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Rode Launches TF-5 Mics
Old 5th December 2019
  #211
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It seems that deedeeyeah is comparing between these mics (without naming it) by their off-axis behaviour, which is a significant factor that separates the outstanding from the merely ordinary and competent ?

The SOS review suggests that a significant aspect of TF's consultancy input on this mic's performance parameters was directly related to off-axis characteristics, which seems to be one of those intangibles which is more easily (and instantly) heard...rather than measured ?
Old 5th December 2019
  #212
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not really: imagine the ortf-pairs at ca. 4,5m from the pmc's which were about 6m apart, mics ca. 3m above the floor in a faily large and wide show room so the playback system was well within the sra.

regarding 'off-axis behaviour' (some people even talk about 'coloration'), i personally don't like the term much and rather refer to the gradual hf roll off towards the side/rear which is fairly consistent amongst sdc's and largely depends on the pattern - if we'd do a comparison between a bunch of cardioid sdc's at 90 degrees off (or more), i'm convinced almost no one could tell the mics apart! any difference could however easily be measured...
Old 6th December 2019
  #213
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My guess is that smooth, even, consistent off-axis behaviour (in a directional mic) is one of the more difficult areas in mic design and manufacture to get right...yet one of the more important performance factors.

It would be great to have mic mfrs chime in here with real world experience on this dimension ...
Old 6th December 2019
  #214
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stop guessing, start measuring/analyzing...
Old 6th December 2019
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
stop guessing, start measuring/analyzing...
I'm not a mic designer/builder...just an end-user, like most of us here. The builders can test their many prototypes and then sell me the best they can make, when all their experimentation is over
Old 6th December 2019
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I think it's more along the lines of 'what first impression are you trying to make' with your product line ? Schoeps and Neumann, at least in their early decades, never pitched their products (nor prices) at the bedroom/home studio market...since that market didn't really exist until the mid 80's or later. Those companies never sought to capture that emerging market either....

In comparison, Rode early on wanted to capture that same sector, and succeeded. All of these companies now make very reliable, consistent products....but those lasting early impressions remain.

The NTR and now the TF5 have the capacity to break to break Rode through into the market realm occupied by the esteemed German mfrs, but the hesitant take up of the TF5 is proof that the old 'budget line' reputation of Rode persists ? However....still early days, yes
Makes sense...but is there possibly just a tad of "stick-in-the-mud-ism" going on? Let's be honest now!
Old 7th December 2019
  #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shosty View Post
Makes sense...but is there possibly just a tad of "stick-in-the-mud-ism" going on? Let's be honest now!
Yes indeed, and if it's 'new kid on the block-ism', then what is the price of admission for Rode: simply being German/Austrian, having a product pedigree going back to WWII, uptake by national radio broadcasters, consistently high performance in field conditions and similar for individual product variation, a product range not previously skewed solely towards the home studio or video crowd ?

Where do the smaller, newer niche companies like Sonodore, DPA, Josephson, Royer fit into such a new kid paradigm...have they had an easier time of it (acceptance, market share) than Rode seems to be having ? As a group, we certainly don't confer admission rights easily, do we ?
Old 7th December 2019
  #218
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jnorman's Avatar
DPA is certainly not a “newer niche” company. Josephson, sonodore and Royer all positioned themselves as professional level products from the beginning. Rode, otoh, is quite firmly identified with the project studio market, and imho will have a very difficult time moving beyond that regardless of the quality of the product - they may have been better served by simply creating a new pro line brand name for products aimed at the high end market, along the lines of Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, etc. There are already many very high quality mics out there by various makers that we could use but choose not to because we are gear snobs, particularly for our main arrays.
Old 7th December 2019
  #219
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
...they may have been better served by simply creating a new pro line brand name for products aimed at the high end market, along the lines of Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, etc...
I dunno Jim, I think quality will always out. Peter Freedman has tried very hard to up his game and people like Tony Faulkner seem to appreciate what he is doing. I have a pair NT55 that really hold their own, especially as omnis. I think for the price the M5 stereo pair is as useful as the Line Audio mics. and then there's the NTR ribbons. Sure Rode makes lots of consumer products for video as well as home studio but, then again, Sennheiser makes everything from the sublime MKH mics to some pretty trashy consumer headphones; its a question of whether you are looking for brand cachet or sound...
Old 7th December 2019
  #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Yes indeed, and if it's 'new kid on the block-ism', then what is the price of admission for Rode: simply being German/Austrian, having a product pedigree going back to WWII, uptake by national radio broadcasters, consistently high performance in field conditions and similar for individual product variation, a product range not previously skewed solely towards the home studio or video crowd ?

