The Neumann TLM 103 large-diaphragm cardioid condenser mic boasts a capsule drawn from the U 87 and transformerless circuitry — not to mention classic Neumann sound! The TLM 103 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. This mic is also robust enough for the live stage, as Jack White has employed the TLM 103 to mic amps in live situations.
Cardioid pattern to limit bleed
The cardioid TLM 103 utilizes a tried-and-true transformerless circuit found in high-end Neumann microphones to achieve its otherwise unattainable low self-noise and the highest sound pressure level transmission possible. By focusing on this pattern — used in most recording situations — the attenuation of unwanted rear sound has been optimized. Off-axis sounds are rendered naturally while isolation is increased. This also leads to a high feedback suppression when the microphone is used in live situations or where loudspeaker playback is a factor. And at this price, there’s no reason not to have a pair!
Classic design for transparent sound
The TLM 103 is addressed from the front, marked with the red Neumann logo on the microphone body. The K 103 large diaphragm capsule is based on the K 87, well known from the U 67 / U 87 microphones.The capsule has a flat frequency response up to about 5kHz, and above that, a wide flat 4dB presence boost. The large wire mesh headgrille protects the capsule from plosive sounds and effectively prevents pop noises. These characteristics are achieved without resorting to corrective resonance effects. Therefore, the TLM 103 maintains an excellent impulse response and reproduces the details of music and speech without coloration. With the incredibly low self-noise level of the TLM 103 even the smallest signals are reproduced basically noise-free. 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).
Neumann’s “TLM” technology
The letters TLM stand for “transformerless microphone”. With TLM technology the usual output transformer is replaced by an electronic circuit. As with traditional transformers, it ensures good common mode rejection and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal.
Neumann TLM 103 Features:
- Nickel finish
- Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone
- Pressure gradient transducer with one-diaphragm capsule
- Transformerless circuitry
- Extremely low noise
- Includes swivel mount
- Minimal self-noise
- Frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz
- Rated impedance: 50 ohms
- Rated load impedance: 1 kohms
- Maximum SPL for 0.5% THD: 138dB
- Wooden box and stand mount included
- Requires +48V phantom power