sound and the studio. Unlike many studio mics, the C1000S is extremely rugged and has a gold sputtered capsule housing that makes it extremely resistant to humidity. Its ability to work in all conditions is also increased by its ability to operate when no phantom power is available as it can be powered by two standard AA batteries for up to 120 hours. Now in its 4th generation, the new C1000 S features the additions of a bass-cut switch and a switchable -10 dB pad.

High Notes: This microphone’s ability to work in almost all environments means you will able to make high quality recordings even in demanding situations. It has a fairly neutral sound that lends itself to a wide range of instrumental recordings; however it also works well capturing a natural vocal sound and is particularly useful for recording choirs and the spoken word. The C1000 is a versatile microphone that is able to be switched from cardioid to hyper-cardioid mode depending on your recording requirements and features a presence boost adapter that provides three frequency settings for use with different sound sources.

Off Pitch: If you are only working in a studio setting, then the C1000S will probably not be the number one choice for recording vocals, as its ability to work in a wide range of applications and environments means that it is not as optimised for singers as other microphones are.

VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: When used in situations where other microphones would struggle, the C1000S works well at capturing a detailed and full sound. It could be particularly useful if you are recording spoken word or vocal performances on location when you need a microphone that can simply capture what you point it at that you can connect to a portable recording device without phantom power. When taking it on the road, there is also little concern about breaking the mic in the same way you would a typical studio condenser microphone because of its rugged design. As well as location recordings, the C1000S can also work well on stage for applications such as mic’ing different sections of a choir to send to your house PA system. Overall it is a microphone that some people will find very useful; however its sonic performance falls short of many other studio microphones, making it hard to recommend as perfect vocal mic for your home studio.

Manufacturer’s Website: www.akg.com

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  • James

    I have owned a pair of these for 12 years and I believe they truly are the Swiss Army knife of mics. Great for stereo recording, acoustic guitar and drums. I’ve had excellent results with live solo vocals, too, but not in high volume situations. As for studio vocal tracking, you’ll just have to try them out. On certain voices, the small diaphragm C1000 imparts a focus that I really like.