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Rode Launches TF-5 Mics
Old 5th June 2019
  #1
Rode Launches TF-5 Mics

It seems. In the range of $1500/matched pair I'm told.

https://www.rode.com/tf-5

D.
Old 5th June 2019
  #2
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boojum's Avatar
Oz is gunning for the Germans. I'd like to hear how they sound. TF's blessing is better than a Papal Indulgence. And I hope that he is suitably compensated for his work and his support.

Who will be the first to take these ladies dancing?
Old 5th June 2019
  #3
Seems a bit much for a Rode. Better be something special. Omni coming?
Old 5th June 2019
  #4
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and....Hallelujah, it doesn't have the proposed ethernet connector, just good old 3 pin XLR
Old 5th June 2019
  #5
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JCBigler's Avatar
Fuuu-----

So it better sound damn near or better than the KM184s. If that's the case, then the $1,500 per pair is worth it. But I guess that means the TF-M50 and the NT49 are going to be uber expensive also.

At least it's XLR and not the RJ-45 jack.
Old 5th June 2019
  #6
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Distilling and paraphrasing some of TF's previous on-video observations of SD condensors, one could get the impression that he tolerates them for their small size and convenience, but that they can tend to 'spit at you' (his words) and that he would prefer to use valve mics or ribbons.

That's not to say he avoids them, and indeed he's cited many top and middle rank SD mics in his arsenal...just that they're not the panacea for all jobs and situations.

Given those remarks and views, I'm expecting that these new Rodes (bearing his direct name endorsement) would transcend those reservations of his..in short, they "really should be something special" ?

Time and field experience will tell...now, how many Line Audio CM4's could one buy for the cost of a pair of TF-5's ?
Old 5th June 2019
  #7
RPC
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Hmmm. So two of these cost $1500, whereas an NT-SF1 sports four TF-45C capsules plus four preamps (with only one body, admittedly) and costs $1000. I'm sure they're good, but there's obviously a bit of "cachet" markup. I'm looking forward to reviews!
Old 6th June 2019
  #8
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Im interested in clips and reviews too.

Tom
Old 6th June 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Oz is gunning for the Germans. I'd like to hear how they sound. TF's blessing is better than a Papal Indulgence. And I hope that he is suitably compensated for his work and his support.

Who will be the first to take these ladies dancing?
If they send me a pair I'll dance with them all night. But no money from me until a lotta people try them and say they are better than KM184s or Schoeps or something I already have....
Old 6th June 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
Fuuu-----

So it better sound damn near or better than the KM184s. If that's the case, then the $1,500 per pair is worth it. But I guess that means the TF-M50 and the NT49 are going to be uber expensive also.

At least it's XLR and not the RJ-45 jack.
No point griping about the ultimate street price of the 49/50's ....you know you're gonna wanna own them, whatever they cost.... even it means selling one of your cherished vital organs to do so.

Better start saving and stop complaining...all it takes is one hallowed studio to buy a brace of 'em (Skywalker, Abbey Road, Emil Berliner, etc) and the recording world will clamour for their bite of the mythic yet updated Rode/TF cherry....
Old 6th June 2019
  #11
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Anybody perused the product spec in detail? Comments?

FWIW, my observations are:

Look at the sensitivity and the corresponding "clip point". Very high output, but 1% THD clip at only 120dB SPL. You won't be close-micing the timpany with these ... so these are not intended as near field mics, apparently.

Low noise? 14dBA equivalent input noise. On a par with a lot of current SDC mics, about the minimum to be regarded as credible.

Look at the phantom draw - 7mA. Within the spec but still rather higher than a lot of the competition. What's drawing all this power? High current in the output stages (doesn't give you extra output capability, it seems) or an inefficient voltage convertor for the polarising voltage?

Of course the key is the capsule. Based on the polar plot, it seems to have a reasonable consistent off-axis response, slightly super-cardioid at some frequencies. The ("smoothed") frequency response shows a voicing with broad but shallow dip around 4 -5 kHz, and a smooth but significant 2dB rise above 10kHz. At LF, a couple of dB "suck-out" at 80Hz, rising back to flat at 40Hz, and dropping of to 3dB down at 30. Given that pressure diff mics have a natural low frequency roll-off, is the 'peak' at 40Hz a result of some subtle 'equalisation' a la MKH40 et al to extend the LF response.

Of course, what is prime is whether the manufacturing process can deliver this consistently. Peter F has always been driven to precision and consistency in manufacturing so maybe its a given. (Maybe we will get the video - like the NTR). So many other things like behaviour of the diaphragm material with age are relevant.

Maybe if I get a demo, I could put it alongside the MJ384 custom capsules for the NT55. As both of them seem to draw on the xx84 heritage, it could be an interesting comparison. I was quite happy with what the MJ384s could do, maybe the TF5's will surprise likewise.

Such fun ...
Old 6th June 2019
  #12
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
Such fun ...
I agree on all your points, especially the last

Such fun, maybe Rode will bring us the MKH 8030 in 8 years
Old 6th June 2019
  #13
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boojum's Avatar
My pinheaded opinion is that Rode "just don't get no respect." They are generally regarded as the cheaper brand that does not quite measure up. That is not to say that they do not make good mics. They do make good mics. But the just don't have the gravitas, respect and admiration of the Schoeps-Sennheiser-Neumann cabal.

I hope that this mic turns the corner for them. But let's face it, this is a very heavy lift for Rode. We have no way of knowing the dialog(ue) between TF and Rode and how great TF's influence has been. Tony has my respect and I doubt very much he would subscribe to anything less than good. But we have to hear it!
Old 6th June 2019
  #14
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I need to sell my ribbon mics to afford a few of these. Anyone want some ribbons?
Old 7th June 2019
  #15
There are quite a few purchases I have made following recommendations from TF, and seeing him employ them himself on jobs, even though some of the items were not initially loved by the audio fraternity, or were from a manufacturer not considered part of the "Royal family."

Right from the early Calrec condensers, which always took second place to the AKG small capsule mics, and are still employed here. What I can say is that I've never regretted making any of those purchases. He doesn't criticise equipment very often (I've not heard him anyway) so when a recommendation is made, it's because he's seen the value in them.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 7th June 2019 at 05:13 AM.. Reason: missing word
Old 7th June 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
I need to sell my ribbon mics to afford a few of these. Anyone want some ribbons?
David, it's a pity that I've equipped myself quite well over the past two years with ribbon mics, I would have been asking you what ribbons you have.



Errrr, what ribbons do you have!?
Old 7th June 2019
  #17
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boojum's Avatar
Yeah, fess up, what ribbons are in the mic locker?
Old 7th June 2019
  #18
Gear Addict
The classical recordists really are a tough crowed to break into for new SDC. There are quite a few SDCs out there that I often wonder about from the sE RN17 to the Telefunken ELA M 260, the Soyuz 013, and now the Rode TF-5.

Perhaps other brands of mics outside the 'canon' can provide a refreshing change of pace and slightly different colors than typically heard.

I'm not criticizing, BTW - I just ordered some Sennys - but I often wonder...
Old 7th June 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Yeah, fess up, what ribbons are in the mic locker?
An SF24 and a pair of 4040, beautiful mics, used almost never.
Old 7th June 2019
  #20
I really wanted either a pair of 4040s, or the 4050, but could not find an accurate frequency graph anywhere, and I tried over quite a long period of time to get one. I spoke to Coles too, but no one seemed to be able to clarify it, they did say that the chart they had on the site was correct, but they had three or four different charts over a long period.

After quite a long time, the opportunity arose to buy some new sE RNR1s at a really excellent price. Due to the liquidation of a firm, they appeared in auction. They weren't "trending on Gearslutz", but I'd used the sE VR1s, which I found to be excellent, and have not been disappointed in getting the sE RNR1s.

