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Neumann TLM103 vs AKG 414 XL2 sound test
Old 27th September 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
SLy_drums's Avatar
 

Neumann TLM103 vs AKG 414 XL2 sound test

This is a sound test between Neumann TLM103 and AKG C414 XL2 condenser mics.

- 0:00 - 0:27: Clean sound (a bit of crunch), mic is the Neumann
- 0:30 - 0:57: Clean sound (a bit of crunch), mic is the AKG
- 1:00 - 1:27: Distorded sound, hard-rock typed riff with the Neumann, and 1:27 - 1:45 disto sound, metal typed riff, still with the Neumann.
- 1:50 - end : The same with the AKG.

Preamps are API 512c.
Guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Custom and the amp a Marshall JCM800.

Here it is : http://sylvain.raulin.free.fr/TestTLM103C414XL2.mp3

I'm sorry it is mp3... I'll try to update a WAV format file very soon !

Let's comment
Old 31st October 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
akisD28's Avatar
 

I'm looking to buy a large condenser, so the forum search brought this topic up.

I think the TLM103 sounds more flat than the AKG, but maybe also duller; the C414 sounds far more tight in the bottom end, especially in the disto section, and of course has more presence in the highs. Somehow, the C414 seems to capture the character of the LP Custom a bit closer to what I remember it to be (always close to buying one, never did in the end).

I'm curious to hear your comments: owning both, how do you find each one?

I'd be especially interested to know if you've tried them on female vocals and how they compare.
Old 31st October 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
Thanks for taking the time to post Sly! Personally I prefered the AKG by a short head. Wonder if they'll ever come out with the remote control upgrade for that mic?

Cheers
Old 31st October 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 

apparently the remote will not happen. too cost prohibitive for the market. mc
Old 19th April 2011
  #5
Neumann TLM 103 vs. AKG C414XL11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech View Post
Thanks for taking the time to post Sly! Personally I prefered the AKG by a short head. Wonder if they'll ever come out with the remote control upgrade for that mic?

Cheers
Friends,

I will have to say I just competed an extensive test of these two microphones:

I purhased both last December:

My mode of testing:
1. I recorded my acoustic bass using both mikes at the same location on opposite sides of the bass the AKG was set on cardoid.

2. I did two takes, one take the Neumann pre was a "Avalon VT 737sp" the AKG pre a focusrite ISA 828.

The second take I switched preamps.

No EQ or compression was used! Recorded at 96k 24bit.


Two completely different sounds emerged:

1. Neumann TLM 103: Very warm and precise, it was not overwhelmed by the initial attack (just a note the acoustic bass and a log drum emit the most extreme initial sound pressure to record, in the old days you could not use dbx on them, the dbx could not react fast enough).

2. The AKG C414 XLll: Was cold and all over the place. The word I would use to describe is Tanky

I did the same test on a baritone female vocalist. The result was the Neumann sounded great with no eq, the AKG had to have extensive EQ to make sound good.

Another odd thing I found was that the TLM 103 although just one cardoid setting. It picked up as much room sound (which I like) as the AKG 414 set on omni.

I worked on this for 5 days it was very important to me get the best I could on my limited budget.

Summation:

I think the bottom line is always money. Both of these mikes list for the same price around $1050.00. But the AKG is heavily discounted I bought mine brand new for $725.00.

The Neumann TLM-103 on the other hand I had to pay $969.00. Hardly any discounting and you have to wait 3 weeks to get it.

I think that tells the story right there.

I returned the AKG C414XL ll. I was able to pay the difference between the mikes and got another TLM 103.

I hope this helps you out there trying to decide!!

Chris
Old 2nd November 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzbassist View Post
Friends,

I will have to say I just competed an extensive test of these two microphones:

I purhased both last December:

My mode of testing:
1. I recorded my acoustic bass using both mikes at the same location on opposite sides of the bass the AKG was set on cardoid.

2. I did two takes, one take the Neumann pre was a "Avalon VT 737sp" the AKG pre a focusrite ISA 828.

The second take I switched preamps.

No EQ or compression was used! Recorded at 96k 24bit.


Two completely different sounds emerged:

1. Neumann TLM 103: Very warm and precise, it was not overwhelmed by the initial attack (just a note the acoustic bass and a log drum emit the most extreme initial sound pressure to record, in the old days you could not use dbx on them, the dbx could not react fast enough).

2. The AKG C414 XLll: Was cold and all over the place. The word I would use to describe is Tanky

I did the same test on a baritone female vocalist. The result was the Neumann sounded great with no eq, the AKG had to have extensive EQ to make sound good.

Another odd thing I found was that the TLM 103 although just one cardoid setting. It picked up as much room sound (which I like) as the AKG 414 set on omni.

I worked on this for 5 days it was very important to me get the best I could on my limited budget.

Summation:

I think the bottom line is always money. Both of these mikes list for the same price around $1050.00. But the AKG is heavily discounted I bought mine brand new for $725.00.

The Neumann TLM-103 on the other hand I had to pay $969.00. Hardly any discounting and you have to wait 3 weeks to get it.

I think that tells the story right there.

I returned the AKG C414XL ll. I was able to pay the difference between the mikes and got another TLM 103.

I hope this helps you out there trying to decide!!

Chris
Thanks for all the info chris!

Do you still feel the same about these 2 mics?
I'm favouring the tlm103!
What else is out there today that is like the tlm 103 but better in the same price range?

Thanks, Kiri
Old 27th July 2017
  #7
Gear Nut
 
NamelessUnknown's Avatar
I know this is an old thread, but for the record I have to ask why you would use two different preamps if your goal was to compare mics? And, then think you figured something out...?
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