The new TLM102 embodies everything we've come to expect from a large-diaphragm Neumann studio mic — except the price! I’ve seen and heard people say that the 102 is more natural sounding. Technical Specs Sensitivity and Self-Noise Neumann TLM 102 is a decent mic with good sensitivity and low self-noise. Further tests with hand percussion produced perfectly usable results, although there was less difference between the TLM102 and some of my budget standbys in this application. Both are built for use on the go and portable but also able to be more stationary in a studio setting. 102 is great for guitars, acoustic guitars and strings. The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. TLM 102 capsule uses some of the same parts as the U89 and BCM series. The new TLM102 embodies everything we've come to expect from a large-diaphragm Neumann studio mic — except the price! With sung vocals, the TLM102 exuded the kind of sonic class normally associated with much higher‑priced studio mics, pushing the vocals to the front yet still allowing them to breathe. If you are interested in contributing, email: Neumann TLM 102 vs Neumann TLM 103: Head-To-Head. AKAI MPC 3000: The Best Drum Machine of All Time. 103 has a larger diaphragm. A lovely vocal mic that also seems to manage just about anything else you throw at it. 103 is heavier. It's hard to pick a direct alternative as there are so many medium- and large-diaphragm side‑address mics to choose from, all with different sonic signatures. Sounds thicker. A thread around the XLR housing locates into the stand adaptor to provide a secure support, and the Neumann logo denotes the 'hot' side of the capsule. This may be Neumann's least expensive mic of this type, but there's nothing about the sound that says 'budget'. These qualities enable Neumann TLM 103 to capture more accurate audio details, and it can deliver better clarity. For solo work you may have to experiment with the position a bit more to balance the highs and lows, but again, this isn't a problem. It is a large-diaphragm, transformerless capacitor microphone with a fixed-cardioid polar pattern. However, there are some notable differences between the two that should be reviewed. Included Accessories: Stand Mount, Wood Box. The foam layer in the head grille can be removed for more clarity and transparency if desired. This is a whole 5 dB louder than the TLM-103. This can be done by unscrewing the chrome-plated ring around the middle of the mic. What is a "hybrid" audio interface anyway? The often compared Neumann TLM 102 vs the TLM 103 broken down side by side. Spoken-word tests reveal a lot about studio microphones, and the TLM102 immediately sounded well‑balanced in this application, without me having applied any EQ. However, Neumann TLM 103 has even better sensitivity and lower self-noise. Where you're recording an acoustic guitar to sit in with a pop mix, this mic does the job well and with ease. Based around a newly developed large‑diaphragm capsule capable of tolerating SPLs up to 144dB (0.5 percent distortion), the TLM102 is suitable for use with loud instruments such as drums, brass instruments and guitar amplifiers, but it was conceived primarily as a vocal microphone, so it's no surprise to see a slight presence lift above 6kHz. The capsule, with its edge‑terminated diaphragm, makes use of more cost‑effective manufacturing methods than Neumann's high‑end mics, but it has to be said that I couldn't detect any compromises in the microphone's performance. The mic comes in simple foam‑lined cardboard box along with a swivel standmount. I was very pleasantly surprised, however, when I put the mic up in front of my guitar amp, just off‑axis: it came extremely close to giving me the sound I was hearing in the room, with all the jangle and bite of the amp but no harsh edges. The Audio Technica AT4033a is one possible contender, and offers similarly impressive results on guitar amps, but there are models worth consideration by manufacturers such as SE Electronics, Rode, Blue and many others at this price. The most recent addition to this line, and the most affordable Neumann studio vocal mic yet, is the TLM102 reviewed here. Some prefer the brighter top end quality of the 103 while others say the top end sounds harsh on the 103. First Look: Pro Tools | Carbon. It weighs around 260g, has a diameter of 52mm, and a length of just 116mm. Most people will use it as a vocal mic, but the excellent results I achieved using it on my guitar amp came as a pleasant surprise. Neumann KH 120 vs Adam A7X: Which Is The Better Option For You? The 102 edges over the 103 slightly in total harmonic distortion. A silver band below the basket and the red Neumann logo add a nice visual relief to the black basket and the satin-black body. I set up some relatively inexpensive (but nevertheless reputable) side‑address mics for comparison and found them to sound either slightly 'spongy' or a touch nasal by comparison. Why does Liam Gallagher's vocals sound shit? This response should add air and intelligibility, and when used as a drum mic, should also help give definition to transients. 102 has a slight edge in portability for live shows and concert applications but really both models were made with this in mind and consideration. 103 weighs 450g vs the 102 weighing 210g. All rights reserved. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. The TLM102 also did a workmanlike job when I used it on acoustic guitar, and while it might not have conveyed quite as much body depth as some of the mics I normally use for this purpose, it managed to deliver a bright and lively sound that was also smooth (some mics tend to make the string attack sound too gritty). It has a very respectable sensitivity of 11mV/Pa at 1kHz into a 1kΩ load, with an equivalent input noise level (A‑weighted) of 12dBA. You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. The effect of the presence lift is quite subtle, opening out the sound slightly, but at the same time the mids and lows seem perfectly integrated, creating a sense of clarity and closeness. When comparing this to other microphones such as the TLM 103 (450g) and the Rode NT2A (860g), it just highlights that the TLM 102 is extremely light. The frequency range of the TLM102 extends from 20Hz to 20kHz (‑3dB) and is nominally flat up to 6kHz before that gentle presence rise kicks in. Mastering Essentials Part 4 - Mastering EQ: Balance, Don’t Match. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. Neumann are making the TLM102 available in both black and nickel finishes. Although the integral pop screen reduces popping from plosives, most singers will still need an external pop shield. On the other hand, the TLM-102 has a self-noise level of 12dB (A). PreSonus StudioLive 32SC Series III Mixing Console. Expressed as a signal‑to‑noise ratio (A‑weighted relative to 94dB SPL), the figure is specified as 82dB. Both are great microphones and produce a lively sound quality in a condenser mic for digital recording. Its sensitivity is somewhat greater (-33 dB as opposed to 102’s -39 dB), and reduced self-noise (7 dBA as opposed to 102’s 12 dBA). One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back! The 5 Best Budget Microphones For Gaming & Streaming, The 10 Best Podcast Microphones For iPhone, Alesis Quadraverb: Everything You Need To Know. What is making my 'kicksnare' mic distort? Q. Win! A standard 48V phantom power source is required. The TLM-103 has a self-noise level of a staggering 7dB (A). Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates & SOS. It may not have all the frills of some of Neumann's upmarket mics, or the free shockmounts and camera cases of many Chinese‑manufactured mics, but it holds its own sonically, and it wouldn't be disgraced in the presence of its costlier siblings. When it comes to the physical aspects of the TLM 102 mic, it weighs in at approximately 210g and is 12.6 cm in length and 5.2 cm in width. The capsule, which looks to be a little under one inch in diameter, sits in an elastic suspension mount to help isolate it from case vibrations, while the grille incorporates a dense pop screen, obscuring the view of the capsule. The value punch on the 102 has been the difference maker for a lot of buyers, but not all.
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