So, I am finally ready to upgrade to the TLM 103. Right now, I have a Shure KSM27 condenser mic which has worked very well for me. I have made a very comfortable living using this mic. In your opinion, is it truly worth it for me to upgrade to the Neumann? I am probably going to do it anyway but I really respect everyone's opinion on here, so I just wanted some feedback. Fire away! :)
I have to throw in my nickel here too. The TLM 103 is truly a great mic. I'm a deep baritone and I find that on certain "words" I get a bit of distortion on the high end... weird but it happens.
I don't think anybody mentioned another mic I discovered after talking with Jeffrey Fisher who works with Harlan Hogan. Really seems to know his stuff. He told me about the MXL 909... a $60.00 mic!!! I bought one the next day and I'll be... it's close to the performance of the TLM. I just wanted the back up and a similar sounding mic. Maybe get both!
There seems to be quite a lot of disagreement over the 103. Many talents like it, but many think it is overpriced or that you can get a similar sound for less, most notably from the Shure KSM series or the Rode NT1.
I personally love the 103, have used it extensively, and think it is definitely worth the 1300 or so bucks for the anniversary edition with the shockmount and the pretty case. It is especially nice on a mid range male voice.
Actually, I have a hookup in NY that can get it for you for even cheaper. Drop me a line if you wish and I'll fill you in.
I'm probably the only person on earth that doesn't like the way I sound on a U87 :) I think it warms me up too much. My 'baby' is my Lawson L47 FET. I found her when I was recording in a studio that had just purchased one. It was the first time I had ever perked up and asked 'what is this mic?' I bought one the next day. We've been quite happy ever since...and the price is very reasonable in my opinion. At some point I hope to add the L251FET.
Everyone will have a different mic they love best. I found that when you find a mic that works for you- get it!
Well, the 103 is certainly a great mic. I've got one. But if you do any real high energy stuff (car spots, etc), you're gonna be a little frustrated with it. It just can't handle the loud stuff as well as other mics. My mic of choice is the Senn 416, but I have also used the MXL V69 Mogami - for a low priced mic, it's amazing and I frankly like it better than the 103. JS Gilbert mentioned the Groove Tubes. He's right, they are also superb mics!
I book plenty of jobs with what is now my former mic, the Shure KSM27". I am hoping my luck continues with the TLM 103. With that said, most of my work is one on one with clients and more times than not, they can't tell the difference between all these toys. I am very happy with my new toy so far! :)
I bought two mic's 33 years ago. I haven't bought any since. To try to explain this, the
following is part of a letter I sent to Neumann, GmbH, a few months ago. We were discussing the marketing and promotion of the 40 year Anniversary of the U-87.
clip... I mean, :60 seconds would just barely work for all the great things I can say about the U-87's and how I've used them everyday for the last 33 years.
I first saw this mike in front of "The Kingston Trio" (former household words) on US network TV around 1960. I was 13 years old. But, I knew at the time that a mike used for The Kingston Trio must be the best in the world.
FF to 1974. I leave a day to day radio show in Miami, FL after many years of speaking into the radio station's "stinking, beat up, crumby Electro-Voice 666 and open Pat Appleson Studios, Inc. a post production studio that does Radio/TV and Corporate Video.
I order two U-87's and all the proper accessories from your long time dealer, Harris Audio Systems in North Miami, FL. Mike Harris knew what I was trying to do and sold me the mikes, no money down. In 60 days, I had him paid off. To this day, Harris Audio Systems is my prime vendor and first call for ANY kind of studio equipment. Looking back, this purchase has appreciated more than real estate. Plus, it separates the men from the boys, the professionals from the wanna bees. Owning Neumann equipment says you're serious about sound.
In the 33 years since we bought the U-87's, we've had every kind of voice talent in the studios. For ISDN ADR, remote interviews with everyone from US Presidential Candidates to Authors and movie stars. From 15 years of feeds to NPR (National Public Radio) to ADR with Jamie Lynn Siegler (Meadow Soprano) to seven years as Remote EIC (engineer in charge) for FOX Television's America's Most Wanted, starring John Walsh.
Never, Never, has any director/engineer or remote producer ever made a fuss over the choice of microphone.
Once in a while, usually during an ISDN feed to a distant studio, the engineer will ask. "what kind of mic are you using?" I'll say, why? Are you having a problem? They will invariably reply. "no, no problem, it just sounds so good, I wish we were using them. What kind are they?"
My late father would tell me as a young man, Pat, save your money, always buy the best, you'll never be sorry.
The U-87, if it's good enough for The Kingston Trio, it's good enough for me.