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TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:23 pm

Neumann has announced the TLM 107 as being the first multi-pattern Neumann at under $2000 list. In fact, the TLM 127 was listed at $1800, sold for considerably less. (And it's surprising that the TLM 127 is now listed under "historical microphones!")

True the 127 had only omni and cardioid without the remote control box, but still it was multi-pattern and well under $2000. And had a remote control option, if wanted.

The TLM 127 had a remarkably short production life.

I wish Neumann had pitched the TLM170 in a way that would have increased sales to a point that they could sell the microphone for less. It would have saved the company the significant costs of developing a new microphone. But perhaps that lower the commodity value of the TLM 170 and 193.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Billum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:23 pm

I'm surprised too that Neumann are marketing the TLM 107 partly on the basis of its "completely new user interface" (it's the first thing mentioned in its promo video)! This is hardware! Are we so caught up in the hype of realistic-looking (or skeuomorphic) software recreations that it's the first thing we look at in hardware now too?

There's not a lot you need to do with a mic - polar pattern, hi-pass and pad. Not much wrong with the 'UI' on a U87 in my view - 3 simple switches!

I would've thought with the world's leading mic manufacture that there are more important factors to plug than this - how's the noise level, max spl, distortion? (All actually look excellent!)

Still, rant over, the TLM 107 looks very nice and I wish I could afford one anytime soon...
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:46 pm

Billum wrote:I'm surprised too that Neumann are marketing the TLM 107 partly on the basis of its "completely new user interface" (it's the first thing mentioned in its promo video)! This is hardware! Are we so caught up in the hype of realistic-looking (or skeuomorphic) software recreations that it's the first thing we look at in hardware now too?


I missed that part. But without knowing that, I did think the product recalled the exterior design of another product manufactured a bit further to the south.

I hope my comments are taken in the light hearted spirit in which they are offered, but I did think their (Neumann's) claim about product pricing needed to be corrected. Unless I'm wrong-then someone can correct my mistaken assumption.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby John Willett » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:42 am

The TLM 127 was discontinued due to RoHS regulations (ie: too expensive to re-engineer compared to sales quantities) and they sold the last of the stock to Thomann who sold it to end users at below the landed cost price that a Neumann distributor could buy it.

It was an excellent mic., but the price was too close to the U87 - so, why buy a 127 when for only a few dollars more you could get the 87.

The new TLM 107 is considerably cheaper - $1,600, which, I guess, will equate to a UK price of £999 if they get their pricing right.

The 107 uses a glued capsule, by the looks of it, like the TLM 102.

It looks like they are producing a modern mic. at an affordable price and the first switchable Neumann under £1k (if my reasoning is correct).

Not that I would get one, of course
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:12 pm

John Willett wrote:The TLM 127 was discontinued due to RoHS regulations (ie: too expensive to re-engineer compared to sales quantities) and they sold the last of the stock to Thomann who sold it to end users at below the landed cost price that a Neumann distributor could buy it.

It was an excellent mic., but the price was too close to the U87 - so, why buy a 127 when for only a few dollars more you could get the 87.

The new TLM 107 is considerably cheaper - John Willett,600, which, I guess, will equate to a UK price of £999 if they get their pricing right.

The 107 uses a glued capsule, by the looks of it, like the TLM 102.

It looks like they are producing a modern mic. at an affordable price and the first switchable Neumann under £1k (if my reasoning is correct).

Not that I would get one, of course


That is interesting info, John.

But Neumann is specifying dollars, not £'s, and therefore seemingly referencing the price structure in the Amerian market, and the 127 was always listed at $1800-which is well under $2000, this being about $1000 less than a U87 at the time). Hence Neumann's statement about the the 107 being the first multi pattern to break the $2000 barrier is simply untrue and by a significant degree.

The history of the 127 you provide is an interesting one, and one I suspect few know. It looks like the new 107 will be in interesting mic. However, I don't particularly like electronically controlled pattern or pad switching unless there is a reason for it-remote control, for example. I see it more as an major inconvenience if you need phantom power to change a pattern. But perhaps I'm missing something.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:21 pm

I suspect this is a simple case of the marketing getting a bit confused and over enthusiastic...


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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:33 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I suspect this is a simple case of the marketing getting a bit confused and over enthusiastic...


H


But they should be called on it by august publications if it's one of the major qualities about the mic/product that they are hyping. (Friendly jest, request, and compliment there.)

But I agree with you, Hugh.

I look forward to your review of a mic that looks promising and might be bit of a change in direction, sonically speaking. I hope you (or the reviewer who gets the presumed assigment) can put it up against a 170, 193, or 89, as well as those mic's enjoying greater popularity at this time.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby John Willett » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:36 pm

The full details are now on the Neumann website HERE.

The frequency response curve and polar-pattern is HERE - you can see how the frequency response changes with the selected polar-pattern and, also, see how the polar-pattern changes with frequency by clicking the relevant pattern and frequency icons.

The PDF of the brochure is here.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Matthew Ottewill » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:58 am

It would be interesting to hear a head to head between all the Neumann TM variants. I suspect there's not a lot to separate some of them and many exist to meet a marketing requirement for new product.

