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Neumann TLM 103 Studio Microphone

Neumann TLM 103 Studio Microphone

A go-to large-diaphragm condenser with a fixed-cardioid capsule based on the famed Neumann U87, the TLM 103 delivers detailed sound with extremely low noise.

Overall User Ratings (based on 115 ratings)
Overall:
Sound:
Features:
Ease of Use:
Quality:
Value:
Manufacturer Support:
The Wow Factor:
Overall:
(115)
Submitted September 19, 2011 by a customer from suite224.net
"Lives up to the reputation!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This is going to be my primary VO microphone for many years to come. If I should decide to upgrade further, I have no doubt that I can get the majority of my money back out of it.
Sound
I have several other microphones that I've been working with for voiceover and podcast work, an RE20, MXL990 and a Rode NT1-A. It's like someone saying, "my brand is just as good as Neumann". They aren't, nor should the other mics be considered in the same class, and now I know why first hand. Since I can't afford the $3,000 mics, this "low end" mic was the next step in the evolution of mic purchases. Right after hooking it up and placing the headphones on, I could tell there was a huge difference right away. I've heard some reviewers say that this mic is very sensitive. My impression was that it was sensitive but extremely quiet. I didn't get all the background noise that I expected to hear. It was extremely clean and pleasant. Reproduction was incredible. This is a mic that you should target if its in your budget.
Features
Plug and play. No other features present and not really needed.
Ease of Use
Again, plug and play.
Quality
You just know that this is a mic set apart from the others, from the wood case to the weight of the mic compared to others. It exudes quality by look and feel, even before you start using it.
Value
For a home studio, don't bother wasting your time with anything else. If you want a true recording instrument, this is it!
Musical Background:
Voiceover artist
Musical Style:
Voice
26 of 26 people (100%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted January 9, 2016 by ANGELO SHELTON in CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ
"OUTSTANDING"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
To my good folks and Zzounds, you are truly a staple in the business. thank for my most recent purchase....this TLM103 is an absolutely amazing Mic at this price point. I all of my years i have not heard anything stand close to this level of quality at this price.. INDEED REMARKABLE...
Musical Background:
25 YEARS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY; MOVIE CREDITS, LIVE STAGE THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS,STUIDO OWNER, PRODUCER, ENGINEER
Musical Style:
R&B, ROCK, HIP HOP, BLUES, GOSPEL, ACOUSTIC, CLASSICAL, JAZZ...
5 of 5 people (100%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted January 2, 2018 by JOSE ORTEGA in Lowell, MA
"So far so good"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
My last mic was a blue spark mic which was nice but going to this mic is a whole new experience I also replaced my focusrite 2i2 and bought an Audient14 and I am just blown away how great my music is sounding.If you take your music serious you need to get this mic you wont regret it. https://soundcloud.com/mrforgiven
Musical Background:
Recording artist for over 20 years and producer for about 12
Musical Style:
Hip hop,Reggaeton,Dancehall,Gospel etc
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Submitted February 7, 2008 by a customer from norins.com
"ITSA NEUMANN, I'm good."
You all know its true. Sour grapes takes 2nd place.
Sound
After buying and trying a bunch of mic's, I decided to "go for the gold" and purchase a Neumann. Instantly impressed the very first time I recorded vocals with it. Head and shoulders above anything else in my mike cabinet. Not just an improvement, a quantum leap.
Features
Give me a switch or two. Whatever. If you have decent preamp and workstation software, why mess with the sound at the source?
Ease of Use
Couldn't be simpler. True plug and play.
Quality
Simply outstanding. Don't drop it or scratch it. Surprise?
Value
It's expensive. You are buying a name, a reputation and a legacy.
Manufacturer Support
No idea. Build well to last.
The Wow Factor
I bought it - 'nuff said.
Musical Background:
Serious a cappella vocalist
Musical Style:
Serious a cappella vocals
17 of 19 people (89%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted January 12, 2004 by a customer from mailexcite.com
"A Neumann? You can't miss"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Sound
For under a grand, you can't get any better. They hold there value and are very clean and quiet
Features
As a Neumann, it sounds really good. That is it's best feature. I have other Neumanns, KM184's and an M149 and still find niches for this little cardoid
Quality
The only thing that is weak is the plastic holder, but I use the suspension so it doesn't matter
Value
Don't waste your money trying to save a buck on a some little toad. Buy a Neumann.
