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Hi !

I've been using Behringer B2 mics for 1 year now, and i want to change these for more "professionnal" ones, for voice recording.
Unfortunately, i don't have the opportunity to test gear before i buy :(

So i was thinking about the TLM 103, but i hear many people say the studioprojects mics are really good ones... (especially the tb1)

Is the price difference really justified ?

Can i hope to make serious recording with the tb1?

I'm also looking for a good pair of small diaphragm cardioid condensers to use especially on acoustic guitar, drums overhead, and stereo pair on brass and classical ensemble.

I can't afford a pair of km184 :roll:
so what do you think of the nt5 ? The studio projects C4 ? Someone told me about the oktava mc012, but i can't find it here, in france.

Thanks for your help

F r e d (excuse me for my english )


anonymous Sat, 03/15/2003 - 21:38

I'd highly reccommend buying a pair of Studio Projects B1 large diaphagm condensers. At around $85 each USD, they're amazing mics for very little money. I'd compare them to an original AKG 414, without the hyped top end. They'll be a huge improvement over your Behringer B2s for vocals, acoustic guitar, drum overheads, electric guitar, acoustic piano, and just about anything else you use them on. I own 2 of them and I love them!

3dchris Fri, 03/21/2003 - 10:25

If you can afford it then I highly recommend TLM103. I bought one myself about a week ago and I absolutely love it. Love it, love it, love it. Studio Project mics are ok but with tlm103 you are stepping into professional sound quality. You may not even need to use any eq on vocals! It sits in the mix like I've never heard before. You will hear vocals clearly no matter how loud your music is!!! I never experienced this before. I also heard very good words about Rode NTK. I wish I could test it and compare.

hope this helps


anonymous Sat, 03/22/2003 - 08:44

Thank you for your precious help !
I'm gonna try to test all these stuffs.

But i have another question : do you recommend me to buy a large diaphragm + a pair of small diaph. mics OR 2 large diaph ?

My aim is to record voice, strings, horns in mono and church organ, orchestra etc... in stereo...

What would you recommend me ??


F r e d :c:

anonymous Sat, 03/22/2003 - 15:06

I use a Studio Projects T3 for vocals and went with it over the TLM103 after talking to several people whose opinion I value. The TLM is a good mic and I've heard good things about it, but the T3 is a stronger mic for vocals IMHO. I have used both, and feel very strongly that I made the right decision (for me). Mics are things that people have strong personal opinions about, and I wouldn't spend the cash without trying them for yourself first. As far as a pair for guitar or drum overheads - I wanted the KM184's myself but couldn't swing the price. I bought a pair of Oktava MC012's from the Sound Room and have been very happy with them. Taylor at the SoundRoom is very helpful and tests them carefully. Don't buy a pair from GC or other discount store as they have quality control problems. If you get a pair that work they are hard to beat for the money. I would not recommend trying to use two LD mics for everything. Small diaphram mics are generally a better way to go for acoustic instruments and some of the other things you mention that you want to record. Get one decent large diaphram and two small diaphram mics and you will have more versatility in the long run. Good luck.


lorenzo gerace Sat, 03/22/2003 - 23:11


I'm in the same situation as you about choosing "the" vocal mic, since I'm evaluating both the TLM103 and the NTK, so I can't help you there.

Though for the small dia pair of mics I can offer this advice: the Neumanns KM184 would be my (almost) first choice, but for budget alternatives give the Rode NT 5 a serious listen; they come in a matched pair for stereo applications at a bargain price; there are several positive and negative reviews about them (on this site), and others prefer the Oktava over them (which I don't know so I cannot comment on), but I own a pair and I use them regularly for strings ensembles (as spots or stereo pair) and acoustic guitars, and I'm more than pleased with the results (as are the classical players I work with); sure the Neumanns are a class above, but for a fraction of the price I think the Rode can't be beat.

Hope this helps


anonymous Sun, 03/23/2003 - 05:57

I have a Neumann M149 and some five years back I have had the opportunity to compare it to a TLM103 at the AES where the M149 and TLM103 were standing next to each other in working order.
A Sennheiser HD600 headphone was with each mic.

The M149 sounds a lot more balanced and more natural and of course it should because of its price.

Two weeks ago two MXL mics were sent to my place, the V69 and V77, both tube mics.

The V77 comes close to the Neumann M149 and I've seen it for $329.95.

