What has the Neumann brand learned since being in business since 1928? It’s the most diminutive of the range (just), and weighs in at a modest 210g, and measures 12 cm long with a diameter of 5 cm, but still feels every bit the heavyweight Neumann in feel and is very solid indeed, despite its lack of size. Self noise is respectably low at 12 dB-A, and sensitivity is very reasonable at 11mV/Pa at 1KHz into 1Kohm. On the other hand, Neumann TLM 102 is relatively more compact and lightweight, with a diameter of 52 mm and length of 116 mm. Mike Aiton was weaned at the BBC in the 80s, but after breaking free 30 years ago and becoming a senior mixer at Molinare, he ran several London post-production sound departments. Aimed at where the neck meets the body on a Martin D-15, the TLM 102 sounded gorgeous, providing a full, natural sound with a present top end that was not hyped or etched. Please let us know! It is still comfortingly able to withstand up to 144dB SPL with only 0.5% distortion, so that should be your drums, guitar amps and any of ‘the brass faculty’ nonsense taken care of then. Electronic Musician, 2010 [T]he Neumann [TLM102] excelled on close-miked electric guitar amp, yielding an exemplary in-your-face sound. It’s slightly larger than the 102, and comes in at 13cm with a 6cm diameter, and tips the scales at 450g (over twice the weight of the TLM 102). Microphone distances were kept very constant. The mic’s uncolored response and presence boost at 6kHz makes it suitable for broadcast use as well. © 2009-2018 The TLM 102 received a TEC award in 2010. All Rights Reserved. Neumann TLM 102 is available in two finish options, which are matte black and nickel. On first sight, the mic’s diminutive size is surprising. The TLM 102 [is] sensitive to wind or structure-borne noise… [T]he mic easily picked up foot-tapping sounds through the mic stand. The Babyface Pro... Get all latest content delivered straight to your inbox. It features the standard omni, cardioid and figure of eight patterns, but also the in between patterns of wide-angle cardioid, and hypercardioid. In the third of our USB Audio Interface reviews, Phil takes us through the RME Babyface Pro. In addition, we liked the 102’s low-end response when miking electric bass amps. Cardioid The capsule and the entire internal construction is elastically mounted so that the frequency response can reach 20Hz without colouration. The capsule in the TLM 102 is a new design. Other than that, the Neumann TLM-102 has a much narrower boost in the high-frequencies compared to the Neumann TLM-103. No obvious physical flaws here then. The U87ai is often cited as ‘the voice over microphone’, ‘the go-to singer’s microphone’, or ‘the best orchestral spot microphone’, and is even many people’s default piano microphone. The range starts with the ‘most affordable’, the TLM 102. The TLM 102 is a new compact FET condenser microphone, released at the AES show in October, 2009. Lets go through the range of microphones I tested. I used it with the optional Neumann elastic studio shock mount to reduce any rumble due to the lack of an onboard internal physical filter (thank you Richard at ESV for thoughtfully sending one!). Don’t be shy as there is no right and wrong – only opinion, and yours is valid! The TLM 102 received a TEC award in 2010. These are impressive stats, but what is the frequency response like? It could be argued that a flatter response is desired, however, again, there are too many variables that go into this assumption, for example: Certain vocals work better in different microphones. The U87 has now grown some younger siblings, so what is it about the U87 that made it so successful?, and what do the rest of this new family bring to the party? Next up the line is the infamous TLM 103, one of Neumann’s best selling microphones. Eastwood (Sound and Vision) Ltd. The presence peak is wider and flatter, but slightly more elevated than the TLM 102. This version doesn’t however have a battery compartment as every mixer (and their dog) can supply phantom power these days. It is shorter than an SM57. Listening can be done here for the Cello recording on soundcloud: Listening can be done here for the Male Voice Over recording on soundcloud: or you can download the Pro Tools session and listen to the 24bit 48KHz original