Electric Guitar – With both mics just inches off of the speaker, directly on-axis, both handled the extreme SPL. You can also call us toll free at (800) 222-4700, Mon-Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, and Sat 9-7 Eastern. There was more kick leakage with the 103, but more hi-hat leakage with the 451. Sweetwater Sales Engineers help you buy music gear with confidence. Neumann TLM 103 This large diaphragm condenser was first introduced in 1995 as an affordable option to the U87, with its K103 diaphragm based on the K87 diaphragm, although the 103 is transformer-less and cardioid-only, unlike its fully-featured big brother. If these two proven, classic condenser mics were the only choices, could they mic a whole band? The TLM 103 Anniversary is a great mic for any pro or project studio use and, due to its minimal self-noise, it's been used for classical recordings with a wide dynamic range, sampling (especially for very low amplitude sources), and Foley work. Happy customers, one piece of gear at a time! By Rob Tavaglione If these two proven, classic condenser mics—the Neumann TLM 103 and AKG C 451 EB—were the only choices available, could they mic the whole band? I own a number of 451s, but chose to use a 451 EB body which has two levels of high-pass filter (75 or 150 Hz), no built-in pad (some EB models had switchable -10 and -20 dB pads) and typically a CK-1 cardioid capsule (I also tried a CK-2 omni capsule on a couple of tests). Drum Overhead – The 103 had a complete full sound, with plenty of low-mid thickness, but a little 400-ish honk. A quick look at the circuit board reveals a mixture of through hole and surface mounted components. Classic design for transparent sound Issue #30 . Male Vocals – From about 6” out with a Stedman pop filter and no compression, the 103 sounded complete from chest to lip, with ample 250-ish low-mids and a touch of mid-honk. Studio Microphone. Not sure what to get started with? Also available as a single TLM 103 mic with a wooden box and stand mount or in matte black finish. Both are condensers, and despite that being their only similarity, they both deliver plenty of punch, great dynamics, usable frequency response and the ability to grab a high-quality track regardless of the source. Both had a totally legit bass sound after EQ that was more powerful than a DI typically captures. The 103 had the low-mid power, but the 451 had really natural upper-mids and a little more sparkle. Neumann TLM 103. Some of these applications wouldn’t exactly be considered “recommended” ones for these mics, but that’s kind of the point here—to objectively give every task a shot and see just how much value can be milked out of these “must have” staples. Many of our DJ’s have them in their home studios too. Both could fit into a drum mix effortlessly; it depends on what you’re looking for. How do they directly compare to each other with a neutral signal path, no signal processing, no pre-conceptions and no hype? How does each timeless studio microphone directly compare to the other with a neutral signal path, no signal processing, no pre-conceptions and no hype? As with traditional transformers, it ensures good common mode rejection, and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal. The TLM 103 is available in satin nickel and matte black. Both had about equal off-axis pickup, with the response on the 103 sounding a little more subdued and smoother, even if the 451 off-axis tone was flatter. TLM 67. Overall, I preferred the 103, against convention. Have a guest performer coming in with a mystery instrument? Some say the 451 is too bland—that it sounds ok on everything yet superb on nothing. Introduced in the late 1970s and discontinued in 1994, the 451 in its various iterations is one of the most popular and utilitarian mics of al- time. As it is capable of handling sound pressure levels up to 138dB without distortion, the TLM 103 provides a dynamic range of 131dB (A-weighted). The Neumann TLM 103 sounded thumpy and defined, but had this pronounced shell honk at 350-ish. , The letters TLM stand for "transformerless microphone". 1 Customer . Male VO – From about 4” out, where proximity effect just started to really completely fill-out, both mics were just slightly off-axis, where high-end nastiness and mouth clicks diminished. None of Neumann’s TLM mics features a transformer, so balancing the low impedance, output is achieved electronically. What the Critics Say: Just check the internet for legions of critics who hate the excessive high-end, sterility and crispness of the 103. Mounted inside, on-axis with the beater, about 8” out. Tags ⋅ AKG ⋅ AKG C 451 EB ⋅ classic microphone ⋅ head to head ⋅ Microphone ⋅ miking a band ⋅ Neumann ⋅ Recording ⋅ TLM 103. It's ideal for smooth vocals. Our expertly trained Sales Engineers are ready to help! I sought to test out each mic in all the typical applications for recording your typical (large) band with drum. This is responsible for the fuller low-end response achieved by the TLM-103.