Quantcast
Neumann TLM 103 - What compares? - Page 3 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Neumann TLM 103 - What compares?
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #61
Gear Nut
 
Prime Tire's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich ➡️
Neumann TLM 103 doesn't suck:



You really can't judge how a mic sounds from the forced-mono inbred audio of a YouTube video, especially since there were probably additional elements of the signal chain affecting the final sound of the vocals. Hell, I've heard recordings done with TLM103s that sounded great.... but only after a ton of EQing to correct for that harsh and huge high end bump. And god forbid anyone ever uses it on female vocals.

Welcome to Tinnitus Town!

dfegad
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #62
Lives for gear
 
Meriphew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH ➡️
people seem to like it enough to keep buying it.
I think the majority of those people don't know any better. It's their first 'pro' mic, and it looks pretty and has the Neumann badge on it - plus the GC salesman tells them how great it is.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #63
Lives for gear
 
MikeTSH's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'm aware of that mate, I'm just saying getting angry over the way things are is what gets sorta annoying bout this mic. It's a mic that sells well because of its Neumann badge and its "low" price point. I'm gonna leave it at that
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #64
Lives for gear
 
Yoda117's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH ➡️
I'm aware of that mate, I'm just saying getting angry over the way things are is what gets sorta annoying bout this mic. It's a mic that sells well because of its Neumann badge and its "low" price point. I'm gonna leave it at that
Also it's got the market presence which a lot of other mics don't and a high SPL compared to other mics, which make it useful for other applications.

Personally, if it works for you and you're happy with it, then that's awesome. There are plenty of folks doing some great work with it. Is it my cup of tea? No. That doesn't mean I think less of the stuff people are putting out with it. I'll judge their work with the 103 based on the merit and quality of the work, nothing else.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #65
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH ➡️
To be fair, I don't find it a bad mic at all. It's never GOING to be the best, but I take it for what it is, a basic condenser mic. I just can't stand the way people compare it to nails on a chalkboard - people seem to like it enough to keep buying it.
I compared it to that because that's how female vocals I did sounded on it. I did get very good results from it on acoustic, but for less money my AT4050 is far more useful for everything. There just seems to be some kind of harshness to the 103 that didn't work on vocals for me..

TH
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Maniac
 
Xestenz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Not many people have responded to the OP's actual question, although a few good TLM-103 alternatives have been suggested.

To my mind, the best alternative to the TLM-103 (and most comparable to where it sits in the market ) is the Bock Audio (formerly Soundelux) 195. Like the TLM-103 it is cardiod only and in the same general price range. Wherever the 103 works (room mic for kick, brighten a darker acoustic, etc.) the 195 will work better. But it will also be much more versatile (useable on more sources) overall IMO.

For less than that price range you can get any number of well reviewed Chinese LDC mics (which I won't mention in this particular forum) - all of which have shortcoming of one type or another (some more than others) and the choice of which would entirely depend on your particular application. Many of these will likely have the same much discussed high-end harshness attributed to the 103.

Also to consider (and already mentioned) would be the standard cast of AudioTechnica and Sure condenser mics in this price range, such as the AT4050 or 4060 (tube), the KSM 32/44 , etc. These are well-proven workhorse type mics that would likely be more versatile than the 103 (multi-pattern, etc.)

As others have mentioned, without knowing the intended purpose it is really just a list of microphone manufacturers, as there are many who offer LDCs in this price range...
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #67
Lives for gear
 
MikeTSH's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
YouTube - Singing in the Rain: A Vocal Jazz Multitrack

Make sure you listen in HD Stereo. I think it proves the TLM 103 doesn't need to be as bashed as it is.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #68
Lives for gear
 
MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I borrowed a pair of TLM103s to track an acapella vocal group. It was easy to mix and sounded great.

But when it came time to buy my own LDCs I went for a pair of Lawson L47FETs. Cost was the same.

Lawson L47FET Microphone

The L47s sound very nice with LaChapell 583s tube preamps.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #69
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I think many people on this board need to work on there engineering skills if they feel the need to say the TLM103 is really that bad.

I have had a TLM103 for years and like it a lot. This summer I got 2 Blue Dragonfly's for overheads, and those sound really good on vocals as well they are cheaper than the TLM103 if you're looking for different options.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
goldphinga's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Im sick of reading these threads but as an owner and long time user of the 103 im gonna stand up for it. All the vocals on my new album were recorded with the 103 and ive used little or no eq at all on it. No 3k pullout. NOTHING. Theres no harshness in any of the vocal recordings. Ive also used it as a great drum mic, piano mic and on pretty much everything else and it rocks.

