Neumann TLM170 R

Studio microThe TLM 170 R was the first microphone with the now so successful fet-100 technology. It offers balanced transformerless signal output and maximum controllability with extremely low noise.

Five directional characteristics can be selected with a rotary switch. In the sixth switch position "R", the directional characteristics can be switched over by means of the N 248 power supply without the need for a special cable.

The microphone also has a switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation for very high sound levels and an impact sound filter with an operating frequency of 100 Hz.

Scope of application

The condensation microphone TLM 170 R is a switchable large diaphragm microphone, which is distinguished by its transmission characteristics and different switching possibilities. It is used in a wide variety of applications in broadcast, film and television, as well as in the semi-professional field.

The directional characteristics can be switched directly on the microphone as well as by remote control from a designated power supply unit.

Acoustic features

The double diaphragm capsule in the wire mesh basket of the microphone has particularly flat frequency characteristics for all adjustable directional characteristics. This is not only true, as is often the case with the sound coming from the front, but also for sound which laterally falls within an angular range of more than ± 100 °.

As a result, the diffuse-field frequency paths up to 10 kHz also run parallel to the 0 ° curves. In practice this affects the sound parts arriving indirectly via reflections in the recording space to the microphone.

This also means that the microphone does not alter the sound characteristics of the microphone. Since no resonance effects are used to achieve the above-mentioned microphone characteristics, the pulse response of the microphone is excellent. It is thus able to transfer all balancing processes in music and language without any distortion. The capsule is elastically mounted for protection against structure-borne noise.

Directional characteristics

In addition to the usual directional polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8, we have added a hypercardioid and wide-angle cardioid characteristic. When compared to the standard cardioid pattern, the hypercardioid characteristic suppresses sound from the side more efficiently. The wide-angle polar pattern is especially useful to record large sound sources.

Remote control

The remote control of the directional characteristics using the power supply unit N 248 is achieved by varying the phantom voltage in the range 48 V ± 3 V (the corresponding standard allows a range of ± 4 V).

In the switch position "R" (= Remote: Remote control), the TLM 170 R microphone evaluates the absolute level of the phantom voltage and adjusts itself into the associated directional characteristic. As with conventional operation, the normal 3-pin microphone cable is used, cable lengths up to 300 m are permissible.

Electrical Properties

The letters TLM stand for "transformerless microphone". The TLM 170 R normally replaces the commonly used output transformer with an electronic circuit, which - like a transformer - ensures a good unbalance. Therefore, spurious signals acting on the balanced modulation line are suppressed as usual.

Operation on tripodsFor mounting on a tripod, the TLM 170 R has a side-mounted swivel bracket that effectively protects the microphone from low-frequency, mechanical vibrations due to built-in rubber elements. It can be removed if required or mounted on the other side of the microphone.

To use the cable IC 4 (for example, to suspend the microphone from the top in conjunction with the tilt device MNV 87), the pivotable bracket with its holder must be removed from the microphone. Then a thread for screwing with the cable is released at the connecting part of the microphone.

Filter & Pre-Attenuation

In order to prevent an overdriving of the downstream amplifier input, a pre-attenuation of 10 dB can be switched on at the rear.

A further switch allows the lowering of the frequency response below 100 Hz for suppression of low-frequency interferences.

Operational Safety

The surface of the capsule, including the diaphragms, is at ground level and is therefore insensitive to electrical and atmospheric influences as well as to dirt.

  • 5 Polar patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-8, hypercardioid and wide cardioid
  • Remote control with N 48 R-2.
  • Colour: Nickel
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  • Ballad Male
  • Ballad Male Processed
  • Soul Male
  • Soul Male Processed
  • Ballad Female
  • Ballad Female Processed
  • Soul Female
  • Soul Female Processed
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Further information

Tube No
Switchable Polar Pattern Yes
Omnidirectional Yes
Cardioid Yes
Figure-8 Yes
Low Cut Yes
Pad Yes
shockmount included No
USB Microphone No
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The "underdog" among the Neum nnern

gibLaut, 11.06.2015
One can say, the Neumann TLM170 R is the transformerless version of the Neumann U89 (therefore "TLM") and sounds excellently balanced.

The non-objective Neumann disciple might tend to underestimate the TLM170 R's lacking character or color because he / she is accustomed to the U87 (Ai), which is easily applied in the higher middle range. The TLM170 R is certainly not worse, but just different. It serves for me personally exactly the division, which I need and before the purchase needed.

I am a professional speaker and, especially with "S" and "F" sounds, tends to hiss. For my voice, the U87 is therefore nothing, just like the very "crisp" Brauner microphones. All excellent microphones, but not "my micro".
The TLM 170R is more linear, and does not force any producer to have to brutally filter out before the actual / creative work can begin. This applies to my voice as I said, and is not generally so - just so that is quite clear! ;-)

The TLM170 R is an excellent choice for those who need a not so crisp, more demanding micro. Of course, I can only speak of language and singing, since I only have my own experiences with it.
Sure, the TLM170 R is also suitable for other applications, but I can not report on something I have not heard myself.

I can only say:
- balanced
- more linear than the U87 (that is, neither "worse" nor "better" - you just have to know what you want or what fits one)
- nevertheless (in the neutral position of the preamp / EQs) far crisper / presenter than eg the TLM67
- wonderfully round and warm, especially with baritone / tenor to bassy men's voices

Of course, can not argue about taste and I can - as always with Mikros - only to try out and decide from the belly. What is good is what is good, so forget the frequency response and analysis. ;-)

With the TLM170 R you definitely have fun!
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