Old 01-11-2011, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default Alternatives to Neumann TLM 103?

Was recently reading somewhere than all the vocals for the first Vampire Weekend album were recorded on a Neumann TLM 103. I really like how the vocals sound but don't have the money to buy one of these mics. Does anyone know of cheaper alternatives that might get me a similar sound, say half the price or less. Of course it will never sound the same but anything it that sort of direction would be great.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #2
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Just emailed you regarding this.

Please check your email and gimme a shout.


Langston Masingale
Sales and Customer Support @ JJ Audio Mics,
JJ Audio Mics Email (Langston/Sales and Customer Support)
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Thanks man, just replied to you there.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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now... how does that help the rest of us?
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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Check his signature, he's emailed him about selling a mic
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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I love this mic in my collection. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...e300s&_sacat=0
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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We have many, MANY TLM 103s in the house. Has never been my favorite mic; it's meant to fill the niche of being a U87 without the switchable patterns but it never really lives up to the hype the 87 in cardioid generates (whether or not that's just hype is for a different thread as is the comparison to between the 87 and the 103).

The 103 is a fine microphone though; however there's really nothing particularly special about it. It's one of the most generic condensers I've ever heard. That's not to say that it doesn't really shine on some sources; for all I know VW auditioned U47s and C800s and SM57s and liked the 103 best for that source; such things happen when one has access to a deep microphone locker. No offense meant to Neumann but the vast majority of fairly generic condensers seem to sound fairly close to the 103, it's really that vanilla (and not that amazing).

You didn't really say what your budget is which could make a big difference; you can get a lot of microphone for $500 but if you're looking more in the $200 range that isn't going to be very compelling to you. I don't think suggesting mics which have worked for me in the past will be very useful; I will instead suggest that you go to some retail center with a decent mic collection (Guitar Center or equivalent) with some kind of portable recording device (maybe a laptop?) and just demo a dozen mics with the actual singer who will be using it. Sure there will be variations of performance etc., it's not a scientific test; but you can take those home and give them a very careful listen and think about what you like and don't like about each of them and how that might factor into that mics usefulness on other tasks. If there is no retail center, maybe a local studio you could book for an hour just to try out a whole bunch of mics quickly. One of the things that low budget mics don't really have is much resale value; it's very hit or miss, we're talking about largely mass produced items which are pretty widely available; the flip side to that is that you now find stores all over the world with a dozen+ mics to try out in your price range.

Last edited by ngarjuna; 07-03-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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