Manufacturer Support
Check out the Neumann pinboard.
The Wow Factor
Buy one now.
Musical Style:
Christian
7 of 8 people (88%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Submitted April 12, 2006 by a customer from eskimo.com
"Better than my best instrument, and lets me be my own remarkable engineer..."
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
You know, I have looked for a better product, mostly because I like finding out about new gear. Sadly, I have not been able to find better mike for under multiple thousands of dollars (I say Sadly because I love buying new gear, but I also love the wisdom of a choice that has saved me time, increased my value as a muscian over several years). Best for my purposes would be C12, but that's out of my league. These are that, but they didn't cost 6K a piece, either.
Sound
Detailed, spot on, full and round with harmonics from woodwinds. I record weekly with celtic ensemble, pipes, cello, fiddle, drum -- live to two track. Not just nice sound -- terrific reproduction. Highs aren't brassy, bottom full. Great, have used two of these since they came out.
Features
The only one that counts: The Sound. Oh yes, all that reliability I've gained over the last 8 years. And all the time I've saved over placing a mic that would be substandard to this one.
Ease of Use
Very easy. Saves me hours a week, easily.
Quality
I use two of these in a home stereo, live to two track HD recording. I treat them with great respect. After eight years, they still work great.
Value
Yes, definetly.
Manufacturer Support
Haven't needed any. I do use Neuman cables as well. They really beat out the move expensive XLR's that I tried.
The Wow Factor
This is a great looking mic. Almost intimidating, especially in the vertical X-Y I have them in.
Musical Background:
Full time muscian 11+ years, leader of two active ensembles and in-demand soloist.
Musical Style:
Celtic.
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Submitted February 11, 2006 by a customer from yahoo.com
"I love this mic"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I bought this mic on a recommendation from a friend who is a big shot engineer in Hollywood. He told me if I didn't love it, he would buy it from me for the price I paid. I still have it and will until it or I give out. If it gives out first, I will buy another one.
Sound
This mic is sweet and smooth. Excellent response. Crisp without harshness. I love this mic.
Features
No roll off, no multiple patterns. But works well in most applications.
Quality
Professional equipment. Looks and works great.
Value
Sounds like a top of the line large diaphragm condenser but cost is around $1000.
Manufacturer Support
Have not tried to deal with Neumann directly.
The Wow Factor
It's cool. Everyone who comes into my studio comments on this mic. It looks as cool as it sounds.
Musical Background:
ex professional musician. Hobbyist recording engineer
Musical Style:
wide spectrum. Mostly country and alternative
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Submitted June 5, 2014 by Bob A in League city, TX
"Sold customer on TLM103"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I bought the matched pair just before Christmas and have used them recording concerts for the last 6 months. I hae recorded school bands and orchestras as well as semi-pro orchestras in the area. The sound is great for instrumentals, vocals, percussion, etc., bringing warm and rich sounds for all. The thresholds are great with very little distortion. Definately a good addition to any recording equipment assortment.
Musical Background:
50+ yrs in music - playing, teaching, and recording now
Musical Style:
pop to classic
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Submitted July 29, 2004 by a customer from hotmail.com
"The Shiz'nit"
Sound
simply awesome on everything
Features
no shockmount (but seems well internally shockmounted) No advanced pattern selections
Quality
german quality
Manufacturer Support
never needed it. Accessories are rediculously expensive. Seems kind of a slap in the face, when you've already dropped over a grand on the thing...
Musical Style:
All Kinds
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Submitted May 25, 2007 by a customer from comcast.com
"TLM 103 Microphone A/B tests"
Sound
I have recently compared the Neumann TLM 103 to my Neumann TLM 49 and U87. Although these microphones cost quite a bit more than the TLM 103, there was a huge difference in overall results recording male and female vocals,at 8 inch mic distance, through an Avalon VT737 to ProTools ,all EQ set flat in recording mode. The TLM 49 and U87 had a more smoothe,natural,and neutral sound ,while the TLM 103 had a more bassy and nasal sound on playback. There were too many mids at around 500Hz to 800Hz causing me to cut these frequencies. The lows were definitely on the high side at around 100Hz especially when recording a male singer. I cut about 3db at 100Hz on the Avalon because there is no bass roll-off on the TLM 103. The TLM 49 (also without a bass roll-off ) and U87 do not have an exaggerated bottom end and the mids are pretty close to perfect. After some extensive EQing the TLM 103 had a fairly good sound on female and male vocal takes.The bottom line is that the U87 and TLM 49 are much more natural sounding and do vocals more justice without alot of EQ adjustments on playback. If your looking for the Neumann sound,in my opinion, spend a little more on the other models mentioned above.
