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Tony Faulkner tires out some new Rode prototypes Condenser Microphones
Old 2 weeks ago
  #61
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Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
I was just thinking about the TFM50s the other day and wondered what their status was, and if we will ever see then in production. I wish Rode would give us some kind of official update, even if it is just "we're still working on getting the last few bugs worked out, but look for them in X quarter of 20xx".

Also, I really want to know the ball park pricing. Are we looking at $1,000 each? $2,000 each?
Until it appears in the marketplace, it's all speculation....but I'd guess at less coinage than these: Neumann M50 Omni Tube Microphone Trio Set | Aroom Audio | Reverb

We can use this 'vapourware' ....no, actually a by-now-well-dessicated premo-ad, to guide the speculation: Rode TFM-50 Valve Microphone at Gear4music.com

Ok, so what have we got to work with ? To sort out whether it's a 40mm diameter capsule as the copy states (I'm guessing that's more likely to be a 20mm diameter with a 40mm sphere surrounding it ?). If there's a new capsule design required, that could take time to design and test ?


Is the valve going to be an exotic one, NOS or limited stock or a more typically available one eg 6DJ8 or similar ? Rode has been making valve powered studio vocal mics for a long time, so that isn't a wheel-reinvention deal for them.

Does the valve reside inside the mic body (the answer is at 6:30 in the video below !) , or in the power supply ? Does it have to share the space with a transformer ? Rode already have the machining lathes going for the NTR body, and the TFM50 looks like it might utilize the same body ?

The power supply seems to have a few fault diagnosis modes built into it: "Power supply includes power, microphone, and cable led fault lights, 1/4" headphone connection with power supply" (see video below at 7:50)

I'm guessing that getting the reliability of this part of the chain is where most of the headaches come in ? Why put headphone monitoring capability at this point...it's a unique decision, and of questionable utility, unless you're tracing a fault...and trying to nail it down to cable, capsule or power supply ?

Since the prototype has already been successfully used in the "Anima" DVD of the Opera House concert, the proof of working concept hurdle has been passed...but bringing it to the market as a fully-fledged AND road-reliable device depends on getting long term ruggedness of the power supply confirmed. For all we know it could be a matter of sourcing a sufficiently rugged mic cable, which is RF resistant ?

Maybe getting Tony Faulkner to sign off on the product that bears his initials depends on such a guarantee of reliability....and kudos to all of them for holding back until that's possible.

I recall a few video interviews with TF where he states his love of the M50 sound, but immediately mentions the 'maintenance issues' which accompany owning such a device, so it's clearly not a trivial matter to overcome....for a manufacturer !

OK, enough speculation about the roadblocks...here's a video featuring the TFM50 (including exploded view at 3:20) over the first 10 minutes, for you to munch your popcorn to, as you wait patiently.....RODEShow 2017 New Product Releases on Vimeo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #62
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Old 1 week ago
  #63
The original Rode "Classic" was built after the success of the NT-2. I sent Peter Freedman the data and specs for a AKG C-12 and suggested he copy much of that. He used the Dale CMF resistors and WIMA FKP-2 caps as I suggested.

He managed to buy the last large stash of 50,000 GE 5 star 6072A tubes form an American supplier. Those were all tested and selected, Peter kept about 5000 of them and sold the rest off on the public market. That is where most of the current 6072A's come from, all rejects too.
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