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Tony Faulkner tries out some new Rode prototypes Condenser Microphones
Old 10th January 2018
  #61
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Quote:
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 10th January 2018
  #62
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Thread Starter
Old 12th January 2018
  #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.
Old 26th January 2018
  #64
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Any updates on these mics from Rode at NAMM?
Old 3rd April 2018
  #65
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Quote:
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?
Any news on the long-lost TFM-50 since January......?
Old 3rd April 2018
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
Any news on the long-lost TFM-50 since January......?
Not a peep anywhere, from anyone.

About once a month I scour the web trying to find any mention of when or if these new mics might be available or a price announced or anything.

All I get is the same product listing on third rate retailer websites with no price or availability. They aren't even listed on their website. You have to drill into their blog to get to any page with info about these mics.

I just emailed Rode. I'll post back if I get a reply that's worth mentioning.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #67
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

This thread title makes me giggle every time it comes back up.

But I’d love some TFM-50 news too. Looks like arose is set to release some new mics at NAB this week. Hopefully some news then (or is anybody going and could ask?)

-Mike
Old 3rd April 2018
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
This thread title makes me giggle every time it comes back up.

But I’d love some TFM-50 news too. Looks like arose is set to release some new mics at NAB this week. Hopefully some news then (or is anybody going and could ask?)

-Mike
I can exclusively reveal that FLEA will be launching their own TFM-50 ('FLEA TFM-50') at NAB. But price will be prohibitively high - they point out that replicating a microphone that achieved extinction prior to having been extant has proven unusually expensive....... ;-)

JPk
Old 3rd April 2018
  #69
Since they are heavily automated, maybe the machines have taken over. I can imagine the owner trying to convince the AI to make a TFM 50, having it reply, "I'm afraid I can't do that Peter"
Old 3rd April 2018
  #70
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Since they are heavily automated, maybe the machines have taken over. I can imagine the owner trying to convince the AI to make a TFM 50, having it reply, "I'm afraid I can't do that Peter"
Ah, good one. Especially today, on the 50th anniversary.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #71
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
Not a peep anywhere, from anyone.

About once a month I scour the web trying to find any mention of when or if these new mics might be available or a price announced or anything.
Maybe they are working with Sennheiser -- it'll come out in a joint announcement with the long rumored MKH 8030. That one is at least a decade overdue. If it's any indication, you may have a damn long time to wait on this rumored Rode.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Ah, good one. Especially today, on the 50th anniversary.
Wow, didn't realize that. Time to get out the Velcro space shoes.
Old 4th April 2018
  #73
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So, the reply that I got back from Rode, was basically: no prices or availability yet, but we hope to announce some news very soon!

So we wait...and wait...and wait...

Old 5th April 2018
  #74
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very soon...

... could mean at frankfurt!

(love that pic)
Old 5th April 2018
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
very soon...

... could mean at frankfurt!

(love that pic)
That's next week, isn't it?

NAB is next week too...
Old 5th April 2018
  #76
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
They've got nothing on the MKH 8030.
Old 5th April 2018
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter k View Post
They've got nothing on the MKH 8030.
To be fair. Sennheiser said quite clearly they had absolutely no plans or intention of creating an MKH 8030. It is just a fantasy product.

Metric Halo Windows compatibility however....
Old 6th April 2018
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
To be fair. Sennheiser said quite clearly they had absolutely no plans or intention of creating an MKH 8030. It is just a fantasy product.

Metric Halo Windows compatibility however....
Hah!

Just like MH's anything-that's-not-Firewire computer interface protocol!
Old 10th April 2018
  #79
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Last time I heard from him, Tony said he thought late 2018 would see a TFM50 available for retail purchase.

Can I suggest in the meantime , that you all try the NT5/45o with a 40mm sphere? It’s really quite a lovely sound (and the Schoeps mics are the same diameter as the rode mics, so...) !!!
Old 10th April 2018
  #80
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Last time I heard from him, Tony said he thought late 2018 would see a TFM50 available for retail purchase.

Can I suggest in the meantime , that you all try the NT5/45o with a 40mm sphere? It’s really quite a lovely sound (and the Schoeps mics are the same diameter as the rode mics, so...) !!!
Agreed, the NT5s are quite nice, a lot of value for the $$
Old 11th April 2018
  #81
Quote:
Can I suggest in the meantime , that you all try the NT5/45o with a 40mm sphere? It’s really quite a lovely sound (and the Schoeps mics are the same diameter as the rode mics, so...) !!!
Didn't Rode also promise an upgraded NT5 at the same time? That was the reason I didn't replace mine after they were stolen last June. I liked the NT5 Omni capsules as well. Cardioid not so much, distorted easily with high SPL's.
Old 11th April 2018
  #82
Yes. Why I haven't bought a pair yet and have been borrowing instead.
Old 11th April 2018
  #83
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Plush's Avatar
Just sold my 2 Neumann M-50 mics to a great engineer in Switzerland. Now I use the Neumann KMD 133 (digital mics) special omnis with the balls.

Everyone is happy.

Do want to hear these Rode TFM 50. Wonder what's going on?
Old 11th April 2018
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Just sold my 2 Neumann M-50 mics to a great engineer in Switzerland. Now I use the Neumann KMD 133 (digital mics) special omnis with the balls.

