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$5k for microphones. one "flagship" or a collection?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #751
Sometimes good mics are bad

The first time I heard a TLM 103, it was on a voice-over and I thought, "Wow, that's really good!" The TLM 103 does have a thing about it that's problematic on some voices; on others it's not bothersome at all. You know what? The U87 has a thing about it that's problematic on some voices. My Brauner VV is pure magic on some singers, but I can't use it on my wife at all -- it's simply terrible. If there's a perfect microphone out there, I haven't found it. But I've found several that are perfect on one voice at a time; it just has to be the right mic and the right voice. The essence of our craft is in matching them up.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #752
Lives for gear
Would Barbra Streisand really sound like Barbra Streisand without a Neumann M49?

I've seen her with other mics, but suspect they are using mirrors or sleight of hand to fake me out.


Maybe a question for Penn & Teller,

Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #753
I was one of the people fighting for how good the tlm103 was and got a lot of crap on here for that, even abuse at times on here, it's good to see at least a few people admitting it's pretty good, equally the U89 works better than a U87 on some voices, the tlm170 works best on some voices, there is no one size fits all microphone and there never will be, it's a bit like being a craftsman and needing all different specialist tools for your particular niche, you may prefer one tool for certain jobs but they're all equally valuable.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #754
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
The first time I heard a TLM 103, it was on a voice-over and I thought, "Wow, that's really good!" The TLM 103 does have a thing about it that's problematic on some voices; on others it's not bothersome at all. You know what? The U87 has a thing about it that's problematic on some voices. My Brauner VV is pure magic on some singers, but I can't use it on my wife at all -- it's simply terrible. If there's a perfect microphone out there, I haven't found it. But I've found several that are perfect on one voice at a time; it just has to be the right mic and the right voice. The essence of our craft is in matching them up.
I do agree 100% with you.. every source has its mic.. (it’s also a matter of taste/production goals of course).

However, some mics works quite well on a LOT of sources more than others..
Will that be the “perfect” mic for singer mister X or Miss Z? Maybe not but you’ll get pretty good results, more than decent with virtually 98% of the vocals.

I do think that due to its dual fet/tube and everything in between nature, the Lewitt LCT940 works really good on a lot of sources.

Will it be so good like the holy grail mics (top Brauners or Myburgh or U47, you name it)? Of course not, but will provide consistent and more than professional usuable on a lot of sources..
(To be honest, some mics like a 47 and a 87 and some others, even when for some voices don’t work so well as others, do provide a good percentage of “nice results”).



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #755
Lives for gear
 
drockfresh's Avatar
It's more likely a great voice will work on most microphones than a great microphone will work on most voices.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #756
Lives for gear
 

Half the time, just a SM7 will work every time...

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #757
Gear Addict
 
Progger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
It's more likely a great voice will work on most microphones than a great microphone will work on most voices.
This right here, ten thousand percent. Also swap voice with instrumentalist/instrument.

I did a project with a good friend of mine who lives in New York City, a world-class trumpet player, after I had moved back to Austin. He used to come over to my place to record in Harlem, but for this project he recorded his part at home and piped it over to me. He was recording on gear that I'm not crazy about: a Beta 57 straight into a cheap interface, I think. The recording still sounded great because it was him. Sure, probably would have sounded better on an M49, but a worse trumpet player on an M49 would have made a way worse recording than my buddy made on a Beta 57!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #758
Lives for gear
 

What's cool, is when you find el cheapo(s), that's simpatico with the source. I discovered a number of those, over the years.
But typically, you do get "what you pay for" as you head up the price ladder. Particularly, in terms of "depth and reach".

For example in a great room, I doubt anything would be better for me, than a 44 ribbon.
So that concept, serves as a personal benchmark. I realize though, there are a ton of other combinations, that work very well in a lesser recording area.

BTW if the Neumann 67 sound is a benchmark, I agree the Reissue is fine, partly as you have the Warranty as back up.
IMHO lengthening warranties, for lesser established companies, would be smart to warm up to.
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #759
Gear Maniac
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
It is funny, because for years everyone goes on about the TLM103 and how awful it is. I remember having a friend who bought one when it came out, and me thinking at first "oh that must really suck, bad choice". He made amazing sounding recordings! I put that in the old mental rolodex...and remember it when this past year, one of the biggest selling artists used a TLM103 all over her record.
People hate the TLM103 because they wanted a U87 and they couldn't afford a U87 and so they bought the TLM103 and it wasn't anything at all like a U87. Their head is stuck in one place and they get upset because their expectations are not fulfilled. Funny thing, the TLM103 is a whole lot quieter than any U87 ever will be.
It's a great mike, but it's only great if you don't think of wanting it to be a U87.


Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
My own experiences have been that many mic companies make far more inconsistent product - and it is honestly very annoying to be wrapped up in getting gear serviced, the shipping back and forth, the lag times... so when I see the knocks on Neumann, it often motivates me to chime in. That is strongly the exact opposite of my buying experiences with their products.
There are also a lot of people out there whose experience with Neumann products mostly involves microphones that are decades old and not necessarily very well maintained. If you make enough stuff for long enough you get customers like that.
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago
  #760
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
People hate the TLM103 because they wanted a U87 and they couldn't afford a U87 and so they bought the TLM103 and it wasn't anything at all like a U87. Their head is stuck in one place and they get upset because their expectations are not fulfilled. Funny thing, the TLM103 is a whole lot quieter than any U87 ever will be.
It's a great mike, but it's only great if you don't think of wanting it to be a U87.




There are also a lot of people out there whose experience with Neumann products mostly involves microphones that are decades old and not necessarily very well maintained. If you make enough stuff for long enough you get customers like that.
--scott
I partly disagree with this..
At least I never expected to be a u87..

The tlm103, while on some sources works actually pretty well, on vocals is mainly always hard and rather harsh.. especially in close mic position..
I found only 1 vocalist where it worked pretty well.. (though when I put up my vintage U87, was a better fit).
(although there are a couple of female singers I’ve heard, where I was surprised to hear that the 103 was a nice fit indeed..

If there’s more distance to the vocals (like small choirs or instruments, especially if you need something with a good detail and punch is not bad..on drums is pretty good as a knee mic.

But I was never fond with it.. I always preferred other mics in the tlm line (170, which of course has a totally different presentation).

I have the feeling that Neumann in those years (early 2000) tried to “fight” all the much less expensive mics on the market with something less expensive than a U87.

Their bodies/finish and overall quality (like the mesh) is and was always top notch though.

I do also think that their new tlm 107 is what they should’ve done with the 103..
(despite the multipattern, if needed to be less expensive).. clear, clean, modern sounding and not too harsh..

At least that’s my opinion..



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #761
Lives for gear
 

Whenever I've tried the 103, I have this vision of "Odd Job" (James Bond/Goldfinger)...
Taking off heads, with his hat!
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #762
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

I don’t necessarily disagree about the idea that people may have been more receptive to the 107 when the 103 was released, but you never really know.

The reason the 103 came into existence is that some shop or distributor ordered a substantial amount of 170s with k670 capsules installed. IIRC, they called that the TLM171.

That short run is what inspired the TLM103. They worked on getting better off axis response for the 103 capsule, a more perfect cardioid response across frequencies, and changed it to only a one sided capsule so they could get lower noise.

So, the direction was somewhat client driven, and one step of evolution on from a couple existing products, not necessarily just a weird whim.

It was also at a time when tastes were really in flux, coming out of the 80s and into the 90s. People were going around saying stuff like “never add EQ, always subtract”! And people were thinking about noise floor more...having a mic with some treble boost can give you a lower noise floor in the end, when you dime the treble back a bit.

Respected engineers like George Massenburg, Roger Nicols, etc, were saying that KM84 were trash. Seriously! At the same time, there were glimmers of throw-back type classic rock, and people getting re-interested in the older tube mics.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #763
Lives for gear
 

I can see/hear how the TLM 103 does well in VO. IMHO spoken word doesn't have the "amplification" of certain characteristics, compared to singing.
Not at the same quality level of a TLM 103, but my 'umble AKG 200 would be a "nice" VO mic. Minimum moderate torture though with a de-esser, for my bright vocals though!

Within Neumann, thankfully the flatter TLM 102 does quite a bit better. Loved the U89i, when I tried it.
Chris
P.S. Oh to be back in time, when Studios were throwing out broken 77 ribbon microphones, in the trash!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #764
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Respected engineers like George Massenburg, Roger Nicols, etc, were saying that KM84 were trash. Seriously! At the same time, there were glimmers of throw-back type classic rock, and people getting re-interested in the older tube mics.

Yes, that’s because the 107 sound better than a 103

I believe these engineers came from an era with analog consoles, and in the late 90 they were probably still mixing mainly on large analog consoles and tape..

their goal was to have to sound good like in the room and with less colouration possible from xformers.. compared to a km54/56 the 84 is different, and probably if you’re looking for detail and cut through a mix while having a certain sweet halo, the 56 is a winner with their nickel capsule.. so I guess since they were used to THAT standard one could argue that the 84 is trash

Massenburg loves the dpa and the sanken, which are great mics, very detailed and clean as a whistle.. the 84 is definitely much “dirtier”..



Cheu
Old 2 weeks ago
  #765
Trash and treasure

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
People hate the TLM103 because they wanted a U87 and they couldn't afford a U87 and so they bought the TLM103 and it wasn't anything at all like a U87. Their head is stuck in one place and they get upset because their expectations are not fulfilled. Funny thing, the TLM103 is a whole lot quieter than any U87 ever will be.
It's a great mike, but it's only great if you don't think of wanting it to be a U87.
The same thing happened when the TLM 193 was released. Lots of people bought them thinking "Here's a U87 for my project studio!" But it didn't sound like a U87 at all, and few first-time Neumann buyers were experienced enough to notice that a) it sounded quite a lot like a TLM 170, and b) that was actually a useful thing (although not often for male lead vocals). So mint condition '193's started showing up on the used market for about $800, and I bought two of them which I still have today.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #766
Lives for gear
 

Nice score, on those 193's. If I didn't have my U195, those would be on my personal short list for very serious consideration.
Final 2 or 3.