recordings here. I still think I would always use a pop filter. It’s Razor flat but with a presence peak starting to lift at 3kHz, but about 5dB up and flat from 6kHz to about 15kHz. It is not a great choice for super loud sound duty and care may have to be exercised. In fact, the frequency-response graphs of the two mics are nearly identical. The U87 measures 20cm, with a 5.6cm diameter, and weighs in at a hefty 500g. It’s the first Neumann microphone with an edge terminated capsule (like an AKG 414), which apparently reduces the sensitivity to dust and humidity and can increase diaphragm life. The self noise is very low at 7dB-A (I think the lowest I have ever seen on the market?) Compared to the sibling, Neumann TLM 102 is smaller and lighter. The weight is very similar to a TLM 103 at 445g. It’s a bit like if you mated a Neumann with an ipod, ‘mechanical class meets engineering innovation’? So…read part 1 of the full review below, listen to the sound clips and be sure to vote for your favourite! Further details are forthcoming. It is a large-diaphragm, transformerless capacitor microphone with a fixed-cardioid polar pattern. To test the family out I recorded several sources: The mics were plugged into a Focusrite ISA One mic amp and then into an Avid Pro Tools HD via an Avid Omni A to D at 24bit, 48KHz. Neumann also claim the grill mesh is acoustically optimised to reduce pop sounds. Did we get anything wrong on this page? Price Match: ESV will not be beaten on price and to ensure this they offer a Price Match Guarantee*. Why risk? To make this a fun test and to find out what the readers think, I have made this a blind test, with five microphone recordings to listen for in each category. Please listen on your best headphones or on as good monitoring as you can to be able to give your opinion. The most recent addition to this line, and the most affordable Neumann studio vocal mic yet, is the TLM102 reviewed here. The original U87 was built so long as it housed a battery compartment to compensate for situations where 48v phantom power wasn’t available. When it comes to handling and ease of placement, Neumann TLM 102 has the better edge here than Rode NTK. Polar patterns are adjusted by toggling it up and down, to the right to set the pad (flat, -6 dB, or -12 dB), and to the left to set the low cut (linear, 40 Hz and 100 Hz). At my Twickenham studio, Mikerophonics, I have been feasting on a spread of some of Berlin’s finest Teutonic studio microphones from the house of Neumann (now part of the Sennheiser Group). Hire: ESV also offer an extensive range of Neumann microphones for rental just drop them a line for more info: 0203 137 2901 / [email protected]. Due to the mic’s ability to handle 144dB, Neumann positions the mic as suitable for loud sources such as percussion and amplifiers. There is also a bass roll off switch which rolls off LF from about 500Hz down, so is used to mitigate the proximity effect when VERY close to the mic in cardioid mode. The TLM 102 is based on a new edge terminated diaphragm design and, as part of its “no-frills” simplistic design brief; it has no pad or filter switches available. It’s available in either satin black finish (for the slightly aesthetically challenged) or classic nickel (for the discerning studio cognoscenti), and comes in a wooden box with a solid stand mount. The most visible innovation on this microphone is the clever use of a joystick control to adjust settings. No compression or EQ was used in the recordings. A slight boost above 6 kHz should provide for excellent presence with voices in an overall mix and add air (or detail) with instruments. The most ubiquitous studio microphone in the world, the U87ai is an award winning large dual diaphragm microphone with three patterns, Omni, Cardioid and Figure of Eight. The M930 beats the TLM 102 in its self-noise rating (6 dBA vs. 12dBA) and sensitivity (23 mV/Pa vs. 11 mV/Pa), albeit at a street price that is 70% higher. Here at ESV we’ve once again enlisted Mike Aiton to conduct an independent review; this time its the turn of a selection of Neumann microphones. ‘The Family’ of German Studio Microphones – Part One. I also recorded my AKG 414 B-ULS (in cardioid) as a reference (my standard in-house microphone here at Mikerophonics), as it is a very well known sound to many.