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Samar Audio Design TF10
4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 1 Review

TF-10 from Samar Audio is an LDC in compact lollipop form with cardioid pattern and very high headroom. The capsule is an innovative single sided 3-chambered design

16th October 2022

Samar Audio Design TF10 by robobob

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Samar Audio Design TF10

After a long gestation period, the Samar Audio TF-10 is now being delivered.

The review sample is serial number 23, with the carbon fiber body option for least possible resonance.

Providing context for my impressions, I have owned and have experience with the following instruments:
Telefunken AR-51
Lawson L47
Faust F2
Samar MF65
Samar AL95
Josephson C617
Josephson C700S
Sennheiser MKH-30

and now the Samar TF-10 LDC Cardioid condenser

Esthetic preference:
Most realistic reproduction possible.
Not seeking pre-baked color palette that prejudices audio painting.

My experience with Samar Audio's ribbons convinced me that they are state of the art, capturing dynamics as expected from ribbons but with unusually flat frequency response and extended upper range. Also very finely crafted with modern manuafacturing efficiency.

Mark Fouxman, Samar Audio's owner and chief engineer, is a creative design innovator.

For example, his AL95 ribbon is on the market at an unprecedented value yet can stand with the Coles and other venerable workhorse ribbons regardless of price.

I wanted an LDC specifically for close miking and I have found it. For the asking price there is nothing close (pun intended) in the market.
The TF-10 has a very compact form factor for a 1"/25.4 mm capsule, which is a great advantage in ease of placement. (see the image with the mechanical pencil for relative size)

Instead of having a large imposing body, which may be necessary to impress some clients, the TF-10 does not intrude in your face.

Deeply extended, full low range with minimal proximity effect, extended high end response with very little deviation from flat from low to high.
Simply neutral, you-are-there, no artifact, no-fuss capture

If you need color, you can add EQ to make the TF-10 sound like more colored instruments, because its flat frequency and phase response makes it capable of EQ-ing to taste, with ease!

Even at 3" from face, the TF-10 has taken everything I have thrown at it, vocals, horns, cab-miking and close-miking drums with unflappable objectivity.
The TF-10 looks great and is a truly innovative approach to the cardioid LDC.

Details from the website:

The heart of the TF10 is a unique proprietary cardioid capsule designed by the company’s owner and chief engineer Dr. Mark Fouxman. The capsule is a single sided 3-chambered design. The 1st and 2nd chambers shape the capsule's frequency response, and the 3rd sets time delay. This 3-chamber independence allows precise optimization of all parameters; it also ensures superior frequency and phase integrity in off axis response, so it takes EQ very well. The unique construction and use of special materials eliminates the capsules parasitic capacitances and ensures low distortion and ultimate transparency, providing a very realistic sound picture. The capsule has been designed to work without usual for condenser microphones DC-to-DC bias converter, which reduces distortions even further.

Special attention has been paid to the acoustical optimization of the TF10 microphone body, where the capsule itself serves as a lollipop, without any surrounding external body. This arrangement eliminates any sound waves interference. On its bottom the capsule/lollipop mounted on a special shaped acoustical lens. These facets along with acoustically open mesh screen eliminate any standing waves and reflections and ensure the most acoustically transparent sound possible.
Highly recommended for those looking for a general all-around LDC, easy to place and able to capture the performance like you hear it in the room.

And at the asking price, well worth an audition, IMHO.

Hope this review was helpful!

Here is a demo from Front End Audio. Samar TF10 on guitar:

Attached Thumbnails
Samar Audio Design TF10-tf-10_pencil.jpg   Samar Audio Design TF10-tf-10_side.jpg   Samar Audio Design TF10-tf-10.jpg   Samar Audio Design TF10-tf-10_close.jpg  
Last edited by robobob; 18th October 2022 at 04:40 PM..

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