Where do the smaller, newer niche companies like Sonodore, DPA, Josephson, Royer fit into such a new kid paradigm...have they had an easier time of it (acceptance, market share) than Rode seems to be having ? As a group, we certainly don't confer admission rights easily, do we ?
And I guess that's it; we all confer different admission rights I suppose. For me, I take these mics seriously because of the name (TF) behind them and the descriptions of the sound I am reading. That Rode started by aiming for the project studio market doesn't bother me much, if at all. If it's good it's good. Their assembly process is high tech and their engineers already hit the nail on the head with their very first professional level mic (NTR). That impressed me - their first ribbon mic AND their first pro mic rolled into one was a success (and at a good price!). And do we even know who these engineers are? Could they have recruited a German engineer or two? If that's the case, the Aussie/German distinction just got a lot smaller!
Old 7th December 2019
  #221
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It's not as if a company can't shape and evolve its product line to pursue new vistas of a changing marketplace ...and Rode have done this for a long time. Indeed even Sennheiser/Neumann have made forays into the home/project market, with lower pricing on mics like TLM 102/103 and that 'budget' LD Sennheiser family (MK4 & MK8)

I don't mind the slow, stealth Rode approach to the high end sector...NTR, TF5, maybe one of the TFM50 or 49 or NTR-Valve is due next ?
Their commitment to high quality consistent production output is indisputable, so perhaps needing to wait is our biggest disadvantage.

One avenue I wish they'd exploited is the specialist SD capsule range...like Schoeps have done with their 2 series of omni-morphing-into-directional capsules. Plus, what about a dedicated fig 8 SD to challenge the pricey overachieving MKH30 (or even something to rival the MKH800 ?)

This could have been a way to cementing brand loyalty to the NT5 preamp, as they've proven with a growing favourable adoption of the NT-45 Omni

Come on Rode, there's still work to be done: 'build a better NT5 and the world will beat a path to your door' ...maybe that product is the TF5 ? So, when do we get that family of interchangeable caps to add value to this new flagship ?

Last edited by studer58; 7th December 2019 at 05:34 AM..
Old 7th December 2019
  #222
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Yannick's Avatar
 

I am just not into cardioids. If they would have released TF-8 mics I would be writing pages all over the internet
Old 8th December 2019
  #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
One avenue I wish they'd exploited is the specialist SD capsule range...like Schoeps have done with their 2 series of omni-morphing-into-directional capsules. Plus, what about a dedicated fig 8 SD to challenge the pricey overachieving MKH30 (or even something to rival the MKH800 ?)...So, when do we get that family of interchangeable caps to add value to this new flagship ?
I'm hoping!! If these mics had interchangeable caps they would make a bigger splash. They seem so cautious about the whole thing. sE, after all, came out with the RN17 with the whole range of caps including the figure 8.
Old 8th December 2019
  #224
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With Rode's state of the art machining and finishing processes, it should be able to divert production type to small, bespoke runs of such 'specialist capsules' according to consumer demand within reasonable time frames ? I wonder how many MK22 caps or MKH30 mics are sold weekly worldwide ... and would most folks happily wait 2-4 weeks for such after placing a 'special order' ?

This new style of production process (almost 3D printer-like perhaps ?) seems ideally set up for such low-volume/demand responsiveness ....and would remove the need for Rode and its dealer network to maintain large stocks of low sales volume/demand items on storage shelves. I'm guessing this is how manufacture is now done in the 21st C ?
Old 8th December 2019
  #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
With Rode's state of the art machining and finishing processes, it should be able to divert production type to small, bespoke runs of such 'specialist capsules' according to consumer demand within reasonable time frames ? I wonder how many MK22 caps or MKH30 mics are sold weekly worldwide ... and would most folks happily wait 2-4 weeks for such after placing a 'special order' ?

This new style of production process (almost 3D printer-like perhaps ?) seems ideally set up for such low-volume/demand responsiveness ....and would remove the need for Rode and its dealer network to maintain large stocks of low sales volume/demand items on storage shelves. I'm guessing this is how manufacture is now done in the 21st C ?
I think you are right. Their high tech, super fast production methods are ideal for just this type of offering. Once they have the design in place - the hard part - the rest should be smooth sailing by comparison.
Old 8th December 2019
  #226
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Could all be 'cart before the horse' however, as the multi-capsule approach requires a faith buy-in to the preamp. Schoeps has the CMC5, which few would argue with, while currently Rode has the NT5, which doesn't enjoy the best reputation when married to the cardioid cap, but fares much better with the 45-O omni (I've got 3 !).

