A Review of the AKG C1000s condenser microphone.
Is the AKG C1000s condenser microphone for you?
In this article I discuss the features of this mic and share my own personal experiences using it and hopefully this will give you a better understanding of it’s strengths and weaknesses and help you determine if it will meet your recording needs.
An introduction to the C1000s and it’s features.
The C 1000 S is very popular small diaphragm condenser microphone that is suitable for many types of recording and live sound applications. A significant feature I must mention is that you have the option of this microphone being powered by internal 9 V battery or by phantom power (9-52 V DC). I have used the C1000s out in the field to record nature sounds using the 9 V battery and have had no problems although at the time I was using the first generation of these mics which did not have any way of checking battery status.
The current version of the C1000s now has a battery status LED included in the design to let you know how much charge you have left when you are running on battery power. The red LED lights up when the remaining battery life falls below 45 minutes. This is a very welcome addition.
The C100s has a couple of adaptors I have not seen with any other microphones which increase it’s versatility even further.
If you are the type of person that likes to tweak things and adjust the sensitivity of your microphone then you have the option of using the included PPC 1000 (pictured on the left) which allows the microphone to be switched from cardioid to hypercardioid pickup pattern which increases the sensitivity of the microphone to frequencies below 50Hz.
The Presence Boost Adapter( featured on the right of the above picture) is included for enhancing the performance of the higher frequencies which improves speech intelligibility and adds life to acoustic performances.
For those with a technical mind I have included the graphs and polar patterns below.
As you can see below, using the adaptor (PPC 1000) has a noticeable effect on the pickup pattern and sensitivity of the microphone.
Build quality of the C100s.
AKG does have a reputation for producing excellent quality microphones both in performance and construction and the C1000s is no exception as the build is solid and well designed. Everything about this microphone tells you quality right down to the way it is packed. Included is the previously mentioned adapters, a very solid but pliable cradle with a metal thread adapter to suit the different stands you may use and a foam windscreen for outdoor use or close proximity vocal recording. A feature which is both an advantage and a possible annoyance to some people is the recessed on/off switch. Great because it will not get snagged on something and flicked on by mistake (or damaged) but a little difficult to access with your fingers. This is a small design issue and probably of little consequence to most people so perhaps it can be overlooked.
My experiences using the AKG C1000s.
I have two of these mics and they have been used to capture everything from outdoor choirs to overhead drums, acoustic guitar and even nature recordings. From my own personal experience I have found these microphones to be both rugged and reliable as well as producing excellent sound with low noise. I must say thought,that they really need to be mounted on a stand since they are very sensitive and this means they will pick up handling noise so if you intend doing field recordings to pick up nature sounds for example then placing them on a stand is the way to go.
Buying advice for the AKG C1000s.
As an all rounder the C1000s work well in a variety of settings although they would not be ideal as a hand held vocal microphone (in which case something like a Shure SM58 would be more suitable). For everything else though, they will do the job, and do it well.