AKG D224E (circa 1968) The Best Dynamic Microphone Ever Made?

AKG D224E

The AKG D224E is an extraordinary combination of revolutionary design and high quality engineering, which conspires to challenge  preconceptions about the capabilities of a dynamic microphone. Not only does it have the expected performance of a quality dynamic:-

  • ability to handle high SPLs,
  •  fat, punchy midrange,
  • tonally smooth high end,
  • no requirement for external power,

BUT…………….. It also has all the characteristics of a good condenser!

  • Wide flat frequency response 20hz to 20Khz !!
  • Excellent transient response.
  • Tight, uniform, cardioid polar pattern.
  • Sound arriving from any angle of incidence is completely uncoloured.
  • Rear attenuation is -20db at all frequencies, giving excellent rejection characteristics.

AKG D 224E Leaflet

IN ADDITION

The D224 (in common with the D200, D202 and D222) does not exhibit proximity effect.

This AKG Brochure below, from 1970, gives detailed technical information and fully explains the design of this extraordinary microphone.

AKG 2 Way Mics 1970

Here also is the original 1965  AKG Patent for Dual Capsule Microphones.

So what does it sound like?                                                                            On the morning this mic arrived from my usual supplier (ebay) the sun was shining (as it always does when a new mic arrives!) and the birds outside in the garden were singing loudly. I set up a mic stand outside my back door .

Click here for my first recording with the D224.

Here is another sound clip recorded at a live Rock’n’Roll show. It demonstrates the ability of the D224E to handle high level transients and reject unwanted sounds.

Click here for Rock’n’Roll Guitar.

Over the coming weeks I will add some more recorded examples. I really do like the sound of this mic!

P.S.

As with the AKG D222, the accurate off axis response of the D224 has , over many years , been perfect for politicians who don’t tend to talk straight ( into the mic)!

Tony Blair AKG D224

Notice the use of the additional pop shield, to prevent wind (and hot air) imploding on the low end capsule!

P.P.S.  If you are a fan of the D224 you may also be interested to check out the Oktava MD-186.

20 responses to “AKG D224E (circa 1968) The Best Dynamic Microphone Ever Made?

  1. Hello Martin,
    Do you know the differences between the D224c, D224d and D224e (and other 224’s if available)?
    Best regards,
    Kjaratn

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    • Hi Kjartan,
      As far as I know it was only made in 2 versions (same as most AKG mics of the period), the ‘C’ and the ‘E’. The ‘C’ models had a Klien Tuchel connector and the ‘E’ models had an XLR. In all other respects they were exactly the same microphone. So if you buy an AKG D224C you will need a Tuchel to XLR adapter to plug into modern equipment. The 224E just uses a modern XLR cable. Hope that helps.
      Martin

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  2. Hi Martin :
    I purchased one AKG D224E new in 1982. It was brand new never used in the box with the cable and adapter. I have used this for three of my CDs. Look on Bandcamp.com for Friends and Sagreras by Raymond Lohengrin. My microphone still looks like new. It is a great sounding microphone.

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  3. Jean-Philippe

    Hi Martin,

    I recently purchased that mic and it sounds real good ! Do you know what was the price for this microphone back in the 70s ?

    Thank you !

    Jean-Philippe

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    • Hi Jean-Philippe, The only 2 AKG mics I can remember buying in the 70’s were an AKG D1200E which cost me £42 in 1974 and an AKG D12 which was £92 in 1978. The D224 would have been more expensive. The only 1970s AKG pricelist I could find online is this one from 1974 http://www.coutant.org/compare/
      in which a D200 is listed at $116 . The D224 would have been more than that.
      Sorry I can’t be any more helpful.
      All the Best
      Martin

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      • Jean-Philippe

        Thanks Martin ! That is helpful. So, if price was for instance 125 back in 1974, that equals to more than 600 “2017 USD”. That means it was a quality mic – as it was used for professionnal broascasting and speaches as you picture in your post.

        Have a nice day.

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  4. Hi Martin

    I’ve just managed to get hold of one of these. love the sounds you got out of yours 🙂 what preamp were you using on the recordings.

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  5. Timothy Stockman

    Maybe the best dynamic mic, but also one of the most fragile. At one time I owned 6 D224E microphones. The tiny wire to the bass diaphragm broke on three of them and had to be repaired. They were, however, great sounding dynamic mics.

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    • This is very true. They also don’t respond well to being dropped and spare parts are no longer available. More and more they are appearing on ebay with one ( or both ) of the capsules blown and beyond repair.

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    • Timothy hi, we’re you successful at getting them repaired. I haven’t found anyone who can do it. I have a couple of these and one has the top capsule non functioning. I would love to have it repaired if possible. Please share your experience if it’s no trouble. Thank you.

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  6. Hi, Martin. In the late ’70’s I had an opportunity to use a pair od D200E1’s in live stereo recordings. I always felt I could hear an anomaly at the crossover frequency, and for this reason I stopped using them. Have you ever experienced this?

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  7. I have had one of these mics for years, but until recently I never invested in XLR to XLR leads but just made do with XLR to 1/4″ leads and this mic would never work with those. Anyway I finally renewed my mic leads with XLR to XLR and unpacked this mic after moving house. The audio is amazing. I got given this mic many years ago when stuff was being thrown out at a radio station I once worked for. Glad I kept it.

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  8. Best mics I ever used for drum overheads, I used to use a crossed pair and the stereo field and the lack of transient distortion made them unique. No condenser mics could come close for this, by comparison they were all distorted and flat sounding. D12 on kick was the other great AKG drum mic for me.

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  9. Here is a 1971 recording I made of a chamber group performing Brahms’ Trio in A Minor using 2 AKG 224Es in a spaced array with pro-consumer R2R gear: https://u.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZFbnqXZE5MOWmcdPn5JLxO1quSDtb0fLwFV

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  10. Thank you Martin for your kind compliment About the only real complaint I have about both of my AKG 224Es (S/N 3000-4000) is their susceptibility to faint hum pick-up. Before I picked-up my outboard Dolby B NRU in the early 70s tape hiss would mask this. Since then, and especially now in these days of digital recording the hum is more noticeable. Careful avoidance of power cable crossings does not seem to eliminate this problem The same microphone cables I use for these mics exhibit no hum pickup with other mics I use (albeit all condensers). I was able to get around the AKG D224Es extremely low output by using Triton Fetheads.

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