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I hope I am asking in the right place, its been a while since I was here and its all changed!


As the title says, I am looking to get a new mic (well second-hand) and I am looking at both the Neumann TLM 103 and the TLM193.

I want a mic to do vocals anywhere from heavy rock to almost operatic. I would also like to use it for acoustic guitar and maybe violin, but these are less important than vocals.

Of course if you can recommend a better mic in the same price range then that would be great!

At the moment my main vocal mic is an Audio-Technica AT3035, so this is going to be quite a step up.

Also if anyone remembers, I was asking about monitors a while back and I ended up getting a pair of PMC AML1's and they are frickkin' awesome!



AudioGaff Wed, 04/14/2004 - 20:08

These days there are many mics to choose from that could fit your criteria. As an owner and user of the TLM103, I find that it is a good mic that is also often the right mic for certain vocals and acoustic guitar. The TLM103 does seem to be one of those mics that needs to be matched to the right preamp for the overall tone you are after.

anonymous Thu, 04/15/2004 - 00:11

TLM103 or TLM193


The TLM 193 is an excellent mike for everything you need. It's been my partner for years now, doing anything from voice over and foley recordings to music. I can remember recording all kind of guitars and amps, trumpet, tenor saxophone, even flutes... i've used it for drums overheads and various percussions. I've done some contemporary opera work too with satisfying results and all kind of singing.
I have enlarged my mic collection little by little. I spent my money on dynamic mics because the price of german condenser mics, and because I figured our very quickly that if I wanted more flavors and the ability to work with several sound sources at a time, it was the way to go. Not to mention how much you learn by trying very different mics on the same instrument.
I did buy a TLM 103 but sold it quickly. When compared to the 193 it sounded brighter (I thought better). The difference comes when you start sculpting your sound during the mix. With more extreme settings, the 193 wins every time. It retains the essential of the sound (kind of hard to describe for me, english is not my first language) and does not get dirty or unusable. Also they were different microphones, but no that much...
I've hated the 193 for using it so much, wishing I had a "better" mic, but still find myself surprised at what it can do with the right placement, pre, eq, compressor,....
Amazing how good it sound with a great guitar player on a decent guitar and how crapy it is with a bad one. You see what I mean?

Also, there's so much choice out there that you've got to try something else too! the tlm 103 and the 193 are pretty close to e/o in terms of directivity, sensitivity, self noise,.... How about a figure of eight (like a ribbon mike) you get a different flavor plus the ability to do MS stereo recordings. Do you at least have SM57?
Keep in mind that Neumanns are more expensive, but like Mercedes car, it does not loose so much value over time, should you want to sell it...

Have fun,


Tenson Thu, 04/15/2004 - 09:18

Okay well I am more inclined to go for the TLM193 because from looking at the new prices, they are more expensive than the TLM103. The two I am looking at are about the same price s/h so I guess it will mean I can make my money back better if I want to sell it on.

My other mics are an SM57, and a Behringer ECM8000. I will be selling the AT3035 to fund the Neumann. Also I'm planning to get another ECM8000 for stereo recording and also a cheap, large diaphragm condenser mic to do things like guitars while the TLM193 is doing vocals.


Tenson Thu, 04/15/2004 - 12:02

Well maybe you are right, especially if I am planning to get a cheap condenser later on anyway.

Can I ask, why do a lot of people dislike Audio Technica? I have spoken to a fair number of people who really don't care for them. Personally, I have never found the AT3035 to be at all bad considering the price.

dabmeister music Thu, 04/15/2004 - 12:49

I own a AT4033 & 3035. I think Audio-technica was one of the first companies to offer us budget minded folk a good all purpose mic to use when we could'nt afford a Neumann or an AKG back in the day. A good craftsman will stock himself with a decent set of tools to do what he can do best. The same applies with gear. Start stocking your mic cabinet, you won't regret it.

sdevino Fri, 04/16/2004 - 03:51

I have to say I don't think either of these mics is really general purpose. The 193 maybe, but the 103 is great on specific things or people with specific preamps. Violins and acoustic guitars call for a really accurate small diaphragm IMO. Operatic singers need space and a ribbon or the most expensive high end condensor you ever saw (like a Brauner VMA). On the other hand some opera singers sound best with a dynamic (i/e/ sm58). But Big powerful "clean" vocals will not be easy to achive with a LD condensor mic.

Acoustic gtr can be pretty good as long as you can put the mic into omni or figure 8. You might want to check out the Shure KSM 44. I have that plus a TLM103 and a U87, the Shure wins the mic shootout 90% of the time. It also comes with a spider shock mount and is multipattern for less money than the TLM103. (street price is about $699 in the US).



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