I'd probably edge though towards the UT 47FET, as I got to know Chad (very nice guy) and that is an excellent vocal mic for me.
He and Heiserman worked together developing the capsule. Very well built too. Plus new!
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #767
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
I can see/hear how the TLM 103 does well in VO. IMHO spoken word doesn't have the "amplification" of certain characteristics, compared to singing.
Not at the same quality level of a TLM 103, but my 'umble AKG 200 would be a "nice" VO mic. Minimum moderate torture though with a de-esser, for my bright vocals though!

Within Neumann, thankfully the flatter TLM 102 does quite a bit better. Loved the U89i, when I tried it.
Chris
P.S. Oh to be back in time, when Studios were throwing out broken 77 ribbon microphones, in the trash!
Chris youre right about that, the 103 being good at VO compared to singing..
I had one for a while but it seems back in the day I did like it for that but not for my vocals..but occasionally the 103 did fit some people..
Once I got my soundelux e47 it was goodbye to the 103
Got my e47 from Bock back last week by the way..
Looking forward to seeing how it sounds in its new life as a 407
Old 2 weeks ago
  #768
Lives for gear
 

Looking forward to hearing that new "old" Puppy of a 47! I really dig how Bock voices all his microphones. It's like he's countering "Digital-litus", on their tonality. I'm sure your microphone, will be even further refined, as a result.

BTW That AKG 200 is like wearing ankle weights for running. Also makes a good diagnostic tool, to help me reduce my "breathiness", to hear it back.

Similar to the one time, I got mildly tuned on a recording. Put a fire under me, to sing it perfectly in tune, in that high key (for me).
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #769
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
You should write into magazines telling them this! TapeOp still does great reviews, but they also do terrible reviews and they have so many reviewers that it's hard to keep track of who. Resolution is about the only paper magazine I know still consistently doing exhaustive reviews.
--scott
Unfortunately, listening to samples doesn't help much either, the mixed double layered vocals people post in samples and reviews

Re: "manufacturers" not knowing what they're doing, I've seen some $200 USD capsule with the kinds of tensioning issues I'd expect from a $30 capsule. We're talking wrinkles and dents at the edges, won't say who, but you can see the capsule in question over at GroupDIY. I'd rather buy 10 $30 capsule than one $200-300 machined in China "skinned in the USA (or any other country where "good" stuff is made)" capsule.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #770
Lives for gear
 
Jantex's Avatar
 

I have many hi-end mics in my studio, Bock 47, Neumann U87 vintage and AI, Manley Ref C, Bock 251 and TLM103 is probably the mic thet gets the most use for recording vocals. Simply because it works perfectly with majority of the singers. It is a GS thing to bash it, but it is one of the best mics in the market for a top notch performing vocal mic. I also have TLM102 and while it is also a great mic, I prefer TLM103 for vocal duties in 95% of time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #771
Lives for gear
 

And the other half of the time?
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #772
Gear Maniac
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh View Post
Re: "manufacturers" not knowing what they're doing, I've seen some $200 USD capsule with the kinds of tensioning issues I'd expect from a $30 capsule. We're talking wrinkles and dents at the edges, won't say who, but you can see the capsule in question over at GroupDIY. I'd rather buy 10 $30 capsule than one $200-300 machined in China "skinned in the USA (or any other country where "good" stuff is made)" capsule.
Most of the old-line microphone companies started out making expensive microphones and then figuring out how to apply that technology to cheaper products.

We have today a whole set of companies that started out making cheaper microphones and are trying to figure out how to apply that technology to more expensive products.

It works better in one direction than the other.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #773
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
People hate the TLM103 because they wanted a U87 and they couldn't afford a U87 and so they bought the TLM103 and it wasn't anything at all like a U87. Their head is stuck in one place and they get upset because their expectations are not fulfilled. Funny thing, the TLM103 is a whole lot quieter than any U87 ever will be.
It's a great mike, but it's only great if you don't think of wanting it to be a U87.

--scott
not the case here.
i have pair and i dont like them because they are asz harsh on many sources.
Old 1 week ago
  #774
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Most of the old-line microphone companies started out making expensive microphones and then figuring out how to apply that technology to cheaper products.

We have today a whole set of companies that started out making cheaper microphones and are trying to figure out how to apply that technology to more expensive products.

It works better in one direction than the other.
--scott
IMHO Scott... "Usually/Overall"
There are some notable exceptions, like AA.

And although I think GAP is priced a bit too high on their version of the Sony C800G, that and their 47 style microphones seem intriguing.
Chris
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