If the TF5 preamp (with presumably better internal circuitry than the NT5) became the new standard then that might become the foundation for a modular capsule series. Let's not forget that the NT6 offers a remote cable option to the modular approach.

Ultimately though, all this idle speculation has a doomed/missed the boat feel about it, and a reverse-engineered marketing strategy is no replacement for the fact that Rode could/should have launched a confident multi-capsule campaign when they unveiled the 45-Omni....and not now, more than a decade later !
Old 8th December 2019
  #227
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
...If the TF5 preamp (with presumably better internal circuitry than the NT5) became the new standard then that might become the foundation for a modular capsule series. Let's not forget that the NT6 offers a remote cable option to the modular approach...
Which begs the question: will the 45-O capsule mount on the TF5 body and has anyone tried it?
(like you, I really like that omni capsule on the NT55 body but the cardioid not as much...I always assumed the cardioid capsule was a bit overly bright, and not due to the NT5/55 preamp.)
Old 8th December 2019
  #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
Which begs the question: will the 45-O capsule mount on the TF5 body and has anyone tried it?
(like you, I really like that omni capsule on the NT55 body but the cardioid not as much...I always assumed the cardioid capsule was a bit overly bright, and not due to the NT5/55 preamp.)
Yes, maybe the cardioid cap has unfairly tagged the NT5 preamp with a mediocre reputation ?

However, a silvery cap 45-O atop a matte black TF5 would look a bit odd....yet again highlighting this as Rode's big chance to produce a comprehensive socket-wrench collection of winning multiple pattern capsules for every conceivable occasion....?
Old 4th March 2020
  #229
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Published review of the Rode TF-5 by Simmosonic (of this forum fame !)

I think we may have seen this several months ago in 1st draft form ?
https://www.audiotechnology.com/revi...er-microphones
Note that prices quoted are in $Australian....
Old 10th May 2020
  #230
Any others users care to share some insight?
Old 13th May 2020
  #231
Anyone got a pic of the pcb? Rode claims it's all surface mount parts. Yes, there are some superior passive surface mount resistors (Vishay bulk foil) but most of what I see in pro audio designs are the common, cheap and non-linear metal oxide stuff. Capacitors fare even worse with mono ceramics dominating the small values and electrolytics dominating values above 1 uf.

When I designed the Rode NT-2's I specified through hole Roederstein metal film resistors and Wima FKP/MKP polyprop signal caps. Peter Freedman followed those recs until the NT-2A versions that switched to all cheap surface mount parts.
Old 13th May 2020
  #232
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
When I designed the Rode NT-2's I specified through hole Roederstein metal film resistors and Wima FKP/MKP polyprop signal caps. Peter Freedman followed those recs until the NT-2A versions that switched to all cheap surface mount parts.
I did not know you designed the NT-2 originals ? I have two of them, they are still much better than they should be
Old 13th May 2020
  #233
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JoeyM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Anyone got a pic of the pcb? Rode claims it's all surface mount parts. Yes, there are some superior passive surface mount resistors (Vishay bulk foil) but most of what I see in pro audio designs are the common, cheap and non-linear metal oxide stuff. Capacitors fare even worse with mono ceramics dominating the small values and electrolytics dominating values above 1 uf.

When I designed the Rode NT-2's I specified through hole Roederstein metal film resistors and Wima FKP/MKP polyprop signal caps. Peter Freedman followed those recs until the NT-2A versions that switched to all cheap surface mount parts.
NT-2A sounds a lot better. So that's why?
Old 15th May 2020
  #234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
I did not know you designed the NT-2 originals ? I have two of them, they are still much better than they should be
The capsules were the weak link in those mics. Better stuff was sourced later on.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Anyone got a pic of the pcb? Rode claims it's all surface mount parts. Yes, there are some superior passive surface mount resistors (Vishay bulk foil) but most of what I see in pro audio designs are the common, cheap and non-linear metal oxide stuff. Capacitors fare even worse with mono ceramics dominating the small values and electrolytics dominating values above 1 uf.

When I designed the Rode NT-2's I specified through hole Roederstein metal film resistors and Wima FKP/MKP polyprop signal caps. Peter Freedman followed those recs until the NT-2A versions that switched to all cheap surface mount parts.
I am hopeful that Rode did not just put run of the mill surface mount components in this mic. I have more confidence that the Audio Technica 5045 was made with high quality components However the cost of one 5045 is close to the price of a matched pair of Tf5's.
Still its not much more than a TLM 103 and we know that the 5045 is a better made mic. Sweetwater has a comparison between the AT, KM184, Scheps and Mytek. For my ears the 5045 came out on top.
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