And before anyone jumps on me, ive compared it to many mics including an M147, RE-20, Peluso 2247LE, Rode k2 and many more and its up there with all of them. In fact, i used it over all of the others after shootouts on vocals. BTW-The K2 was one of the most hyped mics that ive tested with a weird sizzly top end that i hated.

The chain i use is TLM103>amek CIB>Prism Orpheus>focal twins

I never record with EQ on the way in and generally the only eq i ever need on vocals is a little air eq around 12k.
Old 12th February 2009
  #71
Lives for gear
 
ARIEL's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I Am using 2 TLM 103 for room mics they work great - Or even as overheads - but not for vocals - they sound great on vocals in you headphone - but there is a sibilance issue with them when you sing too close with many vocals- they are better suited for applications a little farther back . Nut your voice may work well for them and have no issue - just record it flat and listen if there is a hi freq issue . But I also a a pair of AT4050 - which work better for vocals - they are flat and sit in the mix very well for any style and any type of vocalist - You really want a flat mic for all around vocal mic - Far easier to mix - I know many other pros will go with other types - but when I hear mixes by some people knowing what vocal mic they used - I can hear frequency problems
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
 
goldphinga's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Never had a sibilance issue with the 103..
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #73
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd&4thT ➡️
Gefell makes two wonderful mics for "entry level," the M930 and the MT71S.

And if you want HUGE, Pearlman's TM-1 and TM-2 will do just fine.

If you want a reasonable, responsible, truthful mic for less, consider the Violet Designs Flamingo Jr. - a real bargain.

You don't need the TLM 103 unless you want to clean those paint ribbons off your ceiling.

For voiceover the TLM 103 cuts really well, through music, plasterboard and the nation of Guatemala.

3rd&4thT
"For voiceover the TLM 103 cuts really well, through music, plasterboard and the nation of Guatemala"

Now that was funny! LOL


The 103 has the dynamic range of a platypus.


As a reminder a platypus is defined by Webster as the following;

A small carnivorous aquatic monotreme mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of eastern Australia and Tasmania that has a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense fur, webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail —called also duck-billed platypus


Sounds sexy, just like a 103....................

Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #74
Lives for gear
 
Jorg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga ➡️

The chain i use is TLM103>amek CIB>Prism Orpheus>focal twins
Funny thing is that everyone always lists in detail what processing and amping the mic goes through, however the most important link of the chain once again gets forgotten:

What did you put in front of the mic? Vocal, yes, but Female or male? What character? What style of singing?

I dont get the idea that the TLM gets bashed for no reason here. I've had one for about 10 years now and know the mic quite well.
Its not a bad mic but its not an allrounder. Let me rephrase that: Theres better allrounders out there for that money. Now if you need a mic for a certain task that the TLM matches perfect then its an outstanding deal.
However if you own a small project studio and want to buy 1 mic only for all your recordings then my advice is get something else.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #75
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldphinga ➡️
IAnd before anyone jumps on me, ive compared it to many mics including an M147, RE-20, Peluso 2247LE, Rode k2 and many more and its up there with all of them.
None of which are mics that I'd ever use to track vocals on either.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #76
Lives for gear
 
3rd&4thT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair ➡️
None of which are mics that I'd ever use to track vocals on either.
Hey there JJ,

Is there any Peluso you'd track a vocal with?

Just curious,
3rd&4thT
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #77
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Put anyone in front of that mic who has some real range and support, and has dynamic range then you are in trouble. That mic is okay for an entry level voice-over mic (I use an M149 for voice-over quite a bit) It's (the 103) an okay mic for a "Project studio".

This however is the "High end" section.

Of course you are going to get guys (like me) bashing it. The LDC's in my mic locker alone have a value of over $40,000. Ergo, in the high end forum it's not going to be uncommon to have people who either own 47's, 251's, Wagner's, Horsch and much more etc... and so forth.

It's not from a aplce of malice. I beliee that Neumann logo'ed that mic with the purpose of offering something that should run for around $700 and they used their badge to bring it into a $ range where it has no place being. <poor value versus price>

I think that if you look at the 103 like an entry level, first microphone, bought used for well under $1000 then it's fine for a project studio. Most of the guys (and gals) in the high end forum are well beyond the entry level stage and know recording to be the addiction and money pit that it truly is. There is no addiction like being a slut.

