AKG CK93

Michael Pearce

Filmmaker
Staff member
Thread starter #1
Hi, my name is Michael, and I have a microphone fetish.

I just acquired an AKG CK93 + SE300B hypercardioid microphone for $338 + tax, and I'm quite impressed. This is a definite buy recommendation.

As you may know, a shotgun is not the ideal type of microphone for indoor dialog from an overhead boom. Because of the way a shotgun microphone works, using an interference tube, reflections from nearby surfaces, like a ceiling, can defeat the directionality of a shotgun. Also, the off-axis rejection of a shotgun microphone tends to vary widely across the frequency spectrum, which can give moving subjects a noticeable frequency shift during their dialog. Instead, the ideal boom microphone for indoor use is a hyper- or supercardioid microphone.

I had considered buying the CK93 years ago, but I ended up getting something else. The product appears to have been discontinued and then recently revived by AKG. I stumbled across it again listening to microphone comparisons, and I was surprised how good it sounded. I was surprised again at the price AKG is selling it for on their own online store (it looks like it may be a sale price for the SE300B body). I decided to get one, partly just to try it out, but also partly to have a less precious microphone in my kit that I can loan out.

The AKG CK93 is a hypercardioid capsule for their modular "blue line" system, and it must be paired with the AKG SE300B preamplifier body.



The microphone arrived today, and I recorded a side-by-side comparison of the CK93 and my Schoeps MK 41. I can tell the difference, mainly in the low-mid frequencies, but beyond that, they perform very similarly. This includes the consistency across frequencies of the off-axis rejection. Keep in mind that the Schoeps mic costs $1655 right now. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a film with the CK93, or even to mix audio from both mics.

https://soundcloud.com/user-182428461%2Fhypercardioid-comparison-akg-ck93
https://soundcloud.com/user-182428461%2Fhypercardioid-comparison-schoeps-mk-41
These audio samples were recorded simultaneously, side by side, from a close overhead position as if they were on a boom. They were recorded on a Zoom F4, in my half-finished sound stage in my basement, and the only post-processing has been to normalize both clips to -23 LUFS.
 
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Michael Pearce

Filmmaker
Staff member
Thread starter #4
I don't know, because I don't make handling noise ;)

Seriously, I haven't noticed any particular handling noise, but I use a decent shock mount and I really do stop making handling noise during takes. I'll have to play around with it.

I did discover one weakness of this microphone: RF interference. I was recently on a film where they wanted a radio transmitter in my bag (for a fake IFB), and at one point I used the AKG CK93 as a plant mic. I had a bunch of static as I moved around, and eventually I figured out it was the transmitter being picked up by the AKG mic. I turned off the transmitter for the shot and had no trouble after that. My other mic hadn't had any trouble with the transmitter.
 
#5
I don't know, because I don't make handling noise ;)

Seriously, I haven't noticed any particular handling noise, but I use a decent shock mount and I really do stop making handling noise during takes. I'll have to play around with it.

I did discover one weakness of this microphone: RF interference. I was recently on a film where they wanted a radio transmitter in my bag (for a fake IFB), and at one point I used the AKG CK93 as a plant mic. I had a bunch of static as I moved around, and eventually I figured out it was the transmitter being picked up by the AKG mic. I turned off the transmitter for the shot and had no trouble after that. My other mic hadn't had any trouble with the transmitter.
Oh... RF is no bueno. Those RF filters work well, but that would add some length. What was your other mic?
 
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