How to take apart an AKG D2000 or a D170

Recently I noticed a thread on a well known web forum which specialises in disseminating misinformation on a range of gear. In this erudite discourse it was suggested that these ‘inexpensive’ old AKG dynamics were not made to last and that they couldn’t be taken apart or repaired by the user. This is of course complete bollocks!

Simply peel off the name strip from around the grill ( taking care to save it to put back on afterwards.)  The top half of the grill can then be easily unscrewed. If necessary the element can be gently pulled out from it’s rubber mounting. At the other end a single screw holds the XLR in place.

The AKG D170E  pictured below has been taken apart to clean and replace the disintegrated old foam inside the grill.

AKG D170E Dismantle 1AKG D170E Dismantle 2


It is also worth noting that when they were new these ‘inexpensive’ old microphones cost more than a week’s wages for the average musician!

AKG dynamics from the 1970’s were well designed, solidly engineered and intended to last. This one is nearly 40 years old and still sounds as good as the day it left the factory!

AKG Catalogue 1978



AKGD170 Bass Drum Application

Apart from being mainly designed for heavy rock vocals I was interested to note that the AKGD170 is also recommended for Bass Drum ‘ (where other microphones sound too ‘bassy’ and muddy)’……………… So with that in mind I recently took it out on some live rock’n’roll gigs and was very pleased with the tight, punchy sound it produces. If more low end is required it also responds very well to additional EQ.

CLICK HERE for AKGD170 Bass Drum Clip

9 responses to “How to take apart an AKG D2000 or a D170

  1. I noticed the mic “…has been taken apart to clean and replace the disintegrated old foam inside the grill…”
    It’s a common problem and I have replaced perished foam too, but I’ve always been paranoid that I’m not using the right stuff and it might mess up the performance. Do you use “special” foam or just anything you can find?
    Thanks for a great blog BTW.



    • Shure supply replacement foam for the SM58. I used one of them for the D170. There are also a lot of Chinese suppliers on the internet. As far as I can tell there is nothing particularly special about this foam. I suppose that if it was too thick it might have an influence on h/f response and if it was to thin it might not prevent popping quite so well. Certainly the Shure foam worked pretty well. I seem to recollect that it did require some careful cutting to make it fit. Good Luck! Martin


  2. I have what I think is a D2000E, but the name strip is missing. It looks exactly like the one you have pictured (except someone painted the ball black, and the ball has several dents), However, while unmarked, the 3-way switch seems to be B-M-S, like the D1000E – i.e, the 3rd position gives an even brighter sound, not “off”. Was there a variation on the D2000E?


    • Hi Rodak, The mic pictured in my post is the D170. The D2000 looks very much the same but has the 3 position switch you describe. So it sounds like your mic probably is a D2000E. As far as I know the switch on the 2000 is different to the B-M-S switch on the 1000 and the 12000. As I understand it, in the ‘Off’ position the shaping filter is switched off and the mic is functioning flat. Having never owned a 2000 I don’t know, but maybe it does sound brighter in this position? Certainly, the frequency response plots are quite different to the D1000. I will ask around and see if anyone I know has one or has used one.


  3. Wow, thanks very much! I see what you mean by the “off” setting – silly me, I thought “off” meant the mic was off – duh, but the filter off makes much more sense. Is this thing easy to take apart without breaking it? the on-off switch doesn’t work and is missing a screw, and the B-M-S switch is not anchored either, and I’d like to try to fix that. I’ve unscrewed the ball as shown in your post, but haven’t gone any farther than that.

    I have to tell you how I acquired this mic. Around 1980, a guy backed his pickup truck into my driveway and asked if I’d like to buy the lot of musical gear in the back for $50. It was mostly cables, but there were a number of mic stands, this AKG mic, and a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face(which I have since misplaced – grrrrr!) and a Thomas Organ Cry Baby Wah pedal The AKG is the only really decent mic I own, and I have a use for it, and now that we have the Internet, I was able to find out more about it.


    • On most AKG mics the XLR socket can be taken out by unscrewing the small screw/s at the lower end on the outside
      of the casing. BUT……. these screws are usually left-hand thread. Which ever way they go you need to screw them inwards. (they lock the connector in place by screwing outwards until they fill the hole) Once at the bottom of the screw hole the XKR socket should slide out. I think that should give access to the filter switch. At the other end if you unscrew the ball you should be able to gently slide the element out and gain access to the on/off switch. Good Luck!
      P.S. Sounds like you got a bargain!


  4. Cool. I’ll give it a try, thanks!


  5. Hi there,
    I recently purchased a used akg d 190 es, and I was wondering if it’s possible to take apart this microphone to clean. I was looking around the web but didn’t find anything on it. Maybe you can shed some light! I wanted to make sure before I started twisting things!

    Thank you,


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