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Neumann TLM 103



Large-diaphragm Cardioid Microphone in Wooden Jeweler’s Box with 20Hz-20kHz Frequency Range

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Designed as a budget-friendly alternative to the heralded U 87 microphone for project studios, producers, and vocalists, the nickel Neumann TLM 103 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic offering the classic Neumann sound with elevated presence to impart a crisp, clean, and full tone. It boasts a capsule based on the U 87 married to pristine transformerless circuitry, allowing it to handle high SPLs up to 138 dB without distortion while maintaining superbly quiet self-noise of just 7 dBA.

The combination of the transformerless output stage and heightened treble response makes the TLM 103 a great choice when the sound source needs to clearly cut through the mix. The mic's compact body is ideal for positioning it in tight spots such as over a snare, inside a kick drum, or in front of a small guitar amp. By utilizing a cardioid polar pattern, the mic can effectively reduce ambient noise or instrument bleed behind the mic. The TLM 103 comes with a secure, space-saving swivel mount and a wooden box.

Affordable Alternative to the U 87
Introduced in 1997 as an affordable alternative to the venerable U 87, the TLM 103 has since become a classic in its own right. Today, the TLM 103 defines the standard by which contemporary studio microphones are measured. Its classic, tapered headgrille design gives the TLM 103 a distinct Neumann look.
Large-Diaphragm Capsule
The TLM 103 is a cardioid microphone with a large-diaphragm condenser capsule derived from the classic K67/87 capsule of the legendary Neumann U 87. However, the TLM 103 has a slightly more modern voicing with a wide presence boost for frequencies above 5 kHz.
Refined and Full Sound
Its very direct yet refined sound is perfect for vocals and solo instruments that pop out of the mix without effort. Of course, the TLM 103 also has the famous authoritative midrange that has become the hallmark of Neumann microphones and made them a top choice in studios around the world. A special feature of the TLM 103 is its impressively deep yet controlled low end, perfect for sonorous voices and powerful bass instruments.
Technical Excellence
With an incredibly low self-noise of only 7 dBA, the TLM 103 is among the quietest microphones available. And its high sensitivity of -32.5 dBV ensures ultralow noise, even with budget preamps and audio interfaces or vintage tube equipment. At the same time, the TLM 103 can handle enormous sound pressure levels of up to 138 dB without the need for pre attenuation. Its vast dynamic range of 131 dB makes the TLM 103 a very easy-to-use studio microphone as it will capture anything from a soft whisper to a thunderous bass drum without adding noise or distortion.
Transformerless Output
As a member of Neumann's TLM series, the TLM 103 works with a transformerless output stage, which minimizes transmission losses and ensures a very immediate, uncolored sound, true to the original as well as a clear, powerful bass response, even at highest signal levels.
The TLM 103 was primarily designed for project studios and broadcast use, but due to its outstanding performance was soon embraced by renowned studios as a more modern sounding alternative to the U 87 for speech, vocals, drums, guitar amps, and piano. The TLM 103 is also often used as a spot mic in classical recordings for cello and double bass.
Features at a Glance
  • Large-diaphragm condenser capsule derived from the classic U 87 microphone
  • Balanced sound with enhanced presence
  • Cardioid pattern reduces background noise
  • Transformerless circuitry with high SPL capability
  • Extremely low self-noise of only 7 dBA
  • XLR 3-pin output
  • 48V phantom powered
  • Includes swivel mount and wooden box
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