I've been using them in Blumlein, crossed fig8 pair, and they are very honest sounding mics, with excellent detail. They just sound real. Mounting them is an aquired art, but it is possible. I'm planning on having an aluminium bracket made so that they can be mounted from directly underneath, so that the weigh of them is distributed downwards, and doesn't cause the stand to creep.

One day I will probably return to the Coles 4050, I really couldn't part with the money given the frequency charts they were showing for the mic, they had the chart up for the wrong mic which started it's roll off around 8-10kHz. In total I saw about four different frequency charts for the 4050. I think it's sorted out now on the site.

Such a pity.
Old 7th June 2019
  #21
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Plush's Avatar
I talked to Tony recently. He said to buy them.

He said he is using them.

That is good enough for me.
Old 7th June 2019
  #22
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JCBigler's Avatar
When will Rode be sending out the demo package so we can all try them out and then send them on to the next recordist?
Old 7th June 2019
  #23
Weird market, as been said. I am really wondering how many pair of these Rode will sell. Was always my thought on the TF-50 that Rode would go to the trouble of making one set for Mr. Faulkner and then never mint another set.

I might be interested if I didn't already have a closet full of well-performing SDC mics. Can't imagine that I would ever pull out the Rode pair first in place of a pair of mics I already own.

For a recordist that is starting to build up a locker, these might be just the thing.

Pending Mr. Bigler's exhaustive A-B testing of course.

Now, the TF-M50s, if they hit the market, might be of interest if they are not $7,500 each.

D.

Last edited by tourtelot; 8th June 2019 at 02:52 AM..
Old 8th June 2019
  #24
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JCBigler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I might be interested if I didn't already have a closet full of well-performing SDC mics. Can't imagine that I would ever pull out the Rode pair first in place of a pair of mics I already own.

For a recordist that is starting to build up a locker, these might be just the thing.
I think that's what Rode is going for here. Trying to offer something to the young guys who can't afford a pair or three of other high end SDCs from Neumann, Sennheiser and Schoeps. But the $1,500 price tags per pair seems just a tad bit too high to undercut that market. Maybe if they were $1,000 or $1,200.

Maybe the $1,500 is MSRP, and street prices will come in a couple hundred below that.

I'll probably buy a pair this year once a few reviews come out. If they're what they promise to be, I'll buy another pair.

And yeah, the TF-M50s would have to seriously undercut the price and perform better than a pair of TLM-170 to get me to buy them over a pair of the 170s. 4 grand, maybe 5 tops for a pair.
Old 8th June 2019
  #25
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jnorman's Avatar
It is pretty hard to beat tlm170s...
Old 8th June 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
And yeah, the TF-M50s would have to seriously undercut the price and perform better than a pair of TLM-170 to get me to buy them over a pair of the 170s. 4 grand, maybe 5 tops for a pair.
You've chosen an odd apples with pears comparison/benchmark there: a fet multi pattern mic vs a tube Omni....why not the M150, fewer differences ?
Old 8th June 2019
  #27
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jnorman's Avatar
Studer - I think he’s just talking about awesome sounding mics, and personally the 170 is about the best mic I have ever worked with.
Old 8th June 2019
  #28
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As I was working outside I got thinking more about these mics - I think Rode deserves some kudos for taking on this project. They gotta know this is a tough segment of the market - I mean, an SDC aimed toward classical recording? Surely more profitable ventures exist for them.

It's kind of cool a company believes developing such a product is worthwhile. And they did it right, developing it in close consult with Tony Faulkner.

And $1500 isn't so bad when you consider mics such as the AT4051 go for $1200/pair.
Old 8th June 2019
  #29
Oh Shosty, I totally agree with you. No slap at Rode, or at TF, of course.

Just an interesting story from within our own little world. That's all.

D.
Old 8th June 2019
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Oh Shosty, I totally agree with you. No slap at Rode, or at TF, of course.

Just an interesting story from within our own little world. That's all.

D.
Sorry, tourtelot! I didn't mean for my post to be directed at you. They were just some thoughts I had while mowing my lawn. No slap at Rode taken!

Last edited by shosty; 8th June 2019 at 04:26 AM..
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