Neumann TLM 102 Review – Clarity And Transparency At A Bargain

Any serious audiophile will have you know that Neumann’s sound is like no other. It’s perhaps the world’s most beloved brand when it comes top of the line sonic character, progressive technology, and striking design. And Neumann TLM 102 is no exception!
My first impression when I laid my eyes on this baby was, “What a cute baby Neumann”. But don’t let the small size fool you. This large diaphragm microphone can outdo the best of them when it comes to features and performance. Take a look.

Neumann TLM 102 Review – Main Features & Benefits

Neumann TLM 102 Review

Build quality

The build quality of Neumann TLM 102 is to die for! It has a compact design and a polished nickel or matte black frame that will have your audio antennae spike up at first glance. The small build is a gem in situations where sustaining a clear line of sight between the singer and the control room takes precedence.  This lightweight has invested in top of the line material to ensure a long lasting mic that will stand the test of time.

Pattern

Under its hood sits a large diaphragm capsule that is very sensitive which is a major score for vocals. It also boasts of a directional cardioid pattern which solely focuses on the front source, keeping ambient noises from the sides and rear at bay. The rejection is incredible if you have a singer who loves to move around.

tlm 102 reviewSound quality

What of the frequency response you ask? It ranges from 20Hz to 20 KHz which essentially covers the audible spectrum for human beings. Added to that is a frequency boost above 6 kHz that aims to round out mid and high-end vocals. It adds sweetness to the already melodic sound that will have folks jumping to the mix. The low-end frequency is pretty linear with almost zero coloration. When a performer is singing, shouting or talking its smooth response and warm mids hold its own against the wall of fuzzy guitars and pounding drums.
Imagine the storm you could cook up with a maximum sound pressure level of 144db? You can record all the loud sounds you want, be it percussions, drums or amps. On the flipside, acoustic instruments have also been catered for with the fast transient response.

Noise control

For all you recording newbies, TLM basically means transformless.  The mic has invested in an electronic circuit to take the place of the standard output transformer. This technology makes certain that there is no RF interference and also ensures good common mode rejection. So if you are the kind that likes to heavily caress your mic, no need to fret over pronounced noise of handling and use. The capsule’s built in elastic suspension adds to its allure in this regard. The integrated pop screen is an added bonus that wards off plosives.

Accessories

I also really liked the fact that it comes with its own robust stand-mount equipped to firmly hold the mic. However, no case or shockmount is included.

Cons

Lacks in included accessories.

Neumann TLM 102 Review
  • Quality - 94%
    94%
  • Durability - 95%
    95%
  • Features - 85%
    85%
  • Sound - 96%
    96%

Summary

This mic takes the prize when it comes to vocals. It delivers a clearly defined bass range warm, mid, and a sweetened high-end sound. It continues in the same breath when it comes to instruments. Guitarists –acoustic and electric- adore it for the rich full bodied sound produced by this baby.
I would recommend it for vocalists and engineers looking for studio quality sound at a bargain.

93%
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