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The AKG ( Austria Kinogerate GMBH Austrian Movie equipment Co) D 330 BT dynamic hyper cardioid was introduced in 1978, it was AKG's first microphone, strictly meant for vocals, and an attempt to overthrow the Shure SM 58's reign as most popular vocal microphone.

The D 330 BT was of modern design, branded an indestructavble 'musicians microphone', the casing was made of zinc-alloy. It had two three-way switches to change tonal balance in nine possible ways, mostly to soften lows and accentuate mid high frequencies of vocalists, to 'cut through the mix', and to personalize the sound.

The innards could be instantly interchanged, if the unthinkable happened, and this very sturdy mic ever broke down. It had been thoroughly tested by dropping it over 1200 times on stones, and AKG claimed' it had been tested on rally cars', whatever that may mean.

The D 330 BT was the top model, BT stands probably for 'Bass and Treble adjustment'. The mic had two counterfaced acoustic transducers; one receiving sound, the other (out of phase with the front) picking up impact and handling noise only. This feature reduces handling noise at 100Hz by -30dB, no small feat!

Two simpeler but similar looking types were available; the blunter D 320 B, hyper cardioid, with a bass switch only, and the cardioid D 310 with a sleeker size.

Originally the range was intended to be named the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, but in the end it became the '300 Series'. All AKG models are named after a number. They were marketed as 'studio quality for the stage'

Unfortunately the model was never really embraced by many musicians, only ABBA members seem to have been enthousiastic users. It was however frequently used by the former leaders of the UdSSR, and some of its Satellite Countries. The other siblings, D 320 and D 310, were not popular either.

Because Austria was declared neutral after WW 2, it was relatively easy for AKG to sell their products in Eastern Europe, where they were not seen as a product of the capitalist West.

The fate of this model seems closely related to the fate of those Communist regimes; getting less and less popular, and fading away in the end. First it was replaced with a dark grey version D 330 MK2, and production of the model finally ceased around 1992.

Since the Eighties are popular again, perhaps this mic will be looked upon more favourably.

These and many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words. More information about that can be found at

wow cover

AKG D 330 BT
AKG D 330 BT parts list
AKG D 330 drop test

Top: the AKG D 330 BT, with switches showing, parts list and drop test on stones

Below: sound, frequency chart, leaflet ca 1988, AKG 300 Series, Gorbachev and ABBA's Agnehta and Anni-Frid

Sound of the AKG D 330 BT - neutral setting

Sound of the D 330 BT - switches at the max

AKG D 330 frequency chart
AKG D 330 leaflet
AKG D300 series
Gorby & AKG D330s Agneta & Frida with AKG D330s