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 was looking at the TLM 103, but for my voice,it seemed a little too brittle on top for me.After trying out several mics, I went with the Mojave MA200...about the same price, but had more "presence" and a fuller bottom.I have a Rode as well, but my go to mic is the Mojave.
Everybody sounds different,but you might want to check it out.
Everyone above makes some good points. But, even with my personal bias's for
real mic's (not chung king with patents that fell into public domain), I think youi should
get a mic that you "think" makes you sound good. You'll know it when you get it home and try it. Forget what I say, and the fact that I run, not only my voice thru the thing, but probably 400 different voices per year thru it too.
I also tell people that it's also the combination of the mic, and a good pre-amp. Most pre's load the mic differently. As a designer, I like to have the mic see about 1100 ohms as it hits the pre amp. Unfortunetly, most mfg's will no longer tell you such
information. Today, you're lucky to get a schematic of the circuit. So, again, get
the dealer to let you play with it for a month.
I also tell guys on a budget to get a $100 Shure SM-57, put a pop filter on it and go to town. I can make $100K a year with that mike. That's my benchmark for low dollar mikes. With a good pre amp and a professional announcer, it's great.
I used a KSM27 for awhile. I'd like to weigh in against the TLM 103. I think we all acclimate to what we're using, and I thought my TLM 103 sounded fine until I compared it to a sE5600z. The clarity of the 5600's highs made me realize how splattery the highs on the 103 were. I haven't used the 103 since (anyone want it?) I've since shelved the 5600 as well, mostly using a Soundeluxe U99 or a Sennheiser 416. I also use a Gefell M930, which has a lot of the same characteristics of the TLM 103 - a very bright sound, but without the splatter in the sibilant range.
Nothing wrong with fake Rolexes by the way - they'll still tell you the time!
I see this forum hasn't had an entry for a while, but I have to add my 2 cents worth...
In my experience the TLM 103 is a pretty good mic. Not perfect, but good. It works a little better with female voices than male. It's much smoother than the 193, the high end is better. The TLM 193 (I lost mine is a divorce, geeze), gets a little "fuzzy" and brittle with some voices, and can't handle loud (can you say car dealer), but then the 103 can't do loud either.
The best mic chain I have used is the Senn 416 with a DW Fern pre-amp. The 416 seems to have a little extra punch which cuts through things nicely (Add a tiny bit of compression to a U87 and you can make it sound a lot like a 416). The tubes in the DW Fern mellow the sound just enough to make the Senn feel like it is a large capsule mic. The down side is, it isn't a large capsule mic so it gets a rough edge if you push it too hard (harsh). Compare a U87 to a 416 and I think the U87 will sound just a bit too warm, at least for today's broadcast work. When I use the 416/Fern combo on ISDN sessions three out of five times the engineer will ask about the great sound.
One thing I have noticed about the 416... You can't work it too close. It gets spashy and weird. It is easy to over drive it. And because it is so directional (the close pattern doesn't bother me) you can't "work the mic". Moving around to change the sound really makes little difference. Moving closer doesn't even change the volume much. So there are a couple tools not available that you might have with other mics.
Having said all that, right now, I am using a Neumann U47 thru an Avalon 2022. I can throw anything at it. But I have to EQ and compress ever so slightly in order to cut like the 416.
Wow. What a great thread. Thanks so much everyone for all the great info. I have an AT4033a that I'm just not too happy with. Seems harsh and I sure haven't been booking anything with it. All my jobs seem to be referrals. I was hoping not to spend a great deal but it seems that you get what you pay for. Thanks again everyone!
A year ago I bought my first mic for VO work and after much research ended up with the Royer Designed Mojave MA-200. The guys at Sweetwater highly recomended the mic saying that they really believed it was comparable to the more expensive Neumann's. Priced at a $1,000 bucks it sounded like a good deal.
I decided I was going mid-range on everything so my chain consists of the Mojave into an Avalon M5 into an RME Fireface 400 interface.
Over the last year I have learned to use this mic but it really seems crisp, bright, and very sensitive. Any proximity reads I do are slightly off axis but most of the time Im about 6-8 inches off and it is very forgiving with my wild hand gestures and head movements.
Has anyone else sampled a Mojave and make some comparisons for me? I do have a little buyers remorse(however founded in purely ego backed by no practical knowledge)
I've got a MA200, which I got after testing a TLM103. I liked it better than the 103, which seemed kinda "tinny" for my voice...maybe "brittle" is a better description.I also did pick up a NeumannTLM49 recently(really sweet)...and I love em both.Got the mojave about a year ago(same as you), and put it through a P solo pre & Mbox.
Sounded fuller & warmer than the Rode I was using, and it really can handle those close up gravitas, off axis, and all out loud type stuff extremely well.
Time for me to upgrade my pre I think, to take advantage of all the Mojave & TLM49 have to offer.
I have and love my U87 but if you A:B an RE20, SM58 and U87 the differences do not justify the expense of the U87. On the other hand, if you take a great preamp and a beautiful room the U87 blossoms into a mic that gives an almost religious experience to a good read while the SM58 & RE20 are still good but not even in the ballpark. I owned an original release TLM 170 but dumped it because it was SO FLAT that I didn't enjoy my reads. I have never used the 103 but would expect it to be a fine mic.
If you're making money on your KSM27, love it. I'd doubt that a change in mics without a substantial upgrade in audio chain and room will offer much benefit. I'd be suspicious of any claims of ROI based on a microphone. That said, if you want a Neumann because you deserve it; go for it!
I noticed Pat made a comment about the SM-57. I've misplaced the link, but there was a shootout of many mics and I must admit that I was dumbfounded at how good the '57 sounded compared to many really expensive mics.
There are pros and cons to the battle of dynamic vs Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC). LDCs are much more linear in their response to volume(sound pressure). This means they will pick up the birds singing outside and mouth noises much more readily. Dynamics are usually lower output, so the preamp you choose must be really low noise. Their non-linear response to sound pressure means they are less likely to pick up the room, but means you have to be more careful about moving around in their pick-up field.
I think the personal shocker was the shotgun mic. I would have never expected to see it used, but there are successful people using them.
Mic choice is really personal. Every mic has a personality, as does every voice. Then there is the decision as to whether you want a mic that gives you a particular sound right out of the box, or one that is neutral and you can do whatever processing to achieve the sound you want. That means trying out as many mics as possible - and I would ad, bring someone with you who hears you speak daily and get their opinion too. Many of us don't like the sound of our own voice, oddly enough.