Wasn't it Jony Ive who said that we shouldn't mistake abundance with choice?
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:47 am

Matthew Ottewill wrote:It would be interesting to hear a head to head between all the Neumann TM variants. I suspect there's not a lot to separate some of them and many exist to meet a marketing requirement for new product.

Wasn't it Jony Ive who said that we shouldn't mistake abundance with choice?

Clearly you haven't heard them. The TLM mics I've auditioned have all been very different either in frequency response or polar pattern options.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Matthew Ottewill » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:34 am

I stand corrected!
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby John Willett » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:55 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:
Matthew Ottewill wrote:It would be interesting to hear a head to head between all the Neumann TM variants. I suspect there's not a lot to separate some of them and many exist to meet a marketing requirement for new product.

Wasn't it Jony Ive who said that we shouldn't mistake abundance with choice?

Clearly you haven't heard them. The TLM mics I've auditioned have all been very different either in frequency response or polar pattern options.

Bob

Correct - Each microphone is engineered for a specific set of properties.

All "TLM" means, is that it is electronically balanced with no transformer to colour the sound.

There are as many differences between the transformer mics as the transformerless ones.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:20 pm

Yes John Willett a few posts up provides some links to the Neumann data. They show that even within one mic, the treble response changes somewhat depending on the polar pattern selected. This is normal to the design and you'd expect similar changes in similar types of multipattern condenser mics.
No two mics will sound exactly the same either, even of the same make and model, and using the same polar pattern.

But how much those differences make in practice depends on many factors, hence often the controversies which can rage around mics.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:38 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:No two mics will sound exactly the same either, even of the same make and model, and using the same polar pattern.


As with all equipment manufacturer, there will inevitably be small gain, polar, and frequency response variances due to production tolerances. The better the manufacturer, the smaller those tolerance variations will be... and vice versa!

However, I can't agree with the statement that "no two mics will sound exactly the same"... I have several sets of identical model mics (from various well-known high-end manufacturers) which were bought separately (and in some cases from batches made many years apart) but which all sound completely identical to each other. (I have no doubt that minor differences could be revealed in a measurement chamber, but the tolerances are more than tight enough for practical purposes).

In fairness, I have also tested various 'matched stereo pairs' from one or two budget manufacturers which were very obviously anything but!

Nevertheless, the only time accurate mic pair matching becomes critical is when using multiple mics of the same type in a stereo or surround array, especially a coincident array since frequency and polar response differences will create relative level differences and hence image shifts. Mics of the same model (used in the same configuration) should sound the same, and the easiest and quickest way of checking that, is as explained in this Q&A:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may06/a ... 0506_1.htm

This technique will reveal tolerance variations of less than 1dB given good listening conditions and monitors, and quickly identify unmatched mics which are unsuited to coincident pair applications.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:40 am

Yes the differences may not even be audible to the listener, but as you say they will be there in the mics, perhaps only revealed by a measurement chamber, perhaps not. Either way the (very small) differences will be there.

As I also said,

Tim Gillett wrote:

But how much those differences make in practice depends on many factors, hence often the controversies which can rage around mics.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:29 am

Tim Gillett wrote:Yes the differences may not even be audible to the listener, but as you say they will be there in the mics, perhaps only revealed by a measurement chamber, perhaps not. Either way the (very small) differences will be there.

As I also said,

Tim Gillett wrote:

But how much those differences make in practice depends on many factors, hence often the controversies which can rage around mics.

Tim

I'm pleased you're trying to wriggle out of this one early Tim.

Just to be clear Hugh was correcting your earlier erroneous statement: "No two mics will sound exactly the same either, even of the same make and model, and using the same polar pattern". True there may be small differences, but if they are inaudible, which they tend to be with higher end manufacturers, then your statement is incorrect and misleading.

And an observation: I think you give yourself too much credit in suggesting "controversies which can rage around mics", as it implies you have a debatable alternative view on the issue of microphones, which is simply not the case. Your comment does rather underline your motive in contributing to these fora though.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:59 am

Bob,

I should have been more clear in my wording. What I meant was the actual differences in output from the mics, whether we can hear those differences with our own ears or not. Sure, if the differences are inaudible that's good, is it not?

But if you'd like to, we could get down to specifics. What in fact are the manufacturing tolerances for various particular high end mics of your choice across say the 20hz to 20khz spectrum? I note with some of the Neumann TLM models it is + or - 2db, ie: a total of 4 db. Perhaps you have other mic models in mind. Over to you or anyone else.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:43 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:I'm pleased you're trying to wriggle out of this one early Tim.

Thanks Bob. That made me spray my morning coffee!

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:53 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:I should have been more clear in my wording.


It would be better if you stuck to things you know about, instead of making daft claims and then wriggle and backtrack...

However, regarding the response tolerances, most decent manufacturers quote a nominal maximum tolerance of +/-2dB, largely to give themselves 'wriggle room'. However, normal production tolerances are generally much tighter than this for the top manufacturers. Of those companies that offer stereo pair matching the tolerances are normally quoted as +/-0.5dB. My own experience as related above is that actually the normal production tolerances for the top manufacturers are not far adrift from that anyway. Certainly I have same model mics from very different batches that are easily within +/-0.5dB of each other.