There is no desire on anyone's part to rain on someone's parade.

The sm57 runs in as a $100 microphone but has many many uses. Ergo, how many uses can I find for the 103. My ear simply finds it to be limited in it's scope of application, and it doesn't do anything stellar. There is nothing that makes you want to listen to that mic all day long.

My Royer's (121, 122v) regardless of price point are stellar with jazz or rock guitar and I also like them on piano. <versatility> The 121 is under $2000 in price. Look at what you can do with that mic. The beauty of the ribbon world. <nuance>

As stated, at that $ stage the next jump up demonstrated some huge sonic differences.


Yes, the 103 could also be used in recording applications that are beyond "project". Still, it's uses are limited. It has a narrow/harsh sound. Try putting a basso profundo in front of it and watch the fat boy sing through a straw (no offense to anyone traveling the course of weight challenges)

It cannot take a large round voice, and have it sound anything other than a gerble on diuretics.

At the same time, try an contralto through it. Squashed like a bug.
The thing is a broadcast voiceover mic dude.

In that price point for a entry level vocal mic, I would encourage anyone looking to buy a "vocal" microphone spend the extra few hundred and go Charter Oaks, or a TLM49 (which is not bad). Tele AK47 etc....

Better yet, (again another Pealman plug). Call Dave Perlman get a TM1 and never look back. Same price more or less as a TLM49 and huge bang for the buck.

All words intentioned from a a place of opinion with no intent on insulting anyone who loves the 103. yet again, if you go up a step you'll find that the step is a big one.

Cheers,
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #78
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd&4thT ➡️
Hey there JJ,

Is there any Peluso you'd track a vocal with?

Just curious,
3rd&4thT
Depends on the vocal.

Again, for that price point spend a few extra and go Perlman.

Pearlman Microphones - TM - 1

Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, what's a decent starting point you'd say blair? Some of those mics he mentioned are over $1k and I sure as heck get good results with a B-stock Studio Projects mic that I bought for $350 and put a Telefunken tube in. I just really think if you know what you're doing and have a bit of knowledge, you can make something work. I've found a good vocal chain in my studio that works great and it tends to work for most people. So, I'm just wondering why a mic like a K2, which sounds awesome on vocals is something you wouldn't even try. Mind you, I sell CardRef's Peluso's, Blue bottle's, I just sold a Wunder this week and I've heard them all and one thing's for sure, those can still sound bad if the indian ain't shootin his arrows right.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #80
Gear Maniac
 
Eskimo Brain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorg ➡️
Funny thing is that everyone always lists in detail what processing and amping the mic goes through, however the most important link of the chain once again gets forgotten:

What did you put in front of the mic? Vocal, yes, but Female or male? What character? What style of singing?

I dont get the idea that the TLM gets bashed for no reason here. I've had one for about 10 years now and know the mic quite well.
Its not a bad mic but its not an allrounder. Let me rephrase that: Theres better allrounders out there for that money. Now if you need a mic for a certain task that the TLM matches perfect then its an outstanding deal.
However if you own a small project studio and want to buy 1 mic only for all your recordings then my advice is get something else.
exactly right.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #81
Gear Maniac
 
Eskimo Brain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by outUVphaze ➡️
Put anyone in front of that mic who has some real range and support, and has dynamic range then you are in trouble.
Like Cee-Lo Green? Or maybe Imogen Heap?
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #82
Gear Addict
 
outUVphaze's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik ➡️
Well, what's a decent starting point you'd say blair? Some of those mics he mentioned are over $1k and I sure as heck get good results with a B-stock Studio Projects mic that I bought for $350 and put a Telefunken tube in. I just really think if you know what you're doing and have a bit of knowledge, you can make something work. I've found a good vocal chain in my studio that works great and it tends to work for most people. So, I'm just wondering why a mic like a K2, which sounds awesome on vocals is something you wouldn't even try. Mind you, I sell CardRef's Peluso's, Blue bottle's, I just sold a Wunder this week and I've heard them all and one thing's for sure, those can still sound bad if the indian ain't shootin his arrows right.
I was under the impression that this discussion about the Neumann tlm103. Obviously, the Indian shooting the arrow applies.

I'll tell you what, try a Studio Projects some time on a classical singer who has done some recording and throw up 2 tlm103' over a Steinway. Kind of like casting pearls on swine. Let's see how that goes over.

Everything has it's place. Including Studio Projects. The key word being "Studio ahhhhhh hemmmm {Projects}". Cheap mics that do the job.