Features
Quality
Musical Background:
Recording Industry
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Submitted March 11, 2014 by Carlos R
"HOT OUTPUT"
This is an affordable alternative to the U87, a microphone with a very hot output and very resistent. It doesn't sound as smooth as the U87 and some may say it sounds cold and impersonal, but I have made some very nice recording with it . I recommend it in case you cannot afford the U87 .
Musical Background:
Playing guitar for 20 years and involved in recordings for about 10 years.
Musical Style:
Pop-rock, indie.
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Submitted October 16, 2004 by a customer from yahoo.com
"producer of many."
shine`s over anything in it`s price range.
Sound
don`t need to eq.
Features
wish it was multi polar.
Quality
best mic under a grand.
Manufacturer Support
don`t need none.
Musical Background:
producrer
Musical Style:
r&b,hip hop
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Submitted April 10, 2006 by a customer from yahoo.com
Neumann TLM103 Microphone Customer Review
Overall,this microphone isn't bad sounding, but I wouldn't consider it to be outstanding in any way.
Sound
The overall sound of this mic is o.k.- nothing really outstanding. I used this mic on vocals, with an Avalon M5 mic preamp and didn't really see much improvement (if any) compared to microphones alot less in price.
Features
There aren't any features to speak of like a bass rolloff and attenuator. Even though this is really an entry level Neumann,I would've expected at least these features.
Ease of Use
Definitely needed some EQ even when used with the Avalon M5,which isn't usually the case. I would say it was as easy to get an "acceptable" sound on vocals, as some of my cheaper $200 mics like my Audio Technica AT3035 and the like.
Value
Not really what I would call an excetional value. It is definitely quite pricey for what you get soundwise. This is especially evident when recording vocals.
Musical Background:
Producer/Engineer
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Submitted November 23, 2014 by Jason D in pcb, FL
"Just Do It"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I purchased this mic from zZounds. First off thanks zZounds for the awesome payment plans making this possible. Major upgrade for my studio. It has a professional sound rite out of the box! Recording vocals through a UA Apollo I immediately noticed a difference. More presence clarity and has that Neumann sound. Its perfect for my voice. Don't take my word try it out in your studio.
Musical Background:
I've been doing music for about 4 years. Ni Maschine. Home Studio
Musical Style:
Hip Hop
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Submitted March 19, 2005 by a customer from NETSCAPE.NET
"DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE NEUMANN LOGO!!!!!!!!!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I'm dissatisfied.
Sound
The tlm103 is a very boxy sounding microphone.It has way too many low mids (from 400 to 700hz).All mics should be used with a quality peramp(especially this one). Also there is an integrated circuit operational amplifier on the mics internal transformerless design.This is very undesirable and not something audiophiles like to have in their mic pre's or in any microphone design. The tlm103 is way overpriced because it has the Neumann logo on it. Try comparing the tlm 103 to a Rode nt1a and you'll see(and hear)that the 200 dollar nt1a will out perform it. Listen with quality studio monitors or with quality studio headphones. You'll hear the boxiness of the tlm 103 and the almost perfect sound of the rode nt1a. the tlm103 also lacks highs(no way near as transparent as a Rode nt1a or a neumann u87I. Incidentally the Neumann u87I doesn't use i.c. op amps in it's design,hence a much better sound.
Features
What features? At this price you would expect a bass rolloff and an attenuator... But what the hell,buy it it's a Neumann (not!!)
Quality
Quality of build is ok. Compare this mic to the build of a Rode NTK . For 500 dollars you'll get a better built mic,totally serviceable if you have to replace the vacuum tube-just unscrew the bottom half sleeve of mic.You can get at all the components instantly(try this with a tlm103 or a U87I) You got to check this stuff out before you spend the doe!!
Value
Totallly overpriced!
Manufacturer Support
haven't needed any.
The Wow Factor
I own a tlm103,a u87I,a Rode nt1a,and a Rode Ntk. I'm sorry I bought this mic.
Musical Background:
SOUND ENGINEER AND MUSICIAN
Musical Style:
VARIOUS.
