AKG D112: A Look Back at This Excellent Classic Kick Drum Microphone

AKG D112 MKII Bass Drum

The AKG D112 can help make your music sound better. Most people think that all microphones are the same. But to those who appreciate and make music, these devices are serious business that could make or break their sound. To get the best sound quality, you will need to buy a microphone designed for your instrument.

Drums are particularly tricky when it comes to microphones. Because most of the mics that we are familiar with have low sound pressure level ratings, you cannot use these for amplifying the sound made by drums. Using ordinary mics will deliver distorted drum and bass audio.

Comparison Table

What You Need to Know About the AKG D112

AKG D112 is a microphone meant for kick drums. However, you can also use it for a wide range of sound sources, including trombones, bass cabs, and other low-frequency musical instruments. What else do you need to know about the AKG D112?

Design and build

AKG D112 features an egg-shaped design that makes it very distinct from other kick drum mics. It uses metal components, and it is quite heavy. The metal build and sturdy construction help the microphone handle the vibrations and lend some degree of stabilization.

The AKG D112 has a humbucking coil that helps to minimize the noises and hiss brought about by circumference. You get a higher level of sound characteristics with this microphone as a result. Also, because it has a dynamic capsule, it does not need phantom power. Plus, you can connect it to any standard XLR output.

Specifications and features

The AKG D112 has a large diaphragm, which means that it delivers an outstanding signal to noise ratios, allowing it to handle strong vibrations. It gives your kick drums a fuller and more engaging sound. Large diaphragm microphones are often used to highlight a particular instrument, so it is mostly used for lead instruments and vocals.

The AKG D112 adeptly combines the sound of the resonant low-end bass and the sharp higher tones of the drumhead. The microphone can handle both the low and high frequencies with remarkable accuracy and precision. That makes the AKG D112 an excellent choice for floor toms as well as bass drums.

Sound pressure level

The SPL for the AKG D112 can reach up to 168 decibels, and you will not hear any distortion. On top of that, this microphone has very low diaphragm resonance, which reinforces the excellent sound quality it delivers. Further, it has a frequency response range of 20 to 17 kilohertz, helping it achieve a clean punch sound.

Ratings and reviews

The AKG D112 is no longer available on Amazon, but it does get a high rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on MusiciansFriend. It is highly praised for the excellent audio quality it delivers, the durability, and its versatility. Most reviewers have had this microphone for more than eight years, and they are very impressed with the sound quality of the AKG D112, as well as how you can use it with a variety of drums in a live performance, studio recording, and other situations.

There is negative feedback as well, but these are minor complaints. For instance, one reviewer complains that the microphone developed clicking sounds and low signals after "only" four years and six months. If you think about it, more than four years is a long time, and you will probably replace your smartphone twice in that span.

Other negative reviews do not pertain to the microphone per se but are about other things. For instance, one critical review talks about how the AKG D112 does not have a case.

Pricing for AKG D112

You can buy this microphone from online retailers such as Reverb.

How We Reviewed

To write this review, we looked at the products' sales pages on various retailers sites, as well as reviews of musicians and other music lovers, such as Stephan Schutze. We did the same thing for the featured competitors we identified for the AKG D112.

How It Compares to Competitors

Because microphones are essential devices in the music world, there are several noteworthy competitors for the AKG D112. How does it compare to the Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone, the Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone, and the Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element?

Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone

Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone

The Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone does not compromise as far as sound quality is concerned. You can use this microphone for a wide assortment of instruments. Sennheiser boasts that these microphones are known for their uniform frequency response, reliable and consistent results, and better handling of high feedback and noise.

Verified buyers on Amazon love the Sennheiser e602 II, giving it an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. They like how well this microphone works with bass drums, and can even work with a broader range of frequencies than the Audix D6. Others love how good it is when used with kick drums, putting it in direct competition with the AKG D112. Meanwhile, there are praises for the sound quality of this microphone.

You can buy it from online retailers such as Amazon. You can also get this microphone from the Sennheiser official site.

This microphone has a humbucking coil design. A humbucker helps eliminate excess noise and hums. The humbucking coil design makes this perfect for those situations where you are performing live in an old stadium that might have faulty or shoddy wiring.

Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone

Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone

The Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone is a cardioid microphone that has excellent low-frequency response, making it ideal for kick drums and other bass-heavy instruments. You can also use it for better sounds when recording. The microphone uses neodymium for quicker transient responses, low distortion, and fewer bleed-throughs when compared to other drum microphones. It has an SPL of 140 decibels and a rugged body that helps make it more durable.

Customers on Amazon give this microphone a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Verified buyers report that the Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone delivers on its promised features, sounds great on kick drums, and when used with other instruments. Some buyers find the Nady DM-80 as an excellent microphone for a wide range of use cases and purposes, calling it an excellent all-around low/mid frequency microphone.

The Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone is the budget pick for this round of drum microphones, it delivers excellent sound quality. This microphone works great and provides excellent audio quality without bankrupting you. Imagine how you can buy around four to five of these microphones for the price of one AKG D112.

Shure BETA 52A Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone

Shure BETA 52A Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone

The Shure BETA 52A is a cardioid kick drum microphone that has an egg shape similar to the AKG D211, making it appear as if Shure was trying to emulate the AKG device when it was designing its own. It has the dynamic locking stand adapter built into the microphone itself, as well as an XLR connector. Both of these elements help to make the setup a lot easier and more straightforward.

The Shure BETA 52A gives you studio-quality audio with its high SPL rating. It also rejects unwanted noise. The BETA 52A receives an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Verified buyers like its performance in low frequencies. They liken this to other microphones from leading manufacturers and rate it as among the best. Some users also note that the Shure BETA 52A works excellently with kick drums without a sound hole up front.

There are also positive reviews that praise this microphone for its sound quality especially with jazz bass instruments. The BETA 52A does not have an electric sound. Others call it the best bass drum microphone ever made. However, some reviews warn others about how the BETA 52A just cuts out and then dies. There are also concerns that the XLR connector became loose after a few years of use.

Pros and Cons of AKG D112

Like every device, the AKG D112 should have a list of exceptional characteristics and then some attributes that make it less than perfect. What are the benefits and the disadvantages of buying the AKG D112?

Pros

Dynamic microphones are not known for delivering balanced frequencies because they almost always get the low-end wrong. Dynamic microphones also have problems with noticeable decibel bumps. Even though it is classified as a dynamic microphone, the AKG D112 improves on both of these common issues. It delivers accurate sound at various frequencies without much distortion. What's more, the AKG D112’s high SPL rating makes it perfect for kick drums.

Lastly, because it is a dynamic microphone, the AKG D112 does not have an internal amplifier that can overload. It does not even need to be powered.

Cons

The AKG D211 has a plastic mount, in contrast to the all-metal build of the microphone. Because of the material used and the vibrations of the drum as you perform, the mount can quickly get loose. Finding faults on this microphone is difficult. Most users find it flexible and use it in a wide variety of setups. It also sounds perfect, as well. However, you might have problems trying to find a store that still sells the AKG D112. The AKG D112 MKII microphone has already replaced this model.

The AKG D112 MKII microphone has an integrated mount for the microphone stand, which addresses the previous downside of the original AKG D112. It sells for anywhere from $140 to $200. In addition to the newer D112 model, there are also several kick drum microphones that can give it a run for its money.

For example, the AKG D112 is a lot more expensive than the Nady DM-80 Drum Microphone. Meanwhile, it shares roughly the same price range at as the Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Series Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone, but this microphone can handle a broader range of frequencies and is okay to use with different instruments.

The AKG D112: Final Recommendations

When choosing a good kick drum microphone, you will need to consider a variety of factors. First, you will want a mic that it is durable. The AKG D112 certainly fits the bill. A lot of users report that they have been using the microphone for years, with some reaching decades.

The maximum SPL of the AKG D112 is not known because it goes beyond the measurement range. That means that this microphone can handle ridiculously high SPL. Kick drums usually have sound levels of at least 140 decibels, while the AKG D112 can efficiently manage SPL ratings of 169 decibels.

What mic should you buy?

Overall, you cannot go wrong with the AKG D112. You get a reasonably priced microphone that has an excellent sound for a wide variety of kick drums. You can use the D112 during live performances or while recording in the studio.

However, this is a classic mic. You might have problems trying to find a retailer that has this microphone in stock. If you are looking for a more readily available alternative, then you should consider the Shure BETA 52A Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone or the Sennheiser e602 II. The Shure microphone is slightly more expensive while the Sennheiser device is priced at around the same range as the AKG D112.

Both the Shure Beta 52A and the AKG D112 are popular solutions to getting the best sounds out of your kick drums. The Shure microphone is better suited for bigger drums that produce more bass at lower frequencies. The AKG D112 is better when used with small jazz and regular bass drums. Nevertheless, AKG’s microphone is very versatile, and it can work excellently with any drum. In short, you can go with either of these microphones, but if you are forced to choose just one, you will be better off with the AKG D112.

If spending more than $100 for a kick drum microphone is something that you would like to avoid, you can get excellent sound quality from a Nady DM-80 drum microphone. With a price tag of less than $50, however, there are some trade-offs. For instance, this microphone only has an SPL rating of 140 decibels. That might be too low if you play your kick drums loudly.

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