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What budget mic is most like the TLM170? Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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JCBigler's Avatar
What budget mic is most like the TLM170?

What budget mic is most like the ? Prefer something with multiple patterns, at least four (cardioid, wide cardioid, figure 8 and omni), and something that can be rigged to hang safely.

Is there a mic that works as a (hopefully much) less expensive substitute?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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elpillo's Avatar
 

TLM 107 comes to mind. Around 1k in the pre-owned market. I know it's not exactly a "budget" mic, but it costs about 1/3 of a new TLM 170.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Damn. I feel like an idiot now. I either didn't know the 107 was as cheap as it is, or that it actually is multi-pattern.

How does it sound?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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fred2bern's Avatar
The 107 sounds wonderful!
I have both 107s and 170s and, as an example in classical music and for singers, I sometimes bring 2 pairs as spot and choose after which pair fits the best the voice...
Works really good as a spot microphone with almost everything in an orchestra.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
I put a k-89 capsule in an old MCA SP-1 mic for Ty Ford. That mic sounded amazing. I wish I had one of those capsules myself.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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107 is a great mic and a terrific bargain! I have a pair and gladly reach for them for nearly anything....
Old 6 days ago
  #7
I had a TLM 107 with serial no. 170. I got a kick out of that. It was stolen with the rest of my equipment a couple years ago, sigh.

The two I had and the two I have now are very nice microphones. An under-priced mic if you ask me, but they wanted to compete with the $999 C414. The Neumann is much better imo
Old 6 days ago
  #8
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Old 6 days ago
  #9
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the tlm107 is a good mic but compared to the tlm170, it's like a km184 vs a km84...



[not much love for any of the newer condenser mics with a hf boost! btw: which manufacturer started this silly trend and why it became so dominant?! - some 35 years ago (when recording analog), i would have loved to have a mic with the characteristics of km184/tlm107 but these days (when recording digital) i have to compensate for the exaggerated hf boost, being sold as 'clarity'!]
Old 6 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
... not much love for any of the newer condenser mics with a hf boost! btw: which manufacturer started this silly trend and why it became so dominant?! ...
It creates a market for preamps with 'colour' - all those manufacturers are in cahoots!

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 6 days ago at 12:11 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #11
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ronmac's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
It creates a market for preamps with 'colour' - all those manufacturers are in cahoots!
...and mixed with a tape sim in your DAW (placed after the exciter)...
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the TLM107 . . . there's something in the top end that to me isn't quite right, showing itself on sibilants when used as a vocal mic, or in "bowiness" (not David, unfortunately) for string spots . . . a TLM170 it surely is not. I'll admit that I also don't like the way it looks, and how large it is . . . the C414 has its faults too (depending on version), but at least it looks very elegant when placed at higher elevations on stage, and in the real world this frequently translates into more placement options to get the best sound.

I don't have the budget/application to justify TLM170s either, so I have two TLM193s, which are cardioid-only mics that use the same capsule. I've never had the opportunity to do a shootout between them and the 170, but my impression is that they're very close in performance; you just don't get the multi-pattern capability. The 193's shape and mass also seem to give it better shock-resistance on its own than the 170 . . . a heavy Atlas MS-20/MS-43 with an iso ring on the bottom seems to dispense with the need for a basket on the mic when placed on all but the boomiest stages.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
the tlm107 is a good mic but compared to the tlm170, it's like a km184 vs a km84...
Hahaha. That is EXACTLY my thought (and not supported by any number of otherwise correct folks here on GS).

And I find myself agreeing with Plush in this instant as well.

A very unusual day indeed.



D.

Last edited by tourtelot; 6 days ago at 04:41 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #14
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DrSax's Avatar
I’m with Plush on this one too. I haven’t found anything in the budget range that sounds as good as a TLM170. The 170 handles high frequencies so elegantly. I’d save for used 170’s. They frequently come up for sale at reasonable prices
Old 6 days ago
  #15
In all seriousness, I'm not sure that KM184-KM84 comparison is fair. The 107 was never designed to be a replacement for the 170. The 107 is a large diaphragm with a unique edge terminated design. The 170 is a medium diaphragm with a completely different ground plane ring design.

The question was what budget mic is most similar, not which budget mic is the same or as good in every way. Both the 107 and 170 are Neumann mics, both have 5 polar patterns, both are designed and succeed at being neutral and incredibly smooth. The 170 has a better transient response and is built to the classic cost no object standard, it is by all accounts a more "high-end" microphone. The 107 is a chip amplifier like the 193, 103, 102, etc with a stamped body rather than a milled one to save on cost.

As for high frequency boosts. That trend started with the CMV 563 and continued on with the U47, U67, U 87, M50....basically every mic not EQ'd to be flat. It is not a low budget trait, it is the natural response of a large diaphragm (or ball in the m50 case).

The 107 is not a sibilant or sharp microphone, it is arguably the smoothest top-end of any Neumann microphone, and well suited for classical recording.

I'll admit, it is not my favorite voice microphone, especially for men. It has a bit of plosive exaggeration not present in the 170.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
...The 107 is (...) arguably the smoothest top-end of any Neumann microphone...
no way!
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no way!
I didn't say it would be a very convincing argument. But it does have a remarkable silkiness and neutrality not normally associated with the traditionally edgy Neumann sound. It sounds very much like my Sennheiser mih8040 sdcs but with a more relaxed upper-mid presence.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
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The TLM193 has the same capsule inside the TLM170, which is actully the capsule from the old U89. I don't know if the TLM 193 is low-budget enough for you, but that's what I would buy, as long as you do not need omni, hyper-cardioid and figure of eight, because the 193 is cardioid only. Maybe also look at the Milab and Pearl recttangular capsule microphones, their sound always reminds me to the TLm170.
Old 5 days ago
  #19
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How about a nice/used U89?
They go for around $1500 or so nowadays.
Chris
Old 5 days ago
  #20
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edva's Avatar
Very happy with my 193. Sounds like the 89's I have used. As others have posted, cardioid only. But does sound wonderful on many things (not the right mic for "dull" sources or things that need extra "zing" IMHO). Can sometimes be found in good to excellent condition for under 1K. Good luck.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no way!
I think one of the smoothest top end from neumann is, although in very different ways:
U47fet
M49
M149 (although this has a more "modern" attitude)

Then the 170/193/u89 although the overall portrait is very different from the trio mentioned above..

