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Author Topic: Has anyone tried out the Røde TF5?  (Read 1295 times)

Glenn Bucci

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Has anyone tried out the Røde TF5?
« on: May 17, 2020, 08:56:47 AM »

Tony Faulkner helped design this mic with Rode (hence the TF in the name). He wanted a mic without the squaky sound that many other small pencil mics can have? Has anyone had the opportunity to hear it. I have only heard are some videos of it on line. With its much higher price, it is supposed to compete with Scheps and Neumann mics.
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RuudNL

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Rode Tf5?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 02:33:18 PM »

Maybe the first Rode microphone that sounds good?...
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klaus

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Rode Tf5?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 09:41:10 PM »

Unlike other mic forums, let's keep the discussion here about a new model limited to objective data, and, more importantly, to personal, first-hand experiences.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Glenn Bucci

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Rode Tf5?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2020, 08:29:30 AM »

Sweetwater has a video of the mics in X/Y with a classical guitar that provides some insight on how the mic sounds. It seems more neutral than the KM184 with extended low end and a flatter response. Above 10k there is a bump which adds a slight flattering sound. The Rode web site confirmed the higher bump on the mic. I wont bother stating any reviewers opinion since this forum prefers to hear first hand observation. Listening to the video clip, it has a nice top end that is very open and detailed.i don't hear the typical harshness you can hear with many lower to mid priced microphones.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Rode Tf5?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 11:10:05 AM »

It is reported to be made from all surface mount components.
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klaus

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Rode Tf5?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2020, 01:53:19 PM »

Sweetwater has a video of the mics in X/Y with a classical guitar that provides some insight on how the mic sounds.(...) I won't bother stating any reviewers opinion since this forum prefers to hear first hand observation. Listening to the video clip, it has a nice top end that is very open and detailed.i don't hear the typical harshness you can hear with many lower to mid priced microphones.

A couple of comments.
You mention that you won't bother stating reviewers' opinions, but the video is full of them, and at least one is bogus: the Sweetwater reviewer's statement that noise floor and sensitivity of this mic were and indication of its low level of distortion. It is not. Classic example: the U87Ai has high sensitivity and low noise floor, yet its headroom is  low.

Sweetwater's interest is to sell as many of this microphone as possible. Therefore, the company's sales video will have to sound as good as possible. But because we are not privy to the circumstances of the recording, the video's demonstration how the mic sounds is not trustworthy.

As much as I distrust "sound samples" in general, I would be more inclined to believe claims by a third party with no financial interest in the matter.

Best proof yet of the quality of this new mic would be to personally witnessing its sound in comparison to models it aims to compete against, say, a Schoeps, a Neumann or DPA.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
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Glenn Bucci

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Røde TF5?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 08:19:06 AM »

I found a person who does not work for a magazine or Audio company who purchased the mics and posted clips of the Tf5 on Sound Cloud. It sounds pretty similar to the Sweetwater example. https://m.soundcloud.com/audiotechnology

I like that the mics are made in Australia in Rodes own facility.
This is even better examples on drum overheads.
https://youtu.be/b9NkAd8f4vk
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David Satz

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Re: Has anyone tried out the Røde TF5?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 12:31:38 PM »

When well-known people endorse products, it can be valuable for the seller of the product. But it's also promotion for the endorser, which may be even more valuable than whatever fees and free stuff they get as part of the deal. Their public persona is like a brand in itself, and the more prominently it's displayed, the more valuable it becomes for them in other, future deals. In an extreme version of that scenario, some people worry that some day, an unfit person could even find their way into public office by using the techniques of celebrity salesmanship. (I rather doubt it; people are rational, and aren't swayed by their feelings where something so important is concerned.)

--As for the useful role that a recording engineer could play in capsule design, my experience may be relevant, since I've been a "beta tester" for two capsule types. I recorded concerts with them and gave my observations to the company involved--even sent them samples of my recordings in the more recent case. There was real back-and-forth discussion, and I know that I wasn't the only (nor, frankly, the most prominent) engineer testing these capsules. Neumann has mentioned their version of this process quite openly, e.g. in their origin stories for the TLM 103 via the short-lived model TLM 171, as well as one or another of their modern-day offshoots of the M 50 (I can't remember which one), regarding the way its membrane material was chosen. I would frankly be very surprised if any microphone manufacturer in the world would risk introducing a new capsule or microphone without asking at least one outside recording engineer to try it out first--and before that happens, they will almost certainly have made their own test recordings with it.

But giving our observations and opinions is really all that we sound engineers can do. The actual acoustical and mechanical design of capsules, particularly for directional microphones, is a highly specialized field. To say that "it isn't widely understood" would be an extreme understatement. Even reverse-engineering and copying a known, good-sounding capsule gets you only partway there if you don't know what you're doing in the first place--which very few people do. And they generally keep some parts of that knowledge to themselves, at least in the "old school" way of doing things.

This can create real problems for an established manufacturer (say, in a musical capital of Europe) if there's demand for one of their older designs, but it's been so long that all the people who originally worked on it are gone, and no one who is still in the company knows what made it work, or even exactly how it was assembled. They may have all the old drawings and some leftover, original parts--but in the end they simply become one more imitator of their own original, and not necessarily the most successful at it, either. It's not an enviable position to be in.

--best regards
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