You might find this page from DPAs website informative.

http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Mic-University/Technology-G...

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:02 pm

Deleted by Tim in response to Moderator's PM. 10.11pm Perth, Western Australia Time
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby John Willett » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:39 am

I did hear tell of a broadcaster who bought a batch of 50 x TLM 103 microphones (I think it was) and an engineer was asked to test them all for acceptance.

He found that the difference between the "best" and the "worst" was only 0.5dB.

That's closer than most "matched pairs".
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:32 pm

That's an interesting anecdote, John, but I'm really not surprised in how tight Neumann's production tolerances are in practice. That certainly matches my own experiences.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:51 am

Hugh, some time ago you mentioned narrow band peaks and troughs which we dont see in the "smoothed" published response plots, but which are audible in vocal recordings using a single mic.

Are we to assume here that those peaks and troughs match each other to a high degree between the samples, and therefore do not compromise the actual 0.5db matching between these mic samples?

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:10 am

John Willett wrote:I did hear tell of a broadcaster who bought a batch of 50 x TLM 103 microphones (I think it was) and an engineer was asked to test them all for acceptance.

He found that the difference between the "best" and the "worst" was only 0.5dB.

That's closer than most "matched pairs".


Would that have been 0.5dB in output, or some difference in an on axis frequency response test, or an off axis difference of some kind? I'm jesting-I have no doubt they were for all intents identical.

I contribute this in the interest of trivia rather than importance.

Since you mention the 103's, the early releases (of 103's) had some quickly noticed niggles. Many of the mic's had diaphragms pointed noticeably off axis, enough to effect HF performance, and some of them looked a little strange as well! The cause, explained at the time, was due to an unusually difficult capsule assembly/mount procedure peculiar to that mic. (Still, one has to question QC. Did they even look at the mic they assembled?) Neumann fixed the mic's, of course, and, as expected, quickly addressed the assembly problem. Everyone lived happily ever after.

Remember, TG, that this is a trivia story. And we only know of the little story because of Neumann's consistent practice of information transparency.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:33 am

Tim Gillett wrote: Hugh, some time ago you mentioned narrow band peaks and troughs which we dont see in the "smoothed" published response plots, but which are audible in vocal recordings using a single mic.

They are not generally directly audible in themselves, but they do affect the perception of voices since they alter the balance of voice components in unnatural ways.

Are we to assume here that those peaks and troughs match each other to a high degree between the samples, and therefore do not compromise the actual 0.5db matching between these mic samples?

They are largely caused by aspects of physical construction and thus tend to be very similar between (undamaged) mics of the same model. Using the method I outlined earlier it would seem empirically that all response variations remain pretty closely matched.

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:58 am

Jeraldo wrote:

Remember, TG, that this is a trivia story. And we only know of the little story because of Neumann's consistent practice of information transparency.


Jeraldo, my initials are TG. To whom were you referring and why?


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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Jeraldo » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:11 am

Tim Gillett wrote:
Jeraldo, my initials are TG. To whom were you referring and why?
Tim


Sorry for any confusion.

I was concerned that my anecdote might be drawn into the very wide ranging technical discussion as technical data or as support of an argument, and wanted to be sure that would not happen.
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:38 am

Jeraldo wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
Jeraldo, my initials are TG. To whom were you referring and why?
Tim


Sorry for any confusion.

I was concerned that my anecdote might be drawn into the very wide ranging technical discussion as technical data or as support of an argument, and wanted to be sure that would not happen.



That was understood. For the second time, to whom did the TG refer and why, meaning why did you address that person specifically?

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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:29 am

Tim Gillett wrote:
Jeraldo wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
Jeraldo, my initials are TG. To whom were you referring and why?
Tim

Sorry for any confusion.

I was concerned that my anecdote might be drawn into the very wide ranging technical discussion as technical data or as support of an argument, and wanted to be sure that would not happen.


That was understood. For the second time, to whom did the TG refer and why, meaning why did you address that person specifically?

Tim

Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest he was referring to you Tim, the reason being he had something interesting to say, that would be typically picked up by yourself, misconstrued and used to torture us for days to come.

Don't you think it's time to stop pissing around?

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P.S. For non antipodeans the New Zealand Information website translates as: Piss around - waste time, muck around
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Re: TLM 107,127

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:13 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote: Hugh, some time ago you mentioned narrow band peaks and troughs which we dont see in the "smoothed" published response plots, but which are audible in vocal recordings using a single mic.


They are not generally directly audible in themselves, but they do affect the perception of voices since they alter the balance of voice components in unnatural ways.

Are we to assume here that those peaks and troughs match each other to a high degree between the samples, and therefore do not compromise the actual 0.5db matching between these mic samples?


They are largely caused by aspects of physical construction and thus tend to be very similar between (undamaged) mics of the same model. Using the method I outlined earlier it would seem empirically that all response variations remain pretty closely matched.

H


Thanks Hugh for the concise, considered and courteous reply.

Tim
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