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Neumann TLM 102-103

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Gpp, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member


    I am going to buy a microphone for the voice, just have to choose between Neumann's TLM 102 and TLM 103.
    Any suggestion?
    Are them suitable also to record brass instruments, or the TLM 107 would be better?

    Thank you.

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Both are Neumann's, both are very good mics. Both are cardioid only, no frills - no pads, pattern options or HPF's.
    Both have frequency responses of 20hz to 20khz.

    The TLM 103 has a +4db presence boost around 4k and continues on at that level up through around 14k.

    The TLM 102 has a slight presence bump at 6k, where it ramps up to +4db around 10k, and then starts to roll off again around 12k.

    Both will take healthy SPL's, the 102 specs show 144db, where the 103 shows 138db.

    The 103 utilizes a K103 diaphragm, which is a close derivative of the original K12 capsule, which was what came with U 87's.

    Where specs are a good thing to look at, it's more than just about the specs. You need to determine which is best for you, based on what you want to do. I don't think you'd be unhappy with either of them, neither has transformers or valves, so they'll both give you a fairly transparent sound up through the highs.

    Although, it's important to ask here - What preamp / audio i-o are you planning on using with this mic? There's no point in buying an expensive hi quality mic like this if you're planning on using it with a cheap, low budget mic preamp, because you'll never get the mic to sound how it's truly meant to sound.

    Personally speaking, (but depending on the answer to the above question regarding preamps) I believe I'd choose the 107... I think it's a nicer mic, with more features - it has selectable pads, HPF's, and 5 different pickup patterns, which can prove to be very useful if you are considering recording small brass sections, using either the Omni or Fig 8 patterns. Built-in HPF's and input pads are also nice features to have.

  3. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member

    Hello Donny,

    thank you for the help.
    I have a Fireface UCX sound card and I am going to buy a Focusrite ISA 428 MKII. What do you think?
    When you say that you'd choose the 107 you mean to recording brass instruments or also to recording a voice, instead of 102-103 mics?

    May I ask tips about which brand of microphone's cables to buy or I have to post the question somewhere else?
    I can select between Cordial, Adam Hall, Pro Snake, Sommer Cable and Van Damme.


  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The TLM 107 seems like a nice mic specially with the led indicators and nice selector. If I could spare 1700$ and an extra 270 for the shockmount, I'd go for it.
    But what :eek: 1700$ and no shockmout ?? I don't get that strategy from Neuman. Would you buy a 250 000$ Lamborgini without wheels ?
    I guess offering highend gear also mean they could do has they please...

    Ok back on track !

    The ISA, I consider the most affordable preamps ($ per channel) that I would consider high-end. They sound good on many applications while not being the best out there. (compared to millennia, grace and others.
    I use them mainly on drums and guitar and I have no doubt they could sound very good on brass because of their fast dynamics and solid mid range. (I own 2 ISA two)
    I nearly bought a ISA428 because it has great features, including 8 channel ADAT converters.(optional) Which let you enter an audio interface without using its preamps and risking undermining the quality. Of course, the interface needs to have ADAT.

    A nice condenser is a good choice for brass, but my initial approach would be to throw a ribbon as well in the equation and combine both signals in the mix.
    But hey, that's just me ! ;)
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The 102 is a great all around mic, and a good buy for the money. The 103 is overpriced for what it is and not a particularly nice (or bad) mic. The 1k price range is an odd one, and there's a lot of excellent options. The 103 is run of the mill at best relative to its competition. The 102 outshines in a fairly crowded price range, and exceeds its price by far, and IMHO smokes it's older more expensive sibling.

    102 worth it. 103, you can do better, much better.
  6. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member

    Thank to all of you for the help.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Please let us know what you decide, and what your thoughts are on it. This will be of great worth to those who are doing a search on this same topic in the future.
  8. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

    I´m not a fan of either Neumann. Esp. the TLM102 doesn´t take EQ very well IME. I´d go for a used Microtech Gefell MV692+M71 in this pricerange.
  9. John Willett

    John Willett Active Member

    The Gefell M930 is also well worth looking at and the M930Ts is the same mic. but with a transformer output (and Gefell is still owned by the company that Georg Neumann started in 1928).
    Chris likes this.
  10. Gpp

    Gpp Active Member

    Hello, finally I have bought a Neumann TLM 102. A tried the TLM 103 and liked it, I need a mic for the voice above all and read that the 102 is more specific for it, so I choose the 102,, that is also closer to my budget. I also bought a Neumann KM184 MT Stereo Set Bundle after having tested them on my violin, passing by the Focusrite ISA 428 MKII that now lies on my desk as well.
    Thank to all of you for your enlightening contributions.
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Good for you!! ;) How different the 428 sounds from what you used before ?
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Awsome purchases man! Hope you like them!
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Good for you. You've purchased quality mics and a preamp that will last you a lifetime and serve you very nicely in a multitude of ways. ;)

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