The tlm107 is a "modern" sounding mic.. With a typical condenser boost, but it's not so harsh as the 103, it is a good and quite versatile mic imho.. and on some polar pattern is not even so evident actually..

Just my 0.02$,



Cheu
Old 5 days ago
  #22
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The 193 and U89 must be closest, but the 170 is out on its own.
Old 5 days ago
  #23
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One of the reasons that I love the TLM170 so much is the way that it rigs with the regular stand mount. And you can fly it without worry that it will fall out of the shock mount. It has a mechanical connection between the stand mount and the microphone it self. And the design makes it easy to get it pointed in the right direction, and angled down (or whatever other direction you want).

When I usually fly the TLM170, I do so with it hanging upside down. I won't do that with any mic that only has a compression fitting or friction fitting to hold it into the shock mount or stand mount. And frankly, when flying from a set of mic cables and aircraft cable, you don't need the giant spider shock mount. (Plus they look ugly hanging over the symphony during the show).
Attached Thumbnails
What budget mic is most like the TLM170?-img_20190412_163929857.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #24
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John Willett's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Very happy with my 193. Sounds like the 89's I have used. As others have posted, cardioid only. But does sound wonderful on many things (not the right mic for "dull" sources or things that need extra "zing" IMHO). Can sometimes be found in good to excellent condition for under 1K. Good luck.
THe TLM 170, TLM 193 and U 89 have identical polar-patterns and frequency response.

The TLM 170 (now TLM 170R) has 5 switchable patterns (R is remote switchable) and is transformerless. The TLM is basically the same microphone but cardioid only. The U 89 is basically the same microphone as the TLM 170 but has a transformer (so get teh U 89 if you like the colour a transformer adds).
Old 3 days ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
One of the reasons that I love the TLM170 so much is the way that it rigs with the regular stand mount. And you can fly it without worry that it will fall out of the shock mount. It has a mechanical connection between the stand mount and the microphone it self. And the design makes it easy to get it pointed in the right direction, and angled down (or whatever other direction you want).

When I usually fly the TLM170, I do so with it hanging upside down. I won't do that with any mic that only has a compression fitting or friction fitting to hold it into the shock mount or stand mount. And frankly, when flying from a set of mic cables and aircraft cable, you don't need the giant spider shock mount. (Plus they look ugly hanging over the symphony during the show).
That rig looks similar to mine - except, instead of using TLM 170 and Earthworks (?), I use a pair if Gefell M 930 and a pair of M 221.
.
Attached Thumbnails
What budget mic is most like the TLM170?-m930_m221_phased_array.jpg  
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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for what are you using the outer mics: to get a wider recording angle, as an alternativ main system, as ambi mics? if the latter, do they get delayed? if using all mics in the mix, at what levels? how you're dealing with phase issues? and are you using the same mic array for both large orchestra and small ensemble recording?
Old 2 days ago
  #27
I recently added a pair of TLM-107's to my locker. I already had a pair of TLM-193's, and I find the difference to be yin and yang, frankly. The 107's have an uncolored midrange with a bump on top. That top bump seems to hear a lot of room sound, which can be good or bad. The 193's sound much darker, with rather thick lower mids and no bump on top. On percussive sources, they manage to sound "fast" without sounding bright.


Before receiving the 107's, I'd been a bit concerned that they would render my 193's superfluous, but they are really quite different animals.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 2 days ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
...they manage to sound "fast" without sounding bright.
And that right there is one of the most well worded descriptions of what makes the TLM170 very special and unique. Although it has other flattering qualities as well, it’s ability to sound “fast” and open without sounding the least bit bright, harsh or strident is something I’ve not found in many other mics. It has an “ease” to its sound, like it’s not even trying. And when EQ’ed it still retains that ease of sound.
Old 2 days ago
  #29
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
I recently added a pair of TLM-107's to my locker. I already had a pair of TLM-193's, and I find the difference to be yin and yang, frankly. The 107's have an uncolored midrange with a bump on top. That top bump seems to hear a lot of room sound, which can be good or bad. The 193's sound much darker, with rather thick lower mids and no bump on top. On percussive sources, they manage to sound "fast" without sounding bright.


Before receiving the 107's, I'd been a bit concerned that they would render my 193's superfluous, but they are really quite different animals.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
I couldn't have used better words to describe those mics!
Thank you David!





Cheu
Old 2 days ago
  #30
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benoïde's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
I recently added a pair of TLM-107's to my locker. I already had a pair of TLM-193's, and I find the difference to be yin and yang, frankly. The 107's have an uncolored midrange with a bump on top. That top bump seems to hear a lot of room sound, which can be good or bad. The 193's sound much darker, with rather thick lower mids and no bump on top. On percussive sources, they manage to sound "fast" without sounding bright.


Before receiving the 107's, I'd been a bit concerned that they would render my 193's superfluous, but they are really quite different animals.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Hi David,
What do you use the 107 on, if I may ask?
Thank you
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