Hey all, I recently came across this line of mics made in China (what isn't these days?) called Superlux. I've been on a few forums (not VU) and people are saying they're comparable to the (dare I say it) Neumann! These mics start at only $100 and they say that that model is comparable to the TLM 103!! The TLM 103 is about $1000. Hard to believe for such a low price, has anyone heard of these mics, or even own one? Would love to get feedback, I'm toying with buying one for my mobile setup but I don't want to be a sucker just for the price.
I'll split the diff between JS and Terry.
I find the TLM103 is oft purchased mindlessly because "Neumann is the best" not because it actually is the best tool for the job. I find personally (for my ears) that it's usually beat by the TLM193, or the AKG C414 ULS/XLS. I'm usually in the minority there though. The thing is, moving from a cheap-o budget mic to the 103 is probably a positive move for anyone regardless of voice quality. I just think, often, there are better tools for the job.
As for Chinese mics besting high priced fare. It could happen. Many manufacturers have tried to make the claim in the past. I don't think it very likely though. Again, you don't buy a mic because it's magic and makes you sound better than you are. You buy a mic because it plays well with the unique characteristics of your voice, to emphasize the characteristics you want to emphasize. A budget mic, could do that over an expensive studio mic.
Lastly, just a word of caution. I find that one of the ways budget manufacturers achieve such low pricing, is by being lax on things like quality control. Putting my MXL990 next to my friend's 990, it doesn't sound like they're the same mic. You have to be careful with these. You might try out a budget mic display unit, love the way you sound on it, buy a new retail package, and get home with a subtly different sound.
I'm happily using the Superlux CM-H8D for the past three years and am quite impressed and happy with its warm, natural and realistic sound! It's been mistaken by some, receiving my VO, as a Neumann U-87. And at about $500, with shock mount cage, power supply, etc., the savings on this tube mike gave me the chance to grab some pretty impressive golf clubs ...