Everyone is happy.

Do want to hear these Rode TFM 50. Wonder what's going on?
Maybe creating an instant classic in the mold of a well-known "star performer" that will meet all expectations isn't so easy...or so adaptable to Chinese-style mass production methods?
Old 11th April 2018
  #85
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Plush's Avatar
I'm sure Tony is tweaking it and making sure that it meets his expectations. I know that he will get it right if anyone can do it. Still, a high mountain to climb, you're right.
Old 11th April 2018
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
Didn't Rode also promise an upgraded NT5 at the same time? That was the reason I didn't replace mine after they were stolen last June. I liked the NT5 Omni capsules as well. Cardioid not so much, distorted easily with high SPL's.
New version of the NT5 matched pair, a new multi pattern NT-49, the new valve ribbon NT-RV, the new TFM-50, and some video mics which are already available.

Several new products that will be very nice for those of us in the classical music recording side of the business.

new R0DE mics
Old 11th April 2018
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Just sold my 2 Neumann M-50 mics to a great engineer in Switzerland. Now I use the Neumann KMD 133 (digital mics) special omnis with the balls.

Everyone is happy.

Do want to hear these Rode TFM 50. Wonder what's going on?
Out of curiosity, were your M50s the ones with the gold-sputtered mylar diaphragms? If so, how does the sound of your new KMD 133 compare? It was often said that the finest M50s were those with the mylar diaphragms, the metal-diaphragm M50s having a brighter (dare it be said 'metallic') edge to them. The diaphragms in the KMD 133 are titanium, which makes me wonder whether that issue still arises, or has it long been overcome by Neumann?

Also, may I ask what persuaded you to go for the digital preamp stage with your new 133 mics? Were you planning to go digital out from all of your mics such that this made good strategic sense, or do you find that there's a non-trivial SQ benefit to the AD conversion taking place c/o Neumann's chosen AD converter and right there in the mic preamp, eliminating any runs of spaghetti for the analogue signal? Am very interested in the view of an engineer with such a wealth of experience!
Old 11th April 2018
  #88
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Plush's Avatar
For John PK,

My M50 mics were the sought after mics with the aluminum capsules. Neumann switched to the gold mylar capsules after the reject rate got too high with the hard to work aluminum diaphragms. '

The aluminum capsules are the most desirable and fetch the highest prices. It is a misnomer that M50 microphones with the aluminum capsule are bright sounding. That is not true. The glory part about M50 sound is the bass report and the thickness of the sound partly aided by the large transformer.

I acquired the modern digital mics with the KK133 capsule simply because FullCompass Systems in Madison, WI was having a blow out sale on them. What had been approaching a $4500 mic system was acquired for $1500.

So when I bought them I did NOT buy them to replace my M50 mics even though Neumann says that the KMD 133 is the replacement for that type of mic.

The whole family of newer digital mics from Neumann sounds excellent and I surprised myself when I first heard them. No mic amp, no a/d converter. The 28 bit conversion is really first class, and having all the electronics in the mic makes for a very quiet system.
EMI and RF interference is eliminated and pure capsule sound is transmitted to the recorder. I am a fan of the KMD system.

However, it is no M50 sound. M50 reigns supreme.
Old 11th April 2018
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
For John PK,

My M50 mics were the sought after mics with the aluminum capsules. Neumann switched to the gold mylar capsules after the reject rate got too high with the hard to work aluminum diaphragms. '

The aluminum capsules are the most desirable and fetch the highest prices. It is a misnomer that M50 microphones with the aluminum capsule are bright sounding. That is not true. The glory part about M50 sound is the bass report and the thickness of the sound partly aided by the large transformer.

I acquired the modern digital mics with the KK133 capsule simply because FullCompass Systems in Madison, WI was having a blow out sale on them. What had been approaching a $4500 mic system was acquired for $1500.

So when I bought them I did NOT buy them to replace my M50 mics even though Neumann says that the KMD 133 is the replacement for that type of mic.

The whole family of newer digital mics from Neumann sounds excellent and I surprised myself when I first heard them. No mic amp, no a/d converter. The 28 bit conversion is really first class, and having all the electronics in the mic makes for a very quiet system.
EMI and RF interference is eliminated and pure capsule sound is transmitted to the recorder. I am a fan of the KMD system.

However, it is no M50 sound. M50 reigns supreme.
For Plush: this is extremely helpful. Thanks indeed for taking the time to note down your learned findings here. If you'll indulge another question, have you had any experience with the FLEA 50 - is it a case of coming very close to the real thing, or of missing by quite some distance?
Old 11th April 2018
  #90
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Plush's Avatar
Hello John PK,

I am a big admirer of FLEA but I have no experience with their FLEA 50. I know that FLEA is very dedicated to getting as close as possible to the original model.

FLEA uses a gold mylar capsule and a reproduction transformer and electronics.
You can get it with the ac701 tube if you want to order it that way and pay a premium for the tube.

Here I use FLEA 49, FLEA 12, and FLEA 47.

FLEA gifted me a FLEA SuperFet 48 in recognition of my help in developing and advising on that microphone.
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