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Sound Quality


General Comments

I feel the tlm 103 is a rather under rated mic in the pro audio supremist type of community. What astounds me is that EVERY SINGLE RECORDING STUDIO I've worked in over the past 6 or 7 years has owned at least 1 tlm 103 in the sessions I've done, and in almost every one of these sessions they pulled out a tlm 103 and used it on something vital to the mix, whether it be vocals, room, drums (toms etc), amp cab, or strings or sax. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking this is mic is looked down upon by anyone other than the few loud mouths who feel that everything made by neumann in the last 10 years is junk compared to vintage neumann microphones. This is an amazing mic, I use it on violin, sax, and lead vocals ALL the time and it's my money maker. At any price I would still take it over many other more expensive mics, I prefer it to the U87 (this isn't 1967 any more, we need low noise, clean crystal treble and still want that neumann velvety sheen right? THIS is the mic that provides that!). THis mic has a ton of character while remaining very clear and flat/smooth over it's range other than the fact that from 5khz up it's about 4db hotter than the lower part of it's range. GREAT vocal mic, GREAT sax, Good string mic, GREAT amp mic, GREAT tom mic. Goto for all of those things, although for violin sometimes I prefer to use an RCA ribbon or something similar.


At $600 used or $1300 new it's a great value, just get one (or more) and use them. Don't be influenced by poor judges of microphones who live in the past... this is THE greatest achievement and best built mic to come out at this price point until the competitors started trying to match it. The major competitor, Gefell, made the 930 to beat this tlm103. I actually own both. The gefell 930 is missing the charm, velvety magic of the tlm103. the gefell is NOT as good a vocal mic, NOT as good a sax mic, period. It's equal on toms etc, and it is smaller which is neat, but not important in most situations. For the money, get a tlm103 over a gefell 930.

Reviewer's Background

Pro session musician, recording engineer and own/operate a small studio. Own gear like API/focusrite pres, drawmer/focusrite/dbx 160 compressors, and mics by gefell, sennheiser, shure, Audio Technica, Neumann, AKG, CAD, Peavey, EV, and more. 40 years old, pro musician entire life, two degress in music performance, not a spring chicken here.

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