Samar Audio Design TF10 by robobob
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:
and now the Samar TF-10 LDC Cardioid condenser
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:
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: