Recording Tricks: AKG C 3000 Mic


AKG C 3000 (Original version) front

If you look into the AKG C 3000 microphone, you'll find conflicting reports: how can it be both "a great bang-for-the-buck mic that sounds good" and "a cheap mic that might not be the right choice." How can this be? Because there have been four different versions of this mic, and AKG has been very inconsistent with the model names! In short, the first version was very different than the next three versions. Here's the scoop:

The original C 3000 was a multi-pattern condenser mic (cardioid, hypercardioid), made from 1993-1999. Let's call it the C 3000 "original". Read more about the "original" C 3000 here and here. See front and back images of the original C 3000 to the right (click to zoom).

The next mic in the lineage is the C 3000B. From 1999-2009, AKG made the cardioid-only, single-capsule C 3000B. The C 3000B had a silver body and was a stripped down, less expensive version of the original C 3000. Here's a 2000 review. (I'm not sure why that reviewer said the C 3000B was more expensive at £299.95, when that same magazine reviewed the original C 3000 in 1994 at £528. This seems to be an error. The £-$ exchange was about the same in 1994 and 2000.)
AKG C 3000 (Original version) back

Then in 2009, AKG released a new version of the C 3000B and for some reason named it... C 3000 with out the "B"! Let's call this version the C 3000(2009). The C 3000(2009) was identical to the C 3000B inside, but the name and appearance changed.

Finally, in 2012, AKG revamped the mic again and did not change the name except to remove the space in the name. Let's call this the C3000(2012). It added "the edge-terminated capsule found in AKG’s premium line of mics," whatever than means.

Here's how to tell them apart: The original C 3000 has switches on the back to select the pickup pattern because it has two capsules inside. The C 3000B is labelled as "B." The C 3000(2009) has switches on the side, is cardioid-only, and the name has a space in it. The C3000(2012) does not have a space in the name, nor does it have a logo on the front, just the letters "AKG".

The original C 3000 cost a lot more than any of the other models. Here is the best data I can find, including exchange rates (for the european reviews):

Model

Years of Production

List Price (£)

List (£ converted to US for that year)

List (US$)

Review

C 3000 ("original") 1993-1999 £528 including VAT (1/1994) $787.93 (1/1994) Review, Review
C 3000B 1999-2009 £299.95 inc VAT (1/2000) $443.18 (1/2000) Review, Review
C 3000(2009) 2009-2012
C3000(2012) 2012- $419 Review

So, any comments and reviews you find for this mic, be sure to check which version.

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