I've recorded vocals and woodwinds with it and with great results.

anonymous Mon, 03/24/2003 - 05:17

I've not used the NTK, but I have used every one of the other mics mentioned, the AKG, AT's, Neumann, and SP mics ... I would pick a SP C-3 over the Neumann, for all around use, as sad as that may seem to say (for Neumann, great for SP). Lawson makes a great mic also, but the price tag is above where you'd like to go from what I'm understanding.
There is nothing like having a long list of Neumann's and an SSL console to help bring clients in.. however, this may not be the driving force for your purchase. There are some Neumann's that are breath taking, but the TLM is not one of them, to me.
I would suggest the AT 4060, 4050, or 4047, the SP C-3 and it's tube version. my 2 cents, from my experience.

anonymous Mon, 03/24/2003 - 11:03

I've had an NTK for a little over a month now. I love it. It does an exceptional job on vocals and electric guitar. It also has done a pretty remarkable job on acoustic guitar and dobro. As previously mentioned, it has a warmth and prominence that really makes it sit nicely in a mix while also standing out (if that makes sense). I can't think of another mic in it's price range that compares. It's a real steal at 5 centuries.

anonymous Mon, 03/24/2003 - 12:24

Hey Kevin (mixman haha)

Bro I can't believe you are using your real name on here now. That's funny, you know what I'm saying, haha. I haven't been on in a while, been waaaay busy. I've been hearing your name a lot around the label junkies and by the A/R dicks. I see you are farming out your studio talents again. From what I'm hearing we may be working on a project together. That would be way cool. Tried of the live sound road thing? BTW, i'm over in your neck of the woods again. I'll be here for around 3 weeks then on to Smashville, lol. I'll call you at the office on your 800 dime, ha.

Later Cat,


anonymous Mon, 03/24/2003 - 17:28

Kevin .. not trying to get into a huge deal here, but, speaking as a drummer and engineer, I think it's time to think outside the idea of small condensers for overheads. Try finding a large condenser that works well on overheads .. U-series Neumanns .. and then try to find if there is something else out there now that might give some similar results (and there are). There is magic in getting a nice big tom sound in the overheads .. accoustic guitar, I'll go for either.

What mics might you suggest for stand up bass, and in what kind of set-up?

anonymous Tue, 03/25/2003 - 11:44

Kevin ... hey man,I'm on your side! The idea of using certain mics is fine, point being that I've used, as I'm sure you have, small condensers on overheads, and they have their place, and they work. I already know how to mic stand up bass, which I'll keep quiet on now, but I would not use what you suggested .. for the sound I know as bass. That was and is my only point, try whatever, but don't lock options out, if you have not tried them. Yes, the combo you suggested would give Fred some flexability, I was simply trying to offer an alternative. I'm truly sorry if that offended you in some fashion .. just a suggestion, nothing more, nothing intended.

anonymous Wed, 03/26/2003 - 05:39

Kevin KSS is easier and fine anytime by me! I would add here that the stand up has, to me, had the widest array of issues tracking since the power of the player, the wood, strings etc make up for more than normal problems I've run into with stringed instruments .. and Kevin you asked me to share my bass trick .. so here it is: it’s not a gimick thing like the needle, but it does stand up every time (no pun intended!) .. it’s a Van Gelder sound, which to me works. for the stand up.. I have found a nice way to do this .. get your best low end response large condenser, place it looking just below the end of the fingerboard, perhaps @1-1/2 to 2' away, dead center, take your next best condenser, place it directly behind the first, up about the top of the fingerboard, and back another 1-1/2 to 2' behind the 1st mic. In my case this was the Lawson L-47MP up front, and a Akg 414 in the back. Play with one at omni and the other at cardiod. Try it, you'll be in for a very nice surprise and next to no eq, add a nice comp and enjoy.

I guess I'm on my own wave length as usuall!

anonymous Tue, 04/15/2003 - 19:23

Originally posted by fred83:
I've been using Behringer B2 mics
So i was thinking about the tlm103,

Of course the TLM103's price is justified.
To some people. I'd suggest you get the
SP C1, which goes for $200, and try it.
If you love it, you're done. And you'll
have money left over for either something
like the MXL's that Harvey Gerst likes.
or part of the cost of a nice mic preamp
like an FMR RNP.

If later on, you decide you don't like the C1
enough, you can sell it on ebay, probably
for $120 or more. So you are really just
renting it.

You should be able to get the oktava's from They are lots cheaper than
the Neumanns. I love my KM184s, but
a pair cost about a grand.

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