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MXL Revelation or Neumann TLM102?
Old 22nd April 2019
Gear Addict
barbital's Avatar

MXL Revelation or Neumann TLM102?

The title pretty much sums up my question. I've found a good local price on the MXL mic but also the TLM102 and was wondering what anyone else had to say about these two choices.

I'm mainly recording rap lyrics (with the occasional melodic vocals) in an OKish treated room (1" thick panels made from thin glasswool in 3ft by 3ft wooden frame with reinforcement covered in cheesecloth) - these are painted with various watercolors for a nice touch to the room overall. Bass is handled in the corners with 2" thick wool in 2/3ft frames measuring 6ft high.

I've heard great things about the MXL Revelation but equally have heard great things about the TLM102...but I'm tossing it up as some are comparing the self-noise characteristics of both mics, the TLM102 is nominally 6db quietier but the Revelation supposedly has a richer midrange especially in the upper range (would be ace for female VOX).

Just wanted some different opinions on these choices. From my own perspective I've never heard these mics in person just from 2nd hand YouTube videos.

If anyone can chime in I'd appreciate any opinions and perspectives that you could offer.
Old 23rd April 2019
Gear Nut
Smoke M2D6's Avatar
I have had both a MXL Revelation and Revelation Solo, and both worked for about 2 months before malfunctioning..

When they both did work, They both where pretty sibilant. The few songs that I did record with them I went back and recorded when I got different mics. I would say get the TLM102 over the Revelation.
Old 25th April 2019
Gear Addict
barbital's Avatar

Not a good look for the MXL's no wonder they were going so cheap and it's probably why they're still available despite being on sale for the last year or so.

That's a shame. I'm looking at the TLM102 as I'm told it's probably the best transformerless mic for rap vocals. There was one consultant who had a lot of experience and he said it was either the TLM102 or AT4050. I think the TLM102 has a good reputation in spite of some saying that it doesn't really represent the Neumann pedigree. I think it does after hearing some proper rap recordings where it was used. I can understand why people bash this mic though, and that's because it represents great value for money and nobody wants to admit spending $3000+ for a mic when this one can sound 95% as good for less than 1/4 of the spend.
Old 25th April 2019
Lives for gear
kuasalogam's Avatar

I feel both are quite sibilant, but the 102 captures the low end better. I think AT4050 would be a good (if not better) choice as well.
Old 25th April 2019
Lives for gear

IMHO put the Beyer M88TG on your shortlist. Amazing "bad room tone" rejection. Can be used hand held, or on a stand, Also can do live performance,
or studio vocals with it. Sounds like an expensive Neumann on many voices.(like mine!)
Old 25th April 2019
Here for the gear

Old 29th April 2019
Lives for gear

I have a mxl revelation and it had been flawless. It can be a lil sibilant but i have ways too tame that easily. Pretty good sounding microphone imo
Old 2nd May 2019
Lives for gear
Boogaju's Avatar

Been using a TLM102 for the last few years, it's a great versatile mic, works well on lots of voices and other signals, great sound.
For vocals, get a proper shock mount for it, and use a high pass filter, it does have an extended low-end response.
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