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. 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 the number one choice in studios around the world. A unique feature of the TLM 103 is its impressively deep yet controlled low end, perfect for sonorous voices and powerful bass instruments.
With an incredibly low self-noise of only 7 dB-A , the TLM 103 is among the quietest microphones available. Its high sensitivity of 23 mV/Pa ensures ultra low 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 preattenuation. Its vast dynamic range of 131 dB makes the TLM 103 a very easy to use studio microphone to capture anything from a soft whisper to a thunderous bass drum without adding noise or distortion.
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 also works well as a more modern sounding alternative to the U87 for speech, vocals, drums, guitar amps, and piano. The TLM 103 is also often used as a spot mic in classical recordings for instruments such as the cello and double bass.
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