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Submitted July 26, 2011
Neumann TLM103 Microphone Customer Review
sound is pretty good on instruments such as acoustic guitar when used with a respectable pre.
Sound
A mic that's built by Sennheiser and has alot of the old Neumann quality sound. Not exactly a sound that's not exactly in line with the older Neumann's but is quite good !
Features
There isn't any rool off or pad, but the sound is fairly good.
Ease of Use
really easey to use, just plug it in and set the gain.
Quality
Good quality mic, definitely well made.
Value
Kind of high priced for what you get - It's got a great brand name.
Manufacturer Support
I've dealt with Sennheiser/Neumann. They are great to deal with !
The Wow Factor
?????? it'a a small mic, I don't know if anything small is sexy... lol !
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Submitted January 27, 2007
"A Winner!"
A winner!
Sound
Clean, transparent and huge. Great mic.
Features
Does what it does beautifully. Want bells and whistles, get an ice cream truck.
Ease of Use
No brainer.
Quality
Neumann! The name speaks for itself.
Value
Value-able.
Manufacturer Support
Never required service.
The Wow Factor
I have a stacked microphone cabinet with Neumanns, AKGs, Lawson, Soundelux, etc., etc., and a host of cost effective mics. The TLM 103 is a mic I wouldn't hesitate using anytime on any project. It's a beauty; Neumann's gift to the financially challenged project studio with the great big distictive Neumann sound. Why to go Neumann.
Musical Background:
Producer, recording artist, musician, engineer
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Submitted April 26, 2006
"This has to be the modern classic mic for Neumann. It sounds Beautiful."
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I have tried so many mics, and really loved the way the U87 sounded with our vocalists. After hiring the U87 for over 2 years, i decided to try out the TLM 103, and it sounds the same, if not a little quieter. Its a mic for life, and its staying. For under $1000, this is the best and most convincing sounding mic in market. Some say it lacks any character, or it sounds lifeless. Thats becuase they are used to scooped sounding mics like the classic clones, or they have a problem source in the first place.
Sound
Dont be fooled by some of the reviews below, they don't even list preamps used, etc. The sound of this mic is just like a classic u87. It has the same characteristics throughout. We put a TLM 103 up against a hired in u87, and used a Summit Tube Preamp, going into the Apogee Rosetta 800 into Logic Pro. For monitoring, we used a pair of high end Adam S3a's. We recorded a Male RnB Vocalist with a smooth Donell Jones styled voice. The vocals came out like for like on both mics, and neither mic was any better. Both mics had the same classic Neuammn sound, with that unique midrange presence, and both mics cut right through the mixes with vivid detail, with no Eq applied. The sound was full and rounded with slight low midrange warmth, with just about enough air to make the vocals sound natural yet open and defined. We normally use either hire in a u87 (classic) or a AT4060 tube mic. But since we tried out the 103, our vocalists all prefer it, especially over the AT4060, which tends to sound darker than the neumann. Overall, the TLM 103 sounds so close to the bigger bro, that in a blind vocal test, you wouldnt know which to choose. We ended up buying one after all out tests and looks like we dont need to hire that 87 ever again.
Features
Simplest things are the best. No switches, and its a fixed pattern. A true vocal mic. Its a U87 without the transformer, switches and and the extra patterns.
Ease of Use
How easy can it get, A high quality cable, a decent mic pre, and started recording in pro qaulity.
Quality
Build quality is what you would expect from a German company like Neumann. The finish on this mic is Ace, no marks, no cheapness, just solid construction and amazing craft. I also have alot of time for another great brand AKG, but still prefer the Neumann sound overall.
Value
I payed alot for this mic and bought it as a set with its shockmount. If stolen, i would replace it in a heartbeat. Its a million miles better than 'ANY' chinese mic like the SE's and the like. Its only takes a few good listens to see hear the difference in reproduction of sound qaulity and resolution pick up. The chinese mics tend to be harsh, brittle, and lack definition, no matter what the Ad says.
Manufacturer Support
Never needed them.
The Wow Factor
It looks the business, small yet solid, smart and beautifully formed, and has the Neumann brand to look up to. It looks as good as it sounds IMO. The mic has a Pro look and its much better to look at than some of the cheaper bulky mics.
Musical Background:
8 Years
Musical Style:
RnB, Rap, Ballads, etc.
15 of 16 people (94%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
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