Hey everyone! Well, after purchasing the Focusrite Trakmaster Pro, I decided to test my old mic (Shure KSM 27) and my new mic (Neumann TLM 103). I can honestly say that the Neumann does not sound $800 better than the Shure. I hate to say it, but I think the Shure sounds more full. I did test the Neumann at the store and loved it. I still do love it but I am not hearing much of a difference. I have made a healthy living with the "Shure" and now I am thinking of going back to it. Help! I've become microphone obsessed! Is there a pill I can take? Anyway, if you could do me the honor and listen to my mic test and then let me know YOUR opinion, I would greatly appreciate it. JS, feel free to add your "I told you so" posting immediately. LOL!!

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The Shure is a litttttle warmer for sure...however...it kind of has a VERY slight....and I mean VERY slight...inside of a tin can sound to it here.

The 103 seems a little more clean sounding.......Here is my over all feeling.....from what I heard...I think you can get the best sound out of the Neumann...you didn't have it here....it was a little crisp on both mics...and little to sharp or bright for MY ears anyway. If you can get that warmth and fullness out of the 103 (and you can..even with a 286a I could)...that would be my choice based on this....hope that makes you feel better...lol...

PS...I ran the shootout, full throttle here in the studio (monitors)
Hey Terry,

I have to admit i had to listen a few times in order to tell any difference at all, but maybe someone else on here will pick it up right away. I thought the Neumann sounds a tiny bit fuller and richer, even warmer than the Shure, but again it's pretty darn close. The Shure sounds like you're just a TAD further from the mic, a hint of 'tinny'ness but still sounds great. To be honest, if you read a regular script halfway through with the Neumann and the rest using the Shure, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know you switched mics if you didn't tell me. Hope this helps.....

Either way, you got a damn sexy voice......lol
Who are you and how did you get on this site? Lol!!
Hi Terry. To my ears, the Nuemann TLM 103 actually *does* sound a little "brighter" - and a bit more of a ... I don't know .. full sound. It's very slight. The Shure sounds a little flatter, if that makes sense. That's not to say that they don't both sound good. :) Nor is it saying that it's an $800 difference ... (I don't know. What *is* an $800 difference?? :D) - but I *do* think you made a very worthy purchase with your new Neumann. i think it makes your voice sound a bit brighter and warmer. it's subtle ... but it's there. (I'm with Trish on this one.)
Hey, Terry:

Try the test dry, no compression, no EQ, no gating. Each mic has its own frequency response curve. I didn't check the specs online, but adding compression will probably affect the frequency bumps or dips in the responses of the mics. Be sure you have enough gain going into the mic pre without clipping and coming out of the processor. Also, to run a truly equal test, is it possible to put up both mics and record the same copy read into both mics, splitting off the 103 to one channel and the 27 to another. That way, you're at the same distance and your voice is exactly the same for each mic.

I did notice the slight ring that Mike mentioned in his post. Also a bit of hiss, and I think I heard gating. The hiss I heard sounds a bit like you had too much compressor makeup gain on an input signal that was a little too low. That's why the test will reveal more about the mics themselves if you run the test totally dry, straight wire input to output throught the mic pre stage of the processor only. Also, room acoustics may be coming into play here, too. That might be the "tin can" or "ringing" we're hearing.

As you ran the comparison, both mics are very similar in quality. The 27 sounded a bit more open. But with the processing in place, I really can't determine the characteristics of each mic.


Peter Drew
Both fine! No one will do a back to back comparison when listening to your stuff so I say whichever one you like best! I assume all other equipment was the same for each mic, cables, etc?
As predicted, absolutely fabulous feedback! I'm still messing with levels! :)
Hey Terry,

I've just had a listen and i'd say your test isn't accurate enough - you need to do what Peter suggests and have them running at the same time - one dry read, no compression, eq, etc. This will avoid any subconscious efforts you are (potentially) making to make the Neumann sound better (which it seems from all your previous post discussions is what you would ideally want).

I'm not an expert in this technical arena but to my ears the Shure sounded as though it was not as clear as the Neumann - as though you were too close to the mic and speaking too loudly.

Just my thoughts

Great posts, everyone! One thing is sure, the make up gain was WAY too hot and there wasn't enough bottom on the EQ. I'll play with it until it works! :)
Hi Terry. After your pre-amp post last week I picked-up Joe McMillian's "dbx" settings. I would appreciate feedback on the attached "A / B". The "A" is a TLM 103 with some "plug-in" processing. The "B" is the TLM running through the "dbx" with Joe's settings (no plug-in effects).

I would appreciate any input on "tweaks"... thank you!
Hi Joe! As you can already tell, I'm not the expert on processing but I would have to say the "B" is a little too heavy. This is only my opinion. Something between "A" and "B" would be perfect! I bought a Focusrite TrakMaster Pro and I am loving it now that I am discovering the right settings! :)
Hey, Joe. (Where you going with that mic in your hand?) Sorry, couldn't resist!

A little boomy on the second, but to my ears, in the ballpark. You have to remember, though, everyone is going to perceive it differently, and everyone has there own likes and dislikes.


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