Again, this is the high end forum, not 'low end theory'. Attention to the minutia right down to the op amp finds it's place in this corner. That said, If a Studio Projects B1 or C1 works for you great.

I have on a couple of occasions used a Se Electronic se2200a for something very specific, it's a cheap $400 mic. It had a certain sound. Nothing timeless about it. No AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH factor but it served it's purpose. I've also used a Gemini on a few occasions. It served it's purpose. Both of which IMHO knock the living spit out of the TLM103 for anything besides 'spoken word'. That said, I don't happen to use either on any regular basis. Neither of them are that impressive, but they have a tone to them that occasionally is needed.

For some guy working on tunes in his house with a modest budget, a Lexicon Omega and a TLM103 and a few plug ins is a world of joy, happiness and exploration. More power to it. The 103 has a niche in that market but you (back to low end theory) can get a Se 5600 or an Icis, or a Blue Blueberry that all find their was as Kings of the little pond. In that under $1000 range. <the pond... not the ocean>

The air gets thinner as you travels up the hill in $$$, the differences become more subtle, and subtle costs.

Sure, pop a 57 into a MA5, into a RNC Comp > fireface, you'll get some sounds. You've just saved yourself a boat load of money.

... ... ... If you are into that kind of sound.

In closing, the TLM 103 makes my ears want to vomit.

The Sex Pistols had a lot to do with vomit, or they vomited a lot. Perhaps both. Everything has it's place, including vomit.

Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #83
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
then what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda117 ➡️
ehlrich,

what are you doing with this mic? If you're doing VO it's one thing, but if you're looking to use it for multiple purposes then the 103 might not be your best choice.

Also, what's your price range? That will affect the range of mics available to you.

Personal opinion on the 103 is that it's good for some stuff, but not as utilitarian as I think Neumann originally intended it to be. On the right chain it can sound good with a lot of people's voices. For me it was a bit too bright and sibilant (ironically, the mic it was designed after, the U87 works much better for me).

Anyhoo, a little more info please and we can probably help you out a bit more. I mean, if you're using this to record a piano, we're probably going to steer you in a different direction, lol.
Hi, can you recommend something of good quality, in the $1000 price range, that can be used for multi purpose?

Thanks
Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #84
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pm1977pm ➡️
Hi, can you recommend something of good quality, in the $1000 price range, that can be used for multi purpose?

Thanks
I think the Gefell M 930 may be in this price bracket (sorry I only know UK prices and not US ones).
Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #85
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pm1977pm ➡️
Hi, can you recommend something of good quality, in the $1000 price range, that can be used for multi purpose?

Thanks
Bock 195
Old 31st October 2012
  #86
Lives for gear
 
madehumble's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
There are many great mics in that price range, but I would recommend from personal experience the Rode NT2000 or Blueberry.

Sent from my Desire HD
Old 31st October 2012 | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah you should try hear them yourself anyway you can, you won't get a majority here for any one...for instance I had the Blueberry for two days and sent it back lol

TH
Old 1st November 2012
  #88
Gear Addict
 
Ryan Gregory's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I like the 103. AND I don't own one. I've used them quite a few times at various places, always on vocals- and I liked it every time.
Old 1st November 2012
  #89
Lives for gear
 
goldphinga's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by outUVphaze ➡️

In closing, the TLM 103 makes my ears want to vomit.

The Sex Pistols had a lot to do with vomit, or they vomited a lot. Perhaps both. Everything has it's place, including vomit.

Go join the tlm haters club. I prefer to make records and the tlm does what's required. If the singer sounds crap the tlm will show that. If the singer is great the tlm will show that. People don't like it as it doesn't smooth things over. this has been discussed to death a million times. Byeeeee
Old 1st November 2012
  #90
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
i use tlm103 all the time for male vocals at this studio i work in… i certainly would prefer a better mic like u67…u87 or almost any other neumann.. but tlm103 is very quiet and seems to handle hi spl pretty good…and i dont worry about spit or smoke gettin into it…cause its [relatively] cheap..
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 60 views: 19438
Avatar for dibravibra
dibravibra 19th October 2020
replies: 68 views: 24185
Avatar for Glenn Bucci
Glenn Bucci 4th August 2019
replies: 6381 views: 809829
Avatar for Wilks832
Wilks832 1 week ago
replies: 234 views: 29468
Avatar for Extreme Mixing
Extreme Mixing 28th March 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump