The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
ksm 32 vs tlm 102 for vocals?
Old 23rd April 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

ksm 32 vs tlm 102 for vocals?

which is the better mic here for vocals? I currently am just using a Shure PG 27 which im not satisfied with. the mic will be used strictly on male vocals. i want the mic to be smooth, or at the very least not harsh, but most most importantly i want to be able to get a professional sound out of it. i'm not expecting U67 or U47 sounds out of these budget mics, but my PG 27 just doesn't cut it. It can sound decent with a lot of work, but still not professional. You really can't use the PG 27 without reverb otherwise it sounds incredibly cheap, but I want to be able to have dry vocals as well. i'm just not in the financial position to pay more than what a tlm 102 costs around my area. I can get it for a little under $900 CAD, and the ksm 32 for roughly $700 CAD. If the Neumann is noticeably better than I'll definitely save a bit more, but if you can get pretty much the same sound out of the ksm 32 then that's obviously the route i want to go. guess i'm also wondering if the Neumann is worth the price, or if you're paying a lot for the name? i know when it comes to vocals the better mic is simply just what mic sounds best on the particular vocal, but in general which of the two is typically seen as the better mic? I know Shure is a good brand, but i'm wondering is the ksm 32 cheaper because it's not quite as high quality, or because they don't have as notorious of a name to back it? i'm kinda in the tenor range for vocals. i woudn't say i'm a true tenor, but i don't have a deep voice either.
Old 24th April 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I am a big fan of the KSM44 (which is a bit different from the KSM32), I've owned one for about 10 years I guess now. It works well on my voice. I've shot it out against other nice mics (U87, 414) and this is what I ended up with for me.

I highly recommend checking out *used* models to save some money as well, because I paid less than 1/2 retail for my KSM44, gently used from a studio that was closing.
Old 24th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

KSM32 is more vanilla, It really comes down to the voice. They are both decent low end mics.
You can get good results with etiher
Old 24th April 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
KSM32 is more vanilla, It really comes down to the voice. They are both decent low end mics.
You can get good results with etiher
im probably just stupid, but what exactly do you mean by more vanilla? does that mean you like it a bit more or it's bland?
Old 24th April 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
I've got a KSM32 and KSM44. I think generally the 32 is a better microphone. I've not used the TLM 102 so can't give a comparison on that.

If they are available in your area, the idea to get a KSM 32 second hand is a good one. If it doesn't suit you, you can recover your money and get the TLM 102.

About the vanilla comment, the KSM 32 doesn't have much color or mojo. It is close to a clean representation of what is put in front of it. So it doesn't on its own stand out in a mix or jump out when compared to other microphones.
Old 24th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I had the TLM-102 here for a while and also have the Shure KSM32. They sound quite different to each other. The TLM-102 is much brighter than the KSM32 and I personally found it could get pretty strident on some vocals. The KSM32 sounds more natural and has noticeably less emphasised highs than the TLM-102.
Both mics have their strengths and weaknesses and will suit different voices to each other. Whilst the Shure has a very smooth and natural top end it can sound a little dull on some voices whilst the Neumann can sound pretty harsh with some voices.
I ended up selling the Neumann as I found the Shure a more versatile all rounder.
Old 24th April 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

okay, thanks for the response. that helps my decision a lot. when i don't push my voice it's quite mellow, but if go up in a higher register it can sound harsh on my mic, so i probably don't want a mic that has been known to be harsh on some sources. even though people say it's a fairly vanilla mic, do you think it would be a noticeable step up from my shure pg 27? i understand you likely don't have experience with the mic, but it's Shure's budget line, so I'm wondering if I'll see a big step going to the KSM series. i guess that's why i was thinking about the Neumann, cuz i figured it being a totally different brand it would have quite a different sound, that being said i also thought the Neumann wasn't supposed to get harsh. i just want something different than what i have right now, that is noticeably better quality, but also a different character. maybe the two go hand in hand. i just know that the Shure pg 27 does not suit my voice and also sounds kinda cheap, so it's really holding me back. i want to know that i can get a professional sound.
Old 24th April 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk View Post
okay, thanks for the response. that helps my decision a lot. when i don't push my voice it's quite mellow, but if go up in a higher register it can sound harsh on my mic, so i probably don't want a mic that has been known to be harsh on some sources. even though people say it's a fairly vanilla mic, do you think it would be a noticeable step up from my shure pg 27? i understand you likely don't have experience with the mic, but it's Shure's budget line, so I'm wondering if I'll see a big step going to the KSM series. i guess that's why i was thinking about the Neumann, cuz i figured it being a totally different brand it would have quite a different sound, that being said i also thought the Neumann wasn't supposed to get harsh. i just want something different than what i have right now, that is noticeably better quality, but also a different character. maybe the two go hand in hand. i just know that the Shure pg 27 does not suit my voice and also sounds kinda cheap, so it's really holding me back. i want to know that i can get a professional sound.
That's not surprising at all, and yes.
I haven't tried the 27, but have the 32's. Looking at the two freq plots, you'll see the 27 is very exaggerated where the 32 is much less aggressive up top.
Old 25th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
I used the 32 for years for my vocals before finally upgrading to Peluso 22-251. I would not classify the 32 as low end.

As has been said, it is a very neutral mic that pretty much captures what you put in front of it and takes EQ pretty well.

Remember that the KSM32 has a slightly smaller diameter capsule than most LDC microphones which makes it somewhat unique.
Old 26th April 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
TLM 102 frequency graph. I think you can see why it might be bright on some voices.




KSM 32 for comparison. As mentioned the KSM 32 has a smaller diaphragm. 3/4 inch I think.

Old 27th April 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I remember a story where the guys in Steely Dan, notorious gearslutz, went nuts for the KSM32 when it was released, and used it all over their 2 Against Nature album - leaving 10k+ mics in the locker... so probably a good mic
Old 27th April 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

be aware the KSM32 is a back electret and will wear out in approx 20 -25 years - so watch out for old ones
Old 27th April 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
dwpthe3rd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Ryan View Post
I remember a story where the guys in Steely Dan, notorious gearslutz, went nuts for the KSM32 when it was released, and used it all over their 2 Against Nature album - leaving 10k+ mics in the locker...
So THAT would explain my "hmmmmm, something here just doesn't sound right to me" with that album.
Old 27th April 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 

But there was..."no static al all"!

Just by looking a the graphs, I can see how the KSM32 wouldn't work as well on me. I have a massive frequency bump at 6500 Hertz (maybe I should get that looked at?). I actually like the TLM 102 quite a bit, because it's so flat in my "sibilance zone". Also interesting is how the el cheapo AKG (black) P120, works really well too-it has a more mellow "air" boost/@12 KHz vs. the TLM though.

Chris
Old 28th April 2019
  #15
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

I'm thinking I might scratch those two. We'll see. I've suddenly got my eye on the EV RE20 and the AEA KU5A. I figured since Amazon has such a good return policy I'd at least try the EV RE20. I'm just not so sure I'll get the warmth and smoothness I want with a budget condenser. I might still try out the TLM 102 as well, cuz I'd like to spend less money if i can, but I am willing to pay a decent amount, which is why I'm especially interested in the AEA KU5A. Just seems to fit the bill entirely. Don't have to worry about treating my room, super smooth and apparently is actually quite clear similar to a condenser, and apparently it takes eq very well. Then again I don't doubt most pricey mics take eq well.
Old 28th April 2019
  #16
Gear Head
Since when is a 1000 dollar mic "low end?"
Old 28th April 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
Since when is a 1000 dollar mic "low end?"
I'm calling the KSM 32 and the RE20 budget mics. Or low end if that's what I said. I don't mean to say they're low end, just budget. But I'm definitely not saying the ku5a is a low end mic. of course it's high end, and if I go with that mic I'm going to be doing a payment plan, cuz i'd like it sooner than later.
Old 28th April 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Does this sound like something that would appeal to you....

"The transformer circuity gives the low end an extra sense of density, with an almost valve–like warmth, while the highs are open–sounding and detailed, no doubt aided by that subtle high-frequncy lift."

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/miktek-c7e

I have a Miktek C1 which is the cardioid version of the C7. The mic has a switch to change the capsule bias voltage allowing for two different voicings.

For vocals I've tended to lean towards mics that have transformer coupling, particularly when paired up to a nice preamp.
Old 28th April 2019
  #19
Gear Head
Aaah. I've saved almost 3 months for my TLM 102, its still in the mail.
Old 28th April 2019
  #20
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 

sounds pretty tasty! imma look into that one a little more as well, thanks
Old 29th April 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Ryan View Post
be aware the KSM32 is a back electret and will wear out in approx 20 -25 years - so watch out for old ones
This from the Neumann site:

To be fair, electret condenser capsules don’t have to sound bad; nor do modern specimens lose their electric charge like some of their ancestors of the 1970s did
Old 29th April 2019
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
This from the Neumann site:

To be fair, electret condenser capsules don’t have to sound bad; nor do modern specimens lose their electric charge like some of their ancestors of the 1970s did
It sounds like electret charge loss is a minimal concern for sure. The Shure website, as of 2010, said their 10 year old electrets had lost 1dB of sensitivity, and that they'd estimate 30-40 year life for electrets.
Old 29th April 2019
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk View Post
I'm thinking I might scratch those two. We'll see. I've suddenly got my eye on the EV RE20 and the AEA KU5A. I figured since Amazon has such a good return policy I'd at least try the EV RE20. I'm just not so sure I'll get the warmth and smoothness I want with a budget condenser. I might still try out the TLM 102 as well, cuz I'd like to spend less money if i can, but I am willing to pay a decent amount, which is why I'm especially interested in the AEA KU5A. Just seems to fit the bill entirely. Don't have to worry about treating my room, super smooth and apparently is actually quite clear similar to a condenser, and apparently it takes eq very well. Then again I don't doubt most pricey mics take eq well.
Huge fan of the RE20 here. I love it! Although, I've never had it head to head against Neumann or AEA caliber mics, so can't comment on how it holds up.
Old 29th April 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Ryan View Post
be aware the KSM32 is a back electret and will wear out in approx 20 -25 years - so watch out for old ones
I don't know that is true of more modern electrets. I have one KSM 32 pushing 19 years. I've done a careful measured comparison and the frequency response is identical to another I have that is only 4 years old. The output is different by less than a decibel.

Attached is a sweep measurement of a speaker (which is why the response is uneven) Three KSM 32s were used. Which of the three KSM 32's here is the 19 year old one?
Attached Thumbnails
ksm 32 vs tlm 102 for vocals?-ksm32-3-mics.jpg  
Old 29th April 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
Attached is a sweep measurement of a speaker (which is why the response is uneven) Three KSM 32s were used. Which of the three KSM 32's here is the 19 year old one?
I guess it would be the green line. I got my 32 in 2000 as well and it still makes me smile. Mostly using it for acoustic guitars these days.
Old 11th June 2019
  #26
Gear Head
I returned a KSM32 the day after I got it. Zero magic. I've had a TLM 102 for years but haven't used it on anything but drums and shakers in awhile. I used it on vocals a lot in the beginning, I think it went well with the cheaper interface I had at the time, an Apogee Duet 2.
Old 11th June 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Either the stock Oktava 219, or 319, are also fine choices. They also can be modded later, if you wish. They take "processing" well too.
Chris
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump