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Neumann TLM 103 Condenser Microphones
Old 20th August 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Neumann TLM 103

I haven't had the chance to demo this model. I always agree that it doesn't matter if it's cheap, as long as it sounds good. But this one is a lot cheaper than most Neumanns. what gives?
Old 20th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 

nevermind

I should have searched the threads first.
Old 20th August 2007
  #3
in short, it doesn't sound great. Think about paying 5 times as much but getting a Rode NT1a. Would you do ti if it had a Neumann badge? You will be...!
Old 20th August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I just got one, in the full package including the case and shockmount. It is two years old and very well kept. Let me disagree with many who say it sound like a cheap chinease mic. I haven't used it too much so far but from tracks I listened to made by the previous owner, all I can say - this mic is stunning ! You hear "Neumann" in there no doubt. As long as you refer to it as a vocal mic for the home studio, I don't know how better you can get at that price. I'm not saying that there are no better ways to spend 1000$, but for 700$ seconf hand in mint condition including accessorries, I think it could be a perfect chice.

Of course it has many cons - like it has no patterns, and even no roll or attenuator, but this is not something that can't be worked around using an EQ. The mic, when running through an Avalon M5 sounds fantastic. A little bit exaggerated at the top end though (again, can be worked with EQ). I Haven't tested it on instrument though - it might not work as well on different sources.

As long as you're not putting it in comparison with high class 5000$ mics,
and refer to it as one to be used for the semi pro - home studio, I think Neumann did well making that low cost TLM thing.

With all that being said - I do feel that you are going to need an additional multipattern mic which is great on acoustic instrument to complement it. It can't be your single overall mic.
Old 20th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
It is a very good mic that uses the same membrane as the 87. It works VERY well in a well-treated, good-sounding room.

It works VERY well on vocals, but NOT at close range. At 50cm+ it is my first choice.
Old 20th August 2007
  #6
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lasso's Avatar
 

I think it’s an extremely boring and sterile microphone.

That sort of monye would be way better spent on other microphones.

I've recorded with it several times and was just as disapointed every.

To me, it's nowhere near say a u87.
Old 20th August 2007
  #7
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilwe View Post
I just got one, in the full package including the case and shockmount. It is two years old and very well kept. Let me disagree with many who say it sound like a cheap chinease mic. I haven't used it too much so far but from tracks I listened to made by the previous owner, all I can say - this mic is stunning ! You hear "Neumann" in there no doubt. As long as you refer to it as a vocal mic for the home studio, I don't know how better you can get at that price. I'm not saying that there are no better ways to spend 1000$, but for 700$ seconf hand in mint condition including accessorries, I think it could be a perfect chice.

Of course it has many cons - like it has no patterns, and even no roll or attenuator, but this is not something that can't be worked around using an EQ. The mic, when running through an Avalon M5 sounds fantastic. A little bit exaggerated at the top end though (again, can be worked with EQ). I Haven't tested it on instrument though - it might not work as well on different sources.

As long as you're not putting it in comparison with high class 5000$ mics,
and refer to it as one to be used for the semi pro - home studio, I think Neumann did well making that low cost TLM thing.

With all that being said - I do feel that you are going to need an additional multipattern mic which is great on acoustic instrument to complement it. It can't be your single overall mic.
You own the mic, feel proud of your decision on that purchase man.

No need to justify anything about that mic. It is a professional grade mic, not a consumer grade mic. It just happens to be the cheapest neumann available which allows it to be also geared towards project studios and home studios.
My second recording studio uses that mic quite often, and I have had some experience mixing songs with vocals that have been tracked through the TLM 103.

I must say that it is quite an agressive sounding mic, not really great for artists who are gonna be overly agressive on it. It can be tricky for some people to EQ for the mic, but make no mistake, its more than a very usable mic...consider it an entry level pro grade mic...

The tuff thing for someone considering the TLM 103 and looking to get a main go-to condenser, is that considering its performance for the price, there are so much other choices cheaper than the 103 that might do a better job for their tastes.
Old 20th August 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I'm sure there are many other options at that price point.

I personally would prefer to use an entry level pro mic, rather than top level enthusiast mic. I tried various home studio level of mics, like Rode NT1000, AKG C2000B, AT4033, this mic is nowhere in that area. You hear pro Neumannish sound after all, rather than cheap membranes.

I take into account that it is nothing like a U87, although I did compare recordings made on both and the different was not as huge at all.
Old 20th August 2007
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasso View Post
To me, it's nowhere near say a u87.
Neither is the price numnuts...

I hate when people compare apples and oranges...
Old 20th August 2007
  #10
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blackcom's Avatar
 

Actuallly...with a 1073 and a 1176 it sounds good, but more expensive mics will still sound better....

If you have a poor preamp its goona sound thing and harsh....
Old 21st September 2007
  #11
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zeppe's Avatar
 

If anyone's interested I got a mint Neumann TLM103 (nickel) in wooden case for sale. Its one year old with a little vocal use in my home studio. It comes with a shockmount too(not Neumann though, its a cheapie but works!). Selling it for 700euro.

Cormac
Old 21st September 2007
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Greg Heimbecker's Avatar
I love em for toms
Old 21st September 2007
  #13
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Mats's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rimskidog View Post
in short, it doesn't sound great. Think about paying 5 times as much but getting a Rode NT1a. Would you do ti if it had a Neumann badge? You will be...!
Funny, i´ve owned both mics and i can say the difference is huge.
The TLM 103 is a great mic IMO. I used the build-in preamps in a Mackie 24/4 mixer.

