Hate my new TLM103

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by WRX07, Sep 7, 2005.

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  1. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    I bought a brand new Neumann TLM103 from Guitar Center a little over a week ago and I really really don't like it. I bought it on GC's no payment for a year plan so it's not even paid off and I already hate it. They also have a no return policy on mics- so what should I do? I've used it as a room mic for electric guitar, for lead male vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, and I'm just really not likin' it...
  2. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    My first recommendation...and I suppose it's a little late for this...would be to not buy from a retailer with a stupid policy like that. I can see it for things like in-ear monitors, breath controllers and maybe even headphones and handheld microphones, but high-end studio microphones? Come on.

    If you go back, speak with a manager, and insist that you will take all future business elsewhere if they don't take the microphone back you may be able to make some headway. Perhaps just an exchange for credit or something.

  3. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    what pre are you using

    for the price it's one of the best mics out there.... and has a smoother hi end than most.....

    good idea to use it with a tube pre though
  4. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
    Pacific Palisades, CA
    Home Page:
    What was your previous mic? What do you hate about the TLM?
    You could have saved $800 and got an Audio Technica 3035. We compared the TLM with the 3035 on vocals and couldn't hear any difference. I use both mics for recording stereo sound effects and can't tell any difference.
  5. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    There is definitely a difference between the two. There may well be times when the 3035 is a better choice, but they most assuredly do sound different.

  6. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    I have an AT3035 and I like it a lot more than the Neumann(greatest mic I've gotten for the money). Its a lot smoother. This was my first "nice" microphone. I have:
    Shure SM57(2)
    Shure SM58
    Studio Projects C1
    AKG C1000
    Shure SM81(2)
    AKG D112
    Audio Technica ATM25
    Sennheiser MD421(3)
    Audio Technica 3035
    Sennheiser E609
    Royer R-121
    Rode NT-2(also not very cool but I picked it up on ebay for cheap, so eh)
    I ran the Neumann through a GR MP-2NV, UA 2-610, and a Vintech X73i. When used as a room mic from 25 feet away or so it was OK on drums. Not very cool on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or male vocals. It had too much bass and I had to de-ess pretty heavily on the vocals. The GC store manager was a real dick so I'm going to have to sell it myself. I'm hoping to get $900 for the mic and the Neumann shockmount and just eat the $200.
  7. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    Sorry to say, you may be eating more than $200. These are only going for $600 or slighly more on ebay and have been for years. This mic is one of the great rip offs in my estimate that is available. It's list price is around $1000 yet its resale value 5 minutes after you leave the store is $350-$400 less.

    I had a pair I picked up for $430 each and even though I got a great deal, I sold them right away because of they just don't work on a lot of sources. Mine kept sitting around and my less expensive mics got more use.

    I would have suggested a better preamp but it looks like you have all the iron necessary to give the mic a chance at success. I came to the same conclusion as you.
  8. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I just returned one of my two audix d6's to GC. Kept it all they way til the last day I could and returned it, they didn't ask a single question and put a check in my hand for the full amount. Call the store manager and tell him your situation, you never know.
  9. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    Tell the store manager your mom is trapped on a rooftop in New Orleans and you need the money to rent a helicopter and get her out.

    If he says no, picket in front of the store with a big sign that says, "THIS GUITAR CENTER MANAGER LET MY MOTHER DIE ON A ROOFTOP IN NEW ORLEANS!!"

    Have someone take pictures of you. Then post them on this forum.

  10. agent002

    agent002 Guest


  11. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    not funny.....
  12. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Not even a little bit...
  13. AcousTronic

    AcousTronic Guest

    Very bad taste in humor... I usually love the "shocking" humor that makes people take a step back, but THAT is not a joking situation!!
    Now, say your sorry, and lets get on with the thread.

    I like what I'm reading about the 3035. I may have to check it out as an alternative "go to" mic for my acoustic guitars!
  14. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    The TLM-103 shouldn't be that bad. This is a difficult one....

    What is your environment like? If your room is not acoustically treated the TLM-103 will sound terrible. With the AT3035 you can get away with more. If you stand back far enough so that proximity effect won't overwhelm your recordings, and you are picking up a lot of room sound that you don't like, you will find it difficult to get a decent result. You can get in closer with the AT, so it seems more forgiving. That's just one possibility.

    Of course you might have a great studio, and just dislike your TLM-103.

    Sorry to hear that your experience of the mic has been so disappointing. I hope you have better luck with your next purchase :cool:

    John Stafford
  15. Sinesis

    Sinesis Guest

    hey.. i was interested in buying the tlm103.. currently got Røde NT2 and want a step up in sound quality... but now i'm reconsidering.. do you have any sound clips recorded with the mic unprocessed that you can share with us?
  16. Zoltar8814

    Zoltar8814 Guest

    Phuk ewe (0). Not funny!!
  17. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I've returned mics to GC at least a couple of times. As long as there's no lipstick, beer stink, or dorito chucks, I think you'll be OK.
  18. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Acoustronic wrote:

    The 3035 has been an amazingly dependable mic for me. I especially like it on female vocals, some male vocals, electric guitar amps, tenor sax, trombone.....the list goes on & on.
  19. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    The guy I usually go to at GC said that he could exchange the mic for a different one, but can't give me a refund or store credit. I really really want a Soundeluxe U195 but they said there's no way they could get it.

    The "Pro Audio" manager also tried to sell me a C414 or a Kiwi for like fifteen minutes. He kept saying they could do a shootoout between the mics but he couldn't give me a refund. Totally sleazy salesman.
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You might like the Kiwi. Also, doesnt the Banjo Barn also carry Rode? K2. Or perhaps an EVRE20 and a 421 Senn.....should be pretty close to an even swap....(edit)...I see you have 421's...How about a couple of KM184's..A great compliment to your SM81's.. Have you tried a KSM44? Great Mic. On everything. Really solid through the Great River stuff. A really good mic is the KM105 Neumann. Really really good.You might find your self using this as a tracking mic through your pre selection......BTW I cant imagine a TLM103 being 'bassy'....or any of the TLM's......

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