The 12+ and 251+ PE
Our Premium Edition featuring the CT12 Capsule
In the beginning...
The original AKG ck12 capsule
The original AKG c12 used a magic capsule that we are told needs spells and incantations to reproduce. We don't have that magic but...
... we are told Tim Campbell knows all the magic!
Tim Campbell's CT12 capsule
My name is ****** and I am friends with ******* ******-*******.
I would like to order a C12+ like he has had done by you. I have a Capsule and a T14 transformer from Tab Funkenwerk which I will send with the mic. I borrowed his mic and it is ridiculously good. I used to work at a super high end studio (Hit Factory when it was open in NYC) and heard just about every vintage mic...this sounded as good as my favorites. C12 and a 241.
Please let me know how to proceed. ''
Thank you in advance ******"
Actual Customer request
After a year of wondering we finally got around to trying out a CT12 capsule from Tim Campbell. I have read that Tim's capsule is one the finest reproductions of the original AKG capsule that is available.
The original c12 capsule was used in such legendary microphones as the c12, the c24, ELA m251 and also in the early versions of the AKG 414 solid state microphones. Truly a testimony to the quality of the capsule design itself.
Now make no mistake; we get VERY good results using the RK12 or the CEK12 capsule in our Basic and Standard model microphones. They sound excellent.
But it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the CT12 capsule was quite different and gives you a another "colour" to add to the microphone sound palette.
This capsule is not for the casual recordist. It costs more than others. Heck it costs more that an entire upgrade for our Basic line of upgrades!
But the CT12 capsule is hand made.
And the sound is... well, nothing short of exceptional!
Peluso CEK12 Response
The Peluso capsule above is plotted from 60Hz to 15KHz. It shows some of the typical AKG style capsule response characterisitics. The small lift at 4Khz is a hint of the response of the Chinese 32mm capsules you can find in a multitude of microphones, but it is a smaller lift.
But the upper end at 10Khz is actually a little higher than you might see with the 32mm capsule. In fact we use a tiny equalizer cap to tame it in our 251 upgrade.
The CT12 capsule however is a different animal.
Editors Note 2013:
We have been working with Tim Campbell to have him tune his capsules to our requirements. We want to emulate as closely as possible the response curves published by AKG originally for the c12 microphone. A critical spec for us is to have a nominal lift of 5dB in the high end and only 1dB mid-range dip.
You can see in this new graph (Feb 2013) that Tim has done an excellent job with tuning the capsules for us. This falls right up the centre of the spec response from AKG many years ago.
There is a gentle lift in the bottom end on this plot because the CT12 has a very nice Proximity effect. We test at .5 metres and this little capsule shows the proximity to the sound source quite clearly.
To prove this is proximity effect here is the same capsule tested in Omni pattern, which of course has no proximity effect. You can see it is very flat.
The overall effect of the CT12 capsules is to create a microphone that is bright but not brash. It's a smooooooooth brightness. Very pleasant on string instruments like banjo, guitar, cellos, double bass and some violins. And I find that it is my goto mic for female vocals. It just works!
Honestly nothing sounds bad with this capsule. It's always great and sometimes amazing.
What does the “+” Stand For ?
The FAR 12+ can be outfitted with Tube in the legendary ECC88 family (6DJ8 6922 E88CC). These tubes are a newer generation of Radio Frequency triodes that feature a control grid made of wire that is thinner than a human hair. This fine wire means that microphonics if they occurr are at a very high frequency, usually beyond human hearing.
The sound is different with the 6922 tube is because the preamp response changes subtly. The response change is due to the very low output impedance of this tube family.
The graph below shows the difference between the same mic with the stock 6072 and a 6922. Responses are shown normalized for gain so you can see the low end improvement. The upper mids and high end are also flatter with the 6922 tube.
There is much less distortion with the 6922 tube and as a result 6 dB more headroom before hitting our limit of 1% distortion at 1KHz. The one negative difference is the sensitivity is reduced by 1dB with the ECC88 family of tubes versus the 6072 and there have been some reliability issues with this tube family. But when you have a good one they sound very nice.
Needs a Good Transformer
So to come up to the standards of this capsule we wanted to make the preamp a replica of the c12 so we have standardized this mic on the Tab Funkenwerk T14 for the 12+ line.
Final Word for the Budget Conscious
Tim's Capsules are exquisite but we know everybody has budgets to work with. We can provide this same microphone internals with an RK12 capsule. We find it still sounds great but gives you considerable savings if you haven't got the extra money to spare.
Here is an actual response of a 12+ microphone, in cardiod, with an RK12 capsule. The 180 degree (backside) rejection is 1 dB better than the original c12 specification. (>13 dB down @ 1KHZ)
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