Today i use a U87 and a Vintage design M73D preamp. The difference isn´t all that huge.
Old 21st September 2007
  #14
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

I'm not going to bash the thing, I'll just say that my preferences in the low end of the budget run more towards something like an AT4047 (or 4050, or 4060) or a Blue Blueberry or Kiwi. Or an SE Electronics Gemini (or Z5600, or ICIS, or Titan). Or aChameleon Labs TS-2. It's not that the TLM 103 is bad, it's just that at that price it should be better.
Old 22nd September 2007
  #15
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Omicron_9's Avatar
 

I don't use it for vocals, but it sees a lot of use as a pristine and accurate instrument mic. Very low self-noise; very accurate.

-0.9
Old 22nd September 2007
  #16
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DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwasnick View Post
Neither is the price numnuts...

I hate when people compare apples and oranges...
This is high end ...
Old 23rd September 2007
  #17
jho
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jho's Avatar
 

It's an excellent microphone. Very useful on a lot of things.

I disagree with anyone saying it's crap or not "high end". I'd reach for it way sooner than some chinese mic or a (c)rode.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #18
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Its not a bad mic, but there are far less expensive mics that I find to be far superior.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #19
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I just sold mine a few weeks ago. I plugged it in to test it out before I packaged it up. I was reminded of why I bought it in the first place, it sounded really nice. But then I remembered that every vocal I recorded with it didn't sit right in the mix and usually had to be re-recorded with a different mic...

I will say that I got excellent results with various percussion with that mic, but I had other mics for that already, so I let it go.

Not a bad mic, just didn't work right with my palette.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #20
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Daedalus77's Avatar
[QUOTE=gilwe;1447307]You hear "Neumann" in there no doubt.[QUOTE=gilwe;1447307]

What the hell does that mean? Is it like how I really "feel" Lacoste when I put on that shirt with the little alligator?

The mic is mediocre, at best.

Think outside the bun.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #21
Gear Addict
 
RockDog's Avatar
 

its a very underrated mic its extremely good maybe not as good as a u87 but for certain applications its a little better thumbsup
Old 23rd September 2007
  #22
Gear Head
 

To me, with a good pre I say that cheaper mics do the same job.
I did a "shoot-out", well, I tried a couple of mics...and I ended up with a AT4047. Sounds great to me. I know, not high-end, but who cares...

/Fred
Old 23rd September 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
 

It's very subject sensitive IMHO. On the right source it has that deep cream upper bass/ lower mid that feels expensive however on the wrong source it can be thin and overtly nasally. It's not an all rounder but then again may really suit in the right instance.
Cheers, Ross
Old 23rd September 2007
  #24
jho
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jho's Avatar
 



TLM 103 - How bad?
Old 23rd September 2007
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
You own the mic, feel proud of your decision on that purchase man.

No need to justify anything about that mic. It is a professional grade mic, not a consumer grade mic. It just happens to be the cheapest neumann available which allows it to be also geared towards project studios and home studios.
My second recording studio uses that mic quite often, and I have had some experience mixing songs with vocals that have been tracked through the TLM 103.

I must say that it is quite an agressive sounding mic, not really great for artists who are gonna be overly agressive on it. It can be tricky for some people to EQ for the mic, but make no mistake, its more than a very usable mic...consider it an entry level pro grade mic...

The tuff thing for someone considering the TLM 103 and looking to get a main go-to condenser, is that considering its performance for the price, there are so much other choices cheaper than the 103 that might do a better job for their tastes.
I second what he said, the TLM 103 is a good mic. You will always have someone who says this is better than that. It all depends on the voice going through the mic, what mic pre, type of music and your tates. If your happy with it, that is all that matters.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #26
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

For anyone interested in the TLM103, another mic to consider would also be the Gefell M930/M940.

The Gefell M930/M940 and TLM103 both sound similar, except that I find the Gefell to sound a little more broader in the lows and highs than that of the TLM103.
And for anyone that really cares about size and weight, the M930/M940 is also smaller and lighter in comparison to the TLM103. The TLM103 handles low end rumbles, etc., better than the M930/M940, and also has a better shockmount.
Both are Neumann based designs, so you can expect the same type of quality engineering to be present in the Gefell model.

Their differences are small, so It wouldnt make sense to have both unless you are like me and like having a fuller mic closet anyway.

Peace out
Old 24th September 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

I think the TLM103 is a very quiet mic, so you can use it very good as room mic for speaker.
For vocals it wouldn`t be my first choice.
Old 24th September 2007
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Ive used the TLM103 alot and I own a pair. i think they are great on pianos or other acoustic instruments such as the Double Bass. For the money I would go for a pair of AT4050's before a TLM103 but still they are great mics.
Old 24th September 2007
  #29
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jnorman's Avatar
i had a pair of tlm103s for a while for instrumental tracking. i was never happy with them on anything, and my AT4050s pretty much spanked the 103s on everything i tried them on. in my opinion, the dual membrane capsules of the at4050, and other mics, like the u87, offer a considerably more robust sound than the single membrane 103 (and most every other single membrane capsule mic). the best single membrane LDC mic i have used was the rode ntk.
Old 24th September 2007
  #30
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darkwater's Avatar
 

It is a good mic. Not a great mic. And, it certainly is not a high